The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention reported recently that about one-third of adults in the U.S. consumed two or more servings of fruit or fruit juice a day. This is slightly lower than about 34% a decade ago. The study also found that only about 26% of adults ate three or more servings of vegetables a day, which is about the same as in 2000. These results are from a telephone survey of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
According to the USDA, adults should be consuming two cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables each day. It is also recommended that a variety of fruits and vegetables be consumed, particularly from all five vegetable subgroups each week. These subgroups are dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, other vegetables.
Mike Stobbe (AP) states that “Health officials have been trying to promote fruits and vegetables — especially leafy greens — as healthy alternatives to salty, fatty and sugary foods. The goal is to curb the nation’s obesity problem and reduce diabetes, heart disease and other maladies tied to bad diets.” Sabrina Gibbons of WSB News in Atlanta, GA also mentions that “A diet high in fruit and vegetable intake plays a key role in weight management and reduces the risk of leading causes of death– heart disease, some cancers, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and diabetes.”
As part of National 5-a-Day month, Hawaii is “promoting healthy foods at tailgate parties at University of Hawai’i football games, setting up booths at health fairs and other related events, displaying 5 A Day posters on city buses, conducting supermarket tours, and distributing 5 A Day book covers to school children.” The CDC also says, “In 2002, more than 53% of Hawai‘i adults were overweight or obese and only 27.6% reported eating fruits and vegetables 5 or more times a day in 2003.”
Farmers markets are becoming more popular for the residents of O’ahu. Farmers markets are popping up all over the island, from Waimanalo to Waianae, KCC to Haleiwa. These markets are the perfect place to meet and get to know the farmers and their products. Consuming produce the quickest route from farm-to-table is highly encouraged and farmers markets are a great place to removing the “middle man”.
When shopping at farmers markets it is important to remember a few basic tips:
- BYOB. Bring your own bag. However, when using reusable bags with fresh produce, be sure to thoroughly clean it before using it again to prevent cross-contamination.
- Don’t let the crowd overwhelm you.
- Arrive early.
- Stop at each vendor’s stand before making a purchase.
- Talk to growers.
To find a farmers market near you, check out the Farmers Market Search.
If you enjoyed this article, please leave a comment and share it with friends and family! You may also subscribe to receive notification of when the next article is published.
To read more articles by Theodene Yee, visit Honolulu Easy Meals Examiner and Honolulu Farmers Market Examiner.