I can already hear you say, "Now What?" Why are we seeing a page about Consumer Usage of fruits and vegetables here? Surely we all know how consumers use fresh produce? They eat it, for goodness sake!
All I can say in response is, "Yeah, right." Of course, the majority of produce reaching the consumer is eaten. But firstly, as a fruit trader one should take an interest in how it is consumed, then there are the big curly questions about 'How', 'When' and 'Why' fresh produce is eaten - and...we actually use fruits & vegetables in other ways as well. We don't just eat it.
A large percentage of fruit and vegetables are consumed raw. Check out the Raw School for more information. The balance what is consumed is further prepared. The rule of thumb used to be that the more sophisticated a society became, the more processed its food became, culminating in the British 'meat and 3 veg' approach, with the objective being to boil all vegetables involved to a pulp.
Luckily we have moved away from that approach in recent decades as new scientific knowledge has guided us in changing in changing our approach to fruit & vegetable consumption.
The message from nutritionists is very clear. Eating fruits and vegetables is good for us. The economists are also chiming into the debate. The cost of securing our protein intake through meat consumption is increasingly becoming prohibitive when compared to accessing the protein directly; i.e., through the consumption of vegetables. And that is purely dealing with the here and now and before we start calculating future population growth, the impact of climate change or the increased likelihood of taking up harmful minerals through meat consumption.
Don't get me wrong. I am neither Vegan nor Vegetarian and I do enjoy a good piece of steak, a juicy roast or Coq au vin...
Our reality from a consumer usage perspective, however, is that we cannot continue to structure our diet the way we do from both sustainability and health perspectives. Just as well then that fruits and vegetables represent a realistic, readily available and cost effective alternative.
Where do I start...
Nike has been known to turn fresh produce into shoe sculptures. Not into running shoes? How about a an entire zoo carved from fruits and vegetables then? Three dimensional landscapes are also an option. There are in fact few limits in what a capable artist can achieve with a degree of patience, a decent knife and a selection of fresh produce. Or if you prefer more active engagement, how about turning fruits and vegetables into musical instruments?
And on a more serious note, in some cultures, fruit and vegetable are used as religious offerings.
This is by no mean an exhaustive section on Consumer Usage of fruits and vegetables - we keep on surprising ourselves.