Posts Tagged ‘vegetables’

Veggie Trader

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Yeah, I realize that social networking is the great revolution of Web 2.0 (coming on the heels of Web 1.0, which brought us online commerce). And yeah, I realize that some web networks can be professionally useful. But, please, the competition to accumulate the most “friends” is something I thought I’d left behind with high school.

Veggie Trader, on the other hand, is an online community I can believe in. When you get to that point in summer when the thought of eating another zucchini quiche whipped up from your backyard squash patch makes you nauseous, you just post a listing on your excess produce and note what you’d like in return, then wait for a response. You can also browse by zip code to see what’s available in your area.

Of course you can also donate the extra harvest to local food banks through programs like Plant a Row for the Hungry.

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.