Sacramento, CA – The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) has launched a new website dedicated to everything you need to know about lettuce and leafy greens. This new website at LettuceInfo.org is an evidence-based resource created specifically for registered dietitians, influencers, professional food writers and consumers. The website will help people access facts and get answers about lettuce food safety and nutrition.
“This website contains information about how lettuce and leafy greens are grown, what farmers are doing to make sure their products are safe and why these foods are among the safest, healthiest things we can feed our families,” said April Ward, Marketing Communications Director for the LGMA. “And, if there’s ever a problem with the safety of lettuce, this website is the place you’ll find updates and information to make sure we stay safe.”
According to Ward, the LGMA created the site because when lettuce is involved in a foodborne illness outbreak or recall there are questions and concerns that can create fear about eating this normally healthy food. She emphasized that the LGMA is not a typical marketing organization and its primary role is to verify that farmers are following a set of science-based food safety practices on the farm.
“The LGMA does have a role to communicate with people about its activities. To ensure the website delivers accurate information, we’ve pulled together a team of experts in nutrition, farming and communication to serve as advisors,” said Ward. “You can learn more about our advisors under the About Us section of the website. The team includes registered dietitians, growers and advocates for food safety.”
“I’m really pleased to be a part of the LGMA and this new website because it’s all about making sure people understand these foods are healthy—but it’s also important that we talk to consumers about food safety,” said Kathleen Chrismer, a food safety advocate and a member of the new website’s Advisory Team. Chrismer’s daughter, Rylee Gustafson, was sickened in the 2006 E. coli outbreak associated with spinach and Chrismer currently serves as a public member of the LGMA Board of Directors.
“This website was created because it’s important to share information with people like registered dietitians and bloggers who can help us communicate about the importance of food safety and making sure these healthy foods are, in fact, safe to eat,” says Chrismer. “But we also need to remind people that if an outbreak occurs, real people may become sick. People like my daughter.”
The new website includes information about the lettuce and leafy greens products included under the LGMA food safety program. It has facts on production, nutrition and usage ideas. Several informational videos are also found on the website to help illustrate what lettuce farmers are doing on their farms to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks as part of the LGMA program.
“We hope people will take some time to look through our website to see for yourselves what’s being done on the farm with respect to food safety and to learn how and why lettuce and leafy greens are so nutritious,” said Ward. She also encouraged anyone who communicates about food to follow the new social media channels associated with the website on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and to sign up for health and safety alerts so they can keep learning more about lettuce and leafy greens.