Nutrients: Heirloom versus domesticated

There was a great article in the New York Times about how humans have managed to breed most of the nutrients out of the foods we find in our supermarkets. For the full story follow this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/opinion/sunday/breeding-the-nutrition-out-of-our-food.html?pagewanted=all&_r=3&   The basic argument is that over many generations humans have selectively bred out most of the phytonutrients and opted for such traits as sweetness, starch content etc. The consequences of this are that most fruit and vegetables that you find on supermarket shelves are very poor nutritionally relative to their wild ancestors. What does that have to do with quinoa you might ask? Well, quinoa is about as close to a wild variety as you can get in a domesticated crop. Thousands of varieties still exist, as the selective process that has led to a limited number of strains in most world crops, has never happened with quinoa. The phytonutrients in our quinoa are much richer than in most other cereal staples. So all that original nutritional goodness has been preserved. The New York Times has done some beautiful illustrations to graphically represent how nutrient contents have been wiped out through selective breeding.


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