Nutritionally Depleted Foods – Is this the Beginning of the End?

By Dr. Michael Wald – Director of Nutritional Services at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco

914-242-8844 |

More than a few studies have indicated that our fruits and vegetables these days are less nutritious than they once had been.  Less nutritious food means that our diets have become more devoid of the nutrients essential to fight off disease so to maintain optimal health.  Acid rain, pesticide use and over-harvesting of farms are primarily to blame: we suffer in terms of sickness and disease.

Acid rain has affected the nutritional content of crops by eroding nutrients in the soil.  The crops that make it to harvest despite acid rain simply do not flourish as they normally would under optimal growing conditions.  People who eat food derived from acid-rain exposed crops lack vital nutrients. Inadequate nutritional intake is associated with the increased risk of developing virtually all chronic degenerative diseases, including cancer, heart disease, lupus, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, hypothyroidism, osteoporosis, arthritis, headaches, fatigue, multiple sclerosis, migraines, infertility, and inflammatory bowel disease. There are many causes of acid rain: namely the industrial outpouring from factories which is taken up into the atmosphere, concentrates in clouds and then eventually rains down into the soil and ground water.  All forms of environmental pollution add to the already overly acidic rain conditions.

Over-harvesting of soil on farms means that the soil becomes progressively depleted in nutrition, leading to nutritionally deficient crops. The pesticides and herbicides used to produce higher yields of various crops directly and indirectly affect nutritional content; not to mention, organo-pesticides are thought to increases our chances of a variety of autoimmune diseases and some cancers.

Foodstuffs are transported great distances, resulting in loss of nutritional content along the way. Freezing foods help to maintain their nutritional content. The time lapsed from the harvesting of foodstuffs to their consumption at the table results in nutritional loss; the longer this time period, the lower the nutritional content. The overall production of more crops due to advancement in technologies has resulted in crops that are diluted in nutritional content; a greater yield of crops derived from the same soil will become progressively more and more depleted.

The presence of selenium in soils is estimated to be entirely absent within the next five years, increasing cancer risk and human susceptibility to oxidative diseases (virtually all degenerative diseases are oxidative in nature).  Many of us in the nutritional field believe that a large number of chronic health problems, no matter how big or how small, may result from inadequate healing because of nutritionally deficient diets.  The National Institute of Health agrees that approximately 60% of women’s cancers and 40% of men’s cancers are related to nutritional factors.

We can get more nutrition out of fruits and vegetables, even those that are inherently deficient based on what I have written above, by consuming foods closer to the time of harvesting as opposed to waiting long periods.  Choosing to eat frozen foods as opposed to non-frozen (fresh) is best because non-frozen foods lose nutritional value faster than frozen.  This does not mean that fresh foods should not be consumed.

We can cook our foods more slowly which reduces nutrient loss; cook our foods at lower temperatures which reduces nutrient loss; chew our foods thoroughly to break the plant-cell walls of fruits and vegetables releasing nutrients; choose organically grown foodstuffs that contain less toxic residues that actually require nutrients for the body to process and detoxify them; we can choose to consume foods that are grown locally, as smaller farms are not as over-harvested such that their soil has a higher nutrient content; generally speaking, canned foods are poorest for nutritional health.


First: buy fresh fruits, vegetables and grains locally from an organic farm; drink organically produced milk and other products as often as possible; take a multivitamin based upon your health needs; consume at least 6-8 (combined) pieces of fruits and vegetables every day; exercise for at least 60 minutes daily; sleep 8-9 hours nightly.  For more information about how to reach and maintain health and eat better go to:, or call 914-242-8844. Integrated Medicine is located at 495 E. Main Street in Mount Kisco, New York.

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*DISCLAIMER: Dr. Michael Wald is a doctor of chiropractic with a masters degree in nutrition. He is also a Certified Dietitian Nutritionist and a Certified Nutritional Specialist and Sports Nutritionist. Dr. Wald is certified to provide acupuncture in several states, but not New York. Dr. Wald has two board certifications in nutrition. Dr. Michael Wald earned his MD diploma, but did not complete a residency and is thus not licensed to practice medicine. The information on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not to substitute for sound medical or health advice. Information contained within this website may change at any time without prior notice. The information on this website is under copyright, 2021.