The Bionutrient Food Association offers tools at discounted costs to members for testing and evaluating the quality of their crops, produce and soil.
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The original tool
Our nose and our tongue are the original tools available to us in assessing the quality of food we eat. Everybody knows the difference in aroma and taste between a store-bought tomato and one that is homegrown. Trust your tastebuds! It is no accident that we have evolved with a significant amount of DNA dedicated to discerning the nuanced subtleties of flavor and aroma via our nose and tongue. Those very qualities we desire in that homegrown tomato, strong aromatic and flavor compounds, are inextricably linked to nutrient quality and soil health.
How? Because plants can only build those compounds with a broad nutrient spectrum, and that healthy spectrum can only be grown from a healthy microbiome in the soil. But defining taste can be subjective and obviously not always feasible/practical. So we look to other, more objective methods for assessing quality. Click below to learn more about tools we offer our members.
Brix Kit (refractometer and vise/sap press)
The refractometer in our Brix Kit is currently the most accessible of tools available for discerning quality. While not a measure of nutrient density, it is generally understood that the refractive index, or brix, of a given fruit or vegetable correlates closely to quality and taste. Refractometers are an easy, low-cost test widely used among growers for whom quality is important. But you don't need to be a farmer - you can just as easily use a refractometer on produce you buy from the store to get a better undertanding of what you are eating, or who has the best carrots at the market.
Electro-conductivity Meter (with calibration solution)
The Electro-conductivity Meter is an essential tool for the grower to have in their toolbox. Soil electrical conductivity (EC) is a measure of the electrical charge in the soil, where too much or too little can hinder optimal plant growth. This measure of conductivity provides a valuable indicator of soil health and the functioning processes foundational to crop quality and yields, plant nutrient availability, and activity of soil microorganisms. The EC meter provides the grower with a critical snapshot that underpins the health of their soil, and is useful for addressing shortcomings or adjusting strategies in the growing season.
Bionutrient Meter Development Kit
We are very excited to invite our members to order the Bionutrient Meter Development Kit, and join us in the effort to establish an objective definition of nutrient quality, with the goal of providing consumers and growers with a handheld tool that can empower them to select for nutrient quality with a flash of light. The Development Kit is a significant step on that journey - and while it cannot provide nutritional estimates, you can help build the dataset from which we can develop the algorithms to do that in the future. Read more about what you can do with the Dev Kit. Together as farmers and consumers, we can take control of our shared nutritional destiny - we can not only increase crop quality and decrease disease incidence, we can regenerate ecosystems, increase farm viability, and improve foundational dynamics in the broader culture.
And to get started, enter your email asscoiated with your BFA membership.
If you are not yet a member but would like to be, join the movement!
Help support our efforts to improve food quality for all – soil health for human health for planetary health!