CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Despite overwhelming public acceptance of fruits and vegetables as essential to the health of their families, kids and the future of the planet, close to half of all Americans largely ignore the benefits of eating produce.
These are among the highlights of a March 2022 survey conducted by Dole Food Company, Inc., to examine public opinions about the preparation, consumption, motivations and nutrition and environmental benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. Released today on National Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Day, an annual holiday created in 2015 to raise awareness and encourage more Americans to adopt a produce-rich diet, the survey results offer a glimpse into the public’s often-contradictory views on healthier eating.
According to the Dole Fresh Produce Survey, which polled 1,038 adults, almost three-fourths of respondents (73%) agree that fruits and vegetables are a healthy choice for their family, while 68% think they taste great, 63% say they are necessary for kids’ lunches and 60% believe they add flavor to any meal. Just over half of respondents (51%) also associate eating more fruits and vegetables with positively impacting the environment.
Almost the same percentage of survey-takers (45%) consider health and nutrition to be the most important factor determining their eating habits, and more than a third (37%) say they consume produce as part of a larger strategy of adopting a plant-based diet or lifestyle.
Finally, on the subject of fruit and vegetable recipes and preparation, close to half believe they can prepare produce in little or no time (48%) and insist they have a meal or recipe in mind when buying from the produce department (46%).
Despite these mostly positive associations with fruits and vegetables, the survey found that almost half (48%) of participants think the general public is still ignorant about the health and environmental impacts of fresh produce, which ultimately limits consumption.
“This survey is more proof of the disconnect between Americans’ desire to eat healthier, including a produce-rich diet, and their ability to make that lifestyle a reality, given all of life’s demands,” said William Goldfield, Dole director of corporate communications. “At Dole, we realize that healthy living can be a challenge – which is why we’re committed to continually providing the highest quality fresh produce, fantastic plant-forward recipes, serving suggestions, education and wellness advice that can transform the desire for increased nutritional health into a daily routine for anyone, regardless of where they are on their personal health journey.”
Goldfield said that past Dole research has helped shape healthy-living campaigns such as this year’s “Healthier by Dole” monthly recipe series that provides healthier, easier and tastier menu alternatives for big and small holidays and eating occasions and new Dole products, including the industry-leading DOLE® Chopped Salad Kit, DOLE® Fresh Takes Ready-to-Eat and DOLE® Sheet Pan lines.
For more original Dole recipes, nutritional insights, and other information, visit www.dole.com or follow Dole’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest pages.
About Dole Food Company, Inc.
Dole Food Company, Inc., 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.