Most available modern fruits and vegetables are nutrient poor. In the 1920s the science of nutrition was getting started and scientists analyzed the vitamin and mineral content of many fruits and vegetables. About ten years ago, an updated survey examined the nutrient level in our current fruits and vegetables. The vitamin and mineral content had dropped by about two-thirds — revealing essential nutrients found in today's current food had become much lower.
Eighty years ago, most food was locally grown, picked when ripe and brought to local markets. Now, food is grown on large industrial farms, picked before becoming ripe and shipped long distances to markets around the world. Crops are chosen based on a longer shelf life, not for nutrients, quality or flavor. Our modern fruits and vegetables are large, uniform and look good but contain low levels of vitamins and minerals. High nutrient foods spoil faster and supermarkets do not want to sell food that can spoil quickly — unsold, spoiled food has to be thrown out.
Modern life is much more sedentary than in the past. Household chores such as cleaning, cooking and hauling water used up a lot of energy. Farming, hunting, chopping wood, cultivating and harvesting crops, and managing farm animals were all labor intensive jobs — they burned loads of calories. Industrial jobs also required heavy labor.
When eating fast food, restaurant or processed food, the nutrient content becomes even smaller. Today it is almost impossible to consume enough food to fulfill the daily need for vitamins and minerals — and our bodies crave them. Lacking these essential nutrients drives people to eat excessively in an attempt to supply what is needed.
Take home message:
Unless you eat way too much food, it is almost impossible for the body to receive all of the needed nutrients from today’s available foods. Everyone needs to add supplements.
See recommended guide about dietary supplements.