Looks Great, Less Nutritious?

What’s changed in the vitamin content of store-bought broccoli, tomatoes, and carrots.

Photo courtesy of the USDA

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Eating all your vegetables was a lot better for you in the ’50s. Store-bought veggies weren’t as pretty back then, but according to USDA data, they were packed with a lot more nutrients than their modern counterparts. The likely reason for the nutritional drop is that hybrid crops are often bred for size and color, not nutrients. Below, the stats for a few crops that have gone to seed.

Broccoli

{

Iron

-27%

WHY? Greater “head density” might mean fewer nutrients.

Calcium

-60%

Vitamin A

-52%

 
Tomato

{

Iron

-29%

WHY? Pretty tomatoes taste worse—taste comes from nutrients.

Calcium

-58%

Vitamin A

-46%

 
Carrot

{

Iron

-40%

WHY? Extra vitamin A may come from amped-up orange color.

Calcium

-37%

Vitamin A

+127%

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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