Beets are a good example of the trend toward a decline in nutrients. Beets show a 50% decline in vitamin C since 1950, a 40% decline in calcium, 20% in riboflavin, 20% in iron, and 7% in phosphorous. Though the differences are based on small sample sizes and do not reach statistical significance, they do fit with the overall trend toward decline in nutrient content (read more here and learn what steps you can take).
Beets: Change in Nutrient Data
In the table presented here we provide the nutrient content of beets from 1950 and 1999. The 1950 measures for beets are adjusted for water content so that the 1999 and 1950 measures have comparable dry matter. These nutrient measures are based on a small number of data points and none of the individual differences are statistically different from one another, but all together, they suggest that nutrition has decreased in smaller garden produce.
Nutrient Change In Beets
*The 1950 data is adjusted for water content.
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The figures used to present differences in nutrition in garden produce on the Traditional Foods site, including change in beets, can be reposted and redistributed for noncommercial use with a link back to this particular page or to our more general article : nutrient decline in garden crops.
Source of Data
The historical values on the nutrient content of garden crops has been collected and made available by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It was also analyzed by Davis, Epp, and Riordan whose research we describe on this website. Following the lead of the authors, we adjusted the 1950 beet nutrient measures so that the 1950 and 1999 food samples had the same water content.
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