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September 9th, 2010
04:02 PM ET

A decade short on fruits and vegetables

New statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms what you may already know– Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables.  But you may be surprised by this:  The daily rate of consumption for both has not improved in the last decade, according to the figures.

In 2009, more than 32 percent of adults in the United States ate fruit at least twice a day. That figure has declined since 2000, when 34 percent of the population was meeting the recommended daily intake. Those numbers pale in comparison to the government's targeted objective of 75 percent of the adult population.

The picture is just as bleak when it comes to vegetables. Last year only 26 percent of adults ate vegetables at least three times a day– about half of the government's target of  50 percent of adults.

Because of these numbers, the CDC says no state met the Healthy People 2010 national objectives for eating fruits and vegetables. Idaho was the only state to improve its consumption from 2000 to 2009.

In a time when obesity has become a topic of national conversation, why aren't more people eating enough fruits and vegetables? The CDC thinks the numbers point to a lack of affordability and accessibility, noting that "intensified, multisector (e.g., agricul­ture, business, food industry, and health care) and multisetting (e.g., worksite, school, child care, and community) approaches are necessary to improve access, availability, and affordability of fruits and vegetables."

Data for this report were collected via a telephone survey of adults age 18 and older. One limitation to this study is that only people with landlines were surveyed.

For the full report, please click here.


soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. kyle

    "The CDC thinks the numbers point to a lack of affordability and accessibility, noting that "intensified, multisector (e.g., agricul­ture, business, food industry, and health care) and multisetting (e.g., worksite, school, child care, and community) approaches are necessary to improve access, availability, and affordability of fruits and vegetables."

    While this is a big part of it i think a lot of people really just don't care. The key is preventing obesity by making these choices more attractive. People have to really understand the decisions they're making everyday have a huge impact on their health. check out this site for great diet tips http://www.diet-myths.com

    September 9, 2010 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Aggie

      Hey folks, I have an absolutely perfect solution to all of your problems regarding getting all of the fruits and veggies (17 or 18)you could possibly need plus the grains that are also important. Go to http://www.juiceplus.com and read the enormous amount of information available there. Its very inexpensive and a great way to supplement your diet that is missing what it should have. You can even get it in chewable gummie form for your kids that won't eat veggies like they should. Check it out. You will be amazed.

      September 10, 2010 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      It's easy, fruits and vegetables don't satiate the way other dishes do. I rarely have cravings for squash or lettuce or carrots. Pizza, steak and chips, though are hard to resist. Once I've eaten the pizza, I don't want the squash.

      September 10, 2010 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
  2. angela

    Check out Verdurabrand.com for your vegetable needs. Vegetables that are delicious and convenient.

    September 10, 2010 at 08:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carol

      Angela,
      That web site is extremely expensive! To place an order, the minimum with ordering the 2nd cheapest vegetable is $145.00 without the S/H. That is way over people's food budget with so many people out of work. I grew up on fresh fruits and vegetables only and have brought up my family the same way.

      September 10, 2010 at 13:40 | Report abuse |
    • angela

      Carol,

      Thank you so much for looking into Verdurabrand Gourmet Prepared Vegetables. The price you mentioned is almost a month supply of vegetables delivered to your door without the preparation hassle. They are made in small batches and are extremely versatile in many recipes. Our vegetables are made with all natural ingredients and do not contain preservatives. We use real extra virgin olive oil and real garlic to saute our vegetables. They come in 12 oz pouches ( spinach 8oz). They are ready from freezer to table in 5 minutes. Verdurabrand vegetables are also available in specialty markets. If you'd like your favorite store to carry our products. Download this letter from our website http://www.verdurabrand.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/Dear-Store-Manager.pdf and give it to your favorite store. This way you will not have to purchase 24 vegetables at once. Our vegetables are deliciously convenient. Hope that helps.

      October 23, 2010 at 07:57 | Report abuse |
  3. Jen

    This should be a wake up call to our government leaders to stop subsidizing the corn industry and the making of fructose which seems to get into everything in the supermarket and to start backing fresh fruits and vegetables.

    September 10, 2010 at 08:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Boka

    Why not buy a veggie drink? They are cheap and taste good. I think people like soda and coffee instead. Soda and coffee is gross.

    September 10, 2010 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Donna

      Better to have the FIBER in whole vegetables. You can buy frozen and nuke in the microwave for 2 mins.

      September 10, 2010 at 11:44 | Report abuse |
  5. kay

    It doesn't help that every thing that is healthy for you costs so much. I for one, have to budget my groceries, and frankly, the cost of produce is high where I live. In fact, the cost of food is going up, up, up...

    September 10, 2010 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Leigh

    Kay – I think that is such a tired excuse and people keep using it. All that processed food that people buy is not cheap. Also, in our home, we make sacrifices in other areas but never on the food we buy. What is more important than what you are feeding your family? If you stick with the fruits and vegtables that are in season, the cost is definitely much less. Buy blueberries in the summer, apples in the fall, etc. Also, if people would stop buying the garbage, they'd have th eextra money to buy real food. It isn't hard – it is just that peole are addicted to high salt and high fat food in this country.

    September 10, 2010 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rbnlegend

      Wait, are the costs low, or are you making sacrifices? You can't have it both ways.

      In the grocery stores I go to, produce isn't cheap, and pre-packaged unhealthy stuff is.

      September 10, 2010 at 10:11 | Report abuse |
    • Danielle

      Leigh,

      It's so interesting that you know the price of produce EVERYWHERE in the country. I live in a metropolitan area and fresh produce is NOT cheap. I believe in clean eating so the bulk of my shopping is fruits and vegetables, but it's usually frozen vegetables. Yes, that's better than nothing, but I'd love to be able to eat more fresh salads and raw vegetables. I love fruit, but it costs a fortune. I typically have to pick one fruit a week. Will it be a container of strawberries or a bag of nectarines? Though neither will last all week. As a student with a minimum wage job, I can only spend but so much on food. A week's worth of groceries for me alone usually runs me about $50. Whereas I could buy a lot more produce by my parents' house for that same $50. It really depends on where you are.

      September 10, 2010 at 10:50 | Report abuse |
    • Leigh

      Sorry if my post was that confusing – let me simplify. Buy fruits and vegtables in season – they will be cheaper than out of season. If you want to buy all year anything you want, make some sacrifices. Saying fruits and vegtables are too expensive is just an excuse. If yo can't buy fresh, buy frozen. You can buy a bag of chips or a pint of strawberries, same price. Apples, a dollar a pound in season. It doesn't matter where you live in the country – you can amke ti work if you stopped fighting it and making excuses for being unhealthy.

      September 10, 2010 at 11:13 | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      Daniel-
      If you are in a large city, you may want to check out some of the ethnic markets. Often the produce is cheaper and better there. You may have to eat it quickly, but that is why you are buying it!

      September 10, 2010 at 11:46 | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      My message was to DANIELLE.

      September 10, 2010 at 11:47 | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      Danielle-Another pointer is that some cities have really awesome and cheap Farmer's Markets. One bag of grapes is one dollar. One bag of incredible tomatoes, one dollar. You need to see if your city has something like this.

      September 10, 2010 at 11:49 | Report abuse |
    • Danielle

      Leigh,

      I get what you were saying. I do buy in season. I've been buying summer squash all summer, tomatoes, strawberries etc. but you have to consider: apples at $1 a pound sounds good...but how many apples does it take to reach a pound? Two, maybe three? How much then will you spend on apples alone if a family of four wants to eat an apple a day? About $14...which can also buy about six large bags of chips that will last weeks. It is here that we see where the poverty/obesity problem comes from. Along with the fact that in a lot of poorer areas there simply aren't any markets to buy fruits and vegetables from. So I have to disagree that it's "always" an excuse. It's easy to call it an excuse when you're not in a situation where you literally have to count every penny. Like the chips v. apple scenario, it's about what you can get the most out of for your dollar. The food industry is a business and the best interest of the consumer and small farmers is not what it has at heart.

      September 10, 2010 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
    • Danielle

      Donna,

      Thank you. I just googled farmers markets in my area and there are few going weekly until the end of October. I will check out their produce and prices the next time I do a food run.

      September 10, 2010 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
  7. Sue

    I have to say it is true and, very sad that fresh food is soooo much more expensive than processed and fast food.

    September 10, 2010 at 09:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michael

      "True that," Sue. I don't understand why the least processed/non-processed food is more expensive–besides the obvious "demand" thing, which I'm not sure actually applies here.

      September 10, 2010 at 10:41 | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      @Michael-the government is subsidizing corn farmers and larger members of the food industry. The small organic farmer is out of luck.

      September 10, 2010 at 11:51 | Report abuse |
  8. Heather

    As someone who is eating a giant bowl of fruit for breakfast, I'm really getting a kick out of these replies.

    September 10, 2010 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. dom625

    Well, I, for one, just plain don't like the taste and texture of vegetables. To me, biting into a hamburger or sandwich and having stuff crunch is a huge turn-off–I like just meat, cheese, and bread. And the same goes for spaghetti and pizza–no crunchy things should be in that either.

    I do make sure to serve canned vegetables with every meal I cook, though, because those aren't so bad. And I do make sure to eat an apple a day at breakfast. Plus, I make sure that my sons have applesauce and diced fruit cups to snack on. We exercise five or six times a week. So, even though I drink sodas and eat lots of processed food (hey, it's quick and convenient), there is no obesity problem at my home.

    September 10, 2010 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Donna

      Tomatoes don't crunch. You may want to advance your food preferences beyond that of a four year old.

      September 10, 2010 at 11:52 | Report abuse |
    • MM

      hey, my four year old eats better than that

      September 10, 2010 at 12:20 | Report abuse |
    • dom625

      No, tomatoes aren't crunchy. They are hunks of gooey, soft, slimy stuff that get stuck in your throat. The spaghetti sauce (I like the meat-flavored type) provides the vegetables you need, especially paired with some green beans or peas.

      As for my food preferences, I pretty much eat what I want. And, according to my doctor, I'm perfectly healthy. So, you can munch on your nasty veggies and I'll have my Twinkies and Doritos and we'll all be happy.

      September 10, 2010 at 12:23 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Sure, we all can control our desires at the drop of a hat – not.

      I personally have a huge garden and eat a lot of vegetables, but be sane please. People cannot suddenly changel what they like and suddenly like 'more mature choices'.

      September 10, 2010 at 16:19 | Report abuse |
  10. Dali

    I have never understood the argument that vegetables and fruits are too expensive compared to processed foods. Processed foods usually seem very expensive to me. I agree that the veggies and fruits are expensive if you decide "today I want to eat apricots and red bell pepper" and it is December... But go through the produce section in your store every week and there is always something affordable, And the stuff on sale is typically better tasting too, because it is in season and tends to be fresh and ripe. And then there is the frozen option. If the fresh produce is too expensive or does not offer enough variation for your taste, go for the frozen veggies and fruit! They are certainly much cheaper than the processed stuff and way more nutritious and healthy. It is entirely a matter of choice, not of affordability!

    September 10, 2010 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kate

      Apparently you don't live in an urban area.

      September 10, 2010 at 16:20 | Report abuse |
  11. Carl

    As others have noted, much of the reason is that the cost of these fresh fruits and veggies, at least the better ones, can often be more than ground beef or chicken. Pasta dishes are certainly cheaper. Personally, I was raised in a rural area, had parenets and grandparents who gardened and ran an orchard. I buy a lot of fresh produce because it tastes better. I can also afford it. I also think much "fresh" produce is poor quality – bruised fruits, stale veggies.

    That said, the mythology that goes with the cost claims is that they are too expensive – bull. Raw carrots, the little peeled ones, can be had for $1.50/lb, broccoli for the same, seasonal produce as good prices. The problem it that we have learned to eat more than we need, and pasta is more filling than veggies, and per serving, less expensive. We have grown to think that meals should include huge amounts of meat and potatoes (no, I'm not a vegan or vegetarian) and teach our children to eat the same way. The silly thing is that frozen versions are nutritious and chepaer.

    Let's face it, when McDonalds hawks double cheeseburgers and Big Macs, KFC sells "sandwiches" made of two pieces of fried chicken with cheese and bacon in the middle, we have a perception problem. People eat things that are good to them, rather than good for them.

    September 10, 2010 at 10:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Esther

    If the government has a target objective of 75% to eat fruits and vegetables at least twice a day- they need to stop subsidizing the corn and soy crops that are used for processed foods and make fruit cheaper and more available than processed foods- obviously!!! Because all that crappy processed food is super cheap and super bad for you- our government is contributing to its citizens poor health in a big way. If the government wants people to eat healthier they need to take our tax dollars and invest them in encouraging people to eat healthily rather than sell us cheap, processed crap that will make us fat, sick, and die young by the gallon.

    September 10, 2010 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Donna

      You have the right idea. Unfortunately, the politicians are bought and paid for.

      September 10, 2010 at 11:55 | Report abuse |
  13. JC

    I think the reasons are multi-faceted. Like someone said above, lots of people just don't like veggies, or to put it more correctly haven't found a way to enjoy vegetables, and they want to keep eating cheeseburgers. Broccoli doesn't really "go" well with burgers, you know? Or they are daunted by the thought of doing a whole "lifestyle change", which is how they perceive altering their diet. Others – perhaps the largest group of people – are genuinely short of cash and are forced to choose cheaper, less healthful foods for satiety. Yet another group is plain stupid about nutrition, but I think that's the smallest group.

    September 10, 2010 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Donna

      Well, I think the stupid group is large, especially if you combine that with the willfully ignorant. I understand what you are saying about "going with" other foods. In order to get something halfway healthy at McDonalds, I did a grilled chicken sandwich and yogurt parfait with fruit once. Doesn't go together as well as a burger and fries....

      I DO think a side salad would go well with the burger though. They should have a side salad as another option to the fries.

      September 10, 2010 at 11:59 | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      People don't like vegetables because they aren't preparing them correctly. Make a pasta but load the sauce with broccoli, asparagus, or other vegetables.

      And when serving vegetables alone, cook them up in some olive oil with some exciting spices (things like 'orange pepper', and don't go lightly, find a spice shop for tons of choices).

      And farmer's markets are another key if you live close by. Yes, the produce doesn't last long, but it's 1/3 of the grocery store price. Just go to the market 2-3 times a week (I am very lucky having a great market just blocks from my house in a walkable neighborhood in St. Louis).

      September 10, 2010 at 13:00 | Report abuse |
  14. Mikd

    I will admit that I don't eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables simply because of price. It's pretty disgusting that a whole pineapple costs nearly $5.00. I test this throughout the year, every time I buy a good amount of fresh produce at my local market I end up going over my food budget.

    I do believe our obesity problem is not going to go away as long as processed foods like chips, cookies, ice cream, cakes, and boxed meals are cheaper than fresh produce. I shouldn't have to pay more for a bowl of fresh cut fruit than I do a box of mac n' cheese. I know it's not economically feasible for most families but until we as consumers actually stand up and pay for the more expensive, healthier foods like fresh produce, fresh fish, and leaner cuts of meat then it will always be cheaper to go home with doritos and oreos and our kids will continue to get fatter.

    Also, our national diet isn't the only problem. Most parents do not do enough policing of their kids with electronic media. Make your kids go outside and play. Play sports, ride a bike, go for a walk, whatever. Sanction how many hours per day your kid can play his x-box360 or watch tv or sit on the internet chatting.

    September 10, 2010 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Mikd

    Another point I wanted to make is not every single person in this country has the same make up. Some people can eat fatty, processed foods and never gain weight. That does not make them immune to health problems as they age, however. Some people can eat a good mixture and as long as they exercise regularly they stay healthy and in good shape. And some people are naturally thicker people and would do better without all the fatty, processed stuff (or just make it a treat, not something you eat daily). Age is a factor as well; most people see a decrease in metabolic function as they age. Speaking from personal experience as soon as I hit thirty my metabolism seemed to plummet and I had to start working out with more intensity just to enjoy occasional splurges and junk food binges.

    Again, not everyone is the same. Yes everyone should be healthier.

    September 10, 2010 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Dawn

    Leigh, i understand your point,however, it really does depend on where you live. In low income areas, where people don't have cars to get to fresh fruit and vegtables markets they have to buy at local neighborhood stores. Most of those stores fruits and vegtables are very espensive or in poor quality. It's a shameful situation, because most of these stores are in the black and latino community. I know because i use to live there, when i was able to move to a more "nicer" neighborhood mostly white and asian community there are 4 supermarkets within walking distance. You tell me what's wrong with that picture?

    September 10, 2010 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Casey

    Hello, hello
    I have the answer... MAKE THEM AFFORDABLE. I would LOVE to be able to afford the appropriate amount of fruits and vegatables, but these days with job and wages concerns, I cannot afford to eat healthy.
    Do not tell me eat only the cheap ones like potatoes, lettuce and apples, that gets old REAL quick.
    -later
    -casey

    September 10, 2010 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dali

      I always find frozen peas, green beans, zucchini, cauliflower or broccoli for less than 1$ per pound. All summer long peaches or nectarines are cheap. Cantaloupe and watermelons too. Carrots are always cheap. Sweet patatoes are cheap for part of the year. If you try a bit harder, you can find enough variation.

      September 10, 2010 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
  18. Amanda Archibald

    The fundamental issue is that we do not value fresh produce/produce in the same way we do other components of our food supply, particularly meat. Check out menus across America and they are meat/poultry and (poor quality) cheese based. There is also an subsidy issue here (noted above) in that major commodities are subsidized and the very foods that are nourishing for us, are not. Additionally, consumers are divorced from the fact that meat and poultry cannot be produced for $0.99 a pound or other phantom prices. Vertical integration of the supply chain has resulted in the horrors related to eggs and ground beef recalls that we have witnessed of late. It is NOT cheap to produce animal based products. The only way they can be cheap is to industrialize the process and subsequently impose inhumane conditions on animals, employees and even the farmers themselves. We apparently call this "value for money.." Until we recognize the flaw of this system and food delivery output and embrace the fact that we are subsidizing the wrong products, produce consumption will pale in comparison.

    September 10, 2010 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Soul

    Just some points:

    Safeway and Harris Teeter (Even the closesest Giant)both have very small veggie sections in their produce department... Tends to have my family go to Costco for Fresh veggies/fruit.

    Frozen Veggies aren't as healthy as fresh... I think preparation is the problem with some.

    Familiy members usually don't agree on choice veggies...

    Yes it's pretty sad a box of Little Debbie Cakes is $1.35 still and that pound of brocolli is 3.99.

    My familiy usually only buys fruit for 1.50/lb or less ...but about 50% of the time only bannas are below that. Plums by far are the best buy for fruit.

    Then there is spoilage or worry about germs

    September 10, 2010 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Danielle

      Hey Soul,

      Only worry about fresh v frozen depending on whether or not you're going to cook your veggies or eat them raw. Obviously, you can't eat raw frozen veggies (well you could...but do you want to?) But if you're going to cook the vegetables anyway, it's best to just cook frozen vegetables. Any nutrients lost through cooking will be the same using frozen vegetables as fresh. Also, fresh produce naturally loses nutrients the longer it sits in your fridge. Frozen vegetables are often picked, bagged at frozen at their best. So in the end, you might be getting a slightly better deal with cooked frozen vegetables.

      September 10, 2010 at 14:12 | Report abuse |
    • MM

      holy cow, where do you live that broccoli is 3.99/lb and bananas 1.50/lb?

      In season broccoli is 1.50/lb at worst, 1.00/lb at best.

      September 10, 2010 at 14:37 | Report abuse |
  20. Alberta Canada

    Everyone if possible should try shopping at costco. My family loves it, not only do you get a better quality but you get more quantity for your money.

    September 10, 2010 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Jessi

    Eating healthily is a priority, or it isn't. Our brains allow us to justify anything, but if you are making a bunch of excuses- "it's too expensive, my family can't agree, germs, blah blah"- what you should really be saying is "it's just not that important".
    It really irritates me when people say eating healthily is too expensive. I buy only non-processed carbs, organic/natural meats, and fresh fruits and veggies. My boyfriend, with whom I live, is a junkfood junkie. When I grocery shop, our bill is between $60-$90 depending on how much meat I buy. When he shops, the bill is $130+ b/c he has thrown ice cream sandwiches, frozen pizzas, sodas, chips, dip, and candy into the cart. I see the receipts. It simply isn't true that healthy food is more expensive. I have the receipts to prove it!

    September 10, 2010 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Audrey

    They expect us to eat veggies 3 times a day? And the government target is 50 percent for that? No one I know eats vegetables for breakfast. Or as a midmorning snack either. What world are they living in?

    September 10, 2010 at 14:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MM

      3 servings, not 3x a day. That's 1.5 cups.

      September 10, 2010 at 14:37 | Report abuse |
    • Dali

      They probably mean 3 servings of vegetables per day, which is not that hard to get even in one meal. But what is wrong with adding some tomatoes / peppers / olives / mushrooms to an omelet for breakfast? Or eating a fresh sliced tomato on the side? And why not try some baby carrots for that mid-morning snack? I know lots of people who eat like that. And you and I are just two random people, who would apparently belong to the "different 50%" , assuming that target would ever be achieved :).

      September 10, 2010 at 14:45 | Report abuse |
  23. Stacey

    Americans are stressed to the MAX. No time to cook, clean, or hang out with your family. So instead of taking an hour of time to cook that could, instead, be spent with the kids/spouse, it's easier to eat out and no worries about cleaning up.

    Produce is not very expensive. It's only expensive if you also purchase a bunch of pre-made snacks or other unhealthy junk.

    September 10, 2010 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dali

      How about spending one hour cooking with the kids/spouse and enjoying a healthy meal afterward! And it takes only a bit of extra time to double the quantities. That means you can freeze half and have an extra healthy dinner after that one hour of cooking. Each of us has priorities and makes choices based on that. For me, cooking with my family is time well spent for all, often much better spent that hanging out with them somewhere else.

      September 10, 2010 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
    • Dali

      And, going back to the article, eating out can include lots and lots of servings of vegetables and fruits too! Just like home-cooked food.

      September 10, 2010 at 15:41 | Report abuse |
  24. Dawn

    Huh. If I was asked "How many times do you eat vegetables per day?" I would say "2." Not enough by their calculation, but I eat them for lunch and dinner, often to the exclusion of meat (or very little meat). I think the problem again lies with the stupid Food Pyramid and the definition of a "serving." I would totally feel like I was over-eating if I forced myself to eat their recommended numbers of fruits and vegetables. Instead, I follow the more simplified rules of Michael Pollan: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Done and done.

    September 10, 2010 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. MontanaDi

    I believe there are three main factors that keep fruit and vegetable consumption down. #1. The government/nutritionists' requirement to eat 11 servings a day. Their recommendations are very cavalier: "Just eat 4 cups of lettuce for lunch, that's 4, fix a veggie stir fry for dinner with three veggies, that's 7 total, have an orange and a banana for breakfast, that's 9, and 2 fruit or vegetable snacks during the day." So what do you eat on Day 2? The same thing 365 days a year? A quart of salad every day for the rest of your life? So people know they can't consume that recommendation so they just have to ignore it and do the best they can which is NOT 11 servings a day. #2. So many fruits and vegetables are being recalled every month for–mostly–salmonella contamination. Not a germ that might give you a stomach ache but one that can KILL you. And the endless stories about what fruit is safe if it's washed and what isn't because toxic substances are drawn up into the fruit/vegetable itself, leaves you nervous every time you buy a bag of grapes. #3 The staggering difference in price between organic and non-organic food. Other than the well-to-do, we all have a food budget. If you buy organic apples, for example you have to decide what other food you are giving up for that week. Many people who have commented here mention that if you can't afford organic vegetables that it's because you are buying junk food. We buy NO cake, cookies, candy, chips or any other snack food. We don't buy pre-prepared food or lots of expensive cuts of meat. Bottom line is that there are too many factors working against the average family to allow them to meet the requirements the government would like and that would keep you healthiest.

    September 10, 2010 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Frank

    Fresh produce is more expensive because it spoils faster. Food stores have more waste with fresh produce. I eat all of my fresh prodice and other food from dumpsters located behind most food stores and fast food establisments.

    September 10, 2010 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. paco es muymacho

    I hate fruits and vegatables. i only eat meat.

    September 10, 2010 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. charles s

    The reason is very simple. Fresh fruits and vegetables cost more money and require more preparation time than other foods. If you are working in office and want to eat an orange, it is kind of messy compared to eating a candy bar. It sounds silly but that is the way that most people approach eating. Simple and cheap beat out healthy and nutritious.

    The cost factor is caused by the way government subsides certain food like corn, wheat, etc. Fruits and vegetables receive no subsidy and thus cost more. Until such time as the government decides that making fruits and vegetables available at affordable prices, then people will buy the "cheap" but unhealthy food that our agricultural system produces.

    By the way, I realize that people need corn, wheat and other subsided foods just not so much.

    September 10, 2010 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. christina

    I agree its expensive in the off season and with 3 boys wow we go through alot of veggies and fruits but i have taught my kids to like all of it so if i put squash beans peas whatever is put in front of them and they like it cause they ask for seconds. Also we do do frozen i am learning to can and we put up a garden some are not so lucky to have those options. I think what ever you can do to push veggies and fruits is great because after seeing what the schools are offering for lunches its very disheartening to see that kids dont get a great choice and they need to get that at home fresh or frozen what ever it takes!

    September 10, 2010 at 19:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Scott

    “This study confirms the ideas behind a new book, The ABC's of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond (Ceres Press, $16.95),” says David Goldbeck, its coauthor and creator. “The central concepts are to have kids’ first words – their ‘ABCs’ to be for example, ‘B is for banana’ and ‘T is for tomato,’ instead of ‘ball’ and ‘truck.’ After teaching kids the alphabet through fruits and vegetables, I continue to strengthen kid’s relationship to these important foods in new contexts (such as jokes and geography), in order to develop an easy-going relationship with them."

    September 14, 2010 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Elaine

    There are times when you just cannot get all you need to have a healthy diet. I discovered a product called Youth Juice which acts as a bridge filling the gaps in your diet. In every 25 ounce bottle there is the goodness of 7 pounds of berries and sea vegetables. Made from 7 berries and 3 sea vegetables it ha an orac score of 6250 per ounce. The sea vegetables also give you the great health benefits of fucoidan. More info at http:/www.myyjhealth.com and http:/www.fucoidanforhealth.com

    September 16, 2010 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.