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Monday, 30 November 2009

Climate change robbing food of nutritional value: study

Climate change is reportedly depleting the nutritional value of wheat and rice, the main sources of energy for Indians.

A study by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research has found that protein content in wheat can fall by 10 per cent and iron content by eight per cent due to carbon emissions.

“Higher carbon content in the area dilutes the capacity of wheat to take in nitrogen, essential for protein generation,” said PK Aggarwal, lead author of the study.

The annual average production of wheat is 75 million tonnes, 95 per cent of which is consumed within the country.

Indians have a 20 per cent protein deficiency, said Dr Parameet Kaur, chief dietician, AIIMS. “Climate change can raise this to 35-40 per cent, with major health implications.”

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