The United Nations has declared 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. The Year aims to:
- Raise awareness of the health benefits of eating more fresh and minimally processed fruits and vegetables
- Support farmers
- Reduce waste
- Ensure fruits and vegetables are accessible, affordable and available to everyone.
What does this mean for Australia?
When we think of healthy eating, the first food items that often come to mind are fruits and vegetables – colourful, vitamin-, mineral- and fibre-rich; vital for the human body to function. They help children grow and prevent overweight and obesity.
In Australia, we recommend eating 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit each day to keep us healthy. Not many of us eat enough fruit and vegetables with the main reasons being cost, limited availability, preferring other foods and not being aware of these recommendations. Fruit and vegetables also have to compete with the powerful advertising of junk food that presents them as tasty and socially desirable. This means we think of snacking on crisps instead of an apple.
This is a serve of fruit:
This is a serve of vegetables:
Also, vast amounts of food are lost or wasted every year. This is particularly true of fruit and vegetables because many are highly perishable. In NSW, more than a third of the waste we send to landfill is food. That adds up to about $10 billion worth of good food that’s being thrown away every year.
So, for the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables in 2021, let’s
- Do something for our health and support our farmers by eating more delicious fruit and vegetables – for inspiration, check out the wide variety of fruit and vegie recipes on our website.
- Look at ways we can reduce the amount of food we waste – take a look at our easy tips to reduce food waste blog.
- Join the Our Kids, Our Call campaign to stop junk food advertisers targeting our kids.