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<p>So I read in a magazine the other day that broccoli is treated with fertilizer that helps it grow quickly so that it can be harvested and sold. As a result it only has 35% of the nutrition, I think it said, than broccoli had in 1950. Does anyone know anything about this?  Am I the last one to find this out or is it totally unfounded?</p>
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<p>Does this mean I have to grow EVERYTHING I eat for it to be nutritionally sound? Because I really can't do that, and organic is expensive!</p>
 

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<p>it's not just about it growing too fast - the chemical fertilizers deplete the nutrients in the soil.  basically kills all the good, living things in the soil that make it soil, and replace it with just the chemical nutrients that are present in the fertilizer.  so only food that is grown without chemical fertilizers is going to have a proper level of nutritive value.  if you think about it, if you have to eat 3x as much conventionally grown broccoli to get the same amount of nutrition out of it, the organic broccoli is a bargain as it's certainly not 3x as expensive.  depending on where you live, farmer's markets are a good answer to this problem - most of it is not going to be certified organic, but it's not about federal laws and certifications, it's about how the food is grown.  and most farmer's will bore you to tears explaining it all to you if you ask ;)  i know my husband would LOL  what we don't grow ourselves we buy (or barter) from other farmers, and we do so in large bulk amounts so that we can can and freeze enough to get us through.  that's not to say that i never buy a bag of frozen veggies, we do usually run out.  but i figure if the bulk of our food is full of goodness, the occasional thing here and there isn't likely to kill us.</p>
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<p>if you're interested in learning more about this kind of the thing, the industrial food chain, etc. i strongly recommend Michael Pollan's books, particularly The Omnivore's Dilemma, and In Defense of Food.  Lots of very good information there.</p>
 

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<p>I think I read the same article & remember being surprised, too!  I agree with what pixiepunk said about the soil's nutrients. </p>
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<p>I don't really know what to do about it though!  We eat some organic, but can't possibly afford to go 100% & definitely can't grow all our own, either.  Just do what you can, I guess!  Eating broccoli with less nutrition is still better than eating a box of candy, so that's something, right!?!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>blumooned</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279116/the-food-isn-t-as-nutritious-because-it-grows-too-fast#post_16045024"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
 Eating broccoli with less nutrition is still better than eating a box of candy, so that's something, right!?!</div>
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<br><br><p><span><img alt="lol.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif"></span> We think in the same way! I try to get organic but if it's not possible for budget or availability reasons I figure it's still real food as opposed to a bunch of processed junk. It is scary though, I was reading an article that cited government comparisons of food nutrients between like 1950 and now, and they had fallen drastically. It's interesting when you consider that our grandmothers, for example, didn't take prenatal vitamins and seemed to manage - was their food just so much more nutritious?</p>
 

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<p>I would say that's hooey.  Chemical fertilizers are just synthetic versions of the same stuff that is in regular soil.  When you use compost to fertilize, microorganisms break down the stuff into chemical compounds the plant takes up.  A chem fert is just skipping that step.  I've seen compost fed only plants grow just as fast as chem ones, so there's another bs.  Farming depletes certain soil nutrients, therefore the need for chem ferts.  The components of the plant wouldn't change depending on the source.  If I drank only dr pepper my body would still be 90% water, even though I only drank it in chemical form.</p>
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<p>Chem ferts feed the world sad to say.</p>
 

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<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ursusarctos</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279116/the-food-isn-t-as-nutritious-because-it-grows-too-fast#post_16046210"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>blumooned</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279116/the-food-isn-t-as-nutritious-because-it-grows-too-fast#post_16045024"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
 Eating broccoli with less nutrition is still better than eating a box of candy, so that's something, right!?!</div>
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<br><br><p><span><img alt="lol.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif"></span> We think in the same way! I try to get organic but if it's not possible for budget or availability reasons I figure it's still real food as opposed to a bunch of processed junk. It is scary though, I was reading an article that cited government comparisons of food nutrients between like 1950 and now, and they had fallen drastically. It's interesting when you consider that our grandmothers, for example, didn't take prenatal vitamins and seemed to manage - was their food just so much more nutritious?</p>
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<br><br><p>It also used to be said that women gave a tooth for a baby.  They were more malnourished than we are.  How many little old ladies have you seen that have lost 6 inches in height to osteoperosis vs say, your mom, who benefitted from good nutriton and health science, and is a fit 60?</p>
 

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<p>With broccoli in particular, I've read that the young florets are the most nutritious, so maybe if they're grown too fast, they get harvested after the most nutritious stage??</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>homemademom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279116/the-food-isn-t-as-nutritious-because-it-grows-too-fast#post_16046789"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>With broccoli in particular, I've read that the young florets are the most nutritious, so maybe if they're grown too fast, they get harvested after the most nutritious stage??</p>
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<br><br><p>Flowering sucks a lot of nutrients out of plants.  That would be the reason younger florets and stems are more nutritious.</p>
 

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<p>Im thinking maybe the lost nutrition is protein...have you seen what likes to live in broccoli au naturel?<span><img alt="grossedout.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/grossedout.gif" style="width:20px;height:20px;"></span></p>
 

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<p>My mom is a small, thin 50, thanks ;) And, even though only one of her four pregnancies included prenatal vitamins, she has all her teeth and no sign of osteoporosis. Oh, and she has also spurned "health science" (if by that you mean government-sponsored nutritionism) most of her life, by choosing to be vegetarian and eat organic way before these were acknowledged to be healthy choices.</p>
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<p>My grandmothers are both healthy 70+year olds, and neither of them lost teeth with childbearing either, because they had plenty to eat and access to dental care.</p>
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<p>Many women 100+ years ago lost teeth because they didn't get enough food and lacked access to dental care. Period. It had little to nothing to do with modern nutritional knowledge, which, I might add, is conflicting and incomplete. And women still get osteoporosis, a lot - the rates in the US are sky high. </p>
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<p>As for chemical versus organic fertilizer, if you read about organic/biodynamic farming you will find that it does not deplete the soil in the same way as conventional farming, because organic fertilizer (that is, compost and animal feces), combined with less intensive farming methods, actually replenishes the nutrients in the soil.</p>
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<p>You may be right about chemical fertilizer feeding the world, though there are some who would disagree. I don't know, because I haven't researched that area in depth. However, conventional farming as it is now simply isn't a permanent solution, as agricultural runoff (read: pesticides and fertilizers) are poisoning the world's water supplies, which are extremely important both for food and for atmospheric regulation. Right where I live, in fact, farming pollution is the biggest contributor to the ongoing death of the Baltic Sea. Modern farming practices also contribute to the ridiculous rate of desertification of arable land all around the world. And if there's less land to grow food on, no amount of fertilizers will solve the problem. So there needs to be a middle way. I'm not at all against technology helping us get there, but standard conventional farming as it is simply isn't sustainable.<br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>plantnerd</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279116/the-food-isn-t-as-nutritious-because-it-grows-too-fast#post_16046650"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ursusarctos</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279116/the-food-isn-t-as-nutritious-because-it-grows-too-fast#post_16046210"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>blumooned</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279116/the-food-isn-t-as-nutritious-because-it-grows-too-fast#post_16045024"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br>
 Eating broccoli with less nutrition is still better than eating a box of candy, so that's something, right!?!</div>
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<br><br><p><span><img alt="lol.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif"></span> We think in the same way! I try to get organic but if it's not possible for budget or availability reasons I figure it's still real food as opposed to a bunch of processed junk. It is scary though, I was reading an article that cited government comparisons of food nutrients between like 1950 and now, and they had fallen drastically. It's interesting when you consider that our grandmothers, for example, didn't take prenatal vitamins and seemed to manage - was their food just so much more nutritious?</p>
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<br><br><p>It also used to be said that women gave a tooth for a baby.  They were more malnourished than we are.  How many little old ladies have you seen that have lost 6 inches in height to osteoperosis vs say, your mom, who benefitted from good nutriton and health science, and is a fit 60?</p>
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<p>The issue that I've read, that makes a lot more sense than "chemical fertilizers deplete the soil" is this:  Plants with bug damage have much higher levels of nutrients than plants without it.  The researchers suggest that's the main reason organic vegetables show higher nutrient levels than conventional - because there is more insect activity.</p>
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<p>Most vitamins in our food are there as part of compounds that the plant releases to protect itself from predation by insects and animals.  A plant that is "under attack" will have higher levels of those compounds, and thus higher levels of many vitamins.   So -- you don't just want organic, apparently.  You want field-raised, pockmarked plants, not perfect hydroponic ones :)</p>
 

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<p>That's really interesting because when I was wondering why my garden veggies and greens were so puny (turns out i was just unfairly comparing them to the bloated supermarket ones) I read that the best vegetables come from plants that grow really fast out of the ground.  If they grow out slow, then they stay small.  I just took that to mean that I needed to add more compost and supplements like manure and stuff to the soil.  Maybe my slow, puny veggies are more healthy?  Interesting to ponder...</p>
 

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<p>This is really interesting to read. It's got me thinking about trying for a single family house with a larger yard when we move in April, so that we can grow more stuff! Also if you think about it, people have been eating "bad" foods for centuries, maybe not the processed junk that we eat now, but for example, on the one side of my family, greens seasoned with hamhocks/fatback, fried chicken just to name two typical, common foods, but yet my great great grandmother (who was a slave to boot so you KNOW she wasn't eating the cream of the crop) lived a VERY long life. My grandma always used to say that the food tasted better when she was a girl...so mayeb it was because they were growing their own greens in the backyard, and raising their own chickens, so the nutrition aspect of it counteracted the unhealthful frying adn excess fat, whereas now we are still eating that stuff, but in a super processed, nutritionally devoid manner, which makes us obese and diabetic and generally unhealthy. Even in the 1800's most farm/homestead families ate three big meals a day, and they included foods that now we would consider "bad" or ot only eat occasionally like bacon, cakes and pies, etc. obviously they were not taking multivitamins out on the Oregon Trail. yet now people do all kinds of diets and programs and supplements and still struggle with nutrition. very itneresting.</p>
 
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