Posts Tagged ‘industrial agriculture’

That Anemic-Looking Tomato is Less Tasty and Less Nutritious

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Opponents of industrial food production have long maintained, almost as an act of faith, that the vegetables, fruits, and grains grown by Big Agriculture have become not just blander but also less healthy. In a paper in the February 2009 issue of HortScience, University of Texas researcher Donald R. Davis provides ample evidence to support such claims. According to Davis:

[T]hree recent studies of historical food composition data found apparent median declines of 5% to 40% or more in some minerals in groups of vegetables and perhaps fruits; one study also evaluated vitamins and protein with similar results.

He also cites a study in which researchers compared high- and low-yielding varieties of broccoli and grain grown side-by-side and concluded that the high-yielding varieties contained less protein and minerals.

Moral of the story: When it comes to food, less is more, and funders and policy wonks should stop fetishizing maximum yield through excessive use of fertilizers and the breeding of high-yielding crops and start promoting agricultural systems based on building the healthy soils that support nutritious foods.