Supplements and "lack of nutrition in modern veggies"

I recently saw an advert on TV saying take #$%# multi-vitamin to boost your immune system and helping you live more healthy. The ad began by using the same line most of these multi-vitamin companies use, they tell you (as a fact) that modern vegetables and fruits are less nutritious than a 100 years ago.

This totally irked me when I heard someone repeating this line when I asked why they take these supplements, I think it’s total bollocks, and the other thing is I don’t know what are in these multi-vitamins anyway, I reckon it would contain watered down vitamins and minerals from plants at best, at worst it’s just a lot of junk chemicals that are probably not that healthy in the first place.

I don’t understand how this is almost taken as common knowledge and why people would believe this crap.

Any time any of this bullshit comes up, I have a go-to link ready…

Penn & Teller: Bullshit - Organic Food, even though it’s a 27 minute youtube video, which some here prob couldn’t watch… It is a pretty thorough debunking of the myths around “organic” foods (incl nutrition). Also, it has titties at the end.

I wasn’t around 100 years ago!

I especially enjoyed the part with the banana–people were told that one (half) banana was organic and the other not. The wowsers all said how delicious the ‘organic’ banana was compared to the other, before being told that they were eating two different halves of the same banana. They didn’t even look embarrassed at being revealed as fools…

I also loved the whole last supper theme, thought it really drove the dagger home, the boobies was a bit unnecessary, but an awesome bonus ;D

Still, although it’s a bit of a tangent to my OP it still contributes a lot to my question of why people buy into this tripe, I can for the life of me not figure out how taking snake oil is bette r than, or even contributing anything to having real veggies in you diet. They said it best when they equated the whole organic diet thing to driving a Prius…

Eating junk food and taking vitamins makes no sense.
Taking vitamins you don’t need also don’t make sense, 'cause it’s just a waste product then isn’t it? (I’m assuming a normal diet for a normal person with no specific insufficiencies).

Isn’t people using this idea that today’s fruit and veg being less nutritious just an scape goat for trying to have a quick-fix for the junkfood diet?

But I don’t think it’s a tangent because I believe this is exactly where this crap comes from. Our “modern” vegetables just aren’t as nutritious because “reasons”, but hey do I have a replacement veggie for you! Now only 50% more expensive!.. You repeat this shit long enough and people start to take the “fact” for granted. I cringe every time somebody posts an instagram of some plate of “organic goodness” on facebook. Alas, if I critiqued every piece of BS on my FB wall I would be a shut-in soon enough.

One reason I find this laughable is because I doubt 200 years ago the veggies were NEARLY as healthy during their life as they are now, thanks to evil “modern farmers” with their insect-killing and plant nutrition wizardry.

I voted no because I don’t believe that at all. I should probably have voted I don’t know because I am clueless.

Also I don’t do veggies, fruits and salads so

<<< meat guy who considers chicken a salad.

How on earth would you go about proving if fruit and vegetables where more or less nutritious?

So seems to me a an unprovable statement.

But my guess is they are about the same, maybe a little better with modern farming technique.

I think it would be more nutritious, if there is a change at all, what with modern chemical fertilisers. The apple, carrot or whatever now get a chance to grow to it’s full potential instead of some poor sample, or does that not matter? I’m not sure.

I would think it reasonable to say that the well-fed stuff just grows faster and could very well end up with the same nutrition DENSITY as otherwise grown vegetables. Iow: The edible bits may be larger for well fed plants, but if taken by weight the nutritious value may very well be the same.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as the wag would say: When we consider what we looked like in pure physical context compared to say 1000-500 years ago when the Knights of the Round Table were about the size of a modern 12 year old girl according to the suits of armour you find in many museums, I would say one of the factors that has played a role is what we eat. A 100 years is probably too short a time span to evaluate the impact of GM foods, vitamins etc. but overall, we eat better now than our ancestors did (quality wise as well as actual selection of nutrients), we are taller, stronger, swim faster, break athletic records daily and get a lot older.

My apologies Boogie I didn’t mean to step on any toes, nah all I meant was it wasn’t the path I was going down thinking about this stuff, I was looking for a different angle, I wanted to hear what you guys know about how much nutrtional value these “vitamins” contain and talk about the extra binders and other junk manufacturers put in it like preservatives, colourants and other modifiers and how you can end up with a pill that contains so very little whatever plant watered-down extract and sell it as if some concentrated form of said plant Also wanted go into the psychology behind this thinking (which is the part you related to, as people believe our modern veggies are somehow worse than previous generations’), I did say a bit, and maybe it’s not so much a slight tangent as a broader discussion, anyways…

Hehe philosophy 101 and the non-mutually exclusiveness of of believing vs knowing…

I don’t know is also a totally acceptable answer, why must one feel the need to come up with an answer for stuff, isn’t this why we have religion in the first place? I probably should have also included the option “I don’t care” but what the hell ;D

Yup: modern westerners, including even grossly obese American ones who live on “junk” food, today live longer and healthier lives than any human beings ever before, in all of human history. Thus the whole paranoia over health and nutrition is a bit of a mystery.

But I don’t think it actually has much to do with the food or with the facts anyway. The whole healthy food thing is, I think, part of a much larger psychological phenomenon, some of which I can actually understand very well. But it doesn’t make it any more rational. :slight_smile:

While I agree with much of what you said. There is actually a bit of ground for skepticism about the above, I recently discovered.

ps. Sorry I post youtube videos so frequently, it’s often my only evening entertainment, and I find so much interesting stuff!

When you asked do I believe this, the immediate answer is no. Then it is like wait… what? Are there some that claims this? Why? On what merit? Can it be? hmmm frickit I don’t know. Never once heard about it before or ever thought about it. Oh wait, there is a ‘don’t care’ option? Now that suits me in this particular situation >:D

ETA: Now let me just tell everyone how much I don’t care about this ;D

ETA: Now let me just tell everyone how much I don't care about this

That’s the skeptic way!

I 200% agree about the vastly more superior conditions athletes today compete in: as a SA and British Champion in swimming during the '60’s I can attest to that. Coaching has improved, timing technology has improved immensely; anti-wash lanes did not exist in my time, sleeker swimwear, etc etc. However, nutrition has become more scientific; a lot more research is done into the bio kinetics of movement and more efficient use of energy etc. Good old evolution is IMHO also busy weaving its magic as athletes are genetically superior than what they were say 500 years ago…have a look at lock forwards today vs Frik du Preez in the 60’s…selection of the fittest, the biggest, the strongest, largest feet, bigger heart/lung capacity etc!

My point earlier stands though. The original question had to do with a comparison of nutrition in veggies. I grow some of my own and use totally organic compost and no fertilizers or weedkillers. Whether the veggies are better than 100 years ago begs the question and whose veggies are we talking about anyway today? what you buy in one shop may be very different to another due to its source, farming methods etc.

I can agree that technology and other knowledge improved and increased incrementally over the years, and I can even agree a little bit with science-based nutritional diets, but even that has a lot of woo mixed right in along with the goodstuff, but yes athletes do follow strict diets that’s proven to help them to perform better.

I don’t agree that we have any evolutionary advantage over that short time period, I’d just say that if today’s records are better than ever, that’s a combination of many things, better training, etc etc and the main thing is the shifting of goal posts, as just breaking the record is always the main idea.

And I don’t necessarily agree that the rugby example also holds much water, the way we play rugby today vastly different than a few decades ago, not only have the rules changed and changed some more, but also much of what you related to swimming can also go for rugby, better clothes and shoes, better coaching etc.

Ditto about sourcing on veggies though, the night soil thing in China will give you nighmares

Evolution will only make better athletes if being a good athlete

      (a) helps you not to die before having lots of sex, or

      (b) makes you more attractive to potential mates.

I don’t see a straight forward reason why good athletes should enjoy either of these selective advantages in a world where they don’t also have to run away from wolves and hunt rabbits. (NTMNSITIDE*)

I think the main reason why there are better athletes today has more to do with statistics pertaining to the size of the pool of talented individuals. There are simply far more people in the world, and on top of that, more of these are exposed to sports than would have been the case many years ago.


  • Skeptic’s disclaimer : Not that me not seeing implies that it doesn’t exist. :stuck_out_tongue:

Good athletes are immensely attractive to potential mates. But they are so exhausted from training, or so pumped full of steroids, that they can’t even get it up, let alone having lots of sex before they die. :slight_smile: