Eat At Least 50 Fruits and Vegetables Per Day, Yes 50!
For more than 50 years, the increase in yields in agriculture has led to an aberration: producing more and more by getting fruits and vegetables increasingly empty of nutrients. While in our modern societies we consume ever larger amounts of calories, it is serious that our food is no longer of nutritional interest. Yet, this is confirmed by several studies, conducted on the concentration of nutrients in food.
Thus, by comparing our foods today with those of the 1950s, researchers found that the amounts of certain vitamins or minerals in fruits and vegetables were reduced to 100 Times. Should we now eat 50 fruits and vegetables a day to get the right quota of micronutrients?
Empty foods, fruits and vegetables
For decades, scientists have been monitoring the nutrient content of foods regularly. If the amount of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates is important, it is on the side of vitamins and minerals that the alert is given. Indeed, while only a few fruits and vegetables were needed to meet the micronutrient needs, about 60 years ago, it would take dozens of them.
Some examples will be more relevant. While some apples of the time could bring 400 mg of vitamin C, those offered on the stalls today contain only 4 mg. Similarly, with regard to vitamin A. An orange 60 years ago could provide the amount of vitamin A needed for the human body for a day. At present, 21 oranges should be consumed to obtain the same quantity. Regarding certain plants, the observation is even worse. An onion of our time no longer contains any trace of vitamin A.
Broccoli is also affected. While it is considered a very good source of calcium, it now contains 4 times less.
But, this does not stop only with fruits and vegetables since the animals are also fed with plants more and more empty of nutrients. The meat produced in the farms is also impoverished.
The origin of the disaster
But where does the problem come from?
The first cause of nutrient loss comes from the methods used in modern agriculture. We must grow food faster and faster. For this, pesticides and herbicides are used to reduce the fixation of certain micronutrients. Excessive fertilizers cause plants to grow faster, fruits and vegetables become bigger but also more juicy due to over-irrigation. This gives plants full of water but less rich in micronutrients.
The intensive use of soils is also at stake because it is impoverishing the land where the plants grow. Transportation is also a crucial point, as our foods are traveling more and more, thousands of kilometers away. Not only do fruits and vegetables gradually lose their micronutrients but, as they are picked earlier, to bear the transport time, they do not have time to reach full maturity and to gorge themselves with certain vitamins.
Should we consume 50 fruits and vegetables per day?
Despite these alarming data, the subject does not make much noise and seems little concerned about the health authorities, who turn a deaf ear. For some, there is no problem since our fruits and vegetables are bigger than at the time and therefore bring enough micronutrients. They forget that very few consumers eat large quantities of vegetables. Some researchers prefer to look for a way to improve the uptake of micronutrients rather than asking how to return to richer plants. But that would be the most logical.
It has become clear that it is difficult to consume enough micronutrients to meet the needs of our organization. The solution that remains is to eat more fruits and vegetables and to wonder about the possibility of a supplementation by capsules.
Is bio the solution?
Given this fact, one might wonder if organic food would not be the best solution to solve the problem. For now, it is true that organic fruits and vegetables bring a greater amount of certain micronutrients such as vitamin C, phosphorus and magnesium. They are also less contaminated with pesticides and are richer in antioxidants. This is already a good reason to favor their consumption compared to that of traditional plants.
Yet the problem does not stop there because the more bio becomes popular the greater the risk of reproducing the pattern of intensive agriculture becomes great. By increasing the production of organic food, organic farming would lose much of its nutritional value.