Why Modern Food Is Nutrient Depleted And How to Fix It with Dan Kittredge
It might be easy to assume that if you’re eating a whole foods diet rich in plants, you’re getting lots of nutrients. Compared to a processed diet, that’s true, but you might not be getting all the nutrition you’d expect from one carrot to the next. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could measure the nutrient density in our food, to pick the most optimal bunch of spinach or package of berries at the market? Thanks to the convergence of technology and nutrition science, we can.
I was fascinated to talk to Dan Kittredge about intentionally eating for nutrient density on this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy. Dan Kittredge has been an organic farmer for more than 30 years and is the founder and executive director of the Bionutrient Food Association, a non-profit whose mission is to “increase quality in the food supply.” Known as one of the leading proponents of “nutrient density,” Dan works to demonstrate the connections between soil health, plant health, and human health. Out of these efforts was born the Real Food Campaign which has engineered a prototype of a hand-held consumer spectrometer designed to test nutrient density at point of purchase. Via the Bionutrient Meter, the goal is to empower consumers to choose for nutrient quality and thereby leverage economic incentives to drive full system regeneration.
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Here are more of the details from our interview:
- Dan’s experience growing up on an organic farm and how it shaped the way he thinks about farming (6:12)
- Limitations of organic agriculture and labeling agricultural practices overall (11:57)
- Agriculture’s historic focus on calorie abundance over nutrient density and flavor (14:10)
- Understanding the connection between soil health, planetary health, cultural health, and spiritual health (16:57)
- America’s malnutrition crisis (20:15)
- How flavor correlates to nutritional value in plant foods (23:17)
- Why soil health is key to human survival (28:45)
- How much has the nutrient density in our food dropped in the last 100 years? (35:12)
- Hand-held consumer spectrometer designed to test nutrient density of plant food at point of purchase (39:04)
- Driving beneficial changes in the food supply system (44:48)
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