Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Crops are getting less nutritious and farming methods are partly to blame

Today's farmers raise more bushels of corn, pecks of apples, and pounds of broccoli from a given piece of land than they did decades ago. But those crops are often less nutritious, according to a new report released from The Organic Center, "Still No Free Lunch: Nutrient levels in U.S. food supply eroded by pursuit of high yields."

"Our crops are more abundant [i.e., per acre yields are higher], but they are also generally less nutritious," said report author Brian Halweil, a senior researcher at the Worldwatch Institute and a member of the Organic Center's scientific advisory board. Historical records from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that everyday fruits and vegetables-from collard greens to tomatoes to sweet corn-often have lower levels of some vitamins and less iron, calcium, zinc, and other micronutrients than they did 50 years ago.

read more (The Organic Center)