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Can’t we get all of the vitamins we need in our food?

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Can’t we get all of the vitamins we need in our food?

No.

Independent studies conducted in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and many other countries show that the nutrient content of our food has fallen substantially over the past few decades.

The tables below show the fall in the nutrient content of broccoli and potatoes sold in Canada between 1951 and 1999:

Broccoli, Raw, 3 spears, 93g. 100/93=1.08

Calcium (mg)
Iron (mg)
Vitamin A (I.U.)
Vitamin C (mg)
Thiamine (mg)
Riboflavin (mg)
Niacin (mg)
1951
130.00
1.30
3500
104.0
0.10
0.21
1.10
1972
87.78
0.78
2500
90.0
0.09
0.20
0.78
1999
48.30
0.86
1542
93.5
0.06
0.12
1.07
% Change
-62.85
-33.85
-55.94
-10.10
-40.00
-42.86
-2.73

 

Potatoes, one potato, peeled before boiling, 136g. 100/136=.74

Calcium (mg)
Iron (mg)
Vitamin A (I.U.)
Vitamin C (mg)
Thiamine (mg)
Riboflavin (mg)
Niacin (mg)
1951
11.00
0.70
20.00
17.00
0.11
0.04
1.20
1972
5.74
0.49
0.00
16.39
0.09
0.03
1.15
1999
7.97
0.30
0.00
7.25
0.09
0.02
1.74
% Change
-27.55
-57.14
-100
-57.35
-18.18
-50.00
-45.00

 

For more information:

Can a healthy diet be sufficient in today’s world?

United States

Vegetables Without Vitamins. Life Extension magazine, March 2001.

Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999. Donald R. Davis, PhD, FACN, Melvin D. Epp, PhD and Hugh D. Riordan, MD. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 23, No. 6, 669-682 (2004).

Modern Miracle Men – Article from Cosmopolitan presented to the 74th United States Congress by Senator Duncan U. Fletcher (D-FL) in June 1936.

Canada

Nutrient Changes in Vegetables and Fruits, 1951 to 1999. Compiled by Jeffrey Christian.

Apparent Nutrient Changes in Government Data for a Selection of Fruits & Vegetables: 1951 vs 1999. L. A. Piché PhD RD, Associate Professor, Nutrition Program, Brescia University College.

United Kingdom

The mineral depletion of foods available to us as a nation (1940-2002) – A review of the 6th Edition of McCance and Widdowson. Thomas D. Nutr Health. 2007;19(1-2):21-55.

Meat and diary: where have all the minerals gone? Food Magazine 72, pub. by The Food Commission, UK. Jan/Mar 2006.

The Root of All Disease

Netherlands

Dutch vegetables have fewer vitamins. DutchNews.nl. Wednesday 16 April 2008

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