Towards the end of last year, whilst listening to an episode of the Regenerative Agriculture podcast, I was fascinated to learn about a prototype handheld spectrometer being developed by the Bionutrient Food Association in the US, which uses the signature of reflected light from food samples to give a potential indication of their nutritional density.
Although this technology is still in its development phase, and a significant amount of data needs to be collected to calibrate the readings from each food type, it has the potential to enable any farmer or grower to measure the nutrient density of their crop (be it grass, grain, fruit, vegetables and potentially also meat and dairy products further down the line). On top of this, it could also allow consumers to make a quick assessment the quality of the food they're purchasing.
But in nutrition terms, what makes one field of carrots different from the next? It's an important question, particularly as we're constantly being told that we all need to eat more veg - it's now not just 5, but 10 portions a day. But which 10? And where should we be getting these from? This question extends far beyond vegetables and is something more and more people are starting to think about. Read the full article