Our food is losing its nutrition from vitamins and minerals. Modern intensive farming may have solved many of our malnutrition problems, but it has caused vitamin and mineral content to decrease. Why does this matter? The phytonutrients and micronutrients in fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy diet.
Nutrients Research From 1950 to 2011
Fortunately for us, biochemists around the world have been keeping tabs on the nutrient concentrations in a variety of fruits and vegetables for the past 50 years. One of those biochemists is Donald Davis from the University of Texas. In 2011, Davis found notable declines in nutrient counts in several fruits and vegetables when comparing 2009 numbers to 1950 numbers. He found a 43% decline in iron and a 12% decline in calcium, which was in-line with his 1999 study where he found a 15 % decrease in vitamin C and a 38% decrease in vitamin B2.
Another study in 2005 revealed that vegetables lost a considerable amount of copper, magnesium and sodium; fruits dropped copper, iron, and potassium when compared to fruits and vegetables grown in the 1930s.
GMOs Pose Risks Around Nutrients Depletion
Recently, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a study comparing organic and GMO growing methods. Their study found that organic apple growing methods produce nutrients with at least a 15% increase in antioxidant properties.
Davis and others blame agricultural practices that emphasise quantity over quality. High-yielding crops produce more food, more rapidly, but they can’t make or absorb nutrients at the same pace, so the nutrition is diluted. “It’s like taking a glass of orange juice and adding an equal amount of water to it. If you do that, the concentration of nutrients that was in the original juice is dropped by half,” says Davis. (WakingTimes.com)
Of course, the research around nutrients depletion has caused some controversy. Many of the objectors claim that old methods of measuring nutrients do not offer a fair comparison of the most accurate methods of today. So, fruits and vegetables have lost trace elements of some vitamins and minerals, but we have drastically increased the supply and variety of our food.
Other Causes of Nutrients Depletion in Food
In 2014, a group of Harvard University researchers tested 41 different types of grains and legumes under CO2 levels that we are likely to experience over the next 40 to 60 years. They were able to show that most of the crops would see zinc and iron decrease between 5% – 10% in the future CO2 levels. It’s alarming to see these significant reductions in nutrients, which is truly the value of fruits and vegetables. However, climate change and CO2 are not the only things causing nutrient depletion.
Transportation and Distribution Problems
Many of the methods around transporting fruits and vegetables cause them to lose a lot their nutrients in the process. For example, tomatoes are picked unripe, so they don’t bruise easily, but they miss out on some antioxidants and flavor. Many times vegetables picked off the vine early lose valuable energy from the growing process.
The Bottom Line
In today’s fast-paced world of food processing, production, and transportation may be making food less nutritious, but it is supplying us with so much more food. Overall, we need to be eating more fruit and vegetables. Our company, NutriFusion, is dedicated to helping solving this problem. We want to help companies supply natural nutrients from fruits and vegetables in many of the foods that you already eat. If you are interested in learning more about NutriFusion and our process of stabilizing micronutrients and phytonutrients, please contact us below!