Author Topic: Nutrient Dense Foods Book by Steve Soloman  (Read 290 times)

Steph S

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Re: Nutrient Dense Foods Book by Steve Soloman
« Reply #15 on: 2019-12-02, 11:18:33 AM »
I think there is a place for nutrient density breeding.  For example, in the case you have very limited space for production, you could get by with less of the necessary veg if it's nutrient dense.   Also in case of future unknowns, nutrient dense varieties might have an advantage (for example, tomatoes produce much less lycopene under high CO2 in greenhouse experiments).

OTOH, taste is the final arbiter of what I will or won't eat or grow.  Taste is where your own genetics interacts with the complexity of the food and makes a judgement, this is good or bad.   I'll never have (the substitute, technical) equipment to analyze or make those decisions for me - and if I did, I would still give taste the final call. :D   Kapuler's Peacevine is a high lycopene tomato which I found to be good and fit to eat.  But I have the same reaction as you to purple carrots - definitely the end of the rainbow, lying about when all the others have been devoured.  :P  In general I dislike carrots that aren't sweet, and I tell myself the good things are perhaps not bioavailable without a little sugar attached.  ::)

Interesting full text which covers the high lycopene/ carotene and other genetics of tomato and watermelon, and other nutritional values:
Inside and Beyond Color: Comparative Overview of Functional Quality of Tomato and Watermelon Fruits
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6585571/
Way down the page you'll find this:
"Recently, various researchers reported a double-edged sword function (antioxidant/pro-oxidant activity) for many phytochemicals, including lycopene, phenols and flavonoids (Skibola and Smith, 2000; Tokaš et al., 2013; Bacanli et al., 2017) depending on various factors (Fernando et al., 2019). Generally, high concentrations, low pH and/or the presence of redox-active transition metal ions, causes certain phytochemicals to exhibit pro-oxidant activity (Eghbaliferiz and Iranshahi, 2016)."

"It has been demonstrated that at concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 8 μM, lycopene does not induce DNA impairment, however, above 12 μM, it seems to prompt DNA damage in human cells (Tokaš et al., 2013; Bacanli et al., 2017)."

So there are not just bioavailability questions and how the whole synergy and nutrient balance of the fruit contents feeds into it,  there is also the possibility of negative interactions and impacts at high concentration of a given nutrient.   


Woody Gardener

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Re: Nutrient Dense Foods Book by Steve Soloman
« Reply #16 on: 2019-12-02, 04:00:57 PM »
When I got this property in the Ozark highlands the soil was eroded, rocky, clay soil low in organic matter. Many people told me I was in for a lot of hard work and spending a lot of money to grow food. I saw the abundance of food growing wild, blackberries, persimmons, acorns, pawpaws, hickory nuts, sunroots, wineberries, and more. Lazy guy that I am I decided to garden with the soil just as it was and look for species and varieties that would grow productively with notill, leaf mulch and dilute urine for fertilizer, NO poisons or commercial fertilizers. Save seeds from the best plants of the more productive varieties.

And now, 15 years later I have a lot of productive varieties that like to grow in my garden. My favorite plant is Red Russian kale that I listed as one of my staple crops, abundant weight ready for fresh eating at least 20 weeks of the year. Neil's Paymaster and Jellicorse Twin dent corn bred in Tennessee hill country are vigorous growers in my garden. Kew Blue pole beans germinate in cool, damp soil, survive heat and drought, and produce abundantly. There are more.

Rather than changing my soil to grow certain plants,  I like to grow plants that do well just as it is. A lot of my time in the garden is spent in a comfortable chair just enjoying the sights and sounds of my little woodland garden  paradise.

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Nutrient Dense Foods Book by Steve Soloman
« Reply #17 on: 2019-12-02, 06:28:17 PM »
I have bought every book that Steve has published, including The Intelligent Gardener:  Growing Nutrient-Dense Food.

He never stopped experimenting and learning, so that every book had new information. 

The books are all particularly useful to me here in the Pacific Northwest as this is where he did most of his gardening before moving to Tasmania.

The minerals in one's soil are important.  The Pacific NW is deficient in selenium, and horses in central Oregon have died without selenium supplementation. 

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

reed

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Re: Nutrient Dense Foods Book by Steve Soloman
« Reply #18 on: 2019-12-03, 06:52:38 AM »
I've never heard of such a thing in my area and don't think it is an issue for me or others that garden small scale like I do. At least not that I've noticed. Traveling around this general area of US though I have to wonder. I see thousands and thousands of acres of long used corn and bean land where the soil doesn't even look like soil to me. Lots of it has weird colors, gray or yellow.  When it is abandoned as some smaller acreages have been nothing seems to colonize it except a few particular weeds. Sometimes they more or less cover it and sometimes with thick patches and big empty areas between. When it's converted to housing or shopping I see in the excavated piles it just all looks the same even deep down. It appears to me to be for the most part dead. Everything natural about was poisened or leached out long ago. The corn and soy beans still grow in it and quite well but I'm sure only because of fertilizers dumped on by the tons each spring.

I wonder in a discussion about soil nutrients in general, what that was likely there when it was in a natural state is now gone.  I reckon mainly the same things that are in the fertilizers. But I suspect that all kinds of bacteria, fungus and the like that still lives in my dirt  is still missing from theirs even after applying thefertilizers.

Is the nutritional content of an ear of my corn comparable to theirs? Does it have the same concentrations or even the same things in it?  Does the fact that my dirt is still alive or at least more so, compensate in any way for any possible shortages of the main ingredients in their fertilizers? I have no clue but my stuff grows (weather permitting) and at least I don't have the expense and hassle of applying purchased plant food every year.
 






 
« Last Edit: 2019-12-03, 06:55:55 AM by reed »

William S.

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Re: Nutrient Dense Foods Book by Steve Soloman
« Reply #19 on: 2019-12-03, 01:40:49 PM »
Huge difference in modern agriculture and traditional where fertility was rebuilt with manure and or fallow.

One of the things I've heard is that big ag often doesn't bother with adding micronutrients. As an at home conventional gardener you might apply Peters 20-20-20 with micronutrients. Often the big farmer just applies NPK and let's the soil provide the rest. It's really a mining approach to farming that burns humus from the soil and leaves the micronutrients depleted.

Wild plant communities don't recover well from big field agriculture, but I imagine fallowing what Reed describes would lead to a persistent novel plant community in excess of fifty years.

Organic standards are a bit of a joke in this regard because if you took some ground that had been fallowed for three years from big ag conventional corn for three years you could pretty much declare it organic and grow a crop of organic corn on it.

Incidentally anyone else noticed the organic omri listed miracle grow? I even bought some, but I strongly suspect it is kind of the problem in sheep's clothing. If we can call oh say Chilean nitrate organic but it still burns out soil nitrogen...
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

Steph S

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Re: Nutrient Dense Foods Book by Steve Soloman
« Reply #20 on: 2019-12-03, 02:35:33 PM »
https://www.omri.org/ubersearch/results/choice%20miracle%20miraclegro%20content_type%3Aopd_listed_product

"Organic choice" products.   I guess MG thinks it worthwhile to try for a share of that market! 
I assume there's no "blue stuff" in that lot.  ::) ;)

No doubt there is a lot of work to do to restore previously chemically farmed soil.  Three years is not much, but there has to be some incentive to go to all the trouble!

Ellendra

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Re: Nutrient Dense Foods Book by Steve Soloman
« Reply #21 on: 2019-12-04, 12:53:30 PM »
  The upshot seems to be that leafy greens are the most nutrient dense, in providing more of the RDA of essential nutrients per weight.   



Something I've noticed in my own nutritional research is that nutrients per volume can sometimes be a more useful ratio than nutrients by weight, or by calorie.

As an example, spinach is the food most commonly thought of when looking for something high in iron. A cup of raw spinach contains 5% of your RDA of iron. You'd have to eat 20 cups to get your recommended allowance. Or, you could nibble on pumpkin seeds, which have 115% RDA of iron in a single cup.

(These are being taken in isolation. Of course they would be eaten in combination with other foods. This is just an example.)

It depends on what you're looking for, and what you're more likely to eat.
Harsh winters, high winds. Temps on the edge between zones 4 and 5. Steep, north-facing slope. Soil is high in clay and rocks. Fast draining, which is a surprise for clay soil. Indicates a sandy/gravelly layer underneath.

Steph S

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Re: Nutrient Dense Foods Book by Steve Soloman
« Reply #22 on: 2019-12-04, 01:09:26 PM »
Ellendra, so true!    Nutrients by weight is very annoying to me, since we always prep food by volume never by weight.
One of the pages commenting on greens did make the point, you will need two cups of leafy stuff cw one cup of "vegetables" I suppose broccoli or more dense material.  :P