Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Food is Not What it Used to Be

Over the past 50 years, iron levels in meat have dropped from 47 to 80 percent. Iron levels in milk have dropped by 60 percent! No, this is not a joke and I'm not making this up. The AAAS (American Associate for the Advancement of Science) held a symposium on this problem not long ago.

Our high-tech farming with fertilizers, chemicals, etc. will make crops grow fast and look good but it's "all show and no go", as we used to say in the car racing biz. High-yield crops grow faster and bigger but fail to accumulate the nutrients we need. Nutrient levels in fruits, vegetables, and wheat have declined dramatically over the past 50 years. The concentration of some vitamins, minerals, and protein, including calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin and ascorbic acid have dropped by from 5 to 38 percent.

And get this, especially you women, the iron in 15 varieties of meat decreased an average of 47 percent. Some meat products fell as much as 80 percent.

Copper has fallen by 60 percent, magnesium by 10 percent. Both copper and magnesium are essential for enzyme functioning.

Here's a link to get you started for info:
http://www.utexas.edu/opa/news/04newsreleases/nr_200412/nr_chemistry041201.html

2 comments:

Sakura said...

Only my second visit here and you make me want to cry...ok, it's not you, it's the subject matter ;)

I have thyroid problems, and it's no wonder, looking at what my nutrient intake seems to be even when consuming the "freshest" produce.

Having lived in France, and shopped for produce in the less expensive Arab quarter, I noticed that the fruits and vegetables there are much less attractive. Downright ugly, some of them. But they taste wonderful. It's not a far stretch to imagine that nutrient content changes as well, compared to big agribusiness products.

I'd give anything to taste a cucumber like those I ate as a child, ones that didn't have a petrochemical sort of aftertaste. I can't find anything like them anymore. It's hard to get yourself to eat "healthy" salads when your vegetables taste like plastic.

ShutterSparks said...

Yes, isn't that interesting? Home grown veggies taste very different. They might look ugly but they taste great. Cucumbers and watermelon show big differences from store-bought and are easy to grow. I never buy beefsteak tomatoes in the store anymore. They have no flavor at all. Romas are still okay it seems. Best is to grow your own cherry tomatoes. They grow like weeds, produce like crazy, and taste fantastic.

I think what's happening is that farmers apply nitrogen fertilizer and not much else and they get nice pretty crops but over the years the micronutrients / minerals have become depleted from the soil and are not being replaced. This, combined with the fast growing modern plant breeds that accumulate fewer micronutrients creates a double negative effect.

I guess the only thing we can do is make sure we take good vitamin and mineral supplements.