Nutritionally Bankrupt

The food grown by my grandparents was TWICE as nutritious as today’s crops.

A landmark study proves this. In the study, researcher Donald Davis tracked the nutrient content of 43 different fruits and vegetables from 1950 to 1999.

What he found should shock every person on the planet: Food sold on modern supermarket shelves is nutritionally bankrupt.

And you would need to eat at least 10 servings of vegetables today to equal just one serving from 50 years ago!

Take a look at the USDA nutritional values for produce today compared to then:

  • Apples: Vitamin A is down 41%
  • Sweet peppers: Vitamin C is down 31%
  • Watercress: Iron is down 88%
  • Broccoli: Calcium and Vitamin A are down 50%
  • Cauliflower: Vitamin C is down 45%; Vitamin B1 is down 48%; and Vitamin B2 is down 47%
  • Collard greens: Vitamin A is down 45%; Potassium is down 60%; and Magnesium is down 85%

You see, unlike farmers of my grandparents’ generation, Big Agra isn’t focused on nutrition or the well-being of our society. Their main goal is to make a profit.

And in the process of producing as much food as they can in the shortest time possible, they’ve stripped our native soil of its lifesaving nutrients.

Because of these profit-driven modern farming techniques, 30% of the world’s cropland is now unproductive.1 And what’s left is virtually useless in terms of producing crops with the phytonutrients necessary for our survival.

And this lack of nutritious foods is causing a health crisis in the U.S. Modern diseases that never affected our ancestors — chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and dementia — are directly linked to low nutrient levels.

A 2017 study found that more than 30% of Americans are at risk of at least one vitamin deficiency. And a staggering 67,000,000 fail to meet their most basic nutritional needs.


Get More Nutrients from Your Produce in 3 Easy Steps

When it comes to getting the most nutrients out of your fruits and vegetables, this is what I do for myself and my family — and what I recommend for my patients:

  1. Pick locally grown organic produce from a family farm. Food that’s grown close by has more nutrients than foods that have to be transported long distances. Local produce is allowed to ripen naturally, while food that travels long distances is picked before it’s ripe.
    Big Agra’s mega farms harvest their crops before they’ve ripened. But allowing produce to ripen naturally — while it’s still in the dirt — allows more nutrients to develop. And further studies have shown that vitamins, phytochemicals, antioxidants and many other important nutrients decrease as fresh food ages.
    Today, it’s easier than ever to get food fresh from a small farm delivered right to your door — within hours of being picked.

    Farmers’ markets continue to grow in popularity and numbers, making it easier than ever to find and purchase locally grown foods. If there’s none nearby, look for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs in your area.

    I belong to one, and I can honestly say the food that’s delivered to my house is almost as good as what I grew up eating on my grandparent’s farm.

  2. Add healthy fats. If you don’t add a little healthy fat to your salad or side of broccoli, your body can’t absorb all the nutrients it would otherwise.
    Researchers at Iowa State University proved this point… They had students eat greens and tomatoes with low-fat dressing, fat-free dressing or olive oil. Blood samples were taken before and after each meal.
    The bloodwork revealed that people who ate the fat-free or low-fat dressings didn’t absorb the beneficial carotenoids from the salad. Only when they had eaten the oil-based dressing did they get the nutrients.3

    In addition to olive oil, I recommend coconut oil, walnut oil and grape seed oil.

  3. Don’t overcook — or undercook — your veggies. It’s a myth that eating raw vegetables is always healthier. It depends on the food. Some produce is most nutritious uncooked, while other kinds need heat to bring out their nutrients. For example, to release the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes need to be heated. But steaming and boiling destroys vitamins B and C in foods like collard greens and kale.
    Vegetables that are best cooked include asparagus, carrots, mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes. Those best eaten raw include onions, spinach and red peppers.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD, CNS


1. Davis D, et al. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004;23(6):669-682.
2. Bird JK, et al. Risk of deficiency in multiple concurrent micronutrients in children and adults in the United States. Nutrients. 2017;9(7):655.
3. Iowa State University. Researcher finds further evidence that fats and oils help to unlock full nutritional benefits of veggies. Accessed on December 13, 2018.