It’s crazy to imagine that: The more fruits and vegetables you eat, the less nutrients you get from them; unlike what obtained in the world of 40, 50 years ago.
For instance, it is found out that you have to eat 8 oranges today to get the same quantity of vitamin A, that our grand parents got from just one orange.
It’s almost like what happens in the world of economics today. 40 years ago you could buy a new car with N3,000 (Three thousand naira). Now you need to cough out a minimum of N4 million to buy the same car. Why? The value of money keeps falling. You need tons of cash today to buy the same thing you could buy decades ago with a few notes in your pocket.
So the nutritive values of fruits and vegetables have been collapsing over the decades ?
The reason for this ominous collapsing nutritional quality of plants is soil depletion: Today’s intensive agricultural techniques are stripping the soil of critical nutrients, thereby depriving the fruits and vegetables, grown on the soil, of relevant vitamins and minerals.
Modern methods of agriculture uses synthetic fertilizers to grow plants on the same farm, year after year. The continual farming on the same land over the years keeps stripping the soil of relevant nutrients. Several decades ago, farmers did crop rotation; giving the farm land some years of rest and moving to another farm land. While we use fertilizers to grow the plants, the fertilizers have very very minimal nutrients to feed the plants. So, though the plants grow big, they lack the relevant vitamins and minerals that we all need.
In addition to fertilizers, modern agricultural methods use pesticides to kill pests, and herbicides to destroy unwanted weeds on the farm. These chemicals continually add to the damage to the natural nutrients of the soil.
The Organic Consumers Association quote several studies showing declining levels of nutrients in fruits and vegetables. It is reported that average calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables dropped 27 percent; iron levels 37 percent; vitamin A levels 21 percent, and vitamin C levels 30 percent.
A study of British nutrient data from 1930 to 1980, published in the British Food Journal, discovered that in 20 vegetables the average calcium content had declined 19 percent; iron 22 percent; and potassium 14 percent. Imagine what further decline would be recorded for a survey from 1980 to 2016.
So what do we do?
The key to healthier fruits and vegetables is healthier soil. Alternating farms between planting seasons to give soil time to rejuvenate its nutrients is a major solution. That means, we need to buy fruits and vegetables from organic farmers to get the same measure of vitamins and minerals found in such produce 50 years ago.
Buy your fruits and vegetables from organic farmers. Much of what you buy from supermarkets are not organic. They are deficient of much of the nutrients you need.