Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Modest Proposal

Those luscious peaches again--put some of these in your cart!
In 1729, Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal (for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and For Making Them Beneficial to the Public) satirically suggested that the impoverished and starving Irish sell their children as food for the rich.

Fast forward a few hundred years to our population, which is oftentimes "starving" on junk food, and lose the satire...

Researchers at our very own New Mexico State University here in Las Cruces have been looking into ways to help people make healthier food choices when shopping. They hit on the perfect solution--so easy, it seems almost ludicrous: They simply painted a line down the middle of grocery shopping carts and labeled one side "fresh fruits and vegetables" and the other side something like "everything else."

That's it. That's all there was to it. They found that people bought 102% more fruits and vegetables, with no other encouragement, and that the profitability for the grocery stores wasn't affected.

It takes a simple idea, sometimes, to make a big difference. Ever since I read about that study, I've looked at my grocery cart in a new way. I find that I am eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. You just need a little imagination to see that line down the middle of your cart, and you might just find yourself eating better and getting a little healthier.

To read about the study, click here. Interestingly enough, the last time I looked at that link there was an ad for a junk food meal right in the middle of the page; the researchers were right, we are bombarded with messages to do the wrong thing.


becky said...

That's an interesting study, Clair. I feel chocolate itself is a food group, and am not willing to give it up at this time, so I try to balance out the healthy with the junk food. I do ok, but could certainly do better!

JC said...

Very Interesting !!!
I try to eat fruits and veggies.

Sandy ~~~ said...

Great idea...but now I need to remember I bought those fruits and veggies when they are hidden in the drawers in my fridge. Sometime they are way past dead and mushy when I discover them a couple weeks later. Bad me.

Anonymous said...

I think that is a wonderful idea. I hope it catches on all over the country and all supermarkets do it. I do try to eat right most of the time although I cook a lot of southern recipes. Thanks so much for your votes for TW.

Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

Very interesting study! You do come up with the most intriguing posts! I don't remember if I commented on the hummingbirds or not, but if you don't stop posting this sort of thing, I may get fired from my job before I get the chance to retire!! LOL