How often do you eat vegetables?
Whenever we’re concerned about our health, we turn into articles about the benefits of fruits and vegetables, and nod in approval. But as long as our eyes are taken away from those wisdom words, we unconsciously reach for a potato chips or a sugar drink!Green, yellow, orange, red or purple: fruits and vegetables keep us healthy and add variety, flavor and texture to our meals. Even if you eat rice or bread every day, your body needs to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. A monotonous diet is not only unhealthy for humans, but also unhealthy for the planet, as it can lead to loss of biodiversity.Including vegetables in the diet helps prevent obesity, cardiovascular problems, cancer, diabetes and many other diseases.Yet many of us do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. The recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) is to consume at least 400 grams per day in order to benefit from its health and nutritional benefits. In 2017, an estimated 3.9 million deaths worldwide were due to insufficient fruit and vegetable consumption (WHO, 2019). Worldwide, it is estimated that insufficient fruit and vegetable consumption accounts for about 14% of deaths from gastrointestinal cancer, about 11% of deaths from ischemic heart disease, and about 9% of deaths from stroke.2021: The International Year of Fruits and VegetablesThe United Nations (UN) General Assembly with the aim of raising awareness about the nutritional and health benefits of fruits and vegetables and their role in a balanced and healthy diet and lifestyle, declared 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables.In 2021, 504.01 million tons of vegetables consumed by humans on the planet earth. Vegetables account for approximately 20% of the 2.5 billion tons of food consumed by people this year. The interesting point is that Statista predicts the vegetable consumption will exceed 607 million tons by 2026, second only to bread and cereal products.
China: the biggest vegetables producer and consumer
China has the highest consumption of vegetables per capita in the world. Based on the data of
2017, it is estimated that daily consumption in this country is much higher than the minimum amount of the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation. A Chinese citizen eats an average 1030 gram vegetables per day. And it is not surprising that China is the largest producer of fresh vegetables in the world.
China accounted for 25.4% of global fruit consumption in 2019. When we compare fruit and vegetable consumption by country, it is clear that China is unrivaled. In fact, the latest available data shows that 53.53 million tons of fruits were consumed in this country in 2019.
Food waste: the basic problem of the world society
According to the United Nations report, near 50% of the fruits and vegetables produced each year are wasted and become food waste. Considering that millions of people suffer from serious illnesses and die due to malnutrition, this amount of food waste is unacceptable.
Chad has the lowest vegetable intake
The data on the per capita consumption of vegetables by country shows that Chad has the lowest consumption of vegetables in the world with a daily consumption of 17.21 grams. In fact, an average citizen in this country eats about 6 kilograms (13 pounds) of vegetables per year.
What are the most popular vegetables?
Potato is the most popular vegetable, and banana is the most popular fruit among the world. Three years ago, 251.99 million tons of potatoes were consumed globally. The biggest consumers of this veggie were China, India and the United States. When it comes to the most consumed fruit, bananas are at the top with an annual amount of 114.13 million tons.Conclusion:Spreading awareness about the importance of proper nutrition and vegetable consumption is a challenging issue, and the influence of social media has made this difficult because it does not prioritize health.