Are Your Veggies Less Nutritious?

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen — 14 February 2023

In a new feature at the latest “for your entertainment” magazine, National Geographic, there is an amusing piece titled “Fruits and vegetables are less nutritious than they used to be”.  It may be for subscribers only in the U.S., but can also be found here.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Some of you may be confused to hear NatGeo (as it is affectionately known) being referred to as  “a for-your-entertainment” magazine.  You probably think that it is an “almost scientific journal” from the National Geographic Society.

Unfortunately, you would be mostly wrong:

“In September 2015, the National Geographic Society moved the magazine to National Geographic Partners, in which 21st Century Fox held a 73% controlling interest. In December 2017, a deal was announced for Disney to acquire 21st Century Fox, including the interest in National Geographic Partners.  The acquisition was completed in March 2019. NG Media publishing unit was operationally transferred into Disney Publishing Worldwide.”

The Society re-tells this story as: “This joint-venture enterprise combines National Geographic’s global television channels, publications, media, and products and allows us to return a portion of the proceeds from these assets to fund our non-profit work.”  And while I am sure that this joint-venture enterprise is very profitable for the Society, how much (if any) of the venture they own and how much control (if any) over content and message they have is not known. 

Disney Publishing is subsidiary of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, which itself is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company which is “an American multinational, mass media and entertainment conglomerate.” [ Wiki ]  No science there. 

All that said, like PBS Nature programming, the National Geographic brand hires the best nature photographers and videographers in the world and they do absolutely exquisite work – often mind-boggling beautiful.  In my opinion, much of that great work is tainted by the over-voicing of overly sentimental non-scientific claptrap about nature, its animals and its plants, and many of the video offerings are best watched with the sound off.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now, back to the veggies! 

The NatGeo piece carries a sub-title of “Mounting evidence shows that many of today’s whole foods aren’t as packed with vitamins and nutrients as they were 70 years ago, potentially putting people’s health at risk.”  We can classify that statement as “mostly false”. 

There is some truth to the fact that some studies have found that some modern vegetables and grains have lower percentages of some nutrients (consisting of specific vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates) than stored samples from the 1950s.  The differences are generally small and not universal to all vegetables, fruits or grains. 

But, let me cut to the bottom line first, then explain why these much-touted stories add up to a big nothing. 

The best overall evaluation is in a study published in 2004 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (Volume 23, 2004 – Issue 6) titled: “Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999”.  [ .pdf file here ]. 


We compare USDA nutrient content data published in 1950 and 1999 for 13 nutrients and water in 43 garden crops, mostly vegetables. After adjusting for differences in moisture content, we calculate ratios of nutrient contents, R (1999/1950), for each food and nutrient.”

Results: As a group, the 43 foods show apparent, statistically reliable declines (R < 1) for 6 nutrients (protein, Ca, P, Fe, riboflavin and ascorbic acid), but no statistically reliable changes for 7 other nutrients. Declines in the medians range from 6% for protein to 38% for riboflavin. When evaluated for individual foods and nutrients, R-values are usually not distinguishable from 1 with current data.”

And finally:

Conclusions: We suggest that any real declines are generally most easily explained by changes in cultivated varieties between 1950 and 1999, in which there may be trade-offs between yield and nutrient content.

Now, some of the details:

One study on wheat found:   “…there has been a global trend of altered wheat grain quality characterized by an increase in non-structural carbohydrates and an impoverishment in total protein and mineral nutrients concentrations during the last 166 years. This trend has been especially prominent since the 1960s and linked to the introduction of higher yielding short-strawed varieties….”.  They tried very hard to link the minor change to increased CO2 and higher temperatures, but in the end found a shift to short-strawed varieties as a probable cause.  Short-strawed varieties have less tendency to shatter (shattering is when the seed grains, as in wheat and rice, fall to the ground from the stem and are thus lost to harvesting).    This diagram from the study shows the relationship between the introduction of short-strawed wheat varieties and yield:

The short-strawed variety introduction begins in 1968 ( the dashed line in the diagram is drawn at 1950, and not at 1968) and by the 1990s, yield has essentially  more than doubled.  It appears that cultivars in the late 90s thru the turn of the century settled in to a weight for 1000 kernels of 28-42 grams.  This is an indication of kernel size.  In 2010, harvest yield has an eye-balled average of 5 tons per hectare (1 hectare is about 2.5 acres).

In a study of Australian vegetables over time, the authors found it was not possible to compare results with older results due to changes in measurement techniques – a case of apples and oranges:  “In conclusion, this scoping review provides a comprehensive evaluation on the change in iron content of Australian vegetables and legumes. It highlights a paucity of data on iron content over the past 100 years with most being collected between the 1980 and 2018. Based on the available limited data, and due to variations in sampling, analytical techniques and likely differences in growing location and season, no definitive temporal trends could be established.”

There are several other studies mentioned in the NatGeo piece – some promoting biodynamic farming techniques, some just alarmist in nature and intent. 

And one more thing:  The major concern seems to be that if too many people eat only grains and vegetables (become “vegans”), and eat no meat, that they will suffer the effects of malnutrition, especially in the poorest of countries.  Of course, the poorest in all nations already suffer the effects of malnutrition – vegan or not.  And for concerns about vitamin or mineral deficiencies, the salient fact is that all of these can be corrected or prevented with a daily “A-Z  Vitamin and Mineral Supplement” tablet which can be provided at a cost of less than ½ of a U.S. cent per day (0.0037 Euros per day).  That cost is U.S. bulk wholesale – at a grander scale, like a national program, the  cost would be appreciably less.  

That wholesale price comes to $ 1.61 per person per year.  (Less than the cost of a single candy bar in the U.S.)  In India, where much of the concern is centered, a bottle of Coca Cola cost about $ 0.46 (0.43 Euros).

In the real world, this type of intervention is possible. For example, in the mid-2000s, my wife and I organized a nutrition program for school children along the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti – working with the Dominican federal Department of Education. The program provided de-worming medication (manufactured for the program locally) for every elementary school child followed by specially formulated “daily children’s poverty vitamins” [ see this .pdf file for a formulation ]  made available to us through the non-profit Vitamin Angels for the cost of shipping from the manufacturer in the United States which was covered by our organization, LDS Humanitarian Services. The cost of the program was minimal for several years of medication and vitamins for thousands of kids – and mostly consisted of the hard work of the staff of the Department of Education and hundreds of poorly paid but dedicated teachers.

Bottom Lines:

1.  The vitamin and mineral composition of vegetables and grains is determined by multiple factors but primarily by the exact cultivars being grown and the local factors of soil condition/composition and growing conditions. 

2.  There are natural trade-offs between yields – which include fruit and grain sizes as well as total yield – and specific measurable vitamin and mineral content given as percentages or content per weight. 

3.  Further tradeoffs grow out of (please ignore the pun) the needs of today’s farmers to grow produce that can be packed, held in storage, shipped and made available in stores while maintaining their appearance and freshness.  Most of this is genetics – which goes back to point #1.

4.  Vegan diets can be nutritionally sound if care is taken and vitamin and mineral supplementation is provided.

5.  The benefits of plentiful food – grains, vegetables and fruits – far outweigh any small decrease in any vitamin or mineral content of any one fruit, vegetable, grain or other food item.

6.  The science that today’s fruits and vegetables are “less nutritious” is partially true but also may be just a result of different measurement techniques.

There is nothing there to be concerned about.

# # # # #

Author’s Comment:

My opinion is that data collected for one purpose, in this case for government health departments determination of recommended diets (such as USDA’s MyPlate) have been re-purposed by so-called “health advocates” to run yet-another scare campaign.

There is nothing wrong with our food supply.  At the same time, we all could probably eat a better, healthier diet, but in the long run, diet is probably not the overriding determining factor of either health or longevity.

When my wife and I had little kids, we were very careful with their diets as is quite proper – but most importantly, we saw that they ate plenty of a wide variety of  foods.  Most of which we grew or raised ourselves. 

I am older now, and my wife has to encourage me to eat. 

The best advice I ever heard on this issue was from one of my early-life merchant mariner captains after his years-long study of dietary issues:  “Eat your chow!”

Remember to start your comment with the name of the person you are addressing, when not just making a general comment.  This makes for better conversations.

Thanks for reading.

# # # # #

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February 15, 2023 2:13 am

“Eat your chow.”


Depends on the skill or otherwise of the most important person on the vessel, the Chief Cook.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 16, 2023 7:12 am

Back in 1957 they sailed a replica of the Mayflower from Plymouth (UK) across the Atlantic to Plymouth, Massachusetts. They had pretty rough weather for the crossing. After arrival a reporter interviewed the ship’s cook and asked him what he fed the crew in such rough weather. His reply was: “Apricot stew, it tastes the same going both directions.”

Van Doren
February 15, 2023 2:13 am

Plant-based diet IS nutritionally sound. More sound than any other diet.

Reply to  Van Doren
February 15, 2023 2:44 am

So where do you get your Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, complete proteins – ie all nine essential amino acids – etc etc?

Phillip Bratby
Reply to  Van Doren
February 15, 2023 3:07 am

I’ll stick to being an omnivore, thank you very much. We are descendants of hunter-gatherers.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
February 15, 2023 3:55 am

As I always say to vegans who criticise my choice of diet, you were issued with a set of omnivore teeth at birth for a reason.

Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
February 15, 2023 5:50 am

How do you know if someone is a vegan?

They tell you.

Reply to  strativarius
February 15, 2023 4:58 pm

And they expect us, their audience, to acknowledge them as morally superior, no matter how ignorant or arrogant they are about foods.

another ian
Reply to  ATheoK
February 16, 2023 1:49 am

Cartoon summation

“Vegetarians live up to 9 years longer than the rest of us

Nine horrible, worthless, bacon-less years”

Leo Smith
Reply to  Van Doren
February 15, 2023 3:09 am

For cows, possibly.

I am not a cow.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Leo Smith
February 15, 2023 3:58 am

As long as there is no deterioration in the nutrients in grass we don’t have a problem.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 10:00 am

What the animal eats does affect taste. There is a marked difference in palatability between the venison I harvest from soybean and corn farmland compared to venison from deep woods.
I have no idea if it changes the nutritional value but, it makes it more enjoyable to “Eat your chow”.

Reply to  Brad-DXT
February 15, 2023 5:04 pm

Deer are primarily browsers.

Deer in the woods are eating more of what is good for them, the tips of branches and bushes with an occasional graze on hillsides.

So, yes! If the deer has been browsing bitter trees and bushes it negatively affects the taste and greatly diminishes the deer having fat reserves.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 16, 2023 8:41 am

Kip==> I guess that’s why one of my farming neighbors has his herd of goats fenced in with bales and buckets of some feed.

Another neighbor has some free range goats that I believe are more pets than anything else. They walk around like dogs off leash which can create a road hazard. At least they don’t chase my truck like the dogs do.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Brad-DXT
February 17, 2023 10:41 pm

My next door neighbor has two “pet” goats, both male. He fenced their 1/2 acre front yard to give them free range. Dave, the more dangerous of the two goats, figured out how to open the latch on the gate to the yard, and I was startled to see them nosing around my rear deck. I herded them back, using the goat treats my neighbor kept in his shed.

When I told he and his wife about it, he said “They are escape artists.” His wife, who is hilariously funny, chimed in “They’re scape goats!”

I really love my neighbors!

Last edited 1 month ago by Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Leo Smith
February 15, 2023 8:05 am

All cows are grass and thus suitable for a vegan diet.

Richard Greene
Reply to  Van Doren
February 15, 2023 4:24 am

Meat eaters live longer than vegetarians.
And they are happier while they are alive.
Maybe that’s why?
You can keep your kale salads and tofu.

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Greene
Reply to  Richard Greene
February 15, 2023 5:07 pm

You can keep your kale salads and tofu”

Wheat grass drinks as if people thrive on grass.
Banana peanut butter smoothies are similar silly concoctions as we heard about from the “Ship of Fools”.

Van Doren
Reply to  Richard Greene
February 15, 2023 11:03 pm

The lowest all-cause mortality have vegans and pescetarians.

Reply to  Van Doren
February 15, 2023 4:46 am

Rice Krispies crackle when you pour milk on them, so sound.

Reply to  Van Doren
February 15, 2023 6:38 am

I have known a number of vegans. Without exception, they were weedy, spotty, with lank, dull hair, and devoid of any energy, despite being in the prime of life. One of them underwent an astonishing transformation. I met her again after an absence of a few months, and found that she was now in the best of health, with clear skin and thick, glossy hair, full of energy, and sleeping properly. She admitted she had started eating meat again….

Van Doren
Reply to  Graemethecat
February 15, 2023 11:03 pm

I’ve said plant-based, not vegan.

Van Doren
Reply to  Graemethecat
February 16, 2023 9:56 am

This is Nimai Delgado, 28. Vegetarian since birth, vegan since 2015. Never tasted meat. Completely devoid of any energy.

Van Doren
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 11:05 pm

I’m an expert on the subject of nutritional biochemistry and lifestyle-based disease prevention. I save lives every single day.

Reply to  Van Doren
February 15, 2023 10:00 am

To bad actual data refutes that claim.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Van Doren
February 15, 2023 10:14 am

As is typical, “Facts not in evidence.” Just unsupported assertions.

Reply to  Van Doren
February 15, 2023 11:01 am

More sound than the diet we have evolved to eat?

Reply to  Van Doren
February 15, 2023 1:12 pm

I agree. I grew up Vegan in the 1960s…. my parents made their own tofu and fermented and pressed their own tempeh. They were very smart people and knew how to ensure I received a very nutritious diet. I grew healthy strong eating vegan meat analogs, TVP etc. The problem is that stuff tastes terrible and is so limiting.

At age 18, I found I loved hunting squirrel and dove and cooking them and eating them and discovered that the omnivore diet is nutritionally sound. I hated my parents Hinduism and there was no other reason to be a Vegan in those days. So I became a omnivore. Wonderful just how flexible we humans are. ( my parents and the rest of the family became Calvinists later in life and fled Hinduism… we ate meat and cheese every Sunday) I am whipping up some bad Karma here. Let see what was my mantra….. oh yeah LOL.

The question of Veganism vs omnivores from a health perspective is highly debatable… I don’t know all the facts or arguments…. yet 6 decades latter I see no benefit to being vegan.

I totally reject the green house gas issue with raising meat critters. Just bunk. If we stop raising critters for meat, we also should stop fermenting stuff into alcohol for the same reason and no one wants to do that vegans or omnivores. Frankly, I love making beer and wine.

People can survive a long while eating nothing but meat but they won’t be healthy…scurvy is a thing and so is hyperlipidemia. So a high variety omnivore diet is ideal. Gluttony on anything one food item is damaging body and soul….. meat gluttony is ill-advised but I am grateful that I am free to eat as much meat as I want.

So if the carbon hypothesis is bunk, which I am sure that it is. then there is no reason not to eat meat. I not against eating meat analog’s but I would not want to be forced to…. by bunk believing crazies.

The solution is to increase the supply of meat to local communities. Buy some marginal land and graze your own lamb, beef, chicken, pork and goat…. it’s a great hedge against the texturized vegetable protean (TVP/Meat Analogs), bug eating religious people who want to rule the world and drink fine French wine while doing it.

Reply to  JC
February 15, 2023 1:26 pm

That last thing I want is to be made dependent on a high tech industrialized food (TVP) product created from fractions of commodities that are tightly regulated and whose market is colluded. Sounds like the same ball and change that I drag around (i.e. The dumb-phone/everything internet). We’d all be paying through the nose for crap food.

global TVP transition sounds like one more set on chains.

People should just get back to growing their own food even if it’s a small fraction of their food budget. A little independence goes a long way.

Van Doren
Reply to  JC
February 15, 2023 11:06 pm

I’ve never tasted vegan meat, only whole food for me.

Reply to  Van Doren
February 17, 2023 1:24 pm

Texturized Vegetable protein (TVP) based food has been with us since the middle of he 20th century. I am sure you have eaten TVP in fast food burgers and other prepackaged meat products where TVP is added as an adjunct.

The new high tech meat products are supposed to be a major step up from TVP.. Maybe people will really like those new vegan meat products. I know I won’t.

But I can’t imagine a TVP leg or Rack of lab o TVP jerk chicken or a nice TVP T bone steak and I can’t imagine it being cheaper than meat.

Commercially grown meat requires a big grain input and controlled environments which are very expensive because they are on such a huge scale.

Families raising meat don’t need the big grain input…grass is still a thing. My neighbors raise, ducks, rabbits, goals, chicken turkey for meat. They raise it themselves with a very small over head……just for their table. They laugh a high tech TVP….. no need. Plus they give away venison by in 10 pound units to their neighbors. They are low income with a high quality life.

Reply to  Van Doren
February 15, 2023 4:56 pm

Plant-based diet IS nutritionally sound. More sound than any other diet”

Just from that ignorant arrogant statement, you do not grow all of your own food. Another urban dilettante expecting others to cheaply perform all of the work. While you pretend you are paying attention to your body’s nutrient needs.

Van Doren
Reply to  ATheoK
February 15, 2023 11:08 pm

I did in the past. Potatoes and all sort of veggies and berries, also some fruits. Now I’m only growing strawberries.

Reply to  Van Doren
February 15, 2023 9:49 pm

I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to become a bleedin vegetarian.

February 15, 2023 2:33 am

As always, coming here shows me yet another thing to not be concerned about. I’m almost at that point where I know that following common sense c. 1985 will serve me better than keeping up with the latest scares.

Last edited 1 month ago by Decaf
Reply to  Decaf
February 15, 2023 4:50 am

Be scared of unidentified balloons. They must be shot down with stinger missiles.

Reply to  Scissor
February 15, 2023 10:07 am

$400,000 missiles we sometimes need to shoot twice.

Rick C
Reply to  Scissor
February 15, 2023 10:17 am

The cost is roughly half a million $ per balloon shot down. They missed with the first missile for the one over Huron so about $1 million for that one. Just hope they find and return the radiosondes to the NWS. Fortunately most weather balloons pop within a few hours of launch so not enough time to detect and shoot down.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Scissor
February 15, 2023 10:42 am

Yeah I can’t figure out why your basic machine gun or cannon can’t take out a balloon, as opposed to missiles at $400k a pop.

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
February 15, 2023 11:18 am

Best I can figure, these are live fire training exercises. They should be using old missiles due to be decommissioned. Most Air to Air missiles use solid fuel, so they have expiration dates.

Also, the balloons are huge and flimsy, the projectiles are small and fast, so the holes won’t leak much gas. In the case of the one at 60000 feet, it’s hard to get the plane up there anyway. It wouldn’t be hard to design a balloon buster munition, but there hasn’t been a demand since 1919.

Reply to  Decaf
February 15, 2023 1:50 pm

The people who are trying to scare me are truly scary. They are deluded in thinking that weaponizing the media will actually result in controlling people. Some will be controlled but most people don’t give a hoot. It only takes a few brave souls to upset the apple cart and derail the bandwagon.

Privacy and mind control were organizing concepts/issues in the elite schools by 1982, The trajectory of information tech was clearly on display at MIT and Cal Tech, Chicago U etc. People were starting to line up then to cash out on both sides of the divide, privacy and mind control long before 1985.

Pre -Job’s/Gates: 1973 is a better point of reference.

Reply to  JC
February 15, 2023 1:52 pm

market control is mind control….. big bucks so mind control won out over privacy….. a long time ago….1996-1997….. the capstone was 2008.

February 15, 2023 2:35 am

“…tainted by the over-voicing of overly sentimental non-scientific claptrap about nature, its animals and its plants…”

Funny you should mention that.

“We live in an era of emotional journalism. As one expert describes it, reporters increasingly use ‘emotion as a tool’. Emotion has become ‘a much more important dynamic in how news is produced and consumed’, he says. It’s been a long time coming. Think back to those emotionally exploitative images from the Ethiopian Famine of the mid-1980s showing weak, emaciated children being stared at by vultures. Or the ‘journalism of attachment’ that was feverishly embraced during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, when hacks openly took sides in a terrible conflict and often allowed their coverage to be clouded by their emotional loyalties.

The rise and rise of emotional journalism speaks to the death of objectivity. And, more importantly, to the death, or at least the sidelining, of the objective, reasoned observer. Objective journalism – with its aspiration to provide a ‘balanced, fact-based… fair summary’ of world events – was an expression of trust in the media consumer, leaving us to decide for ourselves how to feel and relate to the facts of the world. Emotional journalism, in stark contrast, infantilises the media consumer, by myopically instructing him on how to feel about the world. Journalists become puppeteers of emotion. They become celebrities, too. They become the story. “

Ours is an Anglo-Italian household and you could say we eat Italian for the most part with Sunday roasts etc from the English side. Similarly, the children were given caffe latte, and wine with water at meals from a young age as is Italian custom. I’ve never had to scrape them drunken off the floor. It does work, but the state remains determined to hang on to the idea of forbidden fruit…

“Alcohol use during the teenage years is related to a wide range of health and social problems.

However, if children do drink alcohol underage, it should not be until they are at least 15. They should be supervised, and have no more than 1 drink a week.”

If vegetables really were less nutritious it would impact the vegetarians first and foremost, and nobody sees that happening. And they would be the first to start whining.

Hyperbole rules.

Last edited 1 month ago by strativarius
Reply to  strativarius
February 15, 2023 3:15 am

If vegetables really were less nutritious it would impact the vegetarians first and foremost, and nobody sees that happening. And they would be the first to start whining.

Orthorexia is rumoured to have claimed a number of lives. Frankly, most, I say most vegetarians are virtue signalling. They eat a whole lot of overprocessed junk marked on the box as veganitaristic or whatever, most would not actually recognise a fresh lettuce blindfolded. Their experiment has not run long enough to show reliable results. A great many could have died the last three years, and we would only know about their ‘covid’. Living truly vegan is a hugely expensive hobby. It’s like whiskey; why can the millionaire drink half a bottle every day without a hang-over? Go buy a really decent bottle, if you can afford it, and find out. Same with fancy food. Are you buying food, or splurging your few bucks on fancy?
A real test would be identical twins, one living off real, soil-grown clean vegies, and one eating Dr. Brown’s Amazing Vegan Airfries and the like.
Without supplements. Both will be sickly, but at least real cabbage does not have added flavourfull carcinogens.

Reply to  cilo
February 15, 2023 3:18 am

Have you tried a Mediterranean diet with English undertones?

And my advice is ignore the eco bollox.

Richard Greene
Reply to  strativarius
February 15, 2023 4:37 am

That was a good article at that you quoted — the 48th short article I read this morning, and the last one I recommended on my blog at: Honest Climate Science and Energy

Spiked is a great UK website.
I doubt if there are many real conservatives left in the UK, but those who remain sure write a lot of good articles:
spiked – humanity is underrated (

Reply to  Richard Greene
February 15, 2023 4:46 am

Spiked is

Living Marxism was a British magazine originally launched in 1988 as the journal of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). Rebranded as LM in 1992, it ceased publication in March 2000 following a successful libel lawsuit brought by ITN. It was promptly resurrected as Spiked, an Internet magazine.

It’s ‘old school British left’ And common sense is a big feature.

Last edited 1 month ago by strativarius
Philip Mulholland
Reply to  Richard Greene
February 15, 2023 4:30 pm

The Great Leaderene is gone?
There is a God after all.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 8:03 am

Exactly, emotion is harnessed by the use of words and phrases designed to stoke fear or pull at your heart strings. It is no accident that a school shooting gets as much or more attention than a natural disaster that kills tens of thousands and leave multitudes more injured and homeless.
Any discomfort you may feel is often attributed to totally unrelated stimuli.
Global warming is the reason you have a sore toe.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 11:34 am

The advertising for “Hildago” (brought to you by Disney) touted “based on a true story.” And it’s true, in a sense. There indeed was a man that claimed to have raced his horse across the Sahara. There may not have actually ever been a race, he may not have actually been in the Sahara, but he did tell the tale. Our modern journalists have taken that lesson, and expanded it to include their invisible friends in their sourcing.

February 15, 2023 3:02 am

After adjusting for differences in moisture content

The charge put IS the per-weight nutrition. Vegetables are force-grown, ending up watery, often tasteless, and less nutritious PER WEIGHT.
But that is trivial, now calculate for us the nutritional efficiency for food drenched in Roundup. No mention of the other pollutants genociding us, let’s just start with simple, “harmless” Roundup and co.
Glyphosate has been demonstrated to damage the lining of the gut, allowing things to leak out into your body, instead of being metabolised. Let’s start with that…
This article reminds me of the one where this guy did all this clever research to prove that having sex with a child only causes harm if the parents complain…

Reply to  cilo
February 15, 2023 3:15 am

Glyphosate has been demonstrated to damage the lining of the gut, allowing things to leak out into your body, instead of being metabolised. Let’s start with that”

Please do. I’d like to know more.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  strativarius
February 15, 2023 4:52 am

<Sorry, this turned into an epic>

Start: Just wow, so much wishful thinking, blinkered vision, cherry picking and Authority Appealing in the main story.
iow: A litany of Magical Thinking = something caused by A Poor Diet.

it’s that simple

Anyway: enjoy Glyphosate

cilo: All the business about leaky guts is muddled and confused, They have brain/gut interactions and all sorts of self contradicting nonsense. Primarily looking at and trying to cover up Symptoms rather that looking for An Original Cause
But that Modern Medicine – its not looking to cure anyone, only to create life-time consumers of pills.

When it comes to Glyphosate, there are 4 things you need to know:
1/ It works as a chelator.
i.e. It attaches itself to trace elements, especially metals or things with metals in them, and makes them unavailable to plants, bacteria, critters and us.

2/ It is a potent (patented) antibiotic – it kills bacteria.
Just at random, all sorts in all sorts of places. Oh no you say, everybody’s getting antibiotic resistance from The Farmers feeding it to their chickens/cows/pig etc
Are you really sure about that?

3/ It is persistent in the soil, up to 10 years, contrary to what its manufacturers always claim.
That is in fact how the Roundup resistant gene was discovered. An ‘overflow’ ditch/drain from a factory making the stuff was, initially, totally barren and dead as a Dodo. Because of leakage from the factory.
Until suddenly one day, someone noticed things growing there. Bingo, there was the resistant gene.

4/ It is nearly identical to a protein called Glycine, which when you;re making DNA using the four bases (A, T, C, G) – G is Glycine
Glyphosate is Glycine with a single (extra) Nitrogen atom bonded on
When Glyphosate gets into us, it gets mistaken for Glycine in the DNA building processes. Where cells renew themselves via Apoptosis every, typically, 28 days

Fortunately the error is seen further down the process and the affected strand of DNA is recycled. That recycling process creates some very particular metabolites that are not normally seen inside of us,
But isn’t that ‘Evolution’ (DNA errors that were found to be ‘useful’) and some fine day, Roundup is going to become part of our DNA.
I’m sure it’ll work out fine.

The articles linked to are a lovely set of cherry picked things.
What the Enquiring Mind wants to know is:
….where is the Selenium, the Zinc, Copper, Cobalt, Magnesium, Manganese, Lithium not very least.
Those are the Trace Elements we need. What about Iodine – it controls almost everything inside of us

Copper is another lovely example.
You might take on a diet of eating old cars, Iron filings and rusty nails
OK, everyone will say that you’re never gonna be Anaemic
But unless you’re taking in 2mg of Copper every day, you will be short of Iron and you will be Anaemic

Those elements listed interact with each other..
e,g Copper and Zinc need to be in an 8-to-1 ratio, else a surplus of one exacerbates a deficiency of the other
Magnesium/Calcium similarly

And they are all metals,

they dissolve in acid,they exist in soils in vanishingly low levels to start withand they attach to GlyphosateThe ‘acid’ bit is the important one because the primary function of Nitrogen fertiliser is to actually make acid. Nitrogen is the Liebeg Limiter in all soils and it stimulates soil bacteria to eat sugar and thus excrete organic acid waste – which dissolves trace elements from the soil and the plants (hopefully) sucks them up.
That is how Nitrogen fertiliser works.

But, it is ‘too good’ and the acid releases vastly more of the trace elements that the plants need.
And next time it rains, those trace elements not taken up by plants, all wash away out to sea – never to be seen again.
A very serious thing though is that many soils are Limestone based, certainly in England UK
The acid produced by the Nitrogen/bacteria attacks the limestone – releasing vast amounts of CO2 and also vast amounts of water-soluble Calcium.
Which the plants take up whether they need it or not, esp to the exclusion of Magnesium

See what you get:
Folks dying of blocked arteries where Calcium is the major protagonist (along with Cholesterol) and a (US) population where 70+% are clinically deficient in Magnesium.
Magnesium is a neurotransmitter equalin importance to Sodium
Now do you see why The World Has Gone Mad?
= a deficiency of Magnesium made massively worse by a huge surplus of Calcium.
While doctors tell folks to eat more Calcium.
pure insanity that is self-reinforcing

<take a breath and continue>
That is how The World worked, acid dissolving rocks and plants sucking up the ‘soup’
Previously, the acid was ‘Carbonic Acid’
All rain hits the ground with a pH of 5.4 Always, no matter how much CO2 is in the air.

Not very strong acid but ‘just enough’
The plants and bacteria adapted, they ‘lived within their means’
However, over the course of millennia, all the metallic trace elements disappear and you are left simultaneously, with a desert and an Ice Age

(I was very careful not to use the actual words but, you do know what I was talking about there, don’t you)

edit: Oh God, there’s more:
In The Good Old Days, we ate vegetables that came into the house/kitchen covered with mud/soil.
Invariably some of that got into us and we got a lot of those metallics that way.
Not any more, all supermarket veggies are now spotlessly washed clea,
What also came in that mud/soil was bacteria.
Some of those took up residence in out stomach and made Vitamin B12
They needed ‘refreshing’ every so often – soil was/is/should be part of out diet

But those bacterioa now all washed.cleaned away and any that do get into us, will be killed by the antibiotic that is: Glyphosate.

And if you run out of B12, you get something identical to Alzheimer’s
Something is only properly diagnosed post mortem – and nobody goes to check
Why should they – Magical Thinking now rules the world

Last edited 1 month ago by Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 15, 2023 5:14 am

“Sorry, this turned into an epic”

Indeed; and forgiven, too. 

“All the business about leaky guts is muddled and confused, They have brain/gut interactions and all sorts of self contradicting nonsense. Primarily looking at and trying to cover up Symptoms rather that looking for An Original Cause
But that Modern Medicine – its not looking to cure anyone, only to create life-time consumers of pills.”

But it did border on the fantastic…

“a diet of eating old cars”

The nearest equivalent to hand is probably Corn Flakes.

Reply to  strativarius
February 15, 2023 9:58 pm

Perhaps it was computer generated.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 15, 2023 5:57 am

People tend to forget that many of the vegetables available today have been bred to be fast growing, disease resistant and high yielding over a shorter growing period. Also irrigation is common even in a climate like the UK.
So is it any surprise that they a different from older varieties?

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 11:11 am

Kip – “at least 100 varieties”

Check out Totally Tomatoes 🙂
From all the different varieties I’ve seen in the seed catalogs I get, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were over 1000.

Reply to  Tony_G
February 17, 2023 4:56 am

I almost got involved in the carnivorous plant business. I walked away upon learning this simple fact:
Every twerp that manages to cross two plants, or just find a natural variation of obvious difference, will immediately try to shop it off, by inventing a grand new name for it. You may find 1000 tomato names, but they will still just be the handful of crossbreeds available elsewhere under another name.
I see the same silly namecalling of plant hybrids amongst the cannabis crowd. Everyone is selling the latest whaggaboogy cheeesemelt strain. It’s just dope, you dopes.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 15, 2023 10:33 am

Previously, the acid was ‘Carbonic Acid’

It is probably the dominant acid, but there has always been low levels of nitric acid resulting from lightning, sulfuric acid resulting from oxidation of pyrite/marcasite and other sulfides in the soil, and humic and other organic acids resulting from decomposition of organic material.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 15, 2023 11:43 am

Thank you, that was informative and entertaining!

Reply to  cilo
February 15, 2023 8:12 am

You are not supposed to drink glycophosphates. They are primarily used to combat competition from weeds in field crops and only in crops resistant to it. If you quit eating bread you will be limiting your exposure greatly and only because glycophosphates are sometimes used to ripen crops as an aid to harvest. Read the labels on your processed food. There are far more dangerous additives in your food that are purposely added.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 7:42 pm

Kip look up the practice of desiccating. crops before harvest.
I don’t think there is any actual exposure through food but am addressing the concerns of people who would ban agricultural processes and risk hunger and disease for millions rather than just minimizing their own exposure. The delay in introducing golden rice in some countries probably resulted in blindness and an early death for thousands of children.

Reply to  cilo
February 15, 2023 10:08 am

Do you have any actual studies that show that? Rather than scare stories from activists.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  cilo
February 15, 2023 10:27 am

Something else that isn’t mentioned is eating habits. When one eats an apple, orange, or similar piece of fruit, they typically eat the whole thing, not a measured weight. So, if fruit is growing larger because of more available water and fertilizer, there may well be just as much nutritional value per item, just less than by weight. This has been a concern since at least the 1970s, but we haven’t seen any problems in developed countries with malnutrition or vitamin/mineral deficiencies. So, as a practical matter, it seems to be a non-problem.

Reply to  cilo
February 15, 2023 11:09 am

Glyphosate has been demonstrated to damage the lining of the gut

Please share. I have asked many times and seen all sorts of articles, but they all point back to one single study so poorly done that it makes Seven Countries look like a model of perfection.

Reply to  Tony_G
February 15, 2023 11:42 am

One answer to all.
This is one time where I will tell you to do your own research, and try to get past the first twenty results of your search engine programmed to protect the guilty. During your search for that info, did you find any references to hormonal disruption, intestinal cancers, damaged livers or any other data not sponsored and cleared by Monsatano? How come you accept their studies, when they themselves admitted to the toxicity of that stuff? How else does glyphosate end up in the interstitium, if not leaked from the gut? There is no other pathway between the mouth and sphincter for glyphosate to leave that canal.
And for those still unaware of the connection between the gut, hormones, digestion, the brain and the psyche, I recommend some more Roundup in their diet…

Reply to  cilo
February 15, 2023 5:25 pm

This is one time where I will tell you to do your own research, and try to get past the first twenty results of your search engine programmed to protect the guilty.

Typical cop-out.

I have spent countless hours trying to get to the root of these claims. EVERYTHING I ever found pointed to one crappy study. Every piece of information I got from someone pushing the “glyphosate bad” line led to the same study, or to circular references on various websites or “news” publications.

Not once in the past decade have I had anyone provide anything beyond that. I’ll add you to the list.

Reply to  Tony_G
February 16, 2023 1:43 am

Tony, I am not copping out, I was trying to be brief. I expect you to flood me with links proving roundup safe, and I shall actually open them and start my own fakcheks. I opened my totally corrupted and subservient browser, DDGo, and typed in “glyphoste study paper”. I send you the first five frontpage links NOT from the manufacturers or their minions at the government:
You don’t find any information, or you don’t find it in easily-digestible social-media format?
Now I ask you this: Seeing as Roundup is so ubiquitous in our food chain and environment, WHERE ARE THE SUPPORTING STUDIES?
We all know why only those ‘studies’ financed by Monsatano shareholders get published, but they all deny our charges, never prove their advertised Truth? Are you aware that a Monsatano senior scientist actually burst out laughing when questioned about the toxicity of glyphosate? Know what she said? “there are things a thousand times more toxic than glyphosate in there”.
And never forget: The reason that on gardener was court-awarded and Monsatano fined a hundred million more than he asked for, is because the judge saw the internal memo, where Monsatano discusses how they will counter the charges of toxicity with PR! Are you aware of any of the corruption around this issue? Just like the covidiot vax: I don’t need a medical license to know to ask for the test reports. I am still waiting, while you call me an anti-vaxxer.
P.S. When I tell people to do their own research, it is because I may have been immersed into the subject matter for very long, and I assume (increasingly falsely) that the information is still there for everyone. For my hubris, I apologise. But I have learned to save the most interesting stuff, because tomorrow it is gone…

Reply to  cilo
February 16, 2023 6:58 am

cilo, thank you for providing some links, that’s more than I’ve gotten for a long time. I will look at them but that is going to be too much for me to go through in any reasonable time to continue this conversation. Perhaps we’ll chat again in another related thread.

You don’t find any information, or you don’t find it in easily-digestible social-media format?

No need to be insulting. I simply stopped looking after not finding anything for so long.

Reply to  Tony_G
February 17, 2023 4:17 am

No insult, a valid question. Also, the exact wording of your search term has huge impact on how the robot will filter your results. Avoid using plurals, for example.
I also run a little website. I do not supply references, because the effort to maintain those links (I close down sites that supply me with dead links) is not at my paygrade, namely I’m doing it out of pocket and on spare time. Also I try to get people interested in a subject, not supply them with the holey word of Baal.
Having recently committed to a relationship with Miss Brevity (with seemingly good success), I am interested in how people follow up on info. I have a nephew that only ever finds the woke human interest reports, no matter how hard he tries to find actual science. Due to the accelerating erasure of information even into Waybackmachine, and my total disinterest in the social platforms, I could benefit from understanding how actual people want their information.
P.S. Before anyone recommends one of the many online courses and papers dealing with the subject, their ultimate purpose is ALWAYS to indoctrinate or fish for likes, preferably both. If I wanted the Bolshevik viewpoint, I could get paid for it.

February 15, 2023 4:07 am

Interesting! The author starts with “mostly wrong” to weellll, it may be true, but there is so much food now for everyone, and besides, just pop a pill and you will fine!

Reply to  Ravi
February 16, 2023 1:48 am

I unfortunately have only one plus vote to try clear all those minuses. Certain subjects seem to draw every professional troll to counter your disinformation?
On this site, it becomes especially clear when we talk about food, nutrition and farming. Or am I suddenly to suppose that engineers, mathematicians and biologists (the usual crowd here) suddenly have burning opinions on food and farming?

February 15, 2023 4:10 am

Our soils are being mined, minerals go out with each successive crop and farmers only put NPK back in. Our foods no longer have the nutritional density that they used to have.

Reply to  Walbrook
February 15, 2023 5:07 am

There seems to be enough vinyl chloride, however.

Reply to  Walbrook
February 15, 2023 10:45 am

In our garden I apply Azomite in the spring. It’s a mineralized, compacted volcanic ash mined in Utah. The results are quite noticeable in terms of plant health, color, taste and size. During the growing season I also use Spray-N-Grow as a foliar spray.It makes the soil nutrients much more available for plant uptake.Usually get a 20-30% increase in yield, especially in the flowering/fruiting plants.

Reply to  Walbrook
February 15, 2023 6:26 pm

Where is your proof Walbrook ?
That is what this post by Kip is about.
A flawed study using stored vegetables .
Plant roots absorb minerals from the soil and some crops need boron and other minerals that are in low supply to flourish .
Most market vegetables grown commercially for sale need added nitrogen to grow on continuously cropped land .
Land that has been in pasture usually needs far less nitrogen .
Just remember that nitrogenous fertilizer feeds 4 billion people on this earth .

Richard Greene
February 15, 2023 4:13 am

Another almost entirely false claim by green zealots is that more CO2 in the atmosphere reduces the nutritional quality of plants used for food. I have read about 300 CO2 enrichment – plant growth studies in the past 25 years.

They almost always find that CO2 enrichment increases the growth rate, and reduces the fresh water requirements, of C3 photosynthesis crops (about 90%)

As a result of reading those studies, I favor much higher levels of atmospheric CO2 to optimize C3 plant growth — double to triple the current CO2 level would support more animal and human life on this planet.

The minority of studies that looked at plant nutrition found small differences from CO2 enrichment. At worst a broccoli head would grow larger with 600ppm CO2, and then you would have to eat one additional bite to equal the nutritional value of the same weight of the 350ppm CO2 broccoli. Insignificant differences.

There is a great archive of one-pageCO2 enrichment – plant growth scientific study summaries, that I believe were written by Craig Ipso, at the following link — filed in alphabetical order.

CO2 Science

Here is a list of plant study summaries from that archive that involved nutritional content of vegetables:
CO2 Science

Below are four specific summaries of studies
(all the links are not the same) from that list:

CO2 Science

CO2 Science

CO2 Science

CO2 Science


Hansen says:
 “Vegan diets can be nutritionally sound”

Follow the Greene Nutritional Pyramid
(1) Bacon and Eggs
(2) Pizza
(3) Hamburgers and French fries
(4) Beer or wine
(5) Everything else.

Reason to follow the Pyramid:
You’re gonna’ die anyway,
so you might as well be happy
while you are alive

Vegan diets are blah.
Perfect for leftists and weenies.
Dump the kale salads and tofu
Feed the wheat grass to your cat
Why do those fake beef burgers try to taste like real beef burgers?

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Greene
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Richard Greene
February 15, 2023 10:46 am

And why do we enjoy the taste of “real beef burgers?” Probably because we evolved eating similar food.

I remember once inviting some friends over for a BBQ. I had just shot a wild boar and I was BBQing the ribs. One of my good friends, who died years ago, had become a Vegan. He admitted to me that the smell of the spareribs brought out a primal desire for the meat and it was all he good do to resist having some. His reason for giving up meat was supposedly a concern over additives in the feed of domesticated animals. I reminded him that this pig had never been fed human-food scraps or spent time in a feed lot. He still declined. That told me that it was virtue signaling, not any rational reason, that caused him to give up meat. Sort of like flagellation.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 15, 2023 11:45 am

Or, maybe he was afraid if he broke his rule just once, he’d never get the courage to go back on the bandwagon.

Reply to  Richard Greene
February 15, 2023 11:26 am

Richard Vegan diets can be nutritionally sound”

Cows are vegans so you may be right, but I like pork too 🙂

Steve Case
February 15, 2023 4:13 am

In National Geographic, there is an amusing piece titled “Fruits and vegetables are less nutritious than they used to be”.

Peaches for sale in today’s supermarkets are positively gorgeous. Just do a Google image search on “Peaches” and you know what? They are tasteless mealy and pulpy. I won’t buy them any more. Occasionally peaches wind up in our house that are OK, but almost never are they that juicy run down your chin wonderfulness we experienced as kids 70 years ago.

I don’t know what is being done to peaches to make them that crappy, but I’m sure increased CO2 levels isn’t the cause.

You can Google “why do peaches taste bad” and get some answers that mostly involve over refrigeration.

Reply to  Steve Case
February 15, 2023 7:33 am

Peaches are picked NOT ripe for the market, which is why they are not that tasty, better to plant a mid-size Peach tree variety in your back yard for yourself then you can pick them when they are RIPE then enjoy.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 15, 2023 8:22 am

I would have to build a greenhouse, heat it for half the year with fuels emitting greenhouse gases, and provide extra light at rapidly escalating electricity costs. I will eat an imported orange instead. Thank you.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
February 15, 2023 11:27 am

Peaches are picked NOT ripe for the market, which is why they are not that tasty

Holds true for most anything store-bought. Home-grown, or at least farmer’s market, are always much better.

Elliot W
Reply to  Tony_G
February 16, 2023 12:07 am

Yes. I buy 100-150 lbs of peaches direct from the farmer each year and then can them for the year’s use. (When I had a teen boy at home, it was 300-350 lbs for the year.) Win-win situation for me and the farmer.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 8:32 am

Most vegetables purchased in typical stores are varieties based on their shipping and storage qualities than for taste which is why home grown vegetables are superior and because you can choose varieties for flavor that isn’t found in most stores.

The Imperator Carrot (commonly found in stores) was chosen because of its superior shipping and storage quality while you can grow Chantenay or Danvers half longs as examples for their superior flavor.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Steve Case
February 15, 2023 10:51 am

They are tasteless mealy and pulpy.

I run across that sometimes. Usually in the Winter when they have been shipped from the southern hemisphere. There is nothing quite like a fresh-off-the-tree peach. While they may still look good, shipping them half way around the world does take a toll on the taste and texture quality. Wanting fresh peaches in the Winter may be pushing the limits of practicality.

Elliot W
Reply to  Steve Case
February 15, 2023 11:44 pm

We used to grow peaches commercially. Our peaches were wonderful. But to get them that way is labor-intensive and one doesn’t get a good enough financial return on that work.

**If peaches are picked too green, they transport beautifully, without bruising —and will always ALWAYS taste like cardboard.** Bruises at the store mean the farmer doesn’t get paid for the bruised fruit. Bingo, there’s your incentive to pick too-green fruit.

But in today’s society, the concept of eating seasonal local produce, minimally transported and picked at its peak of ripeness but for a mere two weeks each year, just isn’t done. Oh, there is lip service paid to the “100 mile diet”, etc, but then everyone goes back to their “avocados from Mexico”, grapes in January, and dreadful strawberries and peaches year-round.

Back 50-60-100 years ago, local and seasonal fruits and veggies were the norm. If you wanted a peach in December or February, you home-canned it the previous August.

Paul Stevens
February 15, 2023 4:39 am

Apparently, the piece in NatGeo Entertainment didn’t take into account the phenomenal increase in calories consumed per person in the last 70 years. At one of my favourite websites, Our World in Data, they have a page where you can compare “Average per capita vegetable intake vs. minimum recommended guidelines, 1961” To take one country as an example, China has quadrupled its per capita intake of vegetables in the 62 years since 1961. Not every country has made that kind of improvement, but the ones with more economic freedom mostly have.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 5:20 am

My wife went vegetarian as a teen about 65 years ago, supplemented with occasional seafood.
Some dairy when blended, like eggs and milk blended in cakes and Bechamel sauce on Cray, but no straight eggs, no other meat, no straight milk.
No medico has attributed any ailment to her diet.
Just sayin’, for those who might wish to know.
Tonight she enjoyed baked veggies, sweet potato, spuds, pumpkin and fast-boiled fresh string beans, black tea, glass Chardonnay, ice cream with fresh passionfruit.
Geoff S

Reply to  sherro01
February 15, 2023 5:37 am


That’s the point. Going vegetarian requires taking some form of supplements.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 10:27 am

I prefer a Spätlese with my veggies but, I’m not vegan so I don’t know the protocol.

After dinner I sometimes indulge in a few shots of Jack Daniels.
I wonder what nutritional value that has. 😀

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 16, 2023 8:56 am

Kip==> I checked, its high in calories but very low in carbs since the sugars have been converted into alcohol. Beer on the other hand is loaded with carbs. Looks like I’ll stick with Jack.

Reply to  Brad-DXT
February 16, 2023 2:07 am

In sano corpore, sano mense, ergo, in a happy mind, the body couldn’t care less… What’s good for the head must be good for the body. If that’s nod good nutrition, what is?
..though I don’t understand why people would drink jack when there’s proper whiskey on the shelf…;-)

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 6:34 pm

What about the ice cream? Or was it made with soy cream?

February 15, 2023 5:29 am

In the natural world, without human intervention, the nutrients in the soil are preserved through the following process.

The animals eat the grass, foliage, fruits, or they eat other animals who also eat grass, foliage and fruits etc. As the food is transformed or processed in the digestive system, energy is produced and most of the transformed food is returned to the soil in the form of urine and faeces. Some of the food and nutrients are preserved in the animal’s body as it grows, and some of it is released into the atmosphere as the animal breathes out CO2.

The remaining nutrients in the body are returned to the soil when the animal dies, and rots on the ground. The cycle is complete.

Unfortunately, the human process of producing food in the modern era, and returning nutrients to the soil, is not so natural. We have sewage systems that process all the faeces and urine, which are usually mixed up with other waste products. The processed sewage is often released into the sea or rivers, rather than being returned to the land as fertilizer.
Sometimes the remaining sludge is used as fertilizer, but perhaps not safely, as the following article mentions.,use%20in%20agriculture%20and%20landscaping.

When humans die, they are usually placed in coffins, or burnt, rather than returned to the soil in order to return the nutrients. Also, when many crops are harvested, the stalks and stems which are not edible are often not returned to the soil, but used for other purposes, such as mulch for your flower garden, or just burned.

To compensate for this deficiency in natural nutrients, we produce artificial fertilizers containing mainly Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium which are essential for plant growth. However, there are other minerals or elements which are not necessary for plant growth, but are necessary for human health.

One example is Selenium. Years ago I read that just one or two Brazil Nuts per day could provide a sufficient amount of Selenium for human health. After doing more research, I discovered from scientific studies, that the Selenium content of Brazil nuts could vary by as much as a factor of 10, depending on where the Brazil Nut tree was grown. In other words, at best, just one Brazil Nut could provide your daily requirement of Selenium, or as many as 10 Brazil Nuts might be required.

The soil in Australia tends to be deficient in Selenium. I recently shopped for a bag of fertilizer which contained other minerals, in addition to the essential Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium. I purchased the bag that contained the gresatest number of minerals, available in the shop. Unfortunately, it didn’t contain Selenium, probably because it’s too expensive.

So this is the problem with modern agriculture; achieving the greatest quantity of biomass is the goal, rather than the greatest quantity of nutrients in the biomass.

Reply to  Vincent
February 15, 2023 5:41 am

 Unfortunately, it didn’t contain Selenium, probably because it’s too expensive.”

Try here

…fertilisers enriched with selenium for healthier livestock, improved performance and fertility.
Booster range fertilisers contain selenium in the most effective form as sodium selenate to promote animal health.

Reply to  strativarius
February 15, 2023 6:09 am

I don’t see any price mentioned. My point was not that Selenium is not available, but that it’s probably rather expensive, which is why it’s not normally included in bags of fertilizer. As I understand, the presence of Selenium in the soil is not necessary for plants to grow, and there are probably other elements also which are not necessary for plants to grow, but which are necessary for good human health.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 10:56 am

“The poison is in the dose.”

The essential ‘minerals’ are elements that are absolutely necessary for health, but are toxic in high doses.

Last edited 1 month ago by Clyde Spencer
Krishna Gans
Reply to  Vincent
February 15, 2023 10:25 am

Stone meal is a good possibility as additive for soils. Depends on the source of the product.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  strativarius
February 15, 2023 10:41 am

I remember the time, as Europe was flooded with so calland Holland tomatoes, grown in hydroponics. Very fast, these tomatoes were called the 4th state of aggregation of water, not without reason, tasting of nothing.
Later they started to sell them with stems, now the tomatoes had at least the tomato smell but no change in taste but thefirst impressions come withe the smell
May someone tell me from health advantages by these tomatoes ?

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 9:33 am

Who really is able to have and pay a well-balanced diet ? People with time and money.
Single parents ? People with more than one job ? People with no job at all ?
The motivation of Greens, and one special, Habeck here in Germany is, they will control and prohibit dietary supplements, that there is no need when eating a well balanced diet.
Isn’t New Zealnad on that way too ?

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 2:02 pm

Habeck spoke about, yes.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Vincent
February 15, 2023 10:23 am

The early civilisations started with agriculture in regulary flooded regions. Soil is regulary filled with sediments.

Krishna Gans
February 15, 2023 5:45 am

The problem with fruits is, they are harvested unripe because of transport issues. So, vitamines and some minerals are lacking.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 8:45 am

That’s why I wrote “transport issues”.
But even in summer, a lot of fruits are harvested unripe, f.e. apricots, peaches, melons…
In the 60ies, as I was a child, before the first start of EEC, we could f.e. buy peaches from Rumania in best and true ripe quality, grapes from Greece, I never have seen and got later in that quality. There are a lot of other examples.

The cited apples, depending on type, are well storable for a certain time, even ripe.
There are early and late apples with different storage properties.

Last edited 1 month ago by Krishna Gans
Mary Jones
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 8:59 am

“If people would not demand apples in February, we could all eat fresh local apples off the trees!”

Not in February we couldn’t, which is why surplus crops are intentionally grown and stored for winter eating.

Tom Abbott
February 15, 2023 6:03 am

I cancelled my subscription to National Geographic back in the 1980’s.

I did so for the same reason I cancelled my subscriptions to Scientific American and Science News, because they were all presenting human-caused global warming/climate change as fact instead of properly characterizing it as speculation.

Characterizing CO2/Climate speculation, as fact, did not belong in a science magazine, as far as I was concerned, and doing so called into question their credibilty on climate matters and every other matter, so I sought my informtion elsewhere.

I’m not going to pay someone to lie to me.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 15, 2023 8:00 am

Same here. Also New Scientist.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 15, 2023 11:01 am

I similarly cancelled my subscription to SciAmer in the ’80s.

February 15, 2023 7:49 am

Why do scientists, academics, and journalists seem to think that insignificant differences in nutritive value is of any importance. It makes no difference whatsoever, if food is available in sufficient quantity and variety. Just as a difference of a few degrees of warming will matter to virtually no one as long as we have adequate shelter, food, and water. The same things that are important at any time and temperature.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 11:05 am

What’s worse, is that a single study that gets results counter to the prevailing paradigm is all too often described as a “break through” or “discovery” and treated as though it is the final word instead of being cautious about accepting the claims without replication.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 11:31 am

So why do scientists and academics so seldom contradict the sensationalist press?

Reply to  rckkrgrd
February 15, 2023 5:40 pm

So why do scientists and academics so seldom contradict the sensationalist press?

I’ve asked that too. What’s really funny is that there are “folx” (that’s supposed to be inclusive I’m told) around here who publicly take us to task for repeating the hype, or reporting on it, but never seem to bother with those pushing the hype or allowing it to be pushed.

February 15, 2023 8:17 am

Far down my list of worries. Amazon will sell us Nature Made Multivitamin Tablets with Iron for eight cents a tablet. And its Gluten Free, has no added colors and no artificial flavors.

Another problem solved.

John Hultquist
February 15, 2023 8:57 am

 There are many people growing older varieties (heirloom) of grains, fruits, and veggies.
If this nutrition thing was a serious issue, specimens could be collected and analyzed. Compared to putting up another wind tower, the cost would be minimal.  

February 15, 2023 9:28 am

Original Post obfuscates the evidence that elevated CO2 measurably impacts nutritional content of what humans eat, even when comparing the exact same cultivar and accounting for different fertilization regimens. Here are just 2 data sets for one plant of the same specific cultivar’s analysis performed 66 days after growth under controlled conditions taken at the start of it’s fruiting.

Under 7 mmol/L nitrogen when grown at 400 ppm CO2 there was 52 mg/kg zinc; while grown at 1,200 ppm CO2 there was 44.4 mg/kg zinc.
Under 14 mmol/L nitrogen when grown at 400 ppm CO2 there was 69.9 mg/kg zinc; while at 1,200 ppm CO2 there was 52.2 mg/kg zinc.
COMMENT: 2 times the nitrogen fertilization was needed to get the same amount of zinc at 1,200 ppm CO2 as get at just 400 ppm CO2. [By the way: under just 2 mmol/l nitrogen when grown at 400 ppm CO2 there was 43 mg/kg zinc; while grown at 1,200 ppm CO2 there was only 16 mg/kg zinc under 2 mmol/l nitrogen – less than half!]

LEUCINE (amino acid):
Under 7 mmol/L nitrogen when grown at 400 ppm CO2 there was 82 mmol/L leucine; while grown at 1,200 ppm CO2 there was 73 mmol/l leucine.
Under 14 mmol/l nitrogen when frown at 400 ppm CO2 there was 88 mmol/l leucine;
while grown at 1,200 ppm CO2 there was 75 mmol l leucine.
COMMENT: not even 2 time the nitrogen fertilization when grown at 1,200 ppm would give the same amount of leucine as get at 1/2 the nitrogen fertilization when grown at 400 ppm.

Above data is just a small extract from (2017) DOI:10.10/S2095-3119(18)62005-2
“Interactive effects of elevated carbon dioxide and nitrogen availability on fruit quality of cucumber.”

Richard Greene
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2023 11:44 am

I could not find the study using the DOI address given
Strike 1

Having read about 300 CO2 enrichment — plant growth studies since 1997, there are many reasons why this post should be ignored.

I believe it is cherry picking data and the CO2 level stated is unreasonably high

I doubt if there was a study of cucumbers that ONLY looked at zinc levels and leucine levels. I believe other nutrients were studied and not commented on because of bias.
Strike 2

I have never read a study using 1200ppm CO2. 1200ppm CO2 would take 312 years if the current CO2 level of 420ppm increased +2.5ppm every year.
Who cares about 312 years in the future?
Strike 3

Cucumbers are not important sources of zine and leucine, so a small change in those ingredients is unimportant. Cucumbers are not known for protein, and leucine is a protein amino acid. Leucine (Leu) is a nutritionally essential branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) in animal nutrition. It is usually one of the most abundant amino acids in high-quality protein foods.
Strike 4

Foods with Leucine:

  • Salmon…
  • Chickpeas…
  • Brown Rice. …
  • Eggs. …
  • Soybeans. …
  • Nuts. …
  • Beef.

Foods with Zinc:
Mainly oysters, crab, beef, pork, lobsters, chickpeas and other legumes, cashews and other nuts, oats, seeds tofu (blah), mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, kale, garlic avocadoes and blackberries berries.

This type of data mining is commonly done by leftists trying to demonize CO2, and should be ignored.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 12:47 pm

More obfuscation of cited data! ” Fruit quality” of cucumber is not a reference to micro-nutrient and amino acid profiled. “Commercial fruit quality is an indication of reduced starch with increased sweetness (fructose and glucose).

Richard Greene
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2023 6:38 pm

I have a vision disability so can’t read the image.
It seems to show 16 variables, not just the 2 variables included in the biased anti-CO2 comment I originally commented on.

Dan Davis
Reply to  Richard Greene
February 16, 2023 12:32 am

Richard click on the image to pop it open, then (at least in Win10) right click and open the image in a new tab.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 9:15 pm

Kip – You yourself pose the issue of whether vegetables are less nutritious now indicating it is technically unknowable for, among other reasons, we have no specific data of the same cultivars to compare over time.

We know CO2 levels have changed upwards over our own lifetime and in 5 minutes I found a plant cultivar recently grown at different levels of CO2. And the extensive data for many specific nutrients.

Those nutritional data points are the trends establishing “What” at least 1 edible plant of the same cultivar would be expected to follow if you grew that cultivar back in the 1900s and actually had the same specific nutritional analysis to compare it to a recent harvest.

Richard Greene
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 6:34 pm

I assumed greenhouse grown because of 1200ppm, which is a common target for greenhouses (1000ppm to 1500ppm) That could be a controlled environment for CO2 enrichment.

I’m impressed that you found the study. I wasted ten minutes looking for it and gave up.

I happen to love cucumbers, in the form of pickles. I don’t eat them for protein or zinc. Those nutrients are irrelevant for cucumbers. My next door neighbor has a huge organic garden, so we get plenty of small, ripe pickle-sized cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. from him.

Reply to  Richard Greene
February 15, 2023 10:17 pm

R.G. – The Original Post put forward a non-specific time line for interpreting veggie nutritional status. Since this is WUWT it seems acceptable to discuss changing levels of CO2; yet the O.P. never provides what past level of CO2 is being referred to (nor definite nutritional parameters).

The very detailed nutritional data I cited indicates clear trends. As such (unlike the ruminative O.P.) it provides a framework to illustrate that when CO2 is lower, like in the undefined past, an edible plant can demonstrably have greater nutritional composition than when CO2 is higher, like in the undefined future.

Your observation that it will be far in the future before ambient CO2 will reach 1,200ppm is informative regarding the trend of CO2. However, it does not negate
the trend of altered “veggie nutrition” cited data specifies; I do NOT contend exact nutritional data would be a lineal extrapolation based on each ppm of CO2.

Pardon my ignoring the rest of your comment. I think much of it I touch on in exchanges below with Kip and 1 of your further comments.

Richard Greene
Reply to  gringojay
February 16, 2023 3:46 am

More baloney

I am sure many nutrients in cucumbers were studied, but you only mentioned two of them, because you are anti-CO2 biased

That is cherry picking data.

The two nutrients you picked are not nutrients people expect to get from cucumbers, so any changes in their already low levels are irrelevant.

People don’t eat cucumbers for protein or zinc.

There are just 16 calories in a cup of cucumber with its peel (15 without). You will get about 4% of your daily potassium, 3% of your daily fiber and 4% of your daily vitamin C. They also “provide small amounts of vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, manganese and vitamin A,” 

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Greene
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 1:10 pm

Kip – Hi. You may not eat plants for leucine, but that does not mean other people on the plant do not rely on plant based leucine sources.

I specifically gave leucine data as an example because you posted having age associated reduced appetite. (Me too.) And in dietary terms leucine is critical for age related loss of muscle mass/strength.

For the elderly there is change in the ratio of natural protein breakdown (prote-lysis) not being kept pace with successive protein turnover (anabolism). Leucine is crucial (phosphoryl-ation) of skeletal muscle mTOR; which activated promotes protein synthesis.

While in actuality it is the metabolite our body makes from leucine that is the activating agent. The crux is that only some percent of leucine consumed is converted into that metabolite (beta-hydroxy-beta-methyl-butyrate) – in other words less than 100% of leucine consumed can be assumed as allaying natural muscle loss.

In summary: demonstrably there can be plants with relatively lower levels of leucine as CO2 levels rise with relevance beyond just published crude protein content data that may not parse specific amino acid changes.

Richard Greene
Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2023 6:55 pm

The claim that cucumbers, which have a very low leucine and zinc level at 420ppm, will have lower levels at 1200ppm, which would take 312 years of +2.5ppm annual CO2 increases, is claptrap.

And you have to be extremely biased against CO2 enrichment in greenhouses to make that cherry-picked claim. Your bias was easily discovered, and uncovered, without me even reading the study. You lose.

How much CO2 do greenhouses use?
For most crops the saturation point will be reached at about 1,000–1,300 ppm under ideal circumstances. A lower level (800–1,000 ppm) is recommended for raising seedlings (tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers) as well as for lettuce production.

When adding CO2 to your grow room, the flowering stage is the most important. Adding CO2 to your grow room, especially in the first 2-3 weeks of flowering, can kick start flower production and boost flower size significantly.

How to Implement CO2 to your Grow |

Reply to  Richard Greene
February 15, 2023 9:52 pm

R.G. – Original Post was whether “veggies less nutritious”, while here you bring up greenhouse cultivation. The O.P. was not about plant flowering, or for that matter, increased plant sweetness.

In the context of greenhouse grown cucumbers’ nutritional composition my cited data clearly shows that cultivar’s reduction of a whole spectrum of human nutrients under 1,200 ppm CO2 regimen than under essentially ambient CO2 (400 ppm a few years ago). This same elevated CO2 nutritional profile alteration trend has been determined for years – with variation between ratios among different kinds of plants.

Richard Greene
Reply to  gringojay
February 16, 2023 3:56 am

You are lying by obscuring data from that study.

Not that one study is the gospel.

There were certainly far more than two nutrients studied but you cherry picked two.

And 1200ppm is irrelevant for most cucumbers because about 90% of them are grown outdoors when the weather allows.

The 1200ppm greenhouse cucumbers (about 10%) do not replace the 420ppm outdoor cucumbers — they allow growers to sell cucumbers when they can not be grown outdoors.

Please provide a link to the study that actually works, or shut up.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 9:39 pm

Kip- Get real: Data from cucumber was only 1 example of a variable nutritional profile; at no time did I propose a diet based around cucumber.

The cucumber data’s relevance is how precise it is on specific amino acids, micro-nutrients and other specific nutritional elements. [There are a multitude of reports of assorted food crops that describe different levels of elevated CO2 impacting plant nutritional profiles – not all are so detailed about individual amino acids, many about micro- nutrients.]

You must well know not everyone in the Dominican Republic regularly eats meat/poultry/fish/eggs/milk in quantities that provide the WHO minimum protein requirement (nor the higher level of daily protein intake to allay age related muscle loss). A recent estimate is 10% of the global population are affected by hunger. Plant sources of nutrition are very important to those who live on about US$1.90 per day – estimated to be 11% of our global population. While an estimated 45% of children under the age of 5 from lack of food.

Reply to  gringojay
February 15, 2023 10:21 pm

Edit: insert the word “die” after the number “5” in my last sentence above

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 1:29 pm

Kip – This is just a weak comment, inexcusably misleading the WUWT choir. “…N assimilation…” under CO2 requires double (2X) the application of nitrogen at elevated CO2 to get the same amount of zinc at current [400 ppm] CO2. [Note: my initial comment data reported this.]

In the category of amino acids “essential for children” TYROSINE levels grown at elevated CO2 is close to 1/2 that when grown at current CO2. And even doubling the nitrogen fertilization at elevated CO2 tyrosine remains close to 1/2 level when frown at current CO2.

In fact only glutamic amino acid levels are higher under elevated CO2 if fertilized with higher nitrogen than when grown at current CO2. I am attaching the cited study’s data on amino acids for those who might be curious.

February 15, 2023 10:12 am

National Geographic stopped being about science decades ago.

February 15, 2023 10:33 am

Marginally related:

Bananas aren’t as tasty as they used to be.

The Gros Michel variety dominated production into the 1950s, but they were largely wiped out by a fungus. The Cavendish variety replaced it for the majority of banana consumption worldwide.

If you are not old enough to remember bananas from back then, ask an elderly family member if they can recall when bananas were shorter, fatter, and a lot more tasty.

Walter Sobchak
February 15, 2023 10:59 am

We all know that your bourgeois food is killing you.

February 15, 2023 12:08 pm

Kip: Phytonutrients, minerals and mineral diversity are nutritious beyond vitamins. Glyphosate is used on virtually all non organic farming. It kills micro biome needed for plants to be nutritious. Plants grown on farms deplete minerals unless those farms have animals, fungi and bacteria sharing the land. Farms kill those.

Glyphosate also affects the microbiome of people who consume these foods. That leads to massive malnutrition.

The human gut biome makes all sorts of extremely valuable vitamins and other components needed to thrive.

Glyphosate is poison for pests and we eat the glyphosate to our detriment.

Today’s non organic foods are massively malnutritious.

Last edited 1 month ago by mariojlento
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 1:30 pm

You know I love you Kip 🙂 But I cannot tell what you mean by ideas.

The story of nutrition that spans from macro to micro nutrients, and how they interact in our body, is almost infinitely complex. The gut biome is crucially important.

The key to happy healthy life for us in our unnatural world can only be understand when we consider how it evolved (or was intelligently designed).

At the end of the day, vitamins are only a very short list of things (ideas??) that are not well understood by most. Even calling ascorbic acid vitamin C is a complete misunderstanding of vitamin C.

I would be remiss if I did not make us aware that Glyphosate kills bacteria and lots of life, and it persists.

Here’s what I found in a 1 minute search. I am sure I could spend hours learning more about it.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 2:09 pm

I was not sure if you meant it in a derogatory way.. but gave you the benefit of the doubt. Thanks Kip!

We can say for sure that Glyphosate’s current purpose is to destroy life of un-genetically modified plants. That’s enough for me to do more than ponder (the idea) whether it’s good for animal life not evolved to consume them long term. It’s only part of the story.

It is also true that minerals (mostly salts) are needed for animal life and that today’s farming is devoid of a wide rain of minerals (they add potash for potassium.. and magnesium if they add epsom salts… but the other minerals trace and macro are often not there of not there enough unless the fungi and bacteria are thriving in the soils… which they are not in today’s fertilizer farming.

February 15, 2023 12:23 pm

I was an urban farmer in Philly and produced between 10,000 -20,000 pounds of organic produce for the local farmer’s market 2004-2011. It was a small side business for my wife and I and a nice distraction and work out after sitting all day in our corporate jobs. I grew organic because it was more profitable $3 a pound for everything…. and it was all sold in two hours every Saturday 14 Saturdays a year. Plus the produce we grew organically actually tasted better than the stuff we grew with normal fertilizers, (a slow acting non-organic fertilizer may have proved just as successful as the organic fertilizer but they did not exist at the time as far as we could tell).

Fast absorbing nitrogen non-organic fertilizers grow produce with a a higher percentage of water making them bigger and a little less flavorful. The slight dilution of flavor may also be a slight dilution of nutrients. I never cared because frankly there isn’t a ton of nutrition in peppers, tomatoes, carrots, Tomatillo’s garlic etc….. the difference would be very small. It’s the depth of flavor that mattered to me.

We also grew heritage opened pollinated cultivars that produced the best tasting produce for our location. There were only a few hydrids that were on par with the open pollinated old school varieties. and we grew he best hybrids because they were very productive.

Organic produce is very expensive and frankly isn’t worth the money unless you are some sort of food aficionado or chef. A lot of my produce went to Chef…my Rocambole garlic and fresh herbs were top drawer… and fingerling potatoes.

Grain is another story altogether. most great grain cultivars for East coast are licensed. Forget trying to grow it yourself. This is where the rubber meets the road in this particular post. This is where the big nutrition is…. this is a global market food item that is tightly controlled in colluded markets.

I have grown wheat, barley for my home brewing with success but there were better cultivars that I just could not get.

We have grown hundreds of different cultivars to select the best for our purposes. We are still growing them 12 years later. We produce 120 lbs of beans just for food for ourselves. We no longer need to do commercial farming so we only do subsistence farming for ourselves and extended family. We produce about 40% of our food budget because we love it. Yet we have no problem with the food in the grocery stores and never buy organic.

I come from a long line of PA and Iowa farmers….my Dad was a viticulturist in the Fingerlakes. Never thought much of organic grapes. I could never tell the difference in taste if the graoe or the wine they produced….. taste is all that matters and should matter.

An established vineyard doesn’t need Nitrogen… don’t want it….dilute grapes are bad grapes. The toxicity issue from sprays is well managed with no risk to the consumer….it’s the guy spraying the stuff who is at risk without proper gear.

After 12 years grown produced in the same 3,000 feet of four foot beds for home use….I can say we are totally no spray except for Kaolin clay which is inert. I have little bug presume the bugs balanced themselves out with the birds. This is easy to do for the back yard home produce gardner …but not so much for the big growers.

If I was 30 years younger I would buy marginal land and graze meat critters for market….. who wants to eat bugs LOL.

Reply to  JC
February 15, 2023 12:34 pm

I discovered WUWT in 2008 when the mid-August sky looked like late September and my potatoes were not budding their 3rd set. The sky had not been all that brilliant from Mid-July on. So I thought maybe something was up with the sun so I started googling, found WUWT and discovered we were in the middle of a deep solar minimum with a big coronal mass ejection facing the earth with lower solar irradiance. My wife thought I had gone batty until I Introduced her to Leif’s posts. I could care less about global warming nonsense…. it was the science in the blog that captured me. Now WUWT seems to be doing battle with the climate science propaganda bunk and it’s political wheels trying to rule the world. Science is far more interesting. No one is going to fix crazy anytime soon….. takes generations to fix crazy.

Last edited 1 month ago by JC
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 1:41 pm

It would be great if we grew meat that pooped on the land and stomped it into the grounds, and then used that land to feed the meat… The land would produce better vegetation and better meat… that is healthier and not in need of antibiotics. As well a crucial part of Vit C call K, P, J and more including bioflavonoids. K turns into K2 which tells your Ca where to go. K2 is needed for matrix GLA protein which puts Ca into bones and dentin, and prevents it from depositing in joints and arteries.

Bacteria is needed to make K2. So fermented vitamin K1 rich foods, or fatty animal tissue that eats vit K1 foods. Most people who eat the American diet don’t have a good gut because of “idea?”

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 2:00 pm

The gut bacteria diversity feed on mostly fiber… and compete for real-estate in the large intestines… crowding out (hopefully) any one strain from taking over.

Antibiotics definitely have their place, and also cause collateral damage.

I used to say, GMO foods feed the world… and that is true. It helps starving people… yup. It also feeds the US too… and more so than other developed countries with far less disease (diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer). Our food is certainly less nutrient dense if you consider nutrients more than “vitamins”.

I used to think, why not eat sugar, protein and take a multi vitamin? You know – donuts and cereal with a multivitamin. That is what I am now countering because it’s really not good to think the way I used to think.

PS: I wash my vegetables and do not recommend eating dirt. The plants do a better job of turning mucky bacteria and micro loaded soil into clean food.

But I do not live in a sterile environment. I do not over wash myself, but no one would know… I mean, I am very clean if you consider all people are covered in a myriad of bacteria and other skin consuming organisms 🙂 I use deodorant too. Probably not healthy but I am a socially aware individual 🙂

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 5:04 pm

Kip: I thought quite a bit about your response. Thank you by the way.

You’re post seems to equivocate: being in a hospital unable to be fed –with– eating nutritious food.

First, they do not inject food or table sugar (sucros). It’s pure glucose (sometime called dextrose which is the same thing), which is not found alone in food. And there might be some electrolytes, sodium, potassium, mg and Ca.

Sucrose is the common table sugar that is comprised of 50%fructose/50%glucose. Honey is much higher in fructose, as is fructose and high fructose syrup or sugar found in fruit.

There are approximately 2 teaspoons of glucose that the blood can hold at any time. Any more and insulin will drive it into fat storage.

Anyway – in your example, if one cannot function enough to consume real food, and if their mitochondria are not able to easily convert fat into energy, and you are in that state for a long time, then there is certainly benefit to dumping glucose into the blood directly with vitamins like C and others.

I’m pretty lean – about 10 to 12% body fat, so I have about 15 to 20 pounds of fat energy to perfectly sustain me for a long long time. At ~4000 calories per pound and a burn rate of ~2000 calories per day. But I am also fat adapted and unlike years ago, when I got brain tired and hungry, I can easily perform without eating breakfast and lunch… and be the most energetic person around.

The blood sugar is created through gluconeogenesis. The body also can live on ketones, which burns cleaner than sugar, with far less ROS, reactive oxygen species. The human body has evolved to get fat by eating sweet fruit so that after the short season of plenty is over, it could live off the fat. Eating sugar as food fails to live off the stored fat and it terrible for the body long term.

Eating sugar and vitamins (especially without fiber, fat and other nutrients) will lead to insulin sensitivity on the way to pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. It will take some time, but it will happen that you will move along that path. This is a serious problem in our country right now and will get worse if people actually believe that vitamins and sugar can be a healthy choice of food. It is not a healthy choice.

Your gut biome is not how you describe it.

The bacteria in your gut consume and ferment fiber as their food. The term is prebiotic fiber. You don’t want to eat flesh eating bacteria or especially dirt in fertile (pooped on) soil especially if you live on a sugar and vitamin diet. Your lack of actual biome will not be there to buffer the pathogens you would consume in the dirt.

The fiber turns into what you would call vitamins and a myriad of other important nutrients, enzymes, butyrate, short chain fatty acids, k2, and unmeasurable other nutrients we need to thrive. Or you could just eat flesh, and internal animal organs, cartilage and skin etc.

That all said, the dirt (you mean soil) that gets in your system is a good thing to build your acquired immunity. If you’re not healthy, you will get sick… which goes without saying.

Last edited 1 month ago by mariojlento
Richard Greene
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 7:28 pm

New York Times headline tomorrow

Food denier Hansen recommends sugar, dirt and vitamins diet.

Richard Greene
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 16, 2023 3:53 pm

My happy diet !
No kale and tofu here
I feed my cat wheat grass, not me
I wouldn’t touch a Brussel’s sprout if I was starving.

You’re gonna’ get sick and die anyway,
so why not be happy on the way?

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 15, 2023 9:54 pm

You’re right… I’ve veered in the direction of off topic. I agree with what you on the macro nutrients you reported in your article.

Richard Greene
Reply to  mariojlento
February 15, 2023 7:26 pm

Eating sugar and vitamins (especially without fiber, fat and other nutrients) will lead to insulin sensitivity on the way to pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.”

Who eats just sweets and vitamins?
So how could you possibly know that?

Type 2 diabetes is primarily a symptom of obesity and overweight, which is rarely from a diet of only sweets and vitamins. In fact, fast eating and large portions are common denominators. But the bottom line is too many calories ingested versus calories burned over many years.

Reply to  Richard Greene
February 15, 2023 8:23 pm

Rich: I was responding directly to Kip, about eating sugar and vitamins. That’s sort of one of the problems with commented in the middle of a long conversation.

your take on type 2 diabetes shows that you do not understand what it is and what causes it. It is not caused by obesity. Obesity can be caused by eating in such a way that leads to type 2 diabetes. It’s better to understand the process whereby cells become insensitive to insulin, so the pancreas works harder, and eventually, there is no amount of insulin the pancreas can pump out to get the glucose out of the blood. But it all starts with becoming insulin resistant.

Human beings should almost never continuously eat fruits, and bread. Bread has a glycemic index greater than table sugar. The insulin must take the glucose out of the blood which means it gets stored as fat and glycogen.

you cannot really start burning your own fat until you have depleted the glycogen.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 16, 2023 10:01 am

We market farmed with babies in tow… they ate everything worms, dirt, flowers, bugs, pulled carrots and eat them right out of the ground. We tried to stop them but it was impossible. They ate everything and still do at 19 and 20. Of course we wash our produce with cold water to get the dirt off but they stuff isn’t sterile or sanitized. It doesn’t need to be. We were never sick…. my kids grew up healthy… etc. We ferment lots of stuff. I ferment many different kinds of veggies for storage, we run our own cultures of fermenting yeasts and bacteria. for beer, wine, baking.

And were were never afraid and we still not afraid.

Cabbages are easily to go… 10 cabbages in 5 days can make all the sauerkraut (80 lbs.) a family needs for a year. Uncooked sauerkraut is a real taste treat. I keep a gallon jar in the fridge and refill it every couple of weeks.

the wonderful thing about home gown wheat is that you can culture great fermenting bacteria’s and wild yeast right from the grain. You don’t need a sour dough starter. Just grind or mill the wheat and let is sit in water for 3-4 days and work it into the dough. Or just mill it up make your dough and let it proof for a couple of days. …sour dough. Store bought wheat and flour have preservative and is fumigated.

Last edited 1 month ago by JC
Richard Greene
Reply to  mariojlento
February 15, 2023 7:14 pm

“PS: I wash my vegetables and do not recommend eating dirt.”

If washing fruits and vegetables with water removed all pesticides and herbicides, then rain would also remove all pesticides and herbicides. Rain does not do that easily, unless it rains soon after the application.

How long does it take for pesticides to wash off? Many pesticides take effect immediately on contact so their impact may not be affected to a measurable extent. So, to sum it up, typically a light shower won’t wash away treatments.

There are low (less than 16 day half-life), moderate (16 to 59 days), and high (over 60 days) pesticides. Pesticides with shorter half-lives tend to build up less because they are much less likely to persist in the environment.

Researchers discovered that 10% salt water solution is effective for removing common pesticide residues including DDT. Rinse with water afterwards. Use bicarbonate of soda(also known as bicarb and baking soda) to clean your fruits and vegetables. Add 1 teaspoon of bicarb to 2 cups of water and soak for 15 minutes.

Eating dirt seems like a strange recommendation. I don’t wash fruits and vegetables before eating them, especially mushrooms, so I suppose I eat some dirt.
Better than eating bugs, I suppose?

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Greene
Reply to  mariojlento
February 16, 2023 9:47 am

There are many boutique meat growers that grass feed and do well for themselves in the niche markets but the meat is very expensive. I used to barter Garlic, Fortex green beans and fingerling potatoes and purple tomatillo’s to a Farmer next to me at the farmer’s market for free range chicken, pork, beef and rabbit…. his products were top drawer.

They were absolutely delicious and very different than the grocery store but i could not have afforded to pay him cash. He ran his poultry Chicken Ducks, Turkey and Geese in the paddocks that Cattle had grazed to distribute the dung and eat up all the fly larvae. So his paddocks were always pristine when they were ready again to be grazed.

Locally, there is a woman who makes a good living on two acres of land growing rabbits, hogs, beef, poultry but it’s very expensive. She does all the work herself.

I am not concerned about nutrition and health….boring stuff. But these meat products were a revelation in taste. Crappy food tastes crappy and great food tastes great….I think this sums up and answers the question about health and nutrition.

We just need more of these little farmers so that meat would be less expensive.

Remember what happened to the industrial brewing industry with the Real Ale home brewing craze of the 1970’s led to the advent of the micro-brewing industry of the 1980’s.. Pre 2000 America Industrial beers were kind of expensive and crappy. By 2010 the standard American industrial beers greatly increased in quality and without price inflation in order to complete with the hoards of little guys.

Industrial Meat Vs Micro Meat LOL

Enough little guys create big competition..


Reply to  JC
February 16, 2023 10:11 am

summed up… capitalism. I agree.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 16, 2023 9:07 am

Hey Kip,

It’s not just a nice story…. it has been a lucrative story both when I did it commercially and subsistent. I don’t have to pay through the nose for food with salary dollars I have to earn two $ to buy one $ of food. I side step all taxes. . My over head is about $150 a year. From a macro scale that is peanuts but for me it is worth it financially… I can’t poo poo 7-8 grand a year. 20 million families (that is 20% of population today, in 1940 it was 47% working land) doing what I am doing would be 160 billion industry! This would be significant financial empowerment for a family… and I am almost 70…..and I can’t do the work I once did.

We don’t all have to live totally dependent post modern online urban and suburban lives….. even if we live in the city because there is land available in cities for farming. Paleo Crunchy cons are still cons right? Forget the green narrative….I don’t care about that at all. I care about liberty, profit and good food. Plus I don’t have to spend money on gizmo’s and gadgets or health clubs….. too much work for all that…keeps me going dude.

No doubt large scale industrial farming is the only way to feed the world in general especially now that the world has shifted from rural or urban. It’s highly doubtful that there will be a shift back from a cultural perspective. Yet there remains many local communities in the US and around the world that are mostly food independent. On the scale of the individual, there are no barriers to reducing the dependency on Industrial food production distributed in markets that are centrally controlled and colluded. The only barrier is desire, knowledge and skill. People can still do work, own land and farm to their hearts content any where in the world. There is still plenty of land available all over the world….at least until the Green and not so green Oligarchs buy it all in giant tracts, (tongue not in cheek)

The world fed itself for many millennia’s on the scale of the individual (not in all cases, slavery was a thing around the world until the 20th c and I am glad it’s going going and gone.) with local owned farms and locally controlled markets up until WWII. Modernity’s transition to Post Modernity beginning after WW1 changed how we think about everything especially our labor. The transition since WWII is cultural, psychological as new technologies enabled people to urbanize and suburbanize themselves but the advent of global markets and industrial farming make family farming unprofitable. Some of it was policy and regulation the other part was the advancement of very expensive farming capital. The trade off ended up being good… greater output. And bad...… growing absolute dependency and lack of market control by the individual consumer and with it, eroding representative power.

I am not advocating a program. Just outlining an opportunity only a rare few will find interesting and that is ok…. to each there own.

Yet…. if tech advancement enabled affordable reliable home energy generation, storage and distribution resulting and reduced energy cost by a factor of 5 or better and along with it affordable agriculture innovation that reliably reduced the total manual labor needed….far more people would be interested especially those doing virtual corporate jobs like myself.

People need real opportunity and real lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, the digital info revolution has failed to do this. What it has done is blinker us from thinking new thoughts for ourselves. We need a tech revolution that empowers people economically Currently, there is no will to make it happen anywhere on the horizon. so ain’t happening. There will be no re-ruralization of America even in many generations. We are all locked up psychologically and economically within the market structure of our day.

Richard Greene
Reply to  JC
February 15, 2023 7:03 pm

Fascinating comment
My next door neighbor has a large organic garden on elevated plant beds. His problem is deer — he has an over six foot electrified fence around his garden to keep the deer herds away.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 16, 2023 8:07 pm

I have a cat that much prefers chipmunks to birds. 🙂 In fact, I have never observed bird predation, but she has removed all the chipmunks from the yard.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 17, 2023 2:09 pm

Fencing out woodchucks and ground hogs isn’t easy but it has to be done….. underground 20’s and above ground at least 6 with a two foot floppy top or just go electric. We use 3 cats to keep the voles, mice, rats, squirrels and rabbits out of the garden. They come from a long line of dairy cats so they’re good hunters and fine friends.

Reply to  Richard Greene
February 17, 2023 2:07 pm

Hey Richard,

It’s amazing the deer in Suburban and Urban areas. The biggest buck I have ever seen ran down my street in Philly.

In Philly, the herds were out of control in the area I leased land from the city. I had to put up 10 foot high steel fence (electic was forbidden) and 20 inch below ground wire skirt to keep the ground hogs out. I could afford to build the 1,100 foot fence because our market garden was highly profitable. The local environmental group that controlled the land the city owned referred to my garden as Gulag Gardens. They wanted me on their board until I became too successful then they forced me out. Later on they had to capitulate to the political forces in the city that wanted to promote urban farming on our model because we had been so successful….. a bit ironic but it didn’t matter for us.

The timing worked out fine…. at 60 I was ready to reduce my work load from 50 hours corporate and 30 hours farming. So we bought land and a house so we could live on the same property as our garden and stopped doing it commercially. I loved urban farming and selling produce at the farmers markets. I made a ton of good friends.

It was very difficult to reduce our annual yield. The first year in our home garden we produced 12,000 lbs. of produce so we set up a road side stand which was moderately successful but lot’s of people grow produce in Berks County PA. After 12 garden seasons we still over produce…it’s just so easy to do. We trade for meat and milk when we can.

I put up a 9 food electric fence….. it was cheap and quick and very effective round 3,000 feet of in ground 4 foot wide permanent beds. We use drip tape irrigation and plastic row covers. This greatly reduces the labor and yield. I grow everything.

We also grow food for our chickens and they produce fertilizer and eggs for us

Elevated beds are a shortcut for people with bad soil. But it’s better just to take the time and do the work to improve the soil at the ground level. The wood boxes don’t solve anything, are expensive. rot out in a few years and are an eye sore and they are always in the way.

When people drive by our property….they don’t see the electric fence. Its invisible from 50 feet away. What they see are orderly rows of vegetation and lots of flowers and shrubs… lines of berry bushes full of berries. it is a beautiful place to be.

Our lives are organized around the seasons and we have engrained routines…. stuff no one else does except our neighbors who are doing same thing…. plus they raise meat.

This week we are starting onions, leeks and rooting onions and leeks to go to seed to produce seed for the 2024 season. All the see potatoes are ready. Tomatoes, peppers , egg plants are started in 3 weeks, cabbages, Broccoli, cauliflower in 5 weeks. The garden will be fully planted May 25. We grow over a 100 different varieties and cultivars including strawberries, Blue berries, elderberries, black berries, Raspberries, Grapes, apples, peaches, cherries. I try to make6 cases of hard cider a year…..I am drinking the 2020 and 2021 season cider and the 2018 port and the 2019 Brown Saison I brewed from home grown, malted and roasted grains and home grown hops. I am too old to do scratch brewing now. Growing grain by hand its a young person’s endeavor.

Interested in this sort of thing read Wendal Berry….his old stuff….he has gone green in his old age.

February 15, 2023 5:11 pm

Some of you may be confused to hear NatGeo (as it is affectionately known) being referred to as “a for-your-entertainment” magazine. You probably think that it is an “almost scientific journal” from the National Geographic Society.”

Only if they’ve failed to read at least a couple of issues some time during the past 45-50 years. National Geographic issues filled with opinions void of honest facts.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 17, 2023 2:19 pm

Another variation of religious anti-anthropomorphism. Just keep eating the edible critters and ignore their religion.

My Hindu convert mother was a animal rights pioneer in DC. in the late 60’s and 70’s….She would let the squirrels in to the house and feed them on her lap at the breakfast table. She was arrested frequently at McDonalds for picketing them with a placard that said, “love animals don’t eat them”. For her people were evil and animals were higher order beings. So I grew up with all these arguments from an early age. She made her own meat analogs, Tempeh and tofu and started the first vegetarian coop in Virginia. supply the coop with tofu. She also had the first Public TV Vegetarian cooking show through WETA in D.C… was short lived….nut loaf turkey at Thanksgiving wasn’t a big hit in 1969.

February 15, 2023 8:21 pm

The answer is yes and no. Unfortunately, this article fails to ask the right questions. It does mention Australia and as one with decades of experience in Australian horticulture, agriculture and our fake politics, I’ll stick to that.

In Victoria, the second most populous state, successive governments plonked massive housing developments on some of the best vegetable-producing land in the state. The result is the state of ‘Melbournia’. This was a deliberate strategy.

Vegetables grown elsewhere in the state will be different. There is no chance of exact replication. It could be good or bad, but it will be different. Mostly it’s not as good, in this case, for some soils now under housing were ideal and Australian soils are generally older and less arable than the World average, so it’s not like we should have buried some of the best under concrete.

Then there’s the varieties grown. These are bred for shelf life rather than taste and quality is a big part of taste. Things that affect taste can also affect shelf-life. One may use the analogy of a Macca’s hamburger. It is so full of preservatives one could shove it in a drawer and it wouldn’t decay. It has shelf-life, but is it really food?

Home-grown tomatoes are way better than cricket-ball shop ones. Anyone old enough to remember what Australian field tomatoes used to be like would agree. Research shows a reduction of three quarters in some modern industry tomatoes compared to home-grown in some key components.

Taste is a good judge.

Reply to  Gumnut
February 16, 2023 10:15 am

Terroir for veggies is a real thing. My market garden in Philly was in nice schist loam with naturally neutral PH. The schist in the soil had a wonderful capillary effect holding moisture through out for a long time. So the roots always had moisture available which was great for the various plant feeding mycelium. The land had perfect SE solar aspect. Our garlic, French Gray Shallots, onions etc were top drawer…and grew large without added nitrogen. My tomatoes were always sweet, rich with a great texture. All the produce tasted awesome. I built a customer base very fast and had no problem selling my produce very fast.

I retired from market farming and with my profits moved from Philly to Berks County and bought some hill top land. I didn’t expect my produce to be as great as it was on the old banks of the Schuylkill river in Philly. My garlic and onions are smallish by comparison no matter what I do. I have added 20 dump truck loads of cheap mushroom compost with no improvement. Everything I grow is good…. it tastes perfectly fine….but not extraordinary. Our winter and summer squash, sweet and dried corn, melons and dried beans are the only exceptions.

February 16, 2023 1:27 am

Its a far simpler problem… they NEVER had that much nutrition in them.

The original studies were from analytic molecular analysis, gas spectrometry and bomb calorimeters followed by narrow proxy tests in animals. NONE of the tests and science were done in full mixed dosage rates. Not only is the data inaccurate but many of the food items originally tested have been replaced with selective breeding and genetic manipulation to improve hardiness, reduce water needs and broaden the range of environment as well as shorten the growth characteristics.

Add to this allergen and pseudoallergen foods like garlic, onion, okra, shallot, many spices, suppliments like aloe-vera all having known rates of diarrhetic effect from minor to major as well as having negative nutritional effects due to digestive and immune response cost being dumped heavily into almost all forms of prepared food you end up with things like the “taco bell joke” which is actually the predominance of the world’s population having wasted most of the nutrition in a meal through explosive acceleration of gastric conveyance.

Mediterranean Diet? Just take laxatives every day apparently.

Tree ring proxies are probably the abject best parallel to food nutrition on a year-to-year basis.

Reply to  prjndigo
February 16, 2023 10:31 am

Very funny!! But poopy irony will get you nowhere. Poopy allium allergies are rare (3% garlic near zero for onions…..Gong!. But I do appreciate your point. Most of the yap about nutrition and diets is nonsense. Except T.B….great for animals that bark.

Tree rings……gah! Solar output, Cosmic Radiation, cloud cover, maybe temp but nutrition….. yih!

I grew produce through 2 deep solar minimums and mild maximums….the only years that were worth mentioning was 2010….everything super rich and sweet. And 2018 everything noticeably dilute and bland. I guess 2010 would be a fat tree ring year except it was drought year. Nitrogen and soil are the keys to concentrations of nutrients in food. Too much nitrogen lead to dilution, poor soil that lack mycelium lead to less nutrients.

February 18, 2023 5:45 am

Some plants slightly decrease nutrient content. These are crops generally bred to produce carbs & not nutrients to begin with. Soil depletion & breeding are more important than co2. Food choice, education & income are far more important.

Using a slight drop in nutritional content of crops engineered over thousands of year to optimize for carbohydrate production as an excuse to keep people poor is reprehensible. As food security increases, developing economies are able to switch to better crops. Keeping people poor is reprehensible.