Plants build themselves from sunlight, water, and soil. And, as it turns out, what crops “eat” can influence the nutrients on our own plates.
A recent study, published in the journal PeerJ, compared the nutritional content of food crops grown using conventional versus regenerative farming practices — those that build the soil by using cover crops, a diverse rotation of crops, and minimal tilling…
“The goal was to try to get some direct comparisons, where you controlled for key variables: The crop is the same, the climate is the same, the weather is the same because they’re right next to each other, the soil is the same in terms of soil type, but it’s been farmed quite differently for at least five years,” Montgomery said.
Food grown on the regenerative farms, they found, contained, on average, more magnesium, calcium, potassium and zinc; more vitamins (including B1, B12, C, E and K), and more phytochemicals. They were also lower in elements that can be detrimental to human health, including sodium, cadmium, and nickel.