Part of the reason for this is that the nutritional content of the conventional food supply has been rapidly declining for the last 100 or so years. Due to our modern farming and production practices which has led to increasingly poor soil conditions on modern farms and the over-reliance on chemical solutions, (usually petroleum or industrial waste-based,) pesticides and fertilizers. I believe this is a crisis that is getting worse and not better. In fact, the worse the depleted soil gets, the more modern farmers rely on potent chemicals to grow and keep the pests at bay on the very produce that makes its way to our supermarket shelves. In the past 50 to 100 years plowing, planting, and harvesting equipment have made life easier for farmers. It has also made it possible for farmers to work much larger farms growing much more food then ever before.
But everything (even good things) have consequences, right?
. These larger farms now produce far more food than is needed by the people in the surrounding communities, so at first the fruits and vegetables were transported to other nearby areas. More recently, with the advent of better trucks, trains and ships, commercial produce has begun to be transported thousands of miles and even globally!
At first glance this seems like a good thing. Let's send food all over the world and feed everyone! How can that be a bad thing? But the truth is that an unintended consequence has been the marked reduction in both the nutritional value and flavor of this long-hauled produce. Fruits and vegetables can now spend days or even weeks in transport and storage. This diminishes their phytonutrient content and natural sugars making them taste far more acidic, bitter, or just plain unappealing.
This is part of why I am becoming a Phytonutrient Gardener! Stay tuned to this page to learn more about improving both the flavor and nutritional value of the foods you eat!