The central research objective of the BFA is to create a Bionutrient Meter that will provide the consumer with the ability to discern crop nutritive quality before purchase. We have dubbed our effort to develop such a tool, the Bionutrient Institute.
This device would also be used by farmers to identify supplements their crops could use while growing, by buyers to choose which crops to accept or not, and by retailers to choose what crops to accept from their wholesale supply chain. It is our assumption that if quality can be determined before purchase, there will be an economic incentive for growers to do a better job with quality.
The Bionutrient Institute is an exciting endeavor that is working to create a cutting-edge point-and-shoot light meter that can be used to determine quality in crops before purchase. We are currently working with Near Infrared Spectroscopy, X-ray Fluorescence, and Raman Spectroscopy meters to develop our data sets, algorithms and predictive metrics. Our objective is to have a relatively inexpensive (eventually, around $100) handheld device that a consumer can use to test crops before purchase. We suggest that if this level of empiricism is introduced to the marketplace, then the economic drivers governing crop production could be dramatically shifted. The ability to tell quality in the store will give retailers an incentive to demand quality from their suppliers, which will govern incentives for growers.
We hope that through making the principles of high quality crop production readily available to growers, awakening consumers to the dramatic disparities in the food supply, and then providing them the capacity to make purchasing decisions accordingly we can realistically affect food quality.
While we develop our efforts on this front we would like to give the general public the ability to help identify what quality is currently available in the market. For those who wish to get engaged, the best mode is through joining the Bionutrient Food Association as a member, with the add-on of a brix kit, with a refractometer, brix press and brix chart. This package is only available to members at a significant discount from standard retail prices. Members are invited to document brix readings of crops in their local area, whether from their own land, local farms, or area markets. Eventually, we aim to provide the functionality where members can upload that information onto our website. This information will build out an overview of what is currently available and help guide those who are interested toward the best local suppliers of high quality crops.