Malnourished with fruit and veges

April 2012, Warren Matthews


The blog article that Caramia wrote yesterday prompted me to 'reprint' an article I wrote almost ten years ago.  It is still in the archives of 'Xtend-Your-Life' on the newsletter page of our website.

The blog article that Caramia wrote yesterday prompted me to 'reprint' an article I wrote almost ten years ago.  It is still in the archives of 'Xtend-Your-Life' on the newsletter page of our website. 

As the content is still appropriate today given the situation has not improved but rather has continued to deteriorate, I thought you may find it interesting.

Malnourished…with fruit and veges? This will shock you!  

Published on the 21st August 2002

This is a concept that you may have difficulty in accepting. Nonetheless it is one that I have been ‘preaching’ for years and has now been confirmed by studies showing people in the US, Canada and the UK are amongst the most malnourished in the world. This is the case in spite of obesity reaching epidemic proportions in the US. Malnourishment is without doubt a leading factor in a wide variety of health problems including cancers.

Does this mean that overweight people are eating all the food to the detriment of the rest of the population? Not at all! In fact, obese people figure prominently amongst those people who are malnourished.

I can sense you thinking... ”That’s a crazy statement”. After all, when you think of someone being malnourished your mind flashes to pictures which you have seen on TV of starving children in Africa. How can an overweight person be malnourished?

Much easier than you think... please read on and I will explain.

The Problem is in the Food!

A recent analysis of a range of staple foods in Canada including potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, apples, onion, broccoli etc, etc was commissioned by The Globe and Mail and CTV news.

The results were predictable to some and a shock to others. Let’s use potatoes as an example. This is what the analysis found:

Over the last 50 years the potato has lost:

•    100% of its Vitamin A
•    57% of its Vitamin C and iron
•    28% of its Calcium
•    50% of its riboflavin

•    18% of its thiamine

Of the seven nutrients analyzed only niacin levels had increased. The results were similar for all the 25 fruits and vegetables tested. One of the worst results was from broccoli in which ALL nutrients had declined measurably including niacin with Calcium down 63%.

The Globe and Mail and CTV used comparative figures from government researchers for the years 1951, 1972 and 1999. These earlier figures had been published in various scientific journals in the UK including the British Food journal. Release of this data in the US has been limited to a few alternative health journals.

Tim Lang a professor at the centre for Food Policy in England says as a further example of how our food has been degraded is that you would now have to eat eight oranges today to get the same amount of Vitamin A that your grandparents got from eating just one orange.

What’s gone wrong?

That’s simple to explain. Consumer demand for cheaper and ‘good looking’ food has over recent decades changed traditional farming methods as well as distribution. A farmer used to rotate his crops to suit his land and maximized his yields through natural methods and then supplied his fresh produce to his local market for distribution.

Regrettably that is largely the way of the past. Now, the emphasis is on production, appearance, storability and transportability. Nutritional value of fruits and vegetables is of virtually no concern. As Dr Phil Warman, an agronomist and professor of agricultural sciences at Nova Scotia Agricultural College points out, “crops are bred to produce higher yields, to be resistant to disease and to produce more visually attractive fruits or vegetables, but little or no emphasis is placed on their vitamin and mineral content.”

Unfortunately the situation is getting worse as more Corporations become more vertically integrated and control the entire food process from supplying the seeds through all the production stages, and distribution. Because of these controls some farmers have become little more than modern day serfs with almost no options left to them other than contract to these major conglomerates and conform to their ‘corporate’ farming methods.

Add to this the increasing foothold of GE engineered crops where nutritional value is way down on the priority list and this problem is going to become much, much more serious and will I believe flow on to an elevation of health problems such as cancer and brain disease which may well reach epidemic proportions over the next couple of decades unless the public wake up to what is happening.

Do foods that have low nutritional values play a part in obesity?

Absolutely! I believe this is a major factor in the current epidemic of obesity. If you are lacking in essential nutrients it will have a serious flow-on effect in your body. First of all you will never really feel ‘well’, you will lack energy which means you exercise less, and you will have a tendency to seek out ‘comfort’ foods which generally contain sugars and thus the cycle continues and it gets worse and worse and ultimately ends up in obesity and ill health.

What can be done about this problem?

  • Try to eat organic fruit and vegetables wherever possible.
  • Avoid processed foods! If you think the loss of nutrient value in fresh fruit and vegetables is bad enough, I can assure you that it is nothing compared to the nutritional emptiness of processed foods... and to add insult to injury they are full of transfats due to the hydrogenated processing methods that are used. 
  • Take a QUALITY multi NUTRIENT supplement. A multi vitamin/mineral tablet is not adequate for a number of reasons. The prime one is that most ‘multi vitamin’ supplements use synthetic ingredients with both questionable efficacy and bio-availability and they lack other important nutrients. Unfortunately this is an area in which many consumers are being mislead. It’s a complex subject and as such I may devote a newsletter to this very important subject in the not to distant future.
It was interesting to see that even some mainstream physicians are beginning to recognize this problem as evidenced by a recent article in JAMA which advocated people take quality supplements for preventative measures.


  • “it is amazing , I have not known anything about this but have sat to my wife since a few weeks I think we are poisoning our self with all the vegetable we are eating . The reason I  was saing this because we mainly live on vegetables as we are vegetarians.  We feel so tired and run down in the last 6 to  12 moth that we are wondering were it come from. fine we are of an advanced age but we are still very healthy and active walking, swimming, have enough sleep and fresh air etc but still not getting anywhere. reading this article make me thinking if I am right, but  it is very hard to find organic vegetable suppliers if you live in the tropics and only depend on supermarket supplies 1000 nths of km away from a capital city and fresh market supplies. So, the veggies are already up to two weeks or longer on there way till they came to our supermarket shelf’s  in other worth’s totally worthless, only kept alive with sprinkling water on them.Then this supermarkets charging top prices for it and paying the farmers peanuts, because as you say looking good and fresh mass production, that’s all. well I have to look around to see and find a local gardener, will give it a go, may let you know how I go. cheers  Horst PS: have to keep up with taking my extended life products ”

    Horst Kubsch - April 06 2012

  • “This very informative article is rather frightening – especially in regard to obesity. It is something we all should be aware of and work toward changing our diets to gain all the nutrients we need for good health.”

    Virginia Brown - April 05 2012

  • “Outstanding article. So true!!”

    Luis Ramirez - April 05 2012


    JAN - April 06 2012

  • “Do you have recommendations on "quality" multi nutrient supplement? K”

    Kathleen - April 06 2012

  • “It is sad that we are slowly destroying the lives of our nations by greed. For those of us who read the bible this is not alarming because in days a fore the farmer had two separate parcel of land and he would alternate them every seven years.  We will say that in days gone by the population was not so large. I guess it is the fulfillment of time. ”

    Xtend-Life Expert - April 22 2012

  • “As always another outstanding article by the genius of integrity Warren. Thanks for enlightening us, I hope to see more information on the manipulations including some of the data on the products we seem to be surrounded by (vitamins, specific GMO’s and their nutrient values and such) though a difficult task, I’m sure you can accomplish this.”

    mystic - August 25 2012

  • “There are SO MANY of a so called "quality" multi nutrient supplement in the market. ….what would be the best medthod to verify and validate these supplements actually work? It seems the market sector of mutri nutritent supplement is huge, currently!!”

    jas - April 13 2012

  • “I just wonder why nobody cares. Yes, consumer appeals to good looking fruites and vegs, but everyone (for example here in Nordic European countries) is well aware that the fruits and vegs in the stores have came being green and frozen. With this considerable decrease in nutritional content, these green things do not have chance to mature to even this low level. And myself, if I see very nice looking strawberries in the store, I’d always smell it, it smells nothing or grass, and the taste is corresponding. I never buy it just for the look! Consumers are not that blind or dum. I am ready to pay more for better quality products. Consumers are probably passive waiting for the better options to appear in the market. BUT just for this very reason there are plenty of national and international organisaitions protecting the consumer health and rights to purchase the quality products. The big question is "do they?" as no progress so far is seen, just the degradation. Is it the banal money game or do they lack influence mechanisms?”

    Ana - April 07 2012

  • “I agree with Ana, the fruits I buy frozen , I expect to find sweet ripe berries and mangos…After all if they were frozen in the tropics, they would be ripe, I assumed.. they re all so sour, I have given up on frozen now… I prefer the mango in the tins, because the fresh ones are also very sour. I even had fresh pineapples that they said were ripe, and sliced in the store… They were very sour, and who wants a sour pineapple ? You cannot win unless you know a local farmer who is organic in his ways, or her ways.. We need to taste fresh ripe fruits and veggies again, just to know how they should taste. Good job on the article. Very informative. I need to know which vitamins and supplements an 80 yr old lady would need. Thank you again for the info. mary”

    mary dicerni - April 17 2012

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