Your fruit and veggies are not as good as they look

My husband was ripping up some paper for the wood stove this evening and in the process found the following item. It takes a long time for the wood stove to get lit sometimes!

From an article in ‘The Prince George Citizen’, July 10, 2006 quoting Thomas Pawlick, an award winning science writer from Kingston, Ontario, author of “The End of Food: How the Food Industry is Destroying our Food Supply – and what we can do about it” published by Greystone Books in Vancouver, BC

Eating five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day may not be enough if the government nutrient tables can be believed. For us to get the same amount of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that our grandparents did or even our parents we would have to eat five times as much or more of the same items. For example, Pawlick says that a fresh tomato bought from the supermarket has 61% less calcium than it did in the 1950’s. Losses in our produce have been as much as 70% and it is because of the way the crops are grown and raised.

The large corporations that supply our supermarkets select their varieties of fruit and vegetables not for their nutrition value but for their appearance and shelf life. Produce must have a uniformity so that every tomato or strawberry looks the same, and they all have to be ripe on the same day so they can be machined harvested.

Imported produce is harvested prematurely and artificially ripened with ethylene gas. This decreases the amount of sugar and flavour in the fruit as opposed to allowing it to ripen on the vine. Pawlick suggests buying locally grown produce, as there is less time between picking and eating therefore more nutrients will still be in the product. The corporate food industry is not interested in our nutrition but we are paying a price in health and so will our children.

While I am sure this is all true, we in Canada have little choice in winter but to buy what is trucked or flown in from warmer climes. It maybe that frozen or canned goods are actually better for you than those in the produce department since they will have been processed at the time of picking, and presumably are ripe at that time.

My husband loves oranges but he says he hasn’t had a really sweet and juicy one for a long time, they are picked too soon, packed and it takes several days or even weeks to get here, so not only are they tasteless, the Vitamin C that they are promoted for has not even developed because they have not the required amount of sunshine.

8 Responses

  1. I would buy local, but all too often, our local produce is outrageously priced! This summer I constantly passed up local berries at the stores because they were too expensive. In the winter, of course, there’s hardly any point buying fruit at all — as you say, it’s often tasteless (and again, overpriced).

  2. Ah yes, we were aware of that … and that is why I’m trying to develop my garden … where plants are actually grown in dirt and not hydroponically or with tons of chemicals be it bug sprays or fertilizers. Because of our short growing season, it IS hard to get the variety. But the taste of what you do grow … no comparison. We buy at the local market in summer if and when we can and buy our eggs locally too. Big difference in home raised chicken eggs too! These new rulings about meat processing make it difficult to get good LOCAL meat. I’m very peeved at all of these laws … in the guise of safety …that are robbing us of our freedoms … even of our freedom to eat GOOD food. The more crap they can shove down us, the sicker we get and the sicker we get the more money they make off of us!

  3. My daughter goes to a dietican due to medical reasons. She told us that they recently released a new Canada’s Food Guide and gave us a copy of it. It is different from the old one, but I still have a hard time getting my daughter to eat everything she is suppose to off of it.

  4. Wonderful post Vic, and Eileen makes some great points in her comment too.

  5. Nice template, Vic. Classy and ageless – like you.
    Will update my link to you ….

  6. We’re lucky enough to have lots of land to grow our own, and two resident fertilzer factories…looking forward to a much bigger and better garden next year. We bought very little produce from June to October. I’m going to grow lots of root veggies for the fall too. Here’s what I eventually aspire to:

  7. It’s always so iffy buying produce in the store. I never really thought about the nutrients so much, but the taste sure leaves something to be desired. We always had a huge garden while I was growing up. It was so much work that I said I would never have a garden. Several years ago I changed my mind. I just wanted some of that wonderful, great tasting, home grown produce.

    I tagged you for a simple game of tag – since I got a new domain and you got a new home for your blog, a few new links can’t hurt.

  8. Vic Grace,

    I grew up in the 50s and agree that food is not like that anymore. It is tasteless and I believe the statistics. A tomato doesn’t taste like it did back then, nor does any other fruit or vegetable. We grew our own food and it tasted great. Today everything is so bland. Mankind is poisoning himself with so many additives and chemicals. Thanks for pointing this out.


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