Any scientific studies on nutrient density of veg under lights?

hollister93(5)September 1, 2012

I just finished testing (w/ 2 diff refractometers) produce from 24 sources - 18 conventional (grocery stores, farmers markets, etc) and 6 local gardeners (from people I actually know, including my parents' garden)... a total of 172 items. Sadly (and surprisingly), 4 Whole Foods and 2 Trader Joe's produce all came up being of POOR quality. Basically, (my generalization) Whole Foods sells grossly overpriced, nutrient deficient, sorry excuse for vegetables (yes... I'm bitter now :). So now I don't trust any of them and I've decided to grow my own. (btw... "Local" produce was 3 average, 2 good and 1 excellent. The ol' timers with "good / excellent", however, have completely dismissed the growing-quality-under-lights as an impossibility)

Have there been any studies comparing nutrient density of veggies grown indoors, under-lights vs veggies grown under the sun? (I'm talking about real food grown indoors, not cyborg, test-tube hydroponics pvc food). My interest is in growing strictly clean, nutrient-dense, high brix scale food. Thank you for your input.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

hollister:

You aren't going to get much response on this subject so I'll give you my take after lots of brix measurements on fruit.

First brix probably doesn't give you a very meaningful answer. Basically the inverse of brix is the percent water. So just eat more and you'll still get the same nutrients.

The way to get high brix fruits is to cut back as much as possible on the water applied during the growing season. Also don't apply too much nitrogen. By forcing the plant to adapt to a sustained water deficit you get smaller fruits with smaller cells and higher brix. I'm sure these fruits are also more nutrient dense because they are more highly colored both on the skin and on interior color.

I think you could get as many nutrients by eating twice as much of the 12 brix store bought nectarine as of my 24 brix nectarine. Mine will be more tasty and more people will want to eat the sweeter fruit. That's a plus.

To me healthwise it's how many nutrients are provided per calorie not per pound. But if you are eating lots of fruits and vegetables you will be fine eating Whole Foods or your own

I can see how others would like high calorie food if normal food supply channels collapsed. That's a separate consideration from health concerns.

To answer your question, vegetables grown under lights are likely to be low brix, probably very low. You might alter that by water regime. But they will still be healthy to eat. Maybe not all that tasty but healthy.

Here's some high brix nectarine grown with water deficit, bottom row, vs larger fruit above grown at a higher water level. Brix percent shown below the fruit by position.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 6:50PM
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sherryinmaine(5a)

how interesting! It makes sense, doesn't it?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 7:31AM
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hollister93(5)

Yes. That is very, very good information. Thank you for that 'fruitnut'.

My research continues. Ever since I found out that 'organic' is pretty-much a gimmick ('organic' really means "at-least 70% organic", which means that the other 30% can still poison you, addict you, etc... and don't get me started on all the loop-holes. The word 'organic' is a trademark of FDA which is majority controlled by Monsanto... yes - I've actually tracked it all down and verified myself - I'm on a clean-food mission :-), I am determined to find a way to test the quality of the food I eat. I want to know what's in it.

Does anyone know of a way or a process via which I will be able to test nutritional content of food - store-bought or self-grown? Now that I know that Brix measurement can be manipulated, I want to know actual nutrient %. Sugars, aminos, carbs, etc...

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 10:40AM
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