Pre-Cut Produce Reduces Food Waste
Posted on Monday, June 13th, 2016 at 6:44 pm
One way to stay healthy is to have a diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. In order for that to work, you have to actually eat the fresh produce. Have you noticed that the fruit you bring home from the grocery store is ignored by your family? The way to entice them to eat is simpler than you might expect.
Researchers at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab conducted a study in eight schools. The researchers noticed that many of the apples that were being sold to children as part of the National School Lunch Program were ending up in the trash. The researchers wanted to find out why that was happening.
Was the problem that the kids didn’t want to eat apples? Or were the apples too difficult to eat? The researchers started having the schools serve sliced apples instead of whole apples. They found that fruit consumption jumped by more than 60 percent when apples were served sliced. A further study strengthened that finding.
Part of the reason why the sliced apples were more convenient to children than the whole apples was because of the size of the fruit. A whole apple can be difficult for small children to hold. Kids who have lost some teeth will have problems biting into the apple.
The other reason sliced apples were more popular than whole apples has to do with convenience. It’s a lot easier for small children to eat a few pre-cut apple slices than to attempt to eat an entire apple. The convenience isn’t limited to kids – adults like convenience, too.
You may have noticed that your local grocery store has started carrying packages of pre-cut fruit and vegetables. People buy them because they are easier to eat than whole pieces of fruit. One extreme example is the watermelon. They are heavy and difficult to carry from your car to your kitchen. You have to cut the watermelon open, and then cut it into smaller pieces before you can eat it. That’s a lot of work for busy families.
Compare that to the simplicity of a plastic carton of pre-cut watermelon. The smaller package is light and will fit into your refrigerator much easier than a whole watermelon will. The pre-cut pieces of watermelon make a quick and easy snack.
Does your family avoid the fresh fruit and vegetables that you bring home? One solution is to cut up the produce before offering it to your family as a snack. Or, you can start buying pre-cut produce from your grocery store. You will end up saving money because more of the food you bring home will be eaten (instead of thrown away).