Nutrient Decline in Sweet Green Peppers


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In the decades since food scientists have examined the nutrient content of food, they have noticed an alarming trend: the nutritional content of fruits and vegetables is on the decline. Sweet peppers are a good example: from 1950 to 1999 the data suggest they declined in riboflavin (57%), vitamin C (28%), phosphorus (26%), and calcium (20%). Though these specific results for peppers are not statistically significant, they fit with the overall trend of decline in nutrient content. To read more about the trend and what you can do, read our full article: nutrient decline in the food supply.

Change in Nutrients for Sweet Green Peppers

In the table presented below we include the nutrient content of sweet peppers from 1950 and 1999. The 1950 measures for sweet peppers are adjusted for water content — a sample with more water will bias the results. These nutrient measures are based on a small number of data points and none of the individual differences are statistically significant, however taken together, they suggest that nutrients have declined in small garden crops.

Nutrient Change In Sweet Green Peppers

Nutrient
1950*
1999
Calories
25.7
27
Protein
1.23
.89
Fat
.21
.19
Carbohydrates
5.86
6.4
Ash
.51
.3
Calcium
11.3
9
Phosphorus
25.69
19
Iron
.41
.46
Vitamin A
647.41
632
Thiamin
.04
.066
Riboflavin
.07
.03
Niacin
.41
.51
Vitamin C
123.32
89.3

*The 1950 data is adjusted for water content.

Creative Commons License: Share the Knowledge

The figures used to display differences in nutrients in garden produce here on the Traditional Foods website, including change in sweet peppers, can be reposted and redistributed for noncommercial use with a link to this sweet peppers page or to the more general article here: nutrient decline.

Data Source

The historical measures on the nutritional content of fruits and vegetables has been published and made available by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It was also compiled by Davis, Epp, and Riordan whose research we describe on this website. We adjusted the 1950 sweet peppers nutritional 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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