More red tomatoes, bright apples, identical eggs … Although the shelves are full of attractive products, the reality is that such beauty is not reflected in the taste or nutritional value of food . Especially in developed countries, diets with natural and fresh products are being replaced by a fast, artificial food and, therefore, empty of nutrients. Those round, perfect oranges have less vitamin C than 50 years ago and those colorful onions do not provide the same amount of selenium. There are different factors that can affect the nutrient content of a vegetable and cause that the foods that are currently consumed have little or nothing to do with those that were ingested half a century ago. From the composition of the soil, the fertilizers used and the rotation of the crops, to the maturity at the time of collection and the cultivated variety cause that there is more and more food, but that they provide less nutrients
Composition of the soil
Soils are the basis of agriculture and are fundamental for agricultural development not only because they are the physical support they represent, but also because of the secrets that they hide inside . According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, known worldwide as FAO, advances in agricultural technology and increased demand for population growth have put increasing pressure on soils during the last 50 years. years. Healthy soils are necessary to obtain crops in good condition and, in many countries, intensive agricultural production has caused a depletion of soils that has endangered their productive capacity .
Use of fertilizers
In intensive agriculture, a production system in which there is an intensive use of the means of production to obtain the maximum yield, chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used that have an enormous impact on the quality of the food . In order to produce faster in less time, farmers use a high number of these substances that the plant cannot absorb. If soil micronutrients, especially zinc, iron and manganese, are not present in plants, they will not be present in food either. The result? Less flavor and aroma and lower values of vitamins and minerals .
Although using certain types of fertilizers or renouncing genetic modification cannot guarantee that the nutritional content of the products is much better, organic farming is the alternative that could reduce the problems posed by traditional agriculture . Faced with this decline in the quality of food, this type of agriculture, based on the optimal use of natural resources, without using chemical products or genetically modified organisms, could help to preserve the fertility of the soil, as well as the nutritional quality of the food, thanks to the application of techniques that contemplate the elimination of toxic products or a studied rotation of crops .