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Vegetables Are Changing With The Times

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We know that alot of things have changed since the 1950’s, including cars, clothing styles, and architecture, but we knew vegetables have also changed?

Today’s eggplants, tomatoes and asparagus are not your mother’s veggies: They have fewer nutrients, according to research presented at a recent meeting of the American Association for Advancement of Science.

Using modern agricultural methods, farmers can grow crops that are more resistant to pests, adapt better to different climates and produce greater yields, but the downside is a compromise in nutritional quality.

Modern crops that grow faster and larger are not necessarily able to acquire nutrients at the same faster rate,” says the study’s lead author, Donald Davis, Ph.D., a researcher associate University of Texas, Austin.

Using data from the U.S. Department of agriculture, Davis compared 43 different garden crops – mostly vegetables but also watermelon and strawberries – and found that foods as a group, six out of 13 nutrients showed significant declines from 1950 to 1999. The nutrients included protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin and ascorbic acid. The declines range from 6% for protein to 38% for riboflavin, a B vitamin important for metabolism.

So what’s a consumer to do? Eat even more fruits and veggies and buy organic when you can. Fruits and buy organic when you can. Fruits and vegetables might not be as nutritious as they used to be but, says Davis “they’re still our richest source ofmany nutrients and phytochemicals.”

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