Looks Great, Less Nutritious?

What’s changed in the vitamin content of store-bought broccoli, tomatoes, and carrots.

Photo courtesy of the USDA

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Eating all your vegetables was a lot better for you in the ’50s. Store-bought veggies weren’t as pretty back then, but according to USDA data, they were packed with a lot more nutrients than their modern counterparts. The likely reason for the nutritional drop is that hybrid crops are often bred for size and color, not nutrients. Below, the stats for a few crops that have gone to seed.

Broccoli

{

Iron

-27%

WHY? Greater “head density” might mean fewer nutrients.

Calcium

-60%

Vitamin A

-52%

 
Tomato

{

Iron

-29%

WHY? Pretty tomatoes taste worse—taste comes from nutrients.

Calcium

-58%

Vitamin A

-46%

 
Carrot

{

Iron

-40%

WHY? Extra vitamin A may come from amped-up orange color.

Calcium

-37%

Vitamin A

+127%

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

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