Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Elevated Carbon Dioxide Levels Impact Food Quality

Rising rates of carbon dioxide have been credited for the myriad environmental consequences that fall under the umbrella of global warming. While nay-sayers deny any "measurable" impact from our growing carbon footprint, research continues to reveal the many unexpected ways in which rising levels of carbon dioxide are threatening the health of our planet. A recent study conducted by scientists at Southwestern University now shows us that the effects are as close as our next meal. This research concludes that elevated atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are leading to the reduction of protein concentrations in popular plant foods such as rice, wheat, potatoes, and soybeans -- as much as a 15% decrease. While this study primarily focused on protein content, there is no telling what impact environmental changes are having on other nutrients. With over-consumption of food linked to the ongoing obesity epidemic, increasing portion sizes doesn't seem like the prudent strategy for recouping our nutritional losses. Instead it furthers the argument for directly targeting core problems such as pollution.