Diminishing Nutrition

Posted on May 31, 2013. Filed under: Diet, Eat these!, Nutrition | Tags: , , , |

According to this NYT article-Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food

We’ve reduced the nutrients and increased the sugar and starch content of hundreds of…fruits and vegetables.

While I don’t think this article captures the larger issue as strongly as the title does, it is an important topic. I do like how they point to fresh herbs as a way to compensate for the nutritional losses in our food.

greens

 

Carrots

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3 Responses to “Diminishing Nutrition”

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Part of this is just from the soil itself. If we keep planting the same thing in certain beds, the produce will be deficient. For example, the tiny rootlets from lettuce varieties want to go down ten feet or more to pick up micronutrients and moisture. If the soil is tired, the nutrition profile from a harvest will be tired. Roots like carrots are *meant* to bend around hard rocks until the find the deeper nourishment they need. If we breed that out of them by preferring straight carrots with uniform thickness along the entire root, then — yes — we are puffing the carrot up with carbohydrates/sugars and a deficient mineral content. We need to seek out the twisted carrots at the farmers markets! We need to grow them ourselves in good soil.

cathy, i know what you are saying about the soil is true and, like so many other times i have uncovered another food system deficiency, i feel both overwhelmed and inspired. i thought i was doing myself such a big favor to eat more vegetables. and then i learned how important it is to eat organic vegetables. now, i’ve got to grow my own if i want maximum nutrition? ughh. is there nothing a grocery store sells that i can trust? do most farmer’s market veggie growers manage their soil in a way that maximize nutritional content? sometimes it feels like my food homework list just gets longer and longer.

I think your question is rhetorical. If not, then the answer is to take one step at a time. Along the way, you might meet a farmer who is still growing stuff the old-fashioned way. The closer we get to the source of our food, the more we learn. This is true for farmers, too. There’s a lot for everyone to learn. For all the growing we do here, we don’t grow everything we eat. It just doesn’t make sense. We have to rely on commercial — both conventional and organic — produce, too. And when we eat locally and in-season, some of the difficulty in making good choices goes away. Follow the joy. Look for the delicious carrot that tastes sweet and earthy. Savor it.


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