Professor Mike Gooding, head of agricultural policy and development at Reading University hit the headlines after being interviewed on BBC Farming Today.
“Vegetables, fruit and cereals harvested in the wake of recent poor weather could be less healthy and less tasty as a result of the downpours and lack of sunshine, a leading scientist has said. Levels of protein as well as iron, copper and zinc in food may have been affected,
according to Professor Mike Gooding.” – So ran the report in the Daily Telegraph summarising the radio interview (link to the full article below).
It has been an unprecedented period of awful weather in the UK with prolonged periods of heavy rainfall throughout the country. Naturally this will affect UK crop and food production in most respects – from the crops in the fields, to the nutritional quality of the soil, to the cost of feeds for livestock –etcetera.
When it comes to food shopping we often worry first about the cost implications in terms of rising food prices – and neglect the impact on us and our family of the poor nutritional values of essential foods such as fruit and vegetables.
It is worth pointing out here that the taste of foods is mainly from the nutrient content as nutrients carry the organoleptic properties of foods (organoleptic properties are the aspects of food or other substances as experienced by the senses, including taste). Hence poor taste probably equates to even lower than normal nutrient content. The better the growing conditions the higher the nutrient content and conversely the worse the conditions the lower the levels.
My comment in the previous paragraph about ‘even lower nutrient content’ equates to our philosophy at Cytoplan of the ‘Nutrition Gap’. We advocate that the nutritional content (e.g. the vitamin and mineral levels) of the foods that we eat have deteriorated over many decades due (for example) to modern intensive farming methods, use of pesticides, processed foods, additives and factory farming.
So this horrendous winter of weather affects crop production, which affects the nutrient content of certain foods, nutrient levels that have steadily declined over decades anyway.
To find out more about what Cytoplan have to say on the ‘Nutrition Gap’ have a look: Cytoplan and the Nutrition Gap
For the full Daily Telegraph article: Bad weather ‘could cause less tasty and healthy fruit and veg’