Who's Farming The Fruit? - (Stacia Naquin)

By: Stacia Naquin
By: Stacia Naquin

I'm making more room for fruits and vegetables in my diet, after learning some STARTLING information about how little farmland is dedicated to growing them.

 

As the weather gets warmer, I’m excited to eat more fresh fruit! Watermelon is my fave. But apples, bananas, strawberries, grapes, etc. Love them! And as we’ve discussed, I’m learning to love vegetables more. Well, I’m trying anyway!
Exhibit A: part of my lunch today. No vegetables in this pic. I ate the salad earlier – promise!
But I learned a VERY startling fact this past weekend at the Weight of El Paso County event, when we watched part of HBO’s documentary Weight of the Nation… “Less than 3% of U.S. farmland is planted with fruits and vegetables.”
WHAT?!?! 3%?!?!?! It took me a second to process that fact during the movie before I could grab my pen and scribble it down, so I could remember it. Is that shocking to anyone else?? Three percent is almost nothing!
The documentary went on to explain a little more about what could be part of WHY only 3% of farmland is dedicated to fresh produce. The profit margin is only 10%! That’s not very much. And there are so many challenges with getting the produce to market – from the weather, to harvesting, to refrigeration, etc.
All that work for my red apples!
So if only 3% of farmland is dedicated to fruits and vegtables , it made my wonder… how close are we to that number getting even lower? I mean - I’m just now learning to love my veggies. I may not love them ALL, but I love the idea of having vegetable and fruit OPTIONS when I go to the store!
It also makes me appreciate the fun I’ve had getting to pick my own fruit on some of that precious fruit/veggie farmland. We picked apples when I was a little girl. So I had a GREAT time checking out the Happy Apple Farm a couple of years ago in Penrose, CO.
My husband and I loaded up on apples and a few pumpkins as well. And I hope we continue to do so – there at farms like that, but also at farmer’s markets and the grocery store.
We’ll be healthier for sure! And we’ll be supporting farmers who are growing an important part of what SHOULD be on the dinner table every night – fruits and veggies.
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