Renewable Farming

FDA’s “New era of smarter food safety” ignores nutritional values

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is rolling out its 10-year plan to build a “New Era of Smarter Food Safety.” Its goal is to build “a safer and more digital, traceable food system.” It’s all about tracing food-borne pathogens to their source quickly, to curb the spread of bacteria and mycotoxins. However, nutritional quality of food remains the total responsibility of crop growers and livestock producers.

July 20, 2020 — You can read an overview of the FDA’s blueprint on a news release at this site. If you translate the bureaucratic prose into what it means for growers, it’s primarily about regulations allowing health officials to trace a tomato back to its source. The eventual system will probably look much like the internet-based delivery system run by Amazon, FedEx or United Parcel Service: A tracking number will follow every food item.

The developing digital tracing infrastructure could eventually offer consumers a means of identifying nutritionally high-quality foods. Technology for measuring essential minerals and phytonutrients is gradually becoming available. Such analytical tools could help reverse the 40-year decline in mineralization of fresh food in America by providing growers premiums for nutritional quality.

Bionutrient meter checking a squash