The nutrients in our food

Pesticides and a lot of farming techniques allow for larger harvests, but are we getting what we need from them? An article in GreenBiz suggests that we are not.

gardenphotoA lot of us grow our own veggies and fruits in our back yards or community gardens. Every year, I try to add to the soil to replenish the nutrients (and break up a bit more of the clay). Mostly, I use compost from our house and yard. That works for  backyard growing, but if you have 100 acres, that is not enough.

This article gives a little, dare I say it?, food for thought.

What happened to the nutrition in our food? And a second one: How can we get it back?

These questions first formed in my mind two years earlier, when I heard pioneering Australian soil scientist Christine Jones say at a conference that it was possible to buy an orange today that contained zero vitamin C. As in zilch. It got worse.

In Australia, she continued, the vitamin A content of carrots had dropped 99 percent between 1948 and 1991, according to a government analysis, and apples had lost 80 percent of their vitamin C. She went on to say that according to research in England, the mineral content of nearly all vegetables in the United Kingdom had dropped significantly between 1940 and 1990. Copper had been reduced by 76 percent, calcium by 46 percent, iron by 27 percent, magnesium by 24 percent and potassium by 16 percent. Furthermore, the mineral content of U.K. meat had dropped significantly over the same period as well — iron by 54 percent, copper by 24 percent, calcium by 41 percent and so on.

The full article is here on the GreenBiz site.

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