Nutrient Decline in Summer Squash


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For decades scientists have been measuring the nutrient content of summer squash along with other food crops. Since 1950, there has been a trend toward declining nutrition in small garden crops. In the case of summer squash there has been a decrease in riboflavin, vitamin C, and iron and an increase in phosphorus. Though these results are not statistically significant, the more general trend is significant. Read more about the trend and what you can do here.

Nutrient Change for Summer Squash

In the table provided below we provide the nutrient content of summer squash from 1950 and 1999. The 1950 measures for summer squash are adjusted for water content so that the 1999 and 1950 measures have the same amount of dry matter. These measures are based on a very small number of data points and none of the individual differences are statistically different from one another, however all together, they suggest that nutrition has declined in small garden produce.

Nutrient Change In Summer Squash

Nutrient
1950*
1999
Calories
20.2
20
Protein
.76
1.18
Fat
.13
.2
Carbohydrates
4.9
4.4
Ash
.51
.58
Calcium
18.96
20
Phosphorus
18.96
35
Iron
.51
.46
Vitamin A
328.64
196
Thiamin
.06
.064
Riboflavin
.11
.037
Niacin
1.01
.551
Vitamin C
21.49
14.8

*The 1950 data is adjusted for water content.

Creative Commons License

The figures used to present differences in nutritional content of garden crops here on the Traditional Foods website, including change in summer squash, can be reposted for noncommercial use with a link back to this summer squash page or to the article about nutrient decline here: nutrient decline.

Nutrient Data Source

The historical measures on the nutritional content of fruits and vegetables has been archived and distributed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It was also compiled by Davis, Epp, and Riordan whose work we describe on this website. Following the lead of the researchers, we adjusted the 1950 summer squash nutrient measures so that the 1950 and 1999 food samples had the same water content.

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