An apple a day: the demise of nutritional content

close up of apples

Today, as the global demand for food increases, we are farming more intensively than ever. We are running out of space but we need more. So, we’re farming more on the same exhausted land that is kept alive by intravenous chemical application, and the nutritional values of much of the fruit and veg we eat is in free fall. Amazingly the apples of today have 100 times less Vitamin C than half a century ago, and oranges on average 20 times less Vitamin A on the same timescale. A broccoli 4 times less calcium and the list goes on. Crazy!

This data is taken from Brian Halweil excellent paper entitled ‘Still No Free Lunch’ published in September 2007 and available for download here:

The only way to combat this is to privilege organic varieties which have not been bred for their rapid growth or resistance to chemicals. They are also more likely to be picked at maturity when all that nutritional goodness has had a chance to be created. So remember if you want to compare apples with apples you will likely be getting a far better deal with an organic product from a nutritional perspective. And after all that is what food is for.