I believe we need to redefine crop yield; not assessing it by caloric value or by volume as we currently do, but by nutrient density. Food is no longer synonymous with nutrition, eating more is no longer a guarantee of being better nourished. This causes us to have to a greater volume of food and take in a surplus of calories to satisfy our nutritional requirements. this of course leads to over consumption and directly to weight gain and then increased risk factor for several diseases, all while driving up the environmental cost of food production as well.
For these reasons, in Thrive Foods, I introduce something I call the Nutrient-to-Resource Ratio, which considers the amount of each natural resource that goes into food production in exchange for the amount of nutrients that food offers. Based on these findings, I then make suggestions as to what foods are most beneficial to personal health as well as environmental preservation. The goal is simple: get as high a level of health-boosting micronutrients from food, while expending the smallest amount of each natural resource to do so. (Essentially, it’s a mathematical way of saying plant-based whole foods make a lot of sense). There are also 200 recipes, including a few from my favorite North American restaurants, as well as a few of my favorite chefs.
Here’s one of the basic, easy-to-prepare, nutrient-dense recipes:
Breakfast Blueberry Chia Pudding
Since chia rapidly absorbs fluid and takes on gelatinous properties when soaked, it makes an ideal nutrient-dense pudding base.
Time: 5 minutes active; 20 minutes total
- 2 tbsp chia
- 3⁄4 cup water
- 1⁄3 cup cashews
- 2–3 fresh pitted dates, or dried pitted dates soaked in water overnight to rehydrate
- Makes about 1 1⁄2 cups (1 serving)
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
- Fresh or frozen blueberries
Soak chia in water for 15 minutes. In a blender, combine with the rest of the ingredients, except the blueberries, and blend until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl and top with blueberries.