“In the past, our food tasted better,” older people often say. Complains that the salad wilts much faster; the tomatoes taste watery, and radishes are no longer spicy. There are reasons for these changes in taste: First, there is the price, because it is still by far the most significant point for most. We buy 90 percent of all vegetables in supermarkets. The industrial cultivation methods affect the taste. Many aromatic varieties are no longer in our shopping baskets. Only what is comfortable to harvest, easy to transport, and long-lasting is produced in large quantities.
Five servings of fruits and vegetables per day we need for vitamins and minerals, according to the recommendations of the “nutrition experts. Some studies have already refuted this, and American research confirms it again:
Fruit and vegetables are no longer as rich in vitamins
Fruit and vegetables are no longer as rich in vitamins as they used to be. According to the current study, the content of vital substances has been falling rapidly. Since the 1970s, for example, the loss of vitamin A in apples is 41 percent. Paprika has 31 percent less vitamin C and broccoli, only half of the iron. Cauliflower has only half as much vitamin C, B1, and B2 today as it did 40 years ago.
Leached and polluted soils in agriculture lead to a drastic loss of minerals and vitamins in the food.
US doctor Al Sears says: “Today you have to eat ten times as much fruit and vegetables to get the same amount of vitamins and minerals as 50 years ago.” If this seems too much, you have to resort to various nutritional supplements and vitamin juices.
In addition to unripe picked fruits and vegetables, UV radiation, long transport routes, and storage times, the capitalist system forces farmers to rely on quantity rather than quality. The soils cannot recover, become more impoverished, lose their nutrients, and are also contaminated with chemicals (fertilizers and pesticides).
Genetically modified seeds, especially in the USA, are being used more and more thanks to the political lobbying of the agricultural groups. It is a tragedy based on short-term thinking and greed for money. What will people eat when the food is no longer nutritious? And what happens then? An increasingly sick society.
However, those who take nutritional supplements should also pay attention to considerable qualitative differences. Principle: everything that is artificial makes the body sick in the long term!
Fight against exhausted soils
You have to ask yourself the question inevitably, what about the nutrient content of agricultural products from depleted soil, such as fruits and vegetables?
Is there an adequate supply of all the necessary nutrients and vital substances? Industrial agriculture leads to soil overload. The fertility fades. In the end, it is exhausted. As the cultivation with the high-yield plants continues, the soils suffer a real burn-out of fertility.
Intensive agriculture leads to a loss of biodiversity in the soil. Tight crop rotations, intensive nitrogen-heavy fertilization, and a high level of use of pesticides lead to a deterioration in soil biodiversity. Also, the lack of organic material, which is the basis of life for soil organisms.
Not enough nutrient content: what’s wrong with our food?
Nutrients are vitamins, minerals, and trace elements such as zinc, iron, or copper. They are essential for our health. In recent years, however, researchers have repeatedly noticed that our food’s nutrient content is falling. Fewer nutrients, more hunger? A consequence of the decreasing nutrient content could be the tendency to obesity in wealthier countries. Because a body with not enough supply of vitamins and minerals often indicates hunger. Do we eat more because we get fewer nutrients from our food? And are you consuming too much energy? It could be possible. But why does the level of nutrients in food decrease at all?
Leached, depleted soils, nutrient-poor plants
In conventional agriculture, yields have increased since the so-called “Green Revolution,” which was anything but green. The extensive use of pesticides, faster harvests, and the cultivation of high-yield, fast-growing crops on larger areas of agriculture caused a significant increase in food production. It had also far-reaching negative consequences.
For example, the tomato is a favorite vegetable. But virtually every tomato that we buy in the supermarket has grown in the greenhouse. The number of tomatoes that do not come from the greenhouse is small. Tomatoes that come from the Netherlands and Spain, for example, are grown in giant factories, computer-controlled for maximum yield. It means monoculture and fewer varieties. But what do these production conditions do with the vegetables? Many suspects that the tomatoes are significantly less healthy due to the production conditions. But everything is optimized. Often with potent side effects. Nobody likes immature-looking tomatoes, which is why special LED lamps illuminate our favorite vegetables so that they turn as red as possible.
The fruit and vegetables may have lost their taste, but what does that mean for the nutrients. Put simply, the plant cannot thrive if the supply with nutrients and vitamins is not sufficient. The industrial cultivation methods do not change that. The producers control their harvest very early and very carefully. The fear of a crop loss is too high. They claim that with better and more efficient fertilization methods, they give plants back what they remove from the soil. But something is missing; whoever tasted a tomato grown in healthy soil will feel the big difference in the taste.
However, many consumers feel bad and distrust industrial agriculture. Several harvests per year, no recovery for the fields. Also, the amount of fertilizer mentioned. Besides, headlines of pesticide-contaminated vegetables and cereals we can see daily. Conventionally produced agricultural products have a terrible image.
In the past decades, we have accelerated the growth of many plants. But at the same time leached out the soils on which they grew. In .conventional agriculture today, fewer and fewer nutrients are passed on to more and more plants. The logical consequence: each plant has fewer nutrients than was the case a few decades ago.
Sustainable agriculture as a solution?
Organic and biodynamic farming methods promise an alternative. In contrast to conventional agriculture, care is taken here not to leach out the soil. The plants often have more time to grow—no use of Pesticides.
What you can do about it
If you want to support more sustainable agriculture, you should choose organic products. They protect the soil and could enable the nutrient content of our food to at least not decrease any further.
Also, if you eat a varied diet with a high percentage of vegetables and fruits, you should be sufficiently supplied with nutrients. For this purpose, mostly unprocessed foods should be on the menu. Buy locally, and eat fresh seasonally to avoid loss of nutrition: support organic and bio-dynamic farmers.