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Are Today's Natural Foods Less Nutritous?

MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie
edited March 2016 in Other Stuff

I have been reading about how increasing crop and animal yields as well as conventional farming practices are depleting the nutrition in our food and otherwise changing its ability to nurture our bodies as intended. Here are a few of those articles:

It’s supposed to be lean cuisine. So why is this chicken fatter than it looks? (Story about fruits and vegetables too)

Today’s bumper crops have fewer nutrients

Is Agribusiness Making Food Less Nutritious?

Greenhouse Gas Makes Food Less Nutritious

Farmed Fish Fed Cheap Food May Be Less Nutritious For Humans

Crop Yields Expand, but Nutrition Is Left Behind



  • BeTheChangeBeTheChange Raw Newbie

    I don’t have time to look at these articles right now, but I completely agree that our food is far less nutritious. I mean, we did not use chemical pesticides until about 60 years ago! And, while they cooked everything, portion sizes were MUCH smaller and meals more generally balanced. Now, our portion sizes are colossal and filled with many foods, much of which contain some amount of soy or corn, both terribly unhealthy because of the GMOs. Etc etc etc AH! I could keep writing, as I have a lot to say on this topic, but I have to run! more later…!

    What scares me is that the USDA and FDA can’t be trusted anymore at all. And since I don’t trust their food pyramid and 2000-cal/day nutrition labels, how the hell am I supposed to trust that what they label as organic actually is?

  • FOR REAL. This is why I shop at the year round farmers market, and my local co-op. It’s scary. AND I’m starting to grow my own produce. This is what we all need to do…

    I completely agree …

  • Meditating – Thanks a bunch for all the articles.

    BeTheChange – Say it Like it Is! I completely agree!

    I find myself having the very same thought when I am buying some of my produce at the store. How are we to trust what the USDA and FDA label as organic? This has been on my mind a lot lately. We are growing some organic ourselves and buying from our local farmers in the area. But for some things, I do end up going to the store. I cannot help but wonder and asking how do I know this is really what they say it is. Really!!!

    But do not forget to ask your local farmers questions. Are they growing truly organic? Ask questions about seeds, dirt, fertilizers, etc.. Learn where your food is coming from.

  • Simplyraw—so true. I find myself having these same thoughts. I was talking with a friend who worked at Safeway a while back, how I didn’t believe that their “organic” section was truly organic…she said, “that’s illegal though!” Sure. May be illegal, but since when has the government ever cared about that? If it gets them money, it’s ok for them.

    I really don’t know who to trust anymore. And it’s also very true that even at the farmers market one needs to demonstrate caution!! I’m very picky about who I buy from and I always talk to the farmers…there are so many people though out there that walk into a health food store and think that ANYTHING they pick up is “healthy”!

    I really have to tame myself when it comes to talking about this, because I can go on and on and on,(as we all can, I’m sure…)

    I love everyone’s insight here. It’s refreshing, comforting, and empowering. THANKS GUYS…

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    I was on a farmers forum a while ago and they were all saying that other farmers were going organic for the money and they didn’t really care of believe in the principles behind it. They were saying that they are allowed to use chemicals, it is just less than for regular farming…They might of just been venting bs but I can’t say the supermarket organic food is really any good. The organic food from our local veggie co-op is marvellous though.

    I did a years of an environmantal science degree a few years back, our lecturer said that organic farming means that they use 30% less chemicals than regular… again he might have been mistaken. Does anyone know the facts for sure and not just the marketing hype out there???

  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    I don’t know for sure, but a friend of mine said that she has read a lot of things about how a lot of things are labelled as organic when they really aren’t. Also, to be organic (this part I know), the farmer is supposed to use organic seeds IF AVAILABLE. That makes me think/wonder about GMOs – I wonder if some farmers use GMO seeds & then it gets labelled organic just because they obeyed the rule about how many chemicals they use? I don’t know for sure… As for farmers growing organic for the money, that’s right on! I have noticed things like Frito-Lay has “all natural” doritos & cheetos, Tostitos now has organic tortilla chips, etc. I’m going with what my holistic health lady said – These companies are just jumping on the organic bandwagon for the money. I’m going to stick with the companies that have always done it that way. (Like organic blue corn tortilla chips from Garden of Eatin’ for my son instead of Tostitos, organic veggies from Earthbound Farms instead of the newer organic brands I have never seen until the last year or two, etc.)

  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    Oh, yeah – and our soils are getting super depleted, because nothing is ever given back to the soil. That is why the gardening I do is partly to grow food and partly to grow soil :) I put my food scraps into the garden soil, and we gather leaves from all over the neighborhood to shred & put into our soil. Where I live is an old riverbed, so people joke that they are really good at growing rocks! :D Very true – rocks & clay. The area my parents have used for gardening, though, is improving because of my dad’s hard work in sifting out the rocks (he built a little machine to help shake the dirt through a grate & leave the rocks on top!), gathering & shredding leaves, & digging the dirt up to mix everything in, along with my mom keeping kitchen scraps & putting them into the garden, as well. If it were up to me, yards would be replaced by big organic gardens so we could all be more self-reliant :)

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    Much as I love city living, I’m finding myself more and more wanting a garden to grow my own food.

  • I agree, today’s foods are less nutritioius, and they are almost tasteless!!! (compare a wild strawberry – if you find one! – and strawberries for usual grocery).

  • MeganTheVegan – You are so right. Just because it says it is organic does not mean it is so.

    A good example of this is Horizon Milk. I know it is not raw produce, but it does make our point. It even goes as far as to tell us… how Horizon Organic’s parent company, Dean Foods, also bought out Silk, the leading organic soy milk brand in the United States. Dean Foods has pushed for lower organic standards in the United States and to allow industrial-style production to be called “organic.” http://www.naturalnews.com/021763.html

    Wal-Mart Charged with Selling Nonorganic Food as Organic http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/articl…

    I read this in the following article…. http://www.mindfully.org/Food/Organic-Food-Rule…

    Manufacturers expect that consumers’ confidence in uniform processing standards will translate to more willingness to pay higher prices.

    “That’s one of the reasons companies like Heinz have entered this category,” said Michael Vaszily, brand manager for Heinz’s organic ketchup. “We’re really hoping to make it more mainstream.”

    Oh! You will love what I read in this article. (being sarcastic) http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/articl…

    “there’s a reluctance to test final organic product lest it opens up the organic industry to unfair competition from conventional products which could be marketed as chemical free once they hit the store shelf.”

    Here is a article I found that shows the three different levels of organic labels. If you go to this link they also have further information for Europe and Japan.

    Organic Labels Come in Different Shapes and Sizes http://www.thedailygreen.com/going-green/3979

    - “100% Organic”: Can only contain organic ingredients, meaning no antibiotics, hormones, genetic engineering, radiation or synthetic pesticides or fertilizers can be used. Can display the USDA organic logo and/or the specific certifying agent’s logo.

    - “Organic”: Contains 95% organic ingredients, with the balance coming from ingredients on the approved National List. These products can also display the USDA organic logo and/or the certifier’s logo.

    - “Made with Organic Ingredients”: Must be made with at least 70% organic ingredients, three of which must be listed on the package, and the balance must be on the National List. These products may display the certifier’s logo but not the USDA organic logo.

    Here is the link for Europe… http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/qual/organic/in…

    Angie -

    I ran a cross this article and thought you might find it interesting as well.

    “Buying Organic: See Which of the Country’s Largest Food Producers are Behind your Favorite Organic Snacks” http://awesome.goodmagazine.com/features/009/00…

    “The Organic Myth” http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06…

    You can get a good source of organic information and news from the following sites:

    www.organicconsumers.org (This is and awesome site. Full of info.)



    When searched for organic labeling found…. http://www.thedailygreen.com/search/fast_search…

  • Something else to consider…

    A study from the University of Alberta has concluded that the environmental impact of food miles ranked up by organic produce cancels out the benefits of growing it according to organic principals in the first place. http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/articl…

    By the way, what I find scary is some local farmers are not aware of Monsanto/GMO seeds. Which makes me question their produce. So, I have learned to ask questions.

    I also read an article where some organic farmers were inspected and found to look suspicious when their crops did not look any different from the conventional grown crops. In one case the inspector ended up finding lots of Round-Up stored away in a shed on the organic farm.

    But personally, I really think it is going to have to come down eventually to people coming together. Learning to grow our own community grown produce/food supply.

    The real Good Life: An entire village turns against supermarkets and grows its own food http://www.propeller.com/viewstory/2008/04/16/v…

    The only thing holding most of us back I believe is…How to get started?

  • Is Organic Food More Nutritious? http://www.organicconsumers.org/organic/organic…

    In this article, you will read…. about recent preliminary evidence suggests that the levels of certain nutrients, especially vitamin C, some minerals and some polyphenols – naturally occurring antioxidants that may help bolster the immune system – are higher in organically grown crops.

    And how the Organic Trade Association has created the nonprofit Center for Organic Education and Promotion to finance research that could verify what small-scale research may suggest: organic food may provide greater health benefits than conventional food.

    But as you continue to read the article towards the end there are some statements made that are quite intriguing. And once again shows Monsanto’s involvement.

    Within the article you will find that a certain Dr. Avery believes the following…

    Organic foods, Mr. Avery said, “are clearly no safer, no more nutritious, no more healthful – there are zero advantages for consumers.”

    However, you also will learn….

    When pressed to be more specific, Mr. Avery whose organization has received financing from Monsanto, DowElanco and the Ag-Chem Equipment Company, which are involved in conventional agriculture and biotechnology, did not offer further criticism.

    My thought – Interesting Connections.

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    SIMPLY RAW - It is not surprising to find a mole in there trying to make their point.

    One of the things I discovered reading these articles is that fertilizers, which force the vegetables/fruits to develop ahead of their natural cycle, limit the crop’s opportunity to develop their nutrients. Minerals in these foods come from the earth and minerals are being depleted by farming practices. However; vitamins and antioxidants are part of the growth process and forced, accelerated growth, along with harvesting crops early and forcing them to ripen in transport, retards the production of vitamins and antioxidants in these foods. I had read awhile back that back that tomatoes that are harvested with the vine in tact continue to ripen naturally and therefore have more vitamins. This explains why the previous statement could bet true.

    Reading this information makes me feel better about my attempts to grow to my own food and purchase organic, heirloom seeds. I am not sure if the seeds from these nutritionally depleted vegetables are compromised or not. I decided to buy heirloom crop seeds from a small, family-run seed business that has focused on preserving the integrity of the crop. I also read that hydroponic foods are not as nutritious as soil raised crops so although my planters have the ability to be used in a hydroponic environment, I am going to use soil to grow my foods. I hope this works as planned because it will make me feel assured about the quality of the food I grow and I can also be proactive in trying to address concerns about my food supply.

    As far as what organic means, I understand that Codex is slowly eroding the definition of organic so that agribiz can jump on board and reap higher profits without really changing their ways.

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