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Nutrient Loss in Food: Digging Up Root Causes and Growing Green Solutions

The loss of nutrients in food is a grand challenge that has its roots in several parts of the food system – from farms, to food processing, to consumption. Nutrient loss in food can be as subtle as decreased concentrations of micronutrients due to changes in atmospheric carbon, and as obvious as dietary patterns that rely heavily on ultra-processed foods rather than cooking with a diversity of plant-based, whole foods. Changes in the atmosphere, loss of soil health, loss of biodiversity on both farmscapes and in human diets, and the values of an industrialized food system have all contributed to an overall loss of nutrients in food and human nutrition. Key players within the food system such as farmers, nutritionists, permaculture designers, chefs, and scientists are turning towards sustainable food systems. These efforts create more access to highly nutritious foods and support an environment that is better equipped for cycling nutrients back into the food system. How can this knowledge and these practices be scaled up, adapted, and practiced by more producers and consumers in the short amount of time that we have to rebuild sustainable and resilient food systems?

Carly ChaapelCarly Chaapel

Carly teaches agriculture science in a multi-teacher program in Salem County, New Jersey. She has a Master of Science degree in Sustainable Food Systems from Prescott College. Her specialties  are in food science, sustainable food systems, environmental science, garden management, and yoga for adolescents. With food systems at the intersection of human and environmental health, she encourages her students to critique the current system and create solutions that align ecological wellness with human wellness. When she’s not in school, Carly enjoys cooking with fresh produce, gardening, traveling for outdoor adventure, dancing, and spending time with the people and animals she loves.

Participant School & Location:

Salem County Career and Technical High School
Pilesgrove, New Jersey

Below is an interactive presentation on nutrient loss in food.