Wednesday, May 29, 2013

We're breeding the nutrition out of our food

from our friend Xeni at Boing Boing:

Image: Machiko Munakata made this "Sweet Corn" and shared the image in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool. 4.5 inches, hand-sewn, stuffed with polyfil.

In the New York Times this weekend, wild foods advocate Jo Robinson writes about how we've "been stripping phytonutrients from our diet since we stopped foraging for wild plants some 10,000 years ago and became farmers." Engineering crops to be sweeter, starchier, less bitter, and more calorie-packed makes them yummier, but changes their nutritional profile, and in turn our health.

The most interesting tidbit in this article: did you know that "Supersweet corn," the most popular corn strain by far, "was born in a cloud of radiation?"

Robinson's new book, "Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health," is out June 4, 2013.

Not entirely unrelated: protesters in some 400 cities throughout the world demonstrated against global food conglomerate Monsanto this weekend:

Organizers said “March Against Monsanto” protests were held in 52 countries and 436 cities, including Washington and Los Angeles, where demonstrators waved signs that read “Real Food 4 Real People” and “Label GMOs, It’s Our Right to Know.” Genetically modified plants are grown from seeds that are engineered to resist insecticides and herbicides, add nutritional benefits or otherwise improve crop yields and increase the global food supply. Most corn, soybean and cotton crops grown in the United States today have been genetically modified. But critics say genetically modified organisms can lead to serious health conditions and harm the environment.

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