Time to scare Americans skinny

10/11/2012 05:07:00 PM
Tom Karst

National Editor Tom KarstIn the battle of good versus evil, fruits and vegetables represent the golden halo of food groups.

Fresh produce consumption is the path to a higher moral standard, the self-evident natural law for humans looking for sustenance and a trimmer waistline.

We know in our hearts Little Debbie Swiss Rolls are good, but they aren’t good for us, are they? We are tempted by French Fries, and artery-clogging burgers, but we know the path of repentance if we stray, and it begins at the salad bar.

The most spiritual among us may only eat veggies grown in their backyard, but mainstream believers are inclusive in their acceptance of all fresh produce, no matter the orientation of organic or conventional, local or far-flung.

Is there any country where fruits and vegetable are not revered? Is there any country were folks believe that eating pork rinds is more noble than eating broccoli? I would not want to live in such a place, if there is.

The human aspiration for fresh produce is proof the existence of a higher intelligence. There is a apple-shaped vacuum in all of our stomachs, one might suggest. So why do we fill it with glazed donuts?

Some eschew the vaunted calling for fruit and veggie consumption, and they are outliers to the higher wisdom. In fact, one lawmaker from Kansas, Rep. Tim Huelskamp recently introduced legislation that will upend the USDA’s rule that created the new fruit and vegetable-friendly nutrition standards and will prohibit the USDA’s upper caloric limit.

But I suppose that even Huelskamp hears an inner voice that convicts him that such a heretical attack on increased fruit and vegetable consumption in schools is grounds for excommunication from a civilized society still struggling to break the shackles of obesity. In his defense, his office said that Huelskamp’s "Nutrition Nannies" page on Facebook has well over 3,500 “likes.”

Speaking of the (nearly) universal esteem for fresh produce, I was looking at the website for the European Fresh Produce Association the other day, and the news was foreign and yet familiar.

It was if those folks in Europe were living in a parallel universe to our own. I say this because produce marketers there are also appealing to the same hopes, dreams and aspirations revolve around the supremacy of fruits and vegetables in the diet.

Much like the Produce for Better Health Foundation may plan a social media outreach to promote fruit and vegetable consumption, the folks in Europe are also hard at it as well. Freshfel , the European produce association, was “taking the next steps” in boosting the EnjoyFresh Initiative. Those steps included the launching of a youtube channel called FreshFel TV.


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Sarah Ayala    
Portland, Oregon  |  October, 12, 2012 at 11:38 AM

I totally agree! I get frustrated by the myriad of "diets" and marketing out there that confuse and complicate something as basic as healthy eating. We should relax and enjoy, fresh, real food. The greater variety of fruits and vegetables we put in our diets the greater variety of nutrients we consume and the less room we have for out of the box options filled with sugar and substances that are unknown and unpronounceable by the majority of us. If anyone is interested in forgetting about complicated diets and enjoying more fruits and vegetables (with a bend on kids should be eating more fruits and vegetables too) please check out www.leapingzucchini.wordpress.com

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