New research published in The Journal of Nutrition reveals that leafy green produce may be even better for your body than previously known. Eating one cup of these nutrient-packed vegetables can boost muscle function in the lower limbs, potentially reducing the risk of falls and fractures.
The key nutrient that boosts muscle function is nitrate, found in abundance in leafy green vegetables like lettuce, spinach, and kale. Researchers analyzed the diets of over 3,500 study participants in Australia, and found that those with the highest regular nitrate consumption had 11 percent stronger lower limb strength, as well as up to 4 percent faster walking speeds.
Adding nitrate-rich leafy greens to your diet can be as simple as fixing a green salad or baking kale chips, but the technology behind the scenes used to grow these vegetables is complex. Standards support sophisticated farming methods that bring produce to the grocery store, farm stand, or restaurant, and ultimately to your table.
Precision agriculture is the use of big data and predictive analytics in agriculture to yield greater results with fewer resources. Farmers may use sensor technologies, GIS data, and other IoT end-devices to conserve resources while utilizing precision agriculture. ANSI member and accredited standards developer the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) published two American National Standards (ANS) that guide precision agriculture: ANSI/ASABE S632-1 JUL2018, Precision Agriculture Irrigation Language: Core Concepts, Processes, and Objects, and ANSI/ASABE S632-3 JUN2018, Precision Agriculture Irrigation Language: Irrigation System Operations.
The information gathered and used in precision agriculture can contribute to the sustainability of a farm, allowing fertilizers and pesticides to be used only where needed and increasing yield without wasting resources. Beyond the scope of precision agriculture, ANSI/LEO-4000, The American National Standard for Sustainable Agriculture, is an ANS that guides sustainability over the entire agricultural chain, from producers to consumers. It was developed by the Leonardo Academy, an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.
Another modern method of agriculture lends itself particularly well to leafy green vegetables: vertical farming. This is the practice of growing crops in vertically stacked layers, typically indoors and in a controlled environment. Vertical farming provides opportunities for plant growth in areas that don’t have large amounts of land available for traditional farms. Lettuce, kale, chard, and other leafy greens are some of the best crops for vertical farming. ANSI/ASABE S642 SEP2018, Recommended Methods for Measurement and Testing of LED Products for Plant Growth and Development is an ANS from ASABE that guides the use of LED devices like the grow lights used in indoor and vertical farming.
Eating at least one cup of leafy green vegetables per day is an easy way to support your body’s strength and capabilities. Thanks to standards for modern farming methods, these nutritious plants are readily available to come home to your kitchen. Beyond standards, laboratories, product certifiers, personnel certifiers, and management systems certification bodies play a major role in assuring food safety. The ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB), a wholly-owned subsidiary of ANSI, offers accreditation programs for all of these stakeholders. Read more about ANAB and food safety.