Why organic plants could be the new junk food

You might have heard already that fruits and vegetables today contain fewer nutrients than they did 50 years ago.

Nutrients being things like protein, minerals, and vitamins.

The landmark study on this topic looked at the change in nutrients in 43 garden crops between 1950 and 1999.

The scientists found that nutrients such as iron, phosphorus, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin B2 dropped in those 50 years, some by only 10%-15%, some as much as 40%.

The explanation in that study was that this was due to the changes in the varieties of plants that were grown.

In other words, we were growing bigger, heavier, puffier varieties of plants, which contained fewer nutrients.

Other explanations include soil depletion. Maybe mass farming practices have sucked up nutrients from the soil, and artificial fertilizers can’t make up for that.

To me, this sounds like a great reason to eat organic food.

After all, organic food more likely to be grown on nutritious soil. It’s more likely to be grown using traditional plant varieties, rather than varieties specifically chosen for big yields over nutrient density. 

But here’s the trouble.

Maybe even organic food is becoming junk food, and there’s little we can do about it.

I just read an article about the impact that the increase in atmospheric CO2 might have on plants.

Basically, plants need two things to grow, sunlight and CO2.

Well, they’re getting almost double the CO2 today that they were getting a century or two ago.

This is apparently making plants grow faster.

Bigger.

And it might also be changing their nutrient profile in favor of carbohydrates at the expense of minerals and vitamins.

Put a different way, plants, including organic plants, are becoming a kind of new junk food, growing in calories but insufficient in important nutrients.

So what does this mean for you?

Well, it certainly doesn’t mean you should stop eating fruits or vegetables.

It also doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t choose organic over convential foods whenever you can.

But it does suggest you might need to supplement key nutrients. 

Zinc.

Magnesium.

Vitamin C.

It might be smart to look into these fundamental supplements, even if you eat a healthy diet, filled with lots of high-quality fruits and vegetables.

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