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Nutrient depletion

(article, Culinate staff)

In a recent New York Times op-ed, Jo Robinson — the journalist behind the website Eat Wild — laid out brief histories of contemporary crops, from healthy wild originals (teosinte, purple potatoes) to not-so-healthy modern derivatives (corn, white potatoes). 

The accompanying graphic showed just how colorful our food plants used to be — plants that are now comparatively depleted of nutrients. It's a problem that Robinson suggests we start to address by growing, buying, and eating the most colorful produce we can find.

Still, even if all you can dig up is an ordinary orange carrot, not a slinky purple one, you're better off eating it than popping a beta-carotene supplement. Eating the whole food, as both Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan have pointed out — not to mention Culinate columnist Cynthia Lair — is better for you than any nutrient in isolation.