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March 01, 2006

Eat More Veggies

Green_giant_1 Lots more. According to a new biochemical analysis, the nutritional value of US vegetables has declined over the last 50 years. That's because new varieties of fast-growing crops designed to maximize output cannot take up or synthesize nutrients as quickly as more slow-growing plants. The result:

...of 13 major nutrients in fruits and vegetables tracked by the Agriculture Department from 1950 to 1999, six showed noticeable declines -- protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin and vitamin C. The declines ranged from 6 percent for protein, 15 percent for iron, 20 percent for vitamin C, and 38 percent for riboflavin.

Yikes. Just when the slow food movement is taking off, it turns out we need a slow-growing food movement too.

Posted by Eric de Place | Permalink


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This is so basic it's not even funny. Jim Hightower and the Agribusiness Accountability Project wrote about agricultural research and it's focus on breeding crops for picking and factors other than nutrition in 1973!

Hard tomatoes, hard times; a report of the Agribusiness Accountability Project on the failure of America's land grant college complex. Research coordinated by Susan DeMarco. Foreword by James Abourezk.

Posted by: Richard Layman | Mar 4, 2006 2:47:44 PM

It would have been interesting for the analysis to study organically-produced food separately. My hunch is that it would have been higher, even for the same fast-growing strains.

Posted by: Jan Steinman | Mar 8, 2006 4:22:05 AM