The cartoon character bugs bunny used to thrill audiences with his funny antics and his catch phrase, “what’s up doc.” One of the more memorable things about Bugs Bunny was that he loved carrots. Not only did he love them but he would nearly get himself killed by
human foes in order to get a bite of a nutrient rich carrot. One thing we can be sure of is that Mr. Bunny was not eating the carrots that we eat today.
Why has the nutritional value in carrots decreased so rapidly? It would seem that we are living on the same planet and doing the same things as we always have as humans. The nutritional value may not be visible to the untrained eye but it is certainly noticeable to those that study nutrition. The concern over the nutritional content of fruits and vegetables has been on the rise over each of the last four decades. You can no longer count on a carrot to give you the high amounts of vitamin A and beta carotene that it once did. This is not to say that they no longer contain these elements but the amounts are significantly lower than they were one hundred years ago.
Even if you were to eat carrots that are grown organically, it still would not have much of an impact on the nutritional value in carrots. There is a simple and logical explanation for the decline of the nutritional value in carrots. In the old days people were not used to having electrical appliances in their homes so they had to live in unison with Mother Nature. As a result of this style of living, Americans were forced to cook on wooden stoves. After each meal the stove would be full of wood ashes from the wood being burned. Instead of throwing the wood ashes away, those ashes were taken and spread over the crops that were growing in the garden. This was said to be an old custom that was started in Europe and Africa thousands of years ago. I’m still not quite sure if this was discovered by mistake or if the people who started this custom really understood the benefits of spreading the wood ashes over their gardens. The benefits would turn out to be astronomical! Wood ashes contained key nutrients called plant minerals that remained after the carbon was burned off of the wood. Chromium, Calcium, Vanadium, Maganese, Boron, Potassium and Zinc are all plant minerals that the body needs.
Not many people knew that the advent of electrical appliances in the early 19th century would have a great effect on the nutritional value in carrots and all other fruits and vegetables. We were all affected because people were no longer using wooden stoves. We became more modernized and moved to electric stoves which meant that we would no longer need wood to fuel a fire. The backlash of the electrical appliance revolution was a decline in the nutritional values in vegetation. Farmers began using fertilizers that would use the minimum amount of minerals required to grow tons and bushels. Today, the average fertilizer contains approximately three plant minerals. Those three are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Compare those three plant minerals with the sixty to seventy plant minerals that could be found in wood ashes.
A British nutrient data study conducted over the course of fifty years between the years 1930 and 1980 showed a tremendous decline in the nutritional value in carrots and 19 other vegetables. The study showed that on average, iron had dropped 22%, potassium dropped 14% and calcium dropped 19%. It is always best to buy organically grown carrots but at least you now know the reason the nutritional value in carrots has gone down drastically.
This publication is courtesy of Private Eye Health via Cochise Tarak-Saa.