Re-imagining the Future of Food
Matthew Adams is a Deep Ecologist, Environmental Manager (B.Sc.) and was Director of the Good Gardeners Association (2000-2011).
His work focuses on developing projects for education and research around growing food for nutrition. Author of ‘Beyond Organic, a Vision of the Future’, published in the Soil Association’s journal Mother Earth, Matthew contends that food quality should be defined by its nutrient content, allowing growing practices to be more intuitive and systems-based rather than limited by certifications and yield quotas.
With a tool that could scan for nutrient density, citizens would be empowered to participate in actions that transform food systems; by making healthy food the easy choice, to improve their own health and support growers, of any size, to increase soil health and carbon sequestration.
My colleague Dr Elizabeth Westaway and I have plans to start a citizen science project in the UK – Growing Food for Nutrition (GFfN) – that is linked to the Bionutrient Food Association’s ‘The Real Food Campaign’ (RFC) in the USA, and involves open source data collection of nutrients in food, and soil quality indicators, such as microbial life and carbon.
Initial RFC testing of carrots and spinach (829 samples) in 2018 showed a variation of 20,000% in polyphenols full report here. The aim of RFC is to use the data to calibrate an affordable hand-held bionutrient scanner, that uses light reflectance, to empower growers and food citizens as well as to examine relationships between nutrient density, soil microbes and carbon sequestration. I am interested to discuss ways in which CAWR researchers can engage with this project.