Carbon dioxide levels are on the rise, and one new analysis argues that this fact may cause some of the world’s crops to begin to lose important nutrients. How’s that for a wake-up call?

The new research, lead by Dr. Samuel Myers from Harvard School of Public Health, takes an in-depth look at how nutrients that come from “staple foods” like wheat, rice, maize, sorghum, soybeans and field peas, fare when exposed to the levels of carbon dioxide expected by 2050.

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The results aren’t so good, Green Monsters.

“The bottom-line is that our work shows that by 2050 a big chunk of the world’s caloric intake will have lost a significant amount of nutrients like zinc and iron that are very important for human nutrition,” said Myers.
And why should all of this matter? Well, let alone the lack of nutritional value many of us face in a world of processed everything, this could impact disease levels all around the globe.

“Why this matters is because large vitamin and mineral deficiencies already exist today in about 2 billion people,” Myers said. “And the burden of disease associated with these deficiencies is already enormous, particularly in developing countries.”

Myers delves more into the issue: “It’s also the case that about 1.9 billion people now receive at least 70 percent of their dietary iron or zinc or both from staple crops like legumes and grains. So we have a major global health problem that’s set to get much worse.” Yikes!

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While carbon dioxide is indeed found naturally in our atmosphere, it’s also a result of human factors, such as car pollution and the creation of electricity.
According to the EPA, “The majority of CO2 now in the atmosphere comes from human activities, according to the EPA. CO2 is one of the heat-trapping gases that’s contributing to climate change,” reports MyFoxPhilly.com.

Guys (and girls), we can’t just stand by and watch our Earth become polluted and allow our food supply to be negatively impacted here. One great way to start? Consider your food footprint, and read up about some of the more environmentally-destructive foods you can consider cutting down on here.

Together, we can reduce the chances of destroying important nutrients in our food!

Image source: US Fish and Wildlife Service / Wikimedia Commons

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