Fruit & Vegetable Series Part 1: Are Fruits and Vegetables Really Getting Less Healthy?

At Nature’s Craft, we are serious about the nutritional value of our products. This is why we spend large amounts of time and energy researching the connection between nature, science, and health. So that whatever we produce may be founded upon valid science.


In this vein, it is somewhat disconcerting to find that there is a clear break in our ecological food chain’s nutritional integrity over the past 50 years or so. Many studies back this up. We provide only a few:


  • A study by the University of Texas, published in December 2004 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, found that there was “declining nutritional content [due] to the preponderance of agricultural practices designed to improve traits (size, growth rate, pest resistance)” (Scheer & Moss, 2011).
  • A study published in 2003 that compared the levels of 13 nutrients in 43 different plants in the years 1950 and 1999 found that there were statistically significant declines between those two periods in plant nutrients like protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and ascorbic acid (Vinje, n.d.).
  • And finally, in a paper published in 2014 by Dr. Irakli Loladze, he found that the overall concentration of minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron had dropped by 8 percent on average across nearly 130 varieties of plants and more than 15,000 samples collected from experiments over the previous three decades (Bottemiller Evich, 2017).

There are many similar examples. Generally speaking, what all of these studies have in common is that they show a depletion in the nutritional value of our grown food over the past 50 years or so mainly as a result of new agricultural practices, a degradation in the quality of our soil due to over-exploitation, and other factors including the use of pesticides, genetically-modified crops, and an increased focus on “getting stuff out of the soil as fast as possible,” in the interests of serving an ever-expanding market. A trade-off, therefore, between yield (profit) and nutrition.


This is not the end of the problem though. Already in 2011 Cherie Calbom, a clinical nutritionist, foresaw a bigger problem related to many aspects of modern farming, stating that, “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.” More disconcertingly though she said, “We are heading toward a dust bowl in many parts of the country if nothing changes” (Meyrs, 2011). 


Calbom seems to have been remarkably prescient in her viewpoints. In a recently published study by Isaac Larsen, a geoscientist at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Larsen and his co-authors estimated that more than one-third of the Corn Belt had lost all of its nutrient- and carbon-rich topsoil with similar developments taking place on the neighboring Great Plains (Scharping, 2021).


If this doesn’t raise a red flag nothing will! It is clear that the US is quantitatively and qualitatively at risk as far as the integrity of our food supply is concerned.  Some sort of intervention is therefore required.


There are some things that can be done: We could return to the good old ways of going about planting and harvesting our crops. Unfortunately, considering market exigencies and the rate at which the planet is developing this is not likely to happen soon. Or we could grow our own. Yes, indeed a very practical and good way to go. Except of course that the majority of people who live in cities do not have the luxury of available space (or know-how) about how to start their own vegetable or fruit patch.


The only other realistic option is to make sure that you take the correct, well-balanced supplements to compensate for the deficiency in your food.


Nature’s Craft is a leader in nutrition, producing world-class supplements and other nutritional aids with exactly this purpose in mindto ensure that we restore the balance as nature had intended it to be by producing scientifically formulated supplements that assist with recouping the balance that every person needs for their daily routine. We use only the finest ingredients in our products and make sure that the benefits are properly researched before going to market.


References


Bottemiller Evich, H. (2017). The great nutrient collapse. Politico. https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/09/13/food-nutrients-carbon-dioxide-000511/

Meyrs, W. (2011). Are Fruits and Vegetables Less Nutritious Today? Everyday Health. https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/are-fruits-and-vegetables-less-nutritious-today.aspx

Scharping, N. (2021). Could America be Headed for Another Dust Bowl? Mother Jones. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/05/america-drought-climate-change-next-dust-bowl/

Scheer, R., & Moss, D. (2011). Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious? Scientific American. Published.

Vinje, E. (n.d.). Why Are Today’s Vegetables Less Nutritious? Planet Natural Research Center. Retrieved July 16, 2021, from https://www.planetnatural.com/vegetables-nutrition/