13 Mar 2013

Fertilizing Crops to Improve Human Health: A Scientific Review

International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI), International Fertilizer Association (IFA)

The Role of Plant Nutrition in Supporting Food Security
Co-author: Terry Roberts, President, International Plant Nutrition Institute

Without adequate plant nutrition, the world would produce only about half as much staple foods and more forested lands would have to be put into production.
Micronutrient Malnutrition: Causes, Prevalence, Consequences and Interventions
Co-author: Howarth Bouis, Director, HarvestPlus, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Billions of people in developing countries suffer from an insidious form of hunger know as micronutrient malnutrition.
Perspectives on Enhancing the Nutritional Quality of Food Crops with Trace Elements
Co-author: Ross Welch, Lead Scientist, Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health at Cornell University

Micronutrient malnutrition is the result of dysfunctional food systems based in agricultural systems that do not meet all human nutritional needs.
Agronomic Biofortification of Food Crops with Micronutrients
Co-author: Graham Lyons, Research Associate, University of Adelaide

Agronomic biofortification of food crops might be an effective component of a food system strategy to reduce micronutrient malnutrition in human populations.
Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium in Food
Author: Forrest Nielsen, Research Nutritionist, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Proper plant nutrition, which is impacted by fertilization, influences the amount of calcium, magnesium and potassium provided by foods of plant origin towards their requirements by humans.
Protein, Carbohydrate and Oil Composition of Food Crops
Co-author: Cynthia Grant, Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

In the long term, ensuring that soil fertility is maintained is important to avoid the major declines in quantities of the essential nutritional components of protein, carbohydrate and oil that can be seen when crops are grown on highly depleted soils.
Fertilizer Use and Functional Quality of Fruits and Vegetables
Co-author: John Jifon, Assistant Professor, Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Texas A&M University

Many initiatives aimed at securing an adequate food supply have focused primarily on improving crop productivity and market quality ...missing the opportunity to capture the nutritional and health benefits of foods.
Human Health Issues Associated with Nutrient Use in Organic and Conventional Crop Production
Authors: Holger Kirchmann and Lars Bergström, Professors, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

A comprehensive review provided no evidence that organically grown crops are of superior quality or that the use of mineral fertilizers deteriorates food quality.

Additional Resources

Cover page of the bookSize: 1.19 MB