Why our food has fewer nutrients than ever before

Who hasn't dreamed of diving face-first into a giant cake or going nuts on a stack of pizzas?

That's basically what the world's bees are doing — and it could be leading to their sudden, massive disappearance. A scientist named Irakli Loladze has been trying to sound the alarm since the late 1990s, when he was a Ph.D. student in math.  

Not many people listened until recently. The professor realized that as plants grow faster, their nutrients plunge and their carbs increase. 

What makes plants grow? Carbon. This all goes back to climate change, he says. The climate warms as carbon is released into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide.

Here's what happens next, according to Politico: "Rising CO2 revs up photosynthesis, the process that helps plants transform sunlight to food. This makes plants grow, but it also leads them to pack in more carbohydrates like glucose at the expense of other nutrients that we depend on, like protein, iron and zinc."

RELATED: Here's what your eyes say about your health: 

6 scary things your eyes say about your health
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6 scary things your eyes say about your health

Cataracts are cloudy eyes and are most common in older people. Many times they can be indications of tumors or diabetes. 

Because many people don't think to put sunscreen near their eyes, skin cancer often forms around them. If you see a non-healing sore on your eyelid that may be causing your eyelashes to fall off, it could be time to consult a doctor. 
Droopy eyes on both sides may be a sign of myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease associated with muscle weakness. Dr. Hagan explained the disease can range from mild to more serious, deadly forms. 
If your retina is inflamed because of your sensitivity to light, doctors may be concerned with HIV/AIDS. 
Droopy eyelids and differently dilated pupils may be an indication of Horner's syndrome, often associated with tumors or aneurysms.  
Oftentimes, cancer in the body may show up in the eye as well. According to Dr. Hagan, the two most common ones include lung cancer and breast cancer. 

When animals, like bees, come along and munch on those plants, there's more to eat, and more sugar, but not as much nutrition. Humans depend on many of the same food sources, and scientists say the all-natural fruits and veggies we eat today aren't the same as the ones our parents grew up on. 

SEE MORE: WHO To Farmers: Stop Giving So Many Antibiotics To Healthy Animals

According to Politico, "In 2004, a landmark study of fruits and vegetables found that everything from protein to calcium, iron and vitamin C had declined significantly across most garden crops since 1950." Initially, experts thought this had to do with the plants we were growing. Now, they suspect the environment plays a larger role. 

Looking ahead as the Earth continues to warm, these agricultural effects could lead to even worse health outcomes than the growing obesity rates. The developing world could be devastated. A group of researchers put out their best estimates of what we could see in the year 2050.

It's startling. 150 million people could face protein deficiency, especially in countries with plant-heavy diets, like India and Bangladesh.

With zinc levels declining, 138 million moms and infants could be at risk of poor health. And thanks to a significant drop in dietary iron, 1 billion mothers and 354 million children could develop anemia, increasing their odds of serious illness or even death

SEE: Low-calorie breakfast bars: 

Breakfast bars under 250 calories
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Breakfast bars under 250 calories

1. Super Seedy Granola Bars from Minimalist Baker

Thanks to chia seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, almonds, and nut butter, this bar is loaded with healthy fats. Get the recipe here

Per one serving: 238 calories

2. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Bars from Well Plated

Peanut butter and bananas are a match made in heaven. Plus, complex carbohydrates from oats and whole-wheat flour help you start the day on an energized foot. Get the recipe here.

Per one serving: 210 calories

3. Coconut Cranberry Protein Bars from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

These bars call for protein powder and protein-rich eggs, so you can stay fuller longer. Get the recipe here

Per one serving: 240 calories

4. Gluten-Free Vegan Raspberry Oat Breakfast Bars from Sarah Bakes Gluten Free

This crust is made of oats, unsweetened applesauce, unsweetened coconut milk, and more. Combined with the raspberry filling, you’ve got a sweet way to wake up. Get the recipe here.

Per one serving: 230 calories

5. Vegan Almond Joy Protein Bars from The Healthy Maven

Coconut fans, this one’s for you! With coconut flour, unsweetened coconut flakes, and coconut oil, these bars feel positively indulgent. That chocolate drizzle doesn’t hurt. Get the recipe here.

Per one serving: 149 calories

6. Strawberry Banana Oat Bars from Running With Spoons

In the age of Pinterest, there’s nothing cooler than making your own strawberry jam and incorporating it into a healthy breakfast. Get the recipe here.

Per one serving: 222 calories

7. Vegan PB & J Energy Bars from Nutritionist In The Kitch

Hello, childhood nostalgia in the form of peanut butter and jelly bars that only require five ingredients! You’ve got fiber from the oats, protein and healthy fats from the almonds, and a dose of sweetness thanks to cranberries and dates. Get the recipe here.

Per one serving: 208 calories

8. Chewy Dark Chocolate Cherry Protein Granola Bars from Ambitious Kitchen

These bars sound like dessert in disguise, but they’re actually nutrient-rich. They feature complex carbohydrates from oats and millet, healthy fats from chia seeds, and protein thanks to nut butter and protein powder. Get the recipe here.

Per one serving: 195 calories


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