Americans Not Eating Vegetables

According to this article in the New York Times, despite a push to get Americans to eat more vegetables many still don’t. According to the Center for Disease Control, only 26 percent of us are getting three servings of vegetables every day. The actual recommendation is for 4-5. What surprised me further is what is considered a serving of vegetables:

Please note the definition of a serving: half a cup of cut-up or cooked vegetables, one cup of fresh greens, half a cup of cooked dried beans, or, if you must, six ounces of vegetable juice.

That’s not really a lot is it? A small side salad would boost most people’s vegetable intake.

The bigger question here is WHY aren’t people eating more vegetables?

I know that some just don’t have access or can’t afford them. I understand that, but the problem I have with that excuse is that MOST of us can afford them and do have access.

When I was growing up, we had a salad with every meal. This was usually an extremely simple salad. Some greens, tomatoes, radishes, chickpeas, broccoli, carrots. Whatever was around really. At the time, I didn’t understand that this was my mom (and dad’s) way of making sure we got some sort of vegetables everyday. This was not really an issue for me. I loved vegetables from an early age.

I didn’t even know that there were grownups that still refuse to eat vegetables until I met my mom’s boyfriend. He flat out refuses to eat them. He basically eats hunks of meat and carbs. This man has also had numerous health issues as well as a recent heart attack. So, there’s that.

My theory on why American’s don’t eat more vegetables? Because at some point we stopped thinking that vegetables were “food”. I know many people that do not consider a dish a meal unless it has meat in it. When presented with pasta and broccoli with a nice meatless sauce they will still look for and insist on meat.

Don’t believe me? Look at the kerfuffle that Chelsea Clinton’s vegan wedding stirred up. It was debated quite a bit whether it was “offensive” to not offer guests meat. As if someone would NOT survive the evening without eating meat.

Do you eat vegetables? How do you think we can change American’s attitudes towards vegetables in general?

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2 Responses to Americans Not Eating Vegetables

  1. LeahC says:

    I DO. NOT. UNDERSTAND. the no veggis thing. We have a very good friend who will not eat vegetables. I mean will not, picks around them in foods we make, I mean just will not do it. He’s “low carbing” his diet but that diet does not include any (i mean*any*) vegetables. He doesn’t like them and so won’t eat them…I mean I don’t know. I am very interested where this stems from. I mean lots of kids don’t like veggies, but I mean then you grow up right? and you learn to like them, or discover that they don’t have to be gross. I love veggis, but I don’t know…I don’t ever remember not eating them. Then again, I wasn’t a picky eater and I think it was just always a part of dinner.

    Most of the food we buy is in the produce section, and even with that I don’t think I eat enough greens.

    • I always LOVED veggies. However, my mom was not a great cook so I thought there were a lot that I didn’t like. I’m now learning that I like almost all veggies if done properly.

      My mom’s bf will not even eat lettuce or anything on his burger. It’s weird.

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