Nutritional Value of Food at Risk: Fruits and Vegetables Now Less Nutritious

Lisa Garber
Natural Society / News Report
Published: Sunday 9 December 2012
Although it is still very true that everybody should be consuming many fruits and vegetables on a daily basis (preferably organic), the sad truth is that we would need to consume many times more of them in order to get the nutrients we need.
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The nutritional value of foods is at risk, with the amount of nutrients found in fruits and vegetables having diminished greatly over the years. One apple today may carry half the amount of nutrients as an apple produced 50 years ago. Although it is still very true that everybody should be consuming many fruits and vegetables on a daily basis (preferably organic), the sad truth is that we would need to consume many times more of them in order to get the nutrients we need.

One University of Texas in Austin study has gained particular attention in the media. According to Donald R. Davis’s findings published in HortScience, crops grown in limited space almost always contain lower levels of minerals, vitamins, and protein—by up to 40%. High yield crops may be receiving less sunlight or moisture in addition to nutrition from soil, which is often depleted with aggressive farming techniques that may disregard natural rotation methods.

“Our poor farming practices are leading to sick plants, depleted soil, and a need to use higher and higher doses of pesticides and herbicides to ward off what healthy plants would naturally ward off,” says author of The Juice Lady’s Living Foods Revolution, Cherie Calbom, MS. “We are heading toward a dust bowl in many parts of the country if nothing changes.”

Here are simple ways to get the most nutrition from produce.

Buy Locally Grown Produce

Small, family-run farms are more likely to rotate crops to maintain nutritious soil, and food grown nearby has less distance to travel (and nutrition to lose) before reaching your dinner plate. What better way to advocate nutritious food than to support its closest source?

Buy Organic as Often as You Can

Dr. Oz may call you a snob, but there are countless holes and disregarded aspects (like pesticide residue) in the anti-organic campaign and so-called study by Stanford. The fact is that organic produce at the very least contains less pesticide residue than does conventionally grown types, and the less of that stuff the better, since it’s been linked to a multitude of unpleasant and often deadly conditions ranging from infertility to risk of brain cancer.

It’s Okay to Choose Frozen

Although it may be ideal to buy local and seasonal produce from small, organic farms, it’s not possible for everyone all the time. “Sometimes the veggies frozen right after harvest have retained more nutrients than those ‘fresh’ veggies that have taken forever to get to your plate,” says nutritionist Janet Brill, PhD, RD.

Don’t be Afraid of Ugly Produce

Organic produce can sometimes look small or misshapen, but that can indicate that they’re not genetically modified or coated with pesticides.

You can also try growing your own food. Some varieties, like green onions and herbs can be grown even in apartments.



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4 comments on "Nutritional Value of Food at Risk: Fruits and Vegetables Now Less Nutritious"

Lawrence Kurnarsky

December 10, 2012 7:45am

Thus Capitalism marches on towards the historical cliff. If you run a school, your first concern should be the quality of the education you give, not your bottom line but as society increasingly privatizes education that becomes secondary. The same trend can be seen in healthcare. If you grow food your first concern should be the quality of your produce, not your profits but, alas, in our economic system the driving force is money and to run your farm as a business, or your hospital, or your school, is considered the only practical choice. What you give back is at best a byproduct or bonus of making money That renders selfishness as the prime purpose of doing what you do in this world. I think we have it backward.

brad roon

December 10, 2012 6:53pm

LAW-KUR for prez!

Absolutely. Everything one discusses gets a dollar amount stuck to it as though that is even a valid measurement.

Helll the value of our money consists ONLY in people agreeing to believe it has value. If i build you a house but demand payment in Barbie dolls or whatever, then money has no importance to me, but somehow these other things do.

Definitely backward.

brad roon

December 09, 2012 7:35pm

As a person who has grown much of his own food for much of my adult years, (about 40 0f those) PUT MORE INTO THE GROUND!!!!

Commercial farms put in potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Period.

In the mid 70's the USDA showed that since WWII the calcium levels in commercial lettuce dropped about 75%. From that time to about 2000, the calcium levels in commercial spinach dropped a further 60%. Think about that. About 40% left from the remaining 25% from what prior to that?

In '77 i read my first organic study in which Duke Univ proved that organic food could have as much as 200 times more micronutrients than commercial food. Those minerals are critical. Studies in the 90's - 200 c0rpses dead from stroke: EVERY ONE had copper shortage. 200 bodies dead from heart attack (myocardial infarction) EVERY BODY w/selenium deficiency.

These are only two of the dozens of ionized minerals that Roundup prevents plants from taking up, so your roundup crop is virtually guaranteed to give you bad nutrition.

"Enriched flour" Take out 26 vitamins and minerals, put in 4 synthetic vitamins (which don't work nearly as well as the real deal) and try to tell me that enriched bread is NOT a con job. The only reason they put in those 4 was because an obstinate dude in Arizona (think so) back in the 20's basically sued the companies for even calling it food! So they put some back.

Kelps from the ocean make great fertilizers with all the minerals that wash into the ocean. There are some glacial waters that irrigate certain areas, notably the Hunza valleys, some areas below the Caucusus, and i've heard a South American area. All these areas have people that frequently live to a great old age in great health due to the minerals in their crops.

The plants break down the metallic minerals into ionized minerals and then the human body can digest them easily.

JoeWeinstein

December 09, 2012 10:23pm

Brad- thanks for your comment - both very informative and very encouraging!