Nutrient Decline in Cucumber with Peel


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Scientists have been measuring the nutrient content of food for decades and at the end of the 1900s, began to see a disturbing trend: small garden crops were declining in nutrient content. The cucumber, for instance, showed a decline in iron of nearly 80%, a decline in riboflavin and vitamin C of 45% and 35% respectively. It did show a gain in calcium. Though these specific results are not statistically significant, they are part of a larger trend of decline in these nutrients. Read more here to learn what you can do.

Change in Nutrients for Cucumber

In the table provided below we present the nutritional content of cucumber from 1950 and 1999. The 1950 values for cucumber are adjusted for water content — a sample with more water will bias the results. These measures are based on a small number of data points and not one of the apparent individual changes are statistically significant, but on the whole, they suggest that nutrients have decreased in smaller garden crops.

Nutrient Change In Cucumber

Nutrient
1950*
1999
Calories
12.3
13
Protein
.72
.69
Fat
.1
.13
Carbohydrates
2.8
2.8
Ash
.41
.41
Calcium
10.23
14
Phosphorus
21.48
20
Iron
1.23
.26
Vitamin A
266
215
Thiamin
.03
.24
Riboflavin
.04
.022
Niacin
.2
.22
Vitamin C
8.18
5.3

*The 1950 data is adjusted for water content.

Licensed to Share: Creative Commons

The figures used to display differences in nutrients in garden crops here are Traditional Foods, including change in cucumber, can be redistributed for noncommercial use with a linked attribution to this particular page or to our more general article here: nutrient decline.

Data Source

The historical values on the nutritional content of food has been archived and distributed by the USDA. It was also compiled by Davis, Epp, and Riordan whose analyses we describe on this website. We adjusted the 1950 cucumber nutrient content so that the water content of the 1950 and 1999 samples would be the same, as did Davis, Epp, and Riordan.

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