Recipe Review

Fruits & Veggies Are Not as Nutritious as 60 Years Ago

published Aug 9, 2011
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Did you know tomatoes had 55 percent more calcium and 25 percent more iron in 1950 than they did in 1999?

Grist wrote about a study that compared the nutrients found in fruits and vegetables grown in 1999 to those grown almost 50 years before. Breeding high-yielding crops, it seems, has led to a loss of nutrients in our produce.

The loss is not just because of depleted nutrients in the soil. The scientist behind the study believes selective breeding for yield is behind the nutrient differences between a 1950 string bean and one eaten today. Research has shown high-yield plant varieties have lower nutrient levels than non-high-yield varieties growing in the same soil and conditions.

The solution? Eat more fruits and vegetables! And look for heirloom varieties when shopping for produce, which may be more nutritious and are often a lot more flavorful too.

Check it out: Not your grandma’s strawberries at Grist