The most nutritious vegetables are those grown in organic soil, fertilized with naturally occurring fertilizer, not synthetic chemical fertilizers. There is a big difference in the mineral content of vegetables depending upon the soil in which they are grown. The mineral content of five types of vegetables grown in different areas of the country. Cabbage, lettuce, snap beans (green beans), spinach, and tomatoes were collected from as many as ten states, and tested. According to the authors, “The environmental factors that seem to exert the greatest influence are soil type, fertilizer practice, and climate.” The report showed that the sodium content of green beans can vary from as high as 8.6 milliequivalents per 100 grams dry weight (mEq p/100 g) to as low as 0.0 mEq p/100 g, and that of lettuce ranged from a high of 12.2 mEq p1100 g to a low of 0.0. In addition, the percentage of total ash of some green beans was less than half the amount of others. This is the ash that contains vital minerals that can replenish a dwindling alkaline reserve. According to these findings, you can eat a carload of green beans grown in nutrient-poor soil and not get any organic sodium to neutralize the acid from the steak or chicken you eat at the same time.
The conditions in which our food is grown affect the quality of the product we serve at our meals. The quality of our food affects our health. Vegetables grown in an environment full of natural, living organisms are best. The question then is raised: Do I have to get all of my vegetables at a health food store? Definitely not. But you can if you prefer. Just because foods come from a health food store, doesn’t guarantee that they are organically grown. The best method for determining if vegetables are really “whole,” is by taste. If they are sweet, no matter where they were grown, they contain all of the nutrients they were meant to have. The sweetness test applies to vegetables as well as fruits. Zucchini, bell peppers, carrots, green beans, and cabbage are all sweet when they are properly grown. Not as sweet as fruit, mind you, but definitely pleasant-tasting and not bitter. Bitter vegetables lack needed nutrients. The same goes for vegetable juices. Never, Never, Never drink vegetable juice that is bitter. Pour it out. If you have a garden, pour it on the garden where it will do some good and give some future food a stab at coming up sweet. Raw zucchini is a good example of a vegetable that you don’t usually think of as being sweet. Some zucchinis are so bitter you can hardly eat them, and others are so sweet you can eat them like bananas.