Nutrient Depletion and What You Can Do About It

As we lose nutrients in our soil, we look to modifying plants, adding vitamins and supplements to make up the difference...when instead it is imperative that we help the earth's soil return to what it used to provide us-micronutrients critical for our health and survival. 

Did you know, you have to eat 400% more tomatoes or cauliflower to reach the same nutrient density as your grandparents received when they ate just one tomato or cauliflower. The loss of nutrients in soil has diminished at a frightening pace over the course of the last 100 years. The conversation to shift to better and more nourishing food sources is only part of it! We can all agree that increasing plant-veggie and fruit intake daily undoubtedly is a crucial foundation to improving health outcomes for you and your baby, we have to recognize that our food quality has changed dramatically. Rising population-demand for food-requirements in farming for mass yield and volume has made our world reliable on fertilizers that are depleting micronutrients in our soil which are essential and vital for our health; there is now a volume conversation at play. So what do you do?

**To Start!**
1. Keep plants at the center of every meal-yes, even if they are not as nutrient dense as they used to be.
2. Recognize that supplementation may be needed to reach micronutrients needs, particularly in pregnancy when food aversions are common, digestion is slowed, or quality (conventional vs. organic) is inconsistent.
3. Grow your own food! Kitchen boxes or a single pot of herbs is a perfectly wonderful way to start!
4. Compost leftovers-it is estimated that we throw away about half of all the food we grow. Composting allows you to make dense and nutrient rich soil at home and recycle food waste. There are at-home compost systems that are effective and easy to use.
4. Visit local farmer's markets for produce and purchase local and seasonal food whenever possible.
5. Engage in community gardens and micro-farms. See where and how you can support this model of sustainable food growth.
5. Avoid using any and all insecticides or pesticides - instead look to praying mantids or ladybugs to keep your plants healthy.
6. Purchase corn, wheat, soybeans, and rice non-GMO and organically. These 4 crops are grown most prevalently worldwide and account for most of our global fertilizer use-estimated at 200 million tonnes.

1. Marler JB, Wallin JR (2006) Human health, the nutritional quality of harvested food and sustainable farming systems. Nutrition Security Institute, USA
2. Julian Cribb, Surviving the 21st Century, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, 2017

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