Q&A

DEAR NEW FARM:

I heard that the soil has been so depleted of its nutrients that you have to eat 24 or 25 carrots to get your daily requirement of Vitamin A, whereas you used to only have to eat two. Is this true?

Thanks for your time,
Amy Strange
Ohio

 

DEAR AMY:

It is true that the nutritional values of common vegetables have been in decline over the past 50 years (but not nearly as drastic as you state). There is considerable debate about the causes. A recent study out of Austin, Texas concluded that it has less to do with soil depletion and the heavy use of chemicals in agriculture than the fact that mass-produced varieties of vegetables are being selected more for qualities such as extended shelf life and ruggedness for shipping across the country than for traits such as taste and nutrition.

NF

 

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