Fruit and vegetables are gradually being stripped of their natural goodness. They are grown in mineral deficient soil. They are hybridised to make them sweeter. Apples are waxed with a toxic substance to make them look glossy and appetising. Tomatoes are gassed on arrival at the supermarkets to redden them and make them look ripe. Produce is usually transported by lorry, ship or plane, and may be weeks old by the time we eat it.
The Daily Mail reports:
An alarming drop in essential minerals means that the apples and greens of today are nowhere near as good for us as those eaten 50 years ago.
Some fruits are also becoming sweeter than they were during the last century, leading to fears about tooth decay and obesity.
Nutrients needed to help the body and immune system work properly, balance hormones and produce vital blood cells are dwindling across a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, it emerged.
Five a day
Government health advice is to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day to help maintain health and possibly avoid some cancers.
But research by nutritionist David Thomas reveals that the food we are eating is simply not as good for us as it was during World War II.
Reasons for decline
Modern farming methods are blamed for the decline in minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium and potassium in fruit and vegetables.
Crops are being grown in soil stripped of its goodness. Vitamin loss could be exacerbated by fruits being picked before they are ripe.
They are often flown long distances before they actually hit the shelves and nutritionists say that fruit and vegetables which are fresh are more likely to contain the most vitamins.
Artificial fertilisers are used to speed growth and productivity of crops but this might not take account of the delicate balance of mineral requirements of plants and foods.
Dr Thomas investigated the fall of nutrients in 64 foods by comparing data from Government-backed scientific studies between 1940 and 1991.
The rate of depletion appeared to be greatest between 1978 and 1991. In those 13 years alone, vegetables lost 57 per cent of their zinc – an important element for the immune system and for male fertility.
Dr Thomas said: “We found that since 1940, the minerals and other nutrients that help to make fruit and vegetables good for you have been in startling decline.”
He said that eating fruit and vegetables is still beneficial for health, but continuing falls in nutrients could lead to deficiencies in some consumers.
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