Fruits and vegetables are generally regarded as the most nutritious foods you could eat as part of a balanced diet. In most cases, people don’t get enough servings of them. However, some health experts are saying that even if you consume the FDA-recommended servings of fruits and vegetables daily, a lot of that produce may not be as nutritious as you think. Compared to produce grown about 50 years ago, today’s fruits and vegetables have less nutritional content even though they’ve been engineered to yield larger crops. Dan Kittredge, a farmer and director of the Bionutrient Food Association, found that overuse of pesticides, and not allowing soil to rest and recover vital nutrients is mostly to blame.
More Nutrients in Soil = More Nutritious Foods
Nutrient-rich soil translates to higher nutritional content in produce, and better flavor as well according to Kittredge. Taste tests from many top chefs agree with Kittredge’s assessment. Incidentally, soil with more nutrients also had fewer pest infestations, reducing the need for pesticides. Instead of engineering plants and seeds to grow larger, Kittredge gives annual seminars that teach farmers about biology, hydrology, irrigation, and other aspects of farming that emphasize soil richening to produce higher-quality crops and higher crop yields. His methods have resulted in some farmers boasting shorter harvest times, larger yields, and fewer pest attacks. Phil Jones and Don Hess are two such individuals who have attended Kittredge’s seminars and applied his methods to their farms. Jones has noticed not only an increase in crop number, but a noticeable improvement in flavor and texture. Hess echoes these statements and notes that the output of his farm has almost doubled thanks to the improved growing techniques.
Not All Produce Is Equal
Most of us don’t have the pleasure of obtaining fresh produce from local farms using Kittredge’s techniques. However, you can make up for the nutrients that you’re lacking in your diet with nutritional supplements such as a daily multivitamin that provides balanced servings of essential vitamins and minerals. Good health is a result of healthy choices, so choose wisely when it comes to taking care of your body!
- Why produce isn't as healthy as it used to be. Natural Vitality Living. Nov. 6, 2012. https://newhope360.com/natural-vitality-living/why-produce-isn-t-healthy-it-used-be.
- Bionutrient Food Association. https://bionutrient.org/.