Industrial farming = < nutrition

July 3rd, 2009  |  Published in Stumpblog  |  4 Comments

From Mother Earth News:

Plant breeders have increased yields in most crops, but this is causing our food’s nutrient content to decline.

  • Wheat and barley: protein concentrations declined by 30 to 50 percent between the years 1938 and 1990.
  • In 45 corn varieties developed from 1920 to 2001, concentrations of protein, oil and three amino acids have all declined in the newer varieties.
  • Six minerals have declined by 22 to 39 percent in 14 widely grown wheat varieties developed over the past 100 years.
  • Average calcium content of broccoli was 12.9 milligrams per gram of dry weight in 1950; 4.4 mg/g dry weight in 2003

Why? And what to do? Read more


  1. Lori says:

    July 3rd, 2009at 12:36 pm(#)

    I have seen more and more of these studies that show that nutrients in large farmed foods are lower than wild or organically grown ones (especially if the crops are rotated).

    Yet another reason to eat local whenever possible.

  2. Trishy says:

    July 3rd, 2009at 4:06 pm(#)

    Interesting results, but since it was a news article and not an op-ed piece, I wish it was written in a way that excluded the author’s opinion.

  3. Matt S says:

    July 3rd, 2009at 4:58 pm(#)

    I find this really interesting.

    I’ve always had a pet theory that in the past, less food yielded far more nutrients.

  4. beforewisdom says:

    July 3rd, 2009at 8:00 pm(#)

    Most nutrition software and web site use the USDA database. I wonder how old that database is and how much lower the nutrition is in actual food.

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