A light at the end of the tunnel
I promised this story is not all gloom & doom. There's a light at the end of the tunnel.
A bright shiny one. Just be patient.
But, let's just say,
that for one magical moment,
all the pesticides and herbicides currently being used in the market were deemed safe for consumption.
I would like to know (and I bet you do too) whether or not these same fruits and veggies regardless of their health detriments actually solved the problem of human hunger.
Did they at the very least, nourish us?
Well, this is where these studies come in handy...
The research shows that total loss of Vitamin C (measured as ascorbic acid) over a number of days. In green peas, for instance, 61% of its Vit C is lost in just 1-2 days!
The most comprehensive study that I've found on the nutrition in commercially grown plants can be found in this one 48-page mind-blowing document:
Nutrient Levels in US Food Supply Eroded by High Yields
If you would really like to understand why you need to eat 8 oranges today to get the same amount of nutrition you got from 1 orange in the 1950's, you must read this report.
The study above begins by saying,
And as famed "gangsta" gardener Ron Finley puts it,
"If it's in our food, it's in our soils."
And if our soils are depleted of nutrients, it's a vicious downward spiral.
Food Nutrtion & Food Portions
When I first moved to America (from the Philippines) I was shocked at the amount of food that was served in restaurants.
At first, I could never finish my food and felt super guilty for having leftovers which I would gladly have given to the street urchins back home in Manila.
Then, I started adjusting my eating to the amount of food I received on my plate.
Everything is bigger in America than it is back in the 3rd world.
And in food, it seems like it's all about the yields.
Honestly, it's still all about yields for Dave and I.
We measure our success by the amount of harvest in pounds that we can churn out of our tiny backyard.
Here's a little infogrpahic of what we've managed to grow so far in our tiny 1/40th of an acre backyard:
More than just yields...
But success doesn't always mean big yields.
There are many "yields" in gardening that far outweigh how much we actually eat (and save!)
Some gardening benefits are featured in this photo of our kids raking leaves for mulch in the fall.
We'll tell you more about them later on.
In the meantime,
- This problem about pesticides in our food.
- This problem about nutrient-density in food.
- This is the problem of our largest export.
(What is America's largest export, by the way?)
All these problems,
are problems we can solve!
You and I can do something about them.
1.) We can choose not to buy pesticide grown produce.
2.) Can you guess number 2?
You may know the answer, already.
Hint: According to our colleague, Matt Powers, the answer is
"something money can't buy."
Nicky & Dave