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Inflation increases importance of consumer choice

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Most understand the immense nutritional benefits of eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, including disease prevention, boosting immune function and increasing life span.

This is why produce is among the food groups that health experts everywhere recommend we eat more of every day.

As our nation faces inflation not seen in decades, farmers and farm workers continue to work diligently to ensure there is a strong supply of safe, affordable and accessible fruits and vegetables available to consumers.

Simply put, these foods are essential to our public health. Consumers need access to a wide variety of produce and they should know that they can choose organic and conventionally grown fruits and vegetables with confidence.

Interestingly, there are certain groups that promote one production method over the other using unfounded safety claims to scare consumers away from the more affordable forms of produce. Peer reviewed research has shown that this is a misguided tactic.

That research found that when low income consumers hear inaccurate safety messages regarding residues, they state they are less likely to purchase any produce – organic or conventionally grown.

Another peer reviewed study from the Johns Hopkins Center for Livable Future stated the following: “In order to empower consumers to make healthy choices, we need to create dietary advice that is culturally sensitive, based on economically accessible foods, and takes into account the many competing messages about diet and health that bombard consumers on a regular basis.”

As families determine how to navigate spending and healthy eating during this period of inflation, it is more important than ever to support their choices:
• Choose what produce is affordable and accessible for you.
• Shop where you prefer.
• Follow the advice of dietitians and take advantage of sales in the produce aisle.

Don’t let any one or any group discourage you from purchasing the fruits and vegetables you enjoy and are affordable for you. The right choice is to always eat more for better health and a longer life. It’s that simple.

This update was distributed by the Alliance for Food and Farming.

For more information, please contact Teresa Thorne