Fruit and vegetables have lost nutritional value

Dietary experts have demonstrated that the content of essential nutrients in fruit and vegetables has dramastically decreased over the last years - quite a frightening fact.

Dietary experts from Schwarzwald Sanatorium Obertal in Germany have performed a comparative study of the contents of various fruits and vegetables collected in 1985 and 1996, respectively.

The dietary experts establish that the contents of important vitamins and minerals in these foods have dramastically decreased in this period of time. It is frightening news, especially in the light of actors in the health political arena trying to limit people's access to the vitamins and minerals that they regard as necessary in order to maintain their health.

Here are some examples:

The table shows the content of vitamins and minerals per 100 g. of the foodstuff.

  
1985
1996
Difference
BroccoliCalcium Folic acid Magnesium
103 47 24
33 23 18
minus 68% minus 52% minus 25%
BeansCalcium Folic acid Magnesium Vitamin B6
56 39 26
140
34 34 22
55
minus 38% minus 12% minus 15%
minus 61%
FennelCalcium Folic acid Magnesium
35 10 11
57 32 17
plus 62% minus 68% plus 45%
PotatoeCalcium Magnesium Vitamin C
14 27 20
4 18 25
minus 70% minus 33% plus 25%
CarrotCalcium Magnesium37 2131 9minus 17% minus 57%
SpinachMagnesium Vitamin B6 B-vitamins
62 20 51
19 82 21
minus 68% minus 59% minus 58%
AppleCalcium Magnesium Vitamin C
7 5 5
8 6 1
plus 12% plus 20% minus 80%
BananaCalcium Folic acid Magnesium
B6-vitamin
8 23 31
330
7 3 27
22
minus 12% minus 84% minus 13%
minus 92%
StrawberryCalcium Magnesium Vitamin C
21 12 60
18 13 13
minus 14% plus 8% minus 67%

Later studies
The study mentioned above is not unique. On the 8th of February 2004, The Sunday Times printed an article claiming that modern cultivation methods and plant breeding are responsible for the poor farm land.

A mineralogist with an interest in trace substances and a connection to the British Geological Society was responsible for the study showing that the content of important minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, and zink had been significantly reduced. On the other hand, the sugar content of fruits such as apples and pears had doubled in the same period.

The researcher Anne-Marie Mayer who is now working for Cornell University has examined data collected in Britain from 1930 to 1980; they showed a reduced content of minerals in 20 vegetables in this period. The report was published by the British Food Journal 1997, vol 99, no. 6, page 207 - 211.

Information like this once more questions the saying that we will all get the nutrients we need just by eating a varied diet and get at least 600 g. of fruit and vegetables a day.


References:
Why fruit and veg were better for us 50 years ago. Daily mail 5. marts 2001
It´s not the fruit it used to be. Sunday Times 8. feb. 2004.