FOOD: Have fruits and vegetables become less nutritious?

Published: December 12, 2012

AMNEET AULAKH
VANCOUVER DESI

I hear people say “I eat healthy,” “I buy organic foods.” If you think about it, the concept of “organic food” is so funny. Food that comes from nature should be “organic.”

So what does it mean when we have two kind of foods, organic and not organic? Have you travelled to your home country or perhaps to Europe and found that the food tasted much better there? Why?

Another interesting thing I have noticed is that our fruits and vegetables are huge and look perfect. The eggs we buy are huge – “extra-large” eggs. How can you make an egg large, extra-large, or small? Of course, living here and shopping for vegetables here, one would never notice the difference. I really became aware of it when my cousin moved here from India a few years ago and we went grocery shopping. She was surprised to see how large and beautiful fruits and vegetables were here. One of my friends moved to Hong Kong for a year and she noticed the same difference. I read somewhere that the focus is on making the food look large and pretty, not the nutrient content.

The concern about the quality of our food is a worldwide concern. We like to buy nice looking, flawless things. Mother Nature doesn’t make flawless things.

Here’s another story: I went to a grocery store and was looking for bananas. One of the store staff told me that they were being fumed with a gas and will be “ripe,” or ready to bring out, in a day or two. The fruits and vegetables are picked unripe and stored in boxes for months before they get to the grocery store shelf.

Crops grown decades ago were much richer in nutrients than what we eat today. Modern intensive agricultural methods have stripped the nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows. The soil is depleted of micro nutrients and as a result the crop is, too.

Have you noticed how strawberries and tomatoes have no taste? Another concern is the origin of genetically modified organisms (GMO) – super crops that are resistant to all insects and pests, simply put. Is the human body “resistant” to it, too? People are developing allergies to gluten (wheat) more and more.

I would say that all these measures were taken with good intention so that people are fed in an affordable way. So what can we do about it? Stay tuned for my next article.

Amneet Aulakh works as a Clinical Pharmacist Specialist. She has an interest in health maintenance and nutrition. Her passion is to educate and inspire people, empowering them to enjoy optimum health. She can be reached by email at amneet.aulakh@yahoo.com

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