Figure 3.1 Percent Change in Nutrients Contained in Per Capita US Food Supply Compared
to a Century Prior
Notes : Numbers are calculated as the percentage change in average, per day, per capita
nutrient supply over the period 1997-2006 relative to the average over the period 1909-1918.
Source : Economic Research Service, Nutrients (Food Energy, Nutrients, and Dietary Components)
(dataset), US Department of Agriculture, accessed July 30, 2013, at http://www.ers.usda.gov/
but the overall results suggest organic food is slightly superior
or equivalent to conventional food in terms of nutrition. When
grocery stores in the United Kingdom tried to market organic
food as being more nutritious, they were ordered by the gov-
ernment to stop, because it was considered false advertising.
The stores could not refute the government's accusation, so
they ceased advertising organic food as nutritionally superior.
Organic food does have fewer pesticide residues, but we defer
this issue to the chapter on pesticides.
Does Chemical Fertilizer Cause Too Much Water Pollution?
There are two ways of measuring food production in a region.
One is to look at the actual amount of food produced. Another
is to measure the amount of water pollution. Both the United
States and China, which have greatly increased their food
production in the last fifty years, have seen a decline in water
quality. Over 64 percent of US lakes are impaired in that they
cannot be used for fishing and swimming. The numbers for