The soil that a plant is grown in has an immense effect on what that plant contains in it. A healthy high functioning soil will produce crops that are flavorful, aromatic, nutritious, and should dessicate, not rot.
Historically, agricultural societies rose up in river valleys where annual floods would systemically remineralize the soil on a regular basis, and so the act of harvesting crops from the soil was balanced by natures nutrient replenishment. Since the dawn of agriculture, societies have moved beyond river valleys, but the basic extractive nature of agriculture has not changed. Every year a crop is harvested off of a soil it takes with it the minerals that are most biologically valuable, and over time if this effective mining is not addressed farmers find that their soils have worn out.
In the United States, we had a vast and fertile plain that has served as a bread basket for generations. Unfortunately, the agricultural practices that have been applied on most of our countries soils have been primarily destructive and we find ourselves in a position where the United States Department of Agriculture has been documenting mineral and nutrient declines on the average foodstuff for the past 80 years since the first records were kept.
The dominant incentive in farming currently is yield. Farmers are paid based on the number of bushels and pounds produced, and so treat their soil accordingly. Doing what is necessary to harvest a crop even if it is in many cases destructive to the soil. We have gotten to a place where the soils on many farms simply will not produce under conventional fertility programs, and it seems our populace is also in a similar position. So worn out and tired that degenerative disease and underlying health issues are extraordinarily prevalent.
The Bionutrient Food Association suggests that the objective of growing crops should be to produce nutrition that will cause people to thrive, and there is no way to do that without understanding that the soil is the foundation of that process.