Many Canadians fall short on their fruit and vegetable consumption for a variety of reasons. I am on an ongoing mission to improve the access, enjoyment and regular consumption of fresh veggies and fruit. Please help me spread the word!
How many people fall short on their fruit and vegetable consumption?
According to the latest for all ages, 66% of males and close to 53% of females in Canada do not consume fruits and vegetables five times or more per day. While the survey doesn’t track the quantity of fruits and veggies consumed, it would be no surprise that it would be hard to consume enough produce if you are not grazing on them frequently throughout the day.
How many fruits and vegetables are recommended per day?
Health Canada recommends the following daily servings of vegetables and fruit:
This sounds like a lot, what is one serving of vegetables and fruit equal to?
One serving isn’t that big – you may find that you regularly eat more than one serving at one time. Examples of one serving includes 1/2 cup fresh or frozen veggies or fruit, 1 medium piece of fruit, 1/2 cup of tomato sauce, 1 cup leafy greens or 1/4 cup dried fruit.
What are some great produce initiatives that support getting more veggies and fruits?
While there are plenty of groups that support healthy produce consumption, I wanted to highlight three local groups with GREAT produce initiatives.
Canadian Community Health Survey in 2013A grassroots organization that grows food for the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank on an 11-acre parcel of land just west of Canada Olympic Park. This group helps make sure all Calgarians have access to local healthy food. You can help support them by volunteering for seed germination and on the farm as well as through sponsorship and donation. Visit www.growcalgary.ca for more information.
A not-for-profit organization that offers a creative, healthy and profitable spin on fundraisers. A semi-truck full of fresh Canadian vegetables are delivered to your school or licensed daycare annually in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan or NW Ontario between September and December. The school or daycare keeps half the money collected as profit. Visit www.farmtoschool.ca for more information.
This network is supported by the Calgary Horticultural Society that is a registered charity supporting resources and expertise for new and existing community gardens. To date there are 80 public community gardens and 73 private community gardens in Calgary. For more information on finding a community garden or starting a new one visit www.calhort.org/community-gardens.aspx