Nutrients in food

Anything to do with diet and nutrition has always been close to my heart and something I will continue to take an interest in. Not only are fruit and vegetables fundamental, but most importantly they form the basis of nutrition. Unfortunately, the stark truth is that what we eat on our plates as far as fruit and vegetables are concerned, may not be as nutritious as we think.

Modern farming, uses artificial fertilisers and pesticides to encourage plant growth, but robs the soil of its nutrients without replacing them. The fertilisers and pesticides the farmers often use, contain phosphates, nitrogen and potassium that stick to the minerals in the soil and with over-farming.

This adds to the problems of food being produced, not having their full complement of nutrients. Also because of extended storage time, nutrients will vary depending on the produce, so it’s always an advantage to buy local seasoned produce that can be consumed quickly.

Organic produce is likely to contain more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which will help keep us healthier for longer, although organic food is more expensive and in less demand because it’s more costly to produce. Although farmers know organic food is better for us, they seem reluctant to produce it, because it’s too expensive to produce.

Foods that have been processed and manufactured, also rob our food of vitamins. In the refining process, rice, flour and sugar lose just over 75% of chromium, zinc and manganese. Other nutrients such as essential fats are not used in this process because they decrease shelf life.

It’s better to eat organic where we can and while it’s more expensive, the benefits outweigh the costs. Buying non-organic produce like bananas or oranges, probably doesn’t matter as much as tomatoes or any fruit or vegetables that you don’t peel before eating.

It has to be peace of mind and that is at least something to think about.


30 Dec, 2010

8 thoughts on “Nutrients in food

  1. I definitely agree with what you’re saying. So many chemicals and pesticides are put into fruit and vegetables these days. When we have something that hasn’t been laden with chemicals, I believe we can taste the difference.

    1. Larissa, it’s great hearing from you. Thank you for posting on the site. You are totally right in what you say, I too can taste the difference in organic food to non-organic food.

  2. It is true that organics cost more but that’s because the farmer can’t stock as many animals on their farms as the grass/crops won’t be as productive and grow slower.

    True that nitrogen comes from the animals faeces and their urine produces urea, another natural product that the farmer can purchase from the abattoirs. It’s in the process in breaking down these animals’ natural bi-products that they feed on intestinal worms into their gut and the farmer by law, has to drench their stock to kill all tape worms and other nasty bugs otherwise we, the consumer will get extremely sick… farmers here in NZ are now using more liquid seaweed as a completely organic form of nitrogen to spray their crops as it’s even better than phosphates, as phosphate rock is a non renewable resource and getting more expensive to buy.

    Like you Ilana, I to believe organic foods are far better for us and have far more flavour, more than some non organic, vegetables; fruits and meats but it’s supply and demand that will make organic produce less expensive.

    Its like our cell-phones, as twenty years ago they were heaps more expensive and less features to use… The same will happen to our foods with more people asking for organic products in our supermarkets, we just need to ask for them.

    Taking your comments one step further we, Wilma and I are now buying whole foods… milk straight from the cow and eggs from farmers as well as vegetables from the roadside stalls that are all organically grown and not from supermarkets, its all up to us.

    1. Yes of course Mike, it is all up to the individual, but hopefully the more people that buy organic foods, the less farmers will charge the supermarkets. I believe it is and has to be the way forward. Organic food will keep us healthier for longer, that is my view anyway. Thanks for the additional information, it helps to get information out.

  3. Good information. I think also that if people organic it will encourage more production and may even decrease the cost.

    My aunt and her family always have a huge garden every summer. Some of the stuff is taken to the local farmers market and sold and the rest is used for family.

    It is nice to have home grown and you really can taste the difference.

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