Nutrient Decline in Honeydew Melons


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Scientists have been tracking the nutrient content of food for decades and by the late 1900s discovered that the nutrition in our fruits and vegetables may be declining. Honeydew melons, for instance, have 84% less iron today than they did in 1950, 68% less calcium, 43% less phosphorus, and 40% less riboflavin. Though these honeydew melon results are not statistically different from zero, they are part of an overall trend in decline. Read more about the trend and what you can do here.

Honeydew Melon: Change in Nutrient Data

In the table presented here we include the nutritional content of honeydew melons from 1950 and 1999. The 1950 measures for honeydew melons are adjusted for water content so that the 1999 and 1950 values have the same amount of dry matter. These nutrient measures are based on a small number of data points and not one of the apparent individual changes are statistically significant, but as a group, they suggest that nutrition has decreased in small garden produce.

Nutrient Change In Honeydew Melon

Nutrient
1950*
1999
Calories
34.8
35
Protein
.54
.46
Fat
0
.1
Carbohydrates
9.3
9.2
Ash
.54
.6
Calcium
18.5
6
Phosphorus
17.41
10
Iron
.44
.07
Vitamin A
.
Thiamin
.05
.077
Riboflavin
.03
.018
Niacin
.22
.6
Vitamin C
25.03
24.7

*The 1950 data is adjusted for water content.

Creative Commons License

The figures used to present decline in nutrients in garden crops here on the Traditional Foods website, including change in honeydew melons, can be distributed for noncommercial use with a link to this specific page or to our more general article here.

Data Source

The historical measures on the nutrient content of garden crops has been published and made available by the United States Department of Agriculture. It was also examined by Davis, Epp, and Riordan whose analyses we describe on this site. In line with the researchers, we adjusted the 1950 honeydew melons nutrient measures so that the 1950 and 1999 food samples had the same water content.

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