Veg consumption is a poor record | OPINION

Adults need a carrot approach to lift veg consumption | OPINION


Editorial
DIG IN: A report shows Australian vegetable consumption has basically remained stagnant for six years. Trying to come up with a sure-fire campaign to lift vegetable intake remains tricky.

DIG IN: A report shows Australian vegetable consumption has basically remained stagnant for six years. Trying to come up with a sure-fire campaign to lift vegetable intake remains tricky.

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Everyone is on Facebook. Pity not all are on the vegetable bandwagon.

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EDITORIAL

INSTAGRAM is full of images of gorgeous meals which utilise vegetables.

The ongoing parade of cooking shows (both "reality" and celebrity chef-hosted ones) push healthy eating options, often with vegetables being prepared in creative ways.

Glossy magazines make the most of the vegetable colour spectrum on their front covers as they tempt drooling readers to explore what's possible with "the humble... (insert common vegetable here)".

And yet, for all that, nothing much has changed.

Australians still aren't eating enough vegetables.

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Vegetable consumption in Australia has not increased significantly over the past six years.

That's a figure to come out of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARES) Agricultural Commodities Report for the 2019 March quarter, released earlier this month.

What's more, its prediction for the medium term is that "per person vegetable consumption in Australia is expected to remain close to current levels".

The hype surrounding the food revolution sounds cause for farmer high-fives and celebration but the fact is, many of these mainstream and social media outlets are a long way removed from what common Aussie kitchens are serving up.

There have been attempts to lift vegetable consumption within the Australian public over the years.

But is anybody even looking at these recipes? Some have cost substantial money to have chefs of renown put them together.

The "Go for 2&5" slogan seemed to infiltrate most parts but that campaign has since faded.

In 2017, Nutrition Australia launched its "Try for 5" campaign, which encouraged Australians to boost their health by increasing their vegetable consumption to the recommended five serves per day.

Some readers may recall the Produce Marketing Association's 2011 pledge to invest $100,000 into a "Fruit and Vegetable Week" for the month of November that year.

It never happened.

National vegetable group, Ausveg, says it has a plan for a new campaign so it will be interesting to see what this looks like.

If only every zucchini or potato or lettuce came with free phone credit or a fuel discount.

Each fresh produce commodity group seems to boast a recipes section on their websites in the hope of inspiring people to buy more of whatever and turn it into something delicious.

But is anybody even looking at these recipes? Some have cost substantial money to have chefs of renown put them together.

Has that investment been worth it?

Children are often the target of healthy-eating campaigns through supermarket collectables, colourful mascots and school programs. 

But maybe it's time for businesses, employers, lobby organisations and community groups to start pushing the grown-ups to eat their vegetables.

If only every zucchini or potato or lettuce came with free phone credit or a fuel discount.

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