Page 39 - RealDirtENG2017new
P. 39
Better health through functional foods
It’s well known that fruits and vegetables are good for our health. They’re a source of essential vitamins and minerals,  bre, antioxidants, and other health-boosting substances – and they’re low in calories, too. And with the help of science, good-for-you-foods are becoming even better.
• In Britain, researchers have developed a purple tomato that is high in anthocyanins, the antioxidants that help  ght cancer, diabetes, and in ammation. The tomato is now being grown for research trial purposes in Ontario.
• In Costa Rica, a pineapple is being developed with pink  esh that contains lycopene, the same cancer- ghting antioxidant found in tomatoes.
• Soybean, canola, and sun ower oils are in the works with fewer saturated fats and more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
• When laying hens are fed a diet rich in omega-3s (e.g.  axseed,  sh oil, or algae), their eggs contain higher levels of omega-3s as well. This feature can lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Some of these new foods have the potential to save millions of lives by improving human nutrition, particularly in parts of the world where food accessibility is challenging.
Courtesy of FFC Saskatchewan
A mustard  eld
Your food is in your hands
Farmers can do absolutely everything to produce safe fruit, vegetables, meat, milk and eggs; food processors and retailers also work to keep products safe. But once it’s in your hands, it’s in your hands. Handling food with unwashed hands, and inadequate washing or cooking can increase the risk of food-borne illness, or what is popularly called “food poisoning”. And then everybody around the dinner table suffers. To learn more about proper food handling, visit www.befoodsafe.ca.
Sweet potatoes in the  eld - and after the fryer
The sweet potato – a natural GMO?
The very  rst GMO we know about – the sweet potato – was actually made by Mother Nature about 8,000 years ago.72 According to experts at the International Potato Centre in Peru, genes from bacteria in the soil have been found in 291 sweet potato varieties. Thousands of years ago, that bacteria inserted some of its own genes into the sweet potato plant. This helped the plant’s roots – the part we eat – to grow larger. This fact suggests that humans have already been eating GMOs for thousands of years.
Today, sweet potato is the seventh most important crop globally according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Not only is it popular in countries like Canada, but it’s a staple crop in parts of Africa, and used as livestock feed in China.
The Real Dirt on Farming 39


































































































   37   38   39   40   41