“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is what they used to say — but not anymore. In the last few decades, our food has been losing nutritional value. A landmark study from 2004 that evaluated nutritional content found that protein, calcium, iron and other nutrients had notably declined in garden crops since 1950.
What’s caused this? Researchers think it’s the varieties we’ve chosen to grow which produce more food but have less nutritional value. Another reason — the warming climate. Not only have hotter temperatures affected our food’s nutritional value, it’s also affected how much food is produced.
Here are some ways that a warmer climate is affecting your food:
The increase in CO2 emissions is causing plants to have more carbohydrates and less nutrients. About 30% of people worldwide suffer from nutrient deficiency already, and this number could continue to increase.
Zinc is essential for our immune system and has many health benefits, but the amount found in our food is decreasing. Iron is another mineral depleting in our food, and a deficiency could lead to several health problems.
Warmer temperatures are decreasing crop production and increasing droughts, leading to food shortages. This will affect food demand, especially with the global population expected to grow to 10 billion people by 2050. Low-income communities and people with chronic health conditions will be more susceptible to the negative effects of food scarcity and nutritional deficiency.
We know that losing nutrients in our food and a warming climate is not something we can fix in one go, or on our own. But there are many things you can do to make sure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals while helping the planet! The UN Act Now Campaign offers some suggestions:
Save energy at home. Be mindful of your heating and cooling use. Switch to LED light bulbs, use cold water when doing laundry or hang things to dry.
Reduce your food waste. Throwing food into landfills produces methane, a greenhouse gas. Buy food you’ll actually consume and choose foods that will last a long time for your food storage.
Eat more vegetables. Foods that will help lessen your environmental impact like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are great options because they decompose faster. Consume less meat and dairy, as reducing meat consumption could lead to a possible 80% reduction in greenhouse gasses.
Use supplements to support nutritional gaps in your diet. Essential minerals like Magnesium and Zinc are vital to supplement, as our soil continues to lose many important nutrients.
Choose eco-friendly products that will help reduce plastic use and help your local economy thrive. Buying local foods or in-season foods and choosing products from companies that are working to reduce their carbon footprint is a great place to start.
Meanwhile, there are so many cool things happening around the world to help communities have access to clean food. In Venezuela, Amazonas Originaria is a project that helps indigenous families displaced by the socioeconomic crisis care for the tropical forests in Puerto Ayacucho. With the support of the UN Development Program, people are learning to manage local native crops like cocoa, cupuaçu, manaca and túpiro and learning how to utilize them sustainably.
There are also people like CEO Tanya Lozano, who helps her local Latinx community through her non-profit Healthy Hood Chicago by providing healthy food for free as well as offering fitness workshops that will help educate her local community on healthy eating habits.
Our KAL family is committed to helping you and your family live healthier, more fulfilling lives. We produce supplements to help support your nutritive needs, like our Defender C™, which has the same amount of vitamin C that you’d find in 12 oranges! We are also committed to helping the planet.
We’re planting 1 million trees by 2025 with the help of One Tree Planted, a non-profit organization that helps in reforestation efforts. We’ve already planted 50,000 trees just last year, and we’re giving back to regions that help us make our products by planting fruit-bearing trees so we can provide a long-term supply of food.
Furthermore, KAL is working to switch to more sustainable sources of energy and we currently source 20% of our bottles using Post-Consumer Recycled Resin (PCR). Read about KAL’s promises to planet Earth to learn more about our efforts.