Now there’s another reason to peel that banana, sprinkle some extra berries on your cereal and toss more spinach and cauliflower in your salad.
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Dole’s Bobby Banana greets New Orleans College Prep students during kick-off of National Eat More Fruits & Vegetables Day. (Photo: Business Wire)
It’s “National Eat More Fruits & Vegetables Day,” an official holiday dedicated to the proposition that getting more fresh fruits and vegetables is easy, delicious – and, based on U.S. obesity trends, entirely necessary. Starting today, the annual holiday will be celebrated every year on the Thursday before Memorial Day, at the start of summer.
Three Dole divisions – Dole Fresh Fruit of Westlake Village, Dole Fresh Vegetables of Monterey, Calif., and the Dole Nutrition Institute (DNI) – suggested the day as an annual reminder of the link between increased produce consumption and a happier, healthier life.
Throughout May, Dole accepted proclamations throughout California designating the Thursday prior to Memorial Day as “Eat More Fruits & Vegetables Day.” Following a successful first year of local celebration, the day will be proclaimed a national holiday.
According to Bil Goldfield, director of communications for the Dole Food Company, the holiday goes beyond simple recipe and usage ideas to serve a valuable purpose. “One-third of adults and kids in the U.S. eat less than one serving of fresh produce a day, and Americans are twice as likely to be obese than the world population,” he said. “Eating more fruits and vegetables may help reverse this trend and, according to research, could increase life expectancy.”
Dole is marking the inaugural holiday by posting recipes, tips, nutritional insights and related content on its social pages. Follow @DoleTweets on Twitter, @DolePins on Pinterest, and @DolePics on Instagram to learn more.
The company is organizing a National Eat More Fruits & Vegetables Pinterest Party today, May 21 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET (5 p.m. to 6 p.m. PT) and is inviting healthy bloggers and social media users to share original photos, recipes and other content celebrating a lifestyle rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Social media experts including Coryanne Ettiene, Beard and Bonnet and Celebrations at Home, have rallied the social food, health and wellness community to engage. Participants are encouraged to use the tag #FruitsandVeggiesDay and follow @DolePins.
Earlier today, Dole hosted a Eat More Fruits & Vegetables Student Nutritional Rally at New Orleans College Prep to christen the new holiday. As part of the K-12 college preparatory school’s healthy-eating program, students participated in games, contests and hands-on activities to learn the benefits of produce and a healthy lifestyle. Liberty’s Kitchen, a kitchen and social enterprise providing life-skills training and nutritious meals to New Orleans school children, co-hosted the celebration.
Today’s holiday falls one week before the May 27-28 launch of Dole’s Get Up and Grow! Tour, a series of healthy-eating caravans that will visit 480 supermarkets and events throughout North America. In addition to sampling fruit and vegetable recipes and participating in hands-on activities, Tour participants can take a healthy-living pledge.
For information on Get Up and Grow, go to www.dole.com/GetUpandGrow. For details on specific DOLE® fresh fruits and vegetables, go to www.dole.com or follow on www.facebook.com/Dole or www.twitter.com/DoleTweets.
Dole chose New Orleans for the launch of National Eat More Fruits & Vegetables Day since it traces the founding of its Dole Fresh Fruit and banana business to the Crescent City, and will be setting-off on its Get Up and Grow Tour from New Orleans on May 28.
About Dole Food Company, Inc.
Dole Food Company is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, Dole is an industry leader in many of the products it sells, as well as in nutrition education and research. For more information, please visit www.dole.com.
About New Orleans College Prep
New Orleans College Prep’s mission is to prepare students to enter and excel in a rigorous, four-year college or university.
About Liberty’s Kitchen
Liberty’s Kitchen, a nonprofit social enterprise providing life-skills instruction, work readiness training, and nutritious meals to vulnerable New Orleans school children, is co-hosting the celebration.
Bob Ochsner / Christia Brockman