I just signed up to grow my own vegetables.

“Hey — I love this pitch,” I wrote my microbiome Ph.D. genius pal Matt Wipperman, “but I’m curious to know what you think.  Could it possibly be true that lettuce loses 90% of its nutritive value within 24 hours of being picked?”

He checked out the pitch and replied:

“Very cool idea — I love it!   The lettuce assertion is incredibly misleading (aka, false). Sure, some nutrients like Vitamin C are lost after picking (see here). But it is highly misleading to say that 90% is ‘lost’ after 24h of picking.  Lettuce that is picked and several days old has TONS of nutrients — fiber! vitamins A, E, and K and minerals like iron and calcium, etc.  So why should people grow their own food? They learn about cooking, it makes them think about how their choices impact the environment, and it’s fun. Also, cooking is a good way to prevent yourself from eating junk food, since you’re more aware of what you eat.”



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