WAKE UP CALL: Start your day right with GRID's grab bag of sustainability news

Produce of the past packed more nutrients | Image via gardennaturally.wordpress.comNutrition Nostalgia

Studies show that the nutritional values of many fruits and vegetables have decreased over the last 50 years partially due to a greater focus on high-yield plant varieties. Some also claim that a focus on mass production also compromises flavor. One researcher recommends looking for heirloom and non-hybrid varieties when growing or buying, which may not produce as much, but also may be more nutritious -- yet another reason to support small scale, local farms. Grist (Be sure to check out the interactive infographic!)

The Lead Down of Solar

While both China and India’s plans to increase their production of solar energy over the next 10 years are to be applauded, a new study warns that the lead-acid batteries (LABs) used to store the solar power until it is needed could become a major source of lead pollution in both countries. Conservation Magazine

Solar Powered Breakthrough

A new system designed by researchers at MIT could break down barriers blocking the widespread implementation of solar power. The system is based on a large array of mirrors to heat a substance such as molten salt which would then heat water and turn a power-generating turbine. The MIT model combines this heating process and energy storage in a single ground-mounted tank, and could deliver steady power 24/7. MIT News via GOOD  

Never Say Never

Although the natural gas drilling industry, as well as many government officials, practices the mantra that drinking water contamination caused by fracking is nearly impossible; there is in fact one documented case of contamination documented in a 1987 EPA report. NY Times