Rice Could Lose Its Nutritional Value Due to Rising CO2 Levels
26 May, 2018, 15:39
The research was conducted in Japan and China where they held experiment on 18 different types of the crop between 2010 and 2014.
Researchers found that iron, zinc, protein, and vitamins B1, B2, B5, and B9 - which help the body convert food to energy - were all reduced in the rice grown under higher Carbon dioxide conditions.
Not all rice varieties saw the same drops in nutritional value, raising hope that future research could help farmers develop strains of rice that would be more resilient to atmospheric changes. "But how plants respond to that sudden increase in food will impact human health as well, from nutritional deficits, to ethno-pharmacology, to seasonal pollen allergies - in ways that we don't yet understand", study co-author Lewis Ziska said. Rice grown under the higher carbon dioxide concentrations expected in the second half of this century (568 to 590 parts per million) is less nutritious, with lower amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
"There's been studies over the past hundred years for the importance of these B vitamins", Kristie Ebi, a public health researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle and one of the authors of the study. This was also true in Japan during the 1960s, but current Japanese receive only about 20 percent of their daily food energy from rice.
Rice grown in an environment with higher concentrations of carbon dioxide has fewer nutrients, according to research started by the University of Tokyo.
Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will reduce the nutritional value of rice, according to an global research team that analyzed rice samples from field experiments started by a University of Tokyo professor.
They found on average that the test rice had 10% less protein, 8% less iron and 5.1% less zinc compared with rice grown by farmers under existing conditions.
On average, protein content fell 10.3 per cent, iron dropped eight percent and zinc was reduced by 5.1 percent, compared to rice grown today under current Carbon dioxide conditions. There were also declines of 17% in the vitamins B1 (thiamine) and of more than 16% in vitamin B2 (riboflavin). It is somewhere signaling bad news for the about two billion people whose primary food source is rice.
We fill our planet's atmosphere with carbon dioxide, impacting the whole globe.
"Some varieties showed a very large decline, some varieties much less a drop of vitamin contents". "Reductions in the nutritional quality of rice could affect maternal and child health for millions of people".
A study on this issue was published this week in the journal Science Advances. As carbon dioxide levels got higher, certain nutrients became less powerful.
The scientists suggest that either breeding or genetically engineering new strains could be a way to lessen the nutritional impact of climate change.