By now you are familiar with the many benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. They contain vitamins and antioxidants, nutrients that are essential for longevity and good health. If that is the intent, it goes without saying that you would want the food that you eat to preserve the nutrients until consumed by you. Let us say you are making lemonade imagining that tons of Vitamin C is going into your body. You have even skipped the sugar to ensure that you do not add unwanted calories. So far so good. The moot point is, are you getting the Vitamins that you thought you were?
The nutrient in food is a function of the quality of the soil in which they are grown. It is also a function of the manner in which it is produced including the use of pesticides. Research has shown that the quality of soil has steadily been depleting over time. Intensive agricultural methods have stripped the nutrients available in the earth from the food that we consume. Each new generation of vegetables overgrown and made pest resistant is less nutritious than the previous one. This method affects the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus or iron that the food may contain. Recall that if you are tracking the nutrients, you are consuming you are calculating of the standards, not the actual availability of nutrition in the food.
Once produced, the time and manner in which the food reaches your table also matter. Exposure to heat and light, for example, can rapidly reduce the available nutrition in food. For example, Vitamin C degrades quickly after harvesting so much so that over 75% of the vitamins in green beans can be lost if not consumed for one week. A blink of an eye to someone from the food industry. There are no easy answers. Being aware hopefully is a good start.