In 2017, about one in four Europeans (27%) ate fruit at least twice a day, according to Eurostat data. An additional 37% of the EU population ate fruit once a day, and the remaining 36% ate fruit infrequently or not at all during the normal week.
This suggests that most of us have not reached the five parts of fruits and vegetables that WHO says should be eaten daily and daily.
Many WHO reports and strategies recommend increasing population-level fruit and vegetable consumption to promote health. And health benefits are important.
Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals, as well as dietary fiber, which helps promote gut health. The UK’s NHS states that consumption can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. Fruits and vegetables are also usually low in fat and calories, to promote a balanced diet in Western countries where what we eat is highly processed and often contains excess fat and additional sugar. Useful.
All of this is now fairly common knowledge in many parts of Europe. Educational promotion of five-day campaigns in public schools means that many of us recognize that at least some fruit and vegetable consumption is generally beneficial. But the facts remain and consumption is still low. I haven’t received the message. Or, at least, it hasn’t changed the way we eat.
“The facts about health and nutrition are not enough.”Dietitian Barbara Bray, director of technical services and nutrition consultants, Allo Solutions said today at an event hosted by Germany’s Life Sciences Multinational Bayer. “Facts are important for informing people, but they do not drive behavioral change.”
Barriers to consumption and food environment
Bray emphasized the importance of communication to support behavioral changes across all areas of the food system. “If you can communicate correctly that you can touch every part of the food system … Consistent food communication depends on so much. To avoid running out of messages, one comprehensive solution Must be part. “
According to a dietitian’s assessment, there are many factors that prevent people from incorporating more plants into their diet. These range from access and affordability to how others around you shop, the ads they are exposed to, and what’s on the shelves of the supermarket in front of them. All these factors and more make up the food environment in which we exist.
She continued that poverty is probably one of the biggest problems affecting the amount of produce we eat. “The poorest people in society have access to only the poorest nutrients. There is a clear link between fruit and vegetable consumption and income … What if people don’t have enough income, how to eat a healthy diet? Can you buy? “
Here Bray believes that government intervention can play a vital role. Not only through direct support schemes, but also through tax systems that incentivize employers to support the workforce through nutritional programs, as seen in some European countries. The importance of this-and the debate on policy action-should not be underestimated, she continued. “It’s about saving lives. It’s about staying strong and healthy until older adulthood.”
Increase the attractiveness of agricultural products
Bray emphasized the need for change to help people coordinate their behavior and integrate more produce into their routines. She emphasized that we are essentially habitual creatures.
For Paul Mastronadi, President and CEO of Mastronadi Produce, supporting this shift results in making fruits and vegetables the food of choice for consumers. To this end, produce producers have worked with seed varieties and agricultural practices to innovate tastes to enhance consumer appeal.
“We have focused on flavors to boost consumption.”He spoke to a digital audience.
He also suggested that there is room for further innovation to address the nutrient gap and ensure that fruits and vegetables are placed at prices that are more accessible to everyone.
“We are looking at seed varieties to increase yields and lower prices. We are also looking at technology. Labor is a problem … the future is automation. The good news is That is to lower costs and bring higher paid jobs to the sector.
“We are watching again [seed] Nutrient variants “He continued.
However, the current restrictions on what can be communicated in this regard mean that it is impossible for companies like Mastronadi to market the profits of such produce. Agricultural experts have suggested that this is another area where policy interventions can support industry innovation and ultimately boost consumption.
Bray points out the growing demand for COVID pandemic diet kits and the future potential offered by personalized nutritional solutions, and agrees that innovation will play an important role in shaping consumption patterns. did.
She needs to be aware that the response to innovation has seen changes in consumption patterns across Europe in recent decades and the need to open up space for fruits and vegetables in these new patterns. I think there is. “”I grab a lot. We don’t sit down and eat three meals a day … there aren’t a lot of fruits and vegetables in the takeaway walkway. “Bray pointed out.
“In the West, we’re always thinking about how people can change, with minimal impact on our lifestyles. Innovation is a great way to do it … Many innovations benefit a small number of privileged people. increase. [But] Over time, these things will be integrated into the population [level].. “
Is there a role to play in the innovation of plant-based centerplate proteins?
For Bray, the plant-based processed food sector has many problems to solve before it can be considered part of the solution.
“There was a real debate about super-processed foods and processed foods. [process a food] Does that mean you should? If we constantly push people into the path of more plant-based foods, we need to make sure we balance nutrition. “
She emphasized the importance of the amino acid profile of plant-based options used in place of meat, saying “we are at the beginning of this process.”
“More plant-based companies are looking to see how they can enhance their nutritional profile, but many companies just balance carbohydrates and fats, not to mention amino acids. Starting with a low base like. It will be an improvement. ”
https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2021/07/21/Crunch-time-Why-don-t-we-eat-more-fruit-and-veg?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS Would you like to eat more fruits and vegetables?