Nutritional value of food

Apparently in our haste to get as much “food” grown as possible in the smallest amount of space possible does have detrimental effects. Plants are cultivated for taste and hardiness not so much for the amount of nutrients it provides to us. Vegetables, grain, fruit that used to be extremely varied and has seasons are now available all the time.  This does affect us. Our obsession with the instantaneous and needing everything now  in or lifestyle including with our food is causing us issues. In food terms – we need to eat more food than people had to eat in the past in order to get the same amount of nutrients. Yikes!

With growing technology in farming industries, farmers today can grow two to three times as much grain, fruit, and vegetables on a plot of land as they could 50 years ago but according to a new report from The Organic Center, a group based in Boulder, Colorado the nutritional quality of many crops has declined. “To get our recommended daily allowance of nutrients, we have to eat many more slices of bread today than people had to eat in the past,” notes report author and Worldwatch Institute food expert Brian Halweil. “Less nutrition per calorie consumed affects consumers in much in the same way as monetary inflation; that is, we have more food, but it’s worth less in terms of nutritional value.”

But this phenomena is not new but only accelerated by agricultural technology. We have, for many years, unwittingly been stripping  phytonutrients from our diet since we stopped foraging for wild plants some 10,000 years ago and became farmers. Studies published within the past 15 years show that much of our produce is relatively low in phytonutrients, which are the compounds with the potential to reduce the risk of four of our modern scourges: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia. The loss of these beneficial nutrients did not begin 50 or 100 years ago, as many assume. Unwittingly, we have been stripping phytonutrients from our diet since we stopped foraging for wild plants some 10,000 years ago and became farmers.

Crop Yields Expand, but Nutrition Is Left Behind

Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food

Declining Nutrition of Fruits and Vegetables

Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?

Industrially Farmed Foods Have Lower Nutritional Content

But not everything is lost, there are some good news – new study indicates organic foods are higher in antioxidants, lower in pesticides. For those of us who are able to get and can afford organic food – please do try to consume it more.

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