Another Lie About Our Food

We’ve got bad news. It’s about the food you’re eating.

It turns out – surprise, surprise – you’ve been lied to.

It’s a topic we’ve covered here before. It’s another of our passions. And it’s another flaw in modern times that, if not fixed, will greatly harm future generations.

Modern agricultural practices are doing far more harm than most folks know.

We’re told that genetic engineering won’t hurt us… that it leads to bigger crops that can feed the world for less.

Bigger yields? True.

Feed the world? Far from it.

BIG CROPS, LITTLE FOOD

Here’s the deal. A study from the University of Texas showed definitive proof that modern vegetables aren’t what they once were.

A team of scientists looked at 43 crops. They wanted to see if modern crops contain the same vitamins and nutrients they did in the 1950s.

The news was not good.

Declines for key nutrients like iron, calcium, protein and others ranged from 6% to 38%.

With broccoli, for example, a USDA test in 1950 showed 130 mg of calcium. The modern sample researchers poked and prodded, though, showed just 48 mg.

“[Since the 1950s] there have been intensive efforts to breed new varieties that have greater yield, or resistance to pests, or adaptability to different climates,” the study’s lead researcher said. “But the dominant effort is for higher yields. Emerging evidence suggests that when you select for yield, crops grow bigger and faster, but they don’t necessarily have the ability to make or uptake nutrients at the same, faster rate.”

The test shed light on our country’s disheartening trend toward quantity over quality.

[mw-adbox]

The researchers in Texas aren’t alone. A separate study showed similar results:

  • Calcium levels were down 27%.
  • Vitamin A was down 21%.
  • Vitamin C was down 30%.

And yet another study showed that we’d have to eat eight modern oranges to get the same amount of Vitamin A our grandparents would have gotten from eating just one.

TREATING SOIL LIKE DIRT

What gives?

It’s no surprise that modern farming practices are the culprit.

All we have to do is look out our back windows to see it in action. Our microfarm borders a large commercial farm. Every year we’ve lived here… it’s been a cornfield.

The cycle is always the same. The weeds are killed… the corn is planted… the stalks suck up the nutrients… the ears are harvested.

It’ll be the same thing next year. Kill the weeds… plant the corn… suck up the nutrients.

Every two years or so, a tractor will visit the field and spread some fertilizer. But no farmer wants to fertilize. It costs money and has some nasty side effects.

Instead, the trend is to grow engineered crops that don’t need fertilizer.

Like any good businessmen, farmers want crops that can do more with less.

But the harm these practices have had is undeniable.

FINDING GOOD FOOD

Our food isn’t what it used to be. We pick up an orange, and it lies to us.

It’s not what it used to be.

Admittedly, we once were skeptics of the organic food trend (we’re skeptics of a lot of things). But then we stumbled upon this research. The facts are undeniable.

Organic fruits and vegetables are the best solution.

That’s because crops raised without the aid of synthetic chemicals are forced to work harder. They may not be as pretty or as big, but they’re a whole lot healthier.

In fact, a study by Dr. Alyson Mitchell showed that organic tomatoes can have as much as 30% more nutrients than conventional ones.

“By avoiding synthetic fertilizers,” she said, “organic farmers put more stress on plants, and when plants experience stress, they protect themselves by producing phytochemicals.”

There are some tricks we use to find the best and healthiest fruits and vegetables.

First, we look for bright colors. It’s typically a sign of a crop with heavy nutrients. We’ve all seen it… a healthy head of lettuce with deep, rich colors… or a tomato with a crisp, dark red skin.

And we don’t always go for the biggest apple in the bunch. Bigger isn’t always better in the natural world.

The soil and the plant that depends on it has only so many nutrients (less now than ever). The bigger the crop, the more diluted the healthy vitamins and sugars.

Finally, we look for heirloom varieties. These fruits and vegetables haven’t been modified to grow big and fast. (And, not surprisingly, their seeds are currently being stockpiled by governments around the world, but that’s another story.) No, they’re from a day when industrial farming and high-tech fertilizer and weed killers were still a thing of the future.

They grow slow and small, but they’re packed with nutrients.

We’re convinced most folks will soon realize what we know. We’re on the cusp of a farming revolution. We have to be.

Folks are finally realizing what we’re doing today simply can’t last. We’re moving too fast and with too little care. Old Ma Nature doesn’t like it.

Stick with the good, organic food she makes.

You’ll be healthier and happier.

She never lies.