Earlier this year the Produce for Better Health Foundation BB #:157162 released data that shows the American fruit and vegetable consumption crisis, and its virtual event Sept. 28-29 urges the produce industry, dietitian and influencer audience to try to different approach to incentivize people to eat more of them: a better mood.
“’Food Rooted in a Better Mood’ really does resonate with consumers,” said Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, President & CEO of PBH, about its theme for its ambassador virtual event.
“We need to emphasize that what we eat determines how we feel and creates healthier eating habits,” she said.
Taylor Wallace, Chief Food and Nutrition Science Officer, Think Healthy Group, Inc., showed how fruits and vegetables and other healthy food is connected to a healthier mental state.
“The gut is very connected to the brain,” Wallace said about his research.
He said specific foods, such as avocados, blueberries strawberries and nuts have scientifically shown superior effects on cognition.
While it’s not easy to communicate this to consumers, Taylor said people intuitively know eating healthier food is connected to feeling better, physically and mentally.
He said TV personalities such as Dr. Mehmet Oz can help reinforce this connection, but the produce industry can also help by growing and marketing better tasting fruits and vegetables.
“Taste is a big factor and technology can improve that,” Wallace said.
During a Sept. 28 conference session, PBH presented Maye Musk, a celebrity dietitian, model and entrepreneur, said she has always praised fruits and vegetables in a person’s diet.
“I’ve said it before and never stopped,” she said. “Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. The magic food is fruits and vegetables.”
Musk said dietitians and produce marketers always have to be prepared to battle the dishonesty in the market that deemphasizes produce consumption because science conclusively shows their value to a healthy diet.
“There’s so much misinformation, but it’s hard to reason with stupid people,” she said. “Eating high fat, sugar and salt foods don’t really fill you up. When eating fruits and vegetables, you take longer [to eat them] and feel fuller.”
PBH’s Have A Plant Nation ambassador event closes out September as National Fruits & Veggies Month. The event was attended by more than 50 strategically-selected ambassadors from retail, foodservice and lifestyle and nutrition communicators, as well as sponsors, and PBH members.