Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

The Ugly Truth About Food

At any grocery store in North America right now, there are shoppers cruising the isles, making thoughtful choices about their family's nutrition. Armed with the latest information about health, choosing foods high in nutrition is a primary goal. Unfortunately, no matter how carefully one shops, there is often little nutrition in the foods we consume. In fact, it is nearly impossible to consume adequate nutrients through diet alone in our modern world.

What causes our foods to be devoid of nutrition? There are many causes, primarily modern farming, storage, and preservation methods of food. Let's take a look at why this happens.

First, it is widely acknowledged that soils in North America have been depleted of many nutrients since the 1930's due to loss of topsoil and reliance on chemical fertilizers. Farmers replace the nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus depleted by agriculture in order to achieve optimum plant growth. However, little attention is paid to replacing trace minerals lost in soils.

Consumer demand for attractive produce also plays a role. This demand has resulted in plant breeding for appearance and storage longevity, ignoring nutritional quality. Fruits and vegetables are often picked in the green stage, ripening in transit to the store. Again, this prevents the production of nutrients which often occurs in the ripening stage while on the plant itself. One example of this is seen in fruits, where the cartenoid levels increase as fruit ripens naturally.

Produce now travels an average of 1500-2000 miles from farm to market, often in refrigerated trucks. There have been few studies done on the effects of storage on produce, especially in the area of overall phytonutrient levels. However, what we do know is most fresh vegetables steadily loose nutrients when stored in cold, dark conditions. Some types of produce are more vulnerable to these losses than others, losing fifty percent or more of phytonutrients in as little as five days storage.

Food preservation methods often play a role in nutrient depletion. When properly blanched prior to freezing, most-but not all-foods retain more nutrition when frozen as compared to canning methods. Interestingly, the container used in canning also makes a difference. Foods preserved in cans often retain more nutrients than those in glass or plastic containers as many nutrients are depleted by exposure to light.

Preparation methods further affects nutritional quality of food. Chopping, grinding, and heating foods depletes nutrients. Common preservatives added in processing cause depletion of nutrients and the use of antimicrobial preservatives may decrease the bacteria normally present in the colon, impeding the body's ability to absorb what nutrients are left in food after processing.

There has been very little research done comparing nutrients in food before and after processing. The result is that nutritional labels are calculated from unprocessed foods using what are called "nutrient retention factors". However, these formulas do not consider all aspects of nutrient loss and have been shown to be inaccurate in representing nutrient levels in foods after processing.

So what can be done to ensure adequate nutrition in our diets? The most sensible approach would be to eat only fresh, organically raised fruits and vegetables picked from the garden just prior to consumption, eaten in the whole, raw state. Of course, this is not possible for the vast majority of people. While eating foods as close to the ideals is a goal, it is no longer realistic to expect diet alone to provide adequate nutrition. Some form of supplementation is necessary.

In order to incorporate the proper nutrients, in the optimal amounts in ratio to other nutrients and in the most bioavailable form, great care must be taken in the selection of all supplements. Price is not necessarily an indication of quality. Taking the maximum amount safely possible is not a guarantee of maximum benefit, either. Due diligence is required in the selection process. Know that what you are taking is truly of benefit to your body.

Good nutrition is essential for healthy living, but obtaining sufficient nutrition from diet alone is nearly impossible due to modern farming, storage and preparation methods demanded by consumers. Careful use of supplementation is therefore a requirement for health.

Karen Walker is a wellness consultant and author. She works from her home in western Montana. She and her husband, Lynn McCormick, maintain a website to help those whose lives have been upset by catastrophic health events.



EatPlayGrow class teaches kids the importance of nutrition
(WZZM) -- Nutrition is key to leading a healthy lifestyle and it's never too early to start learning the basics. The Grand Rapids Public Library's EatPlayGrow series helps parents teach their kids the importance of good nutrition. EatPlayGrow combines ...

Home delivered, congregate meals provide more than nutrition to older Iowans
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines
Catherine Hoppenworth speaks with Horizons volunteer coordinator Anna Ronnebaum during her Meals on Wheels delivery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Thursday, November 19, 2015. Ronnebaum says that the visits are a good chance to check in with seniors, ...

Reno Gazette Journal

Diet Detective: Checking in on airline food nutrition
Reno Gazette Journal
This is why each year I contact the airlines to request nutrition information for the foods they serve economy-class passengers on domestic flights. All the airlines could do better with their snack choices – there is no clear leader. JetBlue and Delta ...

and more »

OK! Magazine

The Best 100-Calorie Snacks, Featuring SlimFast Advanced Nutrition
OK! Magazine
Don't let mindless snacking derail your fitness goals. Contributing editor Erin Lovelace serves up some healthy snacks that are 100 calories or less, including new SlimFast Advanced Nutrition 100-Calorie Snacks. Tags: You May Like. YOLO Style.

The Free Press

Federal nutrition guidelines lead to excess waste of school lunches
The Free Press
Each morning in October, more than 4,600 Lenoir County students ate their breakfast at school. In order to meet requirements set by the federal Child Nutrition Act, most, if not all of those students were given a piece of fruit or a vegetable to go ...

6 Things All Nutrition Experts Agree On
A vegetarian, a paleo dieter and a Mediterranean Diet proponent walk into a conference…sounds like the start of a joke, but it actually resulted in some common ground between nutrition and food systems experts last week. Put together by food and ...
The Food Cops and Their Ever-Changing Menu of TaboosWall Street Journal

all 2 news articles »

Casper Star-Tribune Online

Nutrition, recruiting benefit most from $5 million UW athletics match
Casper Star-Tribune Online
When the NCAA deregulated its nutrition rules in April 2014, Wyoming took advantage by expanding its sustenance offerings. It paid for the additional nourishment with the help of the state's $5 million match of Cowboy Joe Club donations for the 2015-16 ...

Inter Press Service

Better Nutrition for Better Lives
Inter Press Service
Jomo Kwame Sundaram is the Coordinator for Economic and Social Development at the Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, and received the 2007 Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. ROME, Nov 26 2015 (IPS) ...

School Menus and Senior Nutrition
Sioux City Journal
Persons 60 years of age and older and their spouses may participate in the elderly nutrition program in Siouxland. In Sioux City, meals are served Tuesday-Friday at Riverside Lutheran Church, 1817 Riverside Blvd.; on Monday at Riverside Gardens' ...


5 ways Canada can impact global nutrition
Good nutrition is a prerequisite for optimal health and education and is a key contributor to economic development. This problem exists in every country on the planet — yet the strategies or high-impact interventions available to resolve it are not ...

and more »

Google News


Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © LLC. All rights reserved.