Grains Are Becoming Less Nutritious

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Our Monday green news brings you the latest on nutrition, good causes and child education:

Nutrition of grains, climate change

Photo courtesy of Daniel Spiess via Flickr

  • Grains are already becoming less nutritious due to rising CO2 levels: According to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health, as atmospheric levels of CO2 rise, food crops such as grains, which provide the majority of the global population with their dietary zinc and iron will have significantly lower amounts of these important nutrients. Scientists are conducting experiments in various parts of the world, in open fields equipped with rings of carbon dioxide jets. These test plots include rice, wheat, peas and other crops. Although the experiments show that crops grow faster when there’s more carbon dioxide and yields are often 10 percent higher compared with normal atmosphere, the quality of crops gets affected. As researcher Myers explains: “What we found were 5 to 10 percent reductions in nutrients like iron, zinc and protein. Although we don’t know the actual cause of this reduction yet, the effects could be really significant and harmful.” Zinc deficiency causes increased child mortality due to low immunity; while lack of iron increases the death rates of mothers and lowers the children’s IQ level.
  • New York school argues kindergarten kids need to prepare for college: The principals of an elementary school in Elwood, New York argued that their 5- and 6-year-old students need to focus on college and career work instead of enjoying their annual May kindergarten play. Yes, the pressure to study from an early age has reached all the way down to kindergarten. As the school principal Ellen Best-Laimit explaiend: “We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers.”
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