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Urban Treasures


People often look at fruit trees found in dense urban areas and assume its offerings are nutritionally bankrupt, made up of car exhaust and sadness. The fact is, neighborhood fruit trees, even ones growing in the most desolate of concrete jungles, can often be nutritionally superior to what you find in stores.

Scientists from Wellesley College in Massachusetts examined 166 samples of urban fruits and herbs collected in the greater Boston area. Not only were they entirely free of urban pollutants, but compared to commercially grown fruit they contained 2.5 times more calcium and had greater concentrations of manganese, zinc, magnesium, and potassium.

On average, the city-picked fruit contained a broader range of nutrients than samples taken from supermarkets, which are often grown in nutrient-impoverished soil.

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