Dan Barber has a great op-ed in the NY Times today about the benefits of natually-grown food (especially when compared to ridiculous fad diets like Atkins):
A serving of broccoli is naturally rich in vitamins A and B, and has more vitamin C than citrus fruit. But raised in an industrial farm monoculture, shipped over a long distance and stored before and after being delivered to your supermarket, it loses up to 80 percent of its vitamin C and 95 percent of its calcium, iron and potassium. Fruits and vegetables grown organically, however, have higher levels of antioxidants. That’s largely because a plant’s natural defense system produces phenolic compounds, chemicals that act as a plant’s defense against pests and bugs. These compounds are beneficial to our health, too. When plants are grown with herbicides and pesticides, they slow down their production of these compounds.
Broccoli is only one example…turkeys, chickens, beef, eggs, carrots, milk, beets, etc. are all made less nutritious and delicious by current methods of mass production. We’re painting ourselves into a corner here. Soon even the non-processed food we eat will be almost entirely virtual. Our flavorless, nutrient-free broccoli will be artificially flavored, artificially colored, and supplemented with multivitamins (Centrum-brand broccoli?) and result in meals that are artificially satisfying. (via tmn)