Practicing what we preach, or not

01/08/2014 09:06:00 AM
Tom Karst

Tom KarstI would love to see a survey of fresh produce industry professionals on the topic of healthy eating habits. The crux of the question is simple: does being a member of the “produce industry” make one more likely to eat right?

 Do fresh produce professionals eat more fruits and vegetables than the norm? One would certainly hope so, given the premise of most marketers is that fresh produce in America today is woefully under consumed relative to the dietary guidelines. More Matters, 5 a day for better health and so on.

 I think of this after reading a blog at Smithsonian.com  headlined “Just Because Farmers Grow Fresh Produce Doesn’t Mean They’re Eating It.”

 The author cited a survey from Modern Farmer that quizzed growers who supplied fresh produce to a farmers’ market and found that many of them didn’t have the time or inclination to practice what they preach.

From the story:

The contrast between what’s grown and what’s eaten is perhaps starkest in California, Modern Farmer says, where 80 percent of farmers—many of whom are new to the country and grapple with poverty—suffer from obesity. But even farmers at family-run or smaller operations can be nutrition-deprived. Especially during the busy summer months, they subsist on processed snacks, pizza and perhaps an apple at best. “A lot of the times cooking comes at the expense of sleep,” one CSA farmer told Modern Farmer.

 

We are all time-starved, and it seems many of us, growers and produce evangelists included, make up with that deficit with drive-through KFC instead of fresh produce.

 How confident are you that the average Joe or Jill in your produce company eats more apples, broccoli, lettuce, oranges, et cetera, than the Bill and Suzy working in another white collar job? Do you even care?

 I would like to hear stories how fresh produce companies (and produce associations) make eating right the easy thing to do. How many companies provide healthy options in the cafeteria or perhaps provide fresh fruit and vegetable snacks. How great would it be if the boss filled up the fruit bowl every day, or set out a veggie tray every Friday?

 There is no fresh produce regularly supplied to The Packer’s office, so it is up to each employee to practice his own food faith.


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don    
PDX  |  January, 09, 2014 at 03:22 PM

we are a wholesale house so it is easier, we have glass front coolers that employees can shop and either make a lunch here or take the produce home. We sample fresh produce daily via a tray set up like in your office and encourage all to partake (know what we sell). We embrace healthy choices and have a health and wellness committee to suggested and encourage healthy options. I do wish we had some protein choices too :)

Tom K    
KC  |  January, 09, 2014 at 04:11 PM

Don, sounds like you have a good system.... know what you sell.. you can speak with conviction about the quality! Tom K

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