anxiously waiting to enjoy an array of garden fresh vegetables
offered by my green thumb friends and neighbors this time of
year. (I pay them back in the fall, when I get to share an
abundance of apples from my two prolific trees.)
the fact that right-out-of-the-garden fruit and vegetables are
astoundingly delicious, we also know that plant produce is
over the top good for our health. That, in fact, may be the
one thing nutrition experts wholeheartedly agree on.
some other worthy of note facts about fruits and vegetables
from the Alliance for Food and Farming (www.safefruitsandveggies.com).
donít eat nearly enough. According to the Centers for
Disease Control, only 1 in 10 Americans eats the recommended
servings of fruits and vegetables every day. (Thatís 1 to 2
cups a day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups a day of vegetables for
most of us.) Unfortunately, the folks with the lowest reported
intake of these important foods are men, young adults and
people living in poverty.
20,000 cases of cancer could be prevented in this country
every year if half of us would eat just one additional serving
of fruit or vegetable every day. Thatís according to a
scientific report published in the Journal of Food and
Residues, dirt and bacteria can be effectively removed from
fresh produce by simply washing it under cold or warm tap
water (no soap needed). And remember to toss the outer leaves
of leafy vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage, says the US
Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These rules apply to both
conventional and organically-grown produce. And donít forget
the importance of clean hands and utensils as well.
Fruits and vegetables can make you happy (or
"cheery" as the British say.) That was the
conclusion of researchers in the United Kingdom who studied
the eating habits of 80,000 people. They reported that mental
well-being rose with the number of daily portions of fruits
and vegetables a person consumed. Think about that when youíre
munching on a slice of watermelon or an ear of sweet corn this
4th of July.
Produce is continually tested for safety. Over 99 percent of
the produce tested by the United States Department of
Agricultureís Pesticide Data Program found either no
pesticide residues or levels well below tolerance levels
established by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Studies that have shown health benefits of eating more produce
include crops grown both conventionally and organically. We
can make our own choices with confidence that weíre doing
our bodies good. Thatís a very encouraging fact.