New "Good Food On A Tight Budget" Guide Is A Positive Step For EWG

8/21/2012 11:09 AM

 

Some positive news from the Environmental Working Group.  Their new guide “Good Food On A Tight Budget” for low income consumers does an excellent job of promoting healthy eating and consumption of multiple servings of fruits and vegetables.  EWG has partnered with Share Our Strength to develop this new guide, which will be officially released tomorrow, and get it into the hands of low income consumers. 

However, this new and promising effort and direction from EWG makes it even more crucial that they drop their negative and misleading messaging which calls into question the safety of fruits and vegetables.  Ironically just last week EWG actually compared conventionally grown produce to junk food and implied that it should only be eaten in moderation.  How does EWG balance this message with their new guide’s recommendation to low income consumers to eat five to nine servings of fruits and veggies every day?  Or, how does incorrectly calling safe and healthy fruits and veggies “laden with toxic chemicals” helpful in efforts to increase consumption?  The answer comes in the Alliance’s recent Scared Fat report, which shows these types of statements from EWG results in reduced consumption of fruits and vegetables among low income consumers.

So, EWG, in order to effectively promote your new guide which clearly seeks to improve the diets of low income consumers, it would seem that you would need to drop your other guide, the “Dirty Dozen” list, since the messaging used counteracts the other.  You can’t compare healthy produce to junk food and unfairly disparage the safety of fruits and veggies one week and then tell consumers the very next week to eat five to nine servings (especially since some of the low cost produce you recommend is on the “Dirty Dozen” list!).  It makes no sense and you really have no choice but to abandon those misleading statements and claims if you really want your new guide to succeed.

Overall, we are encouraged by EWG’s new initiative and guide for healthy, low cost eating.  We hope that this represents a new direction for them.  And, we’ll happily remind consumers that EWG’s new guide states: “Add more fruits and vegetables to your meal plan.  Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.  You can get 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day for about the cost of a bus ride in most cities.”  That is something we can all agree on and it is a strong, clear and concise message for consumers!

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