Eating 16g more vegies a day could save Australia $100m and net growers an extra $23m p.a.

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Organic vegetables: if every Australian ate just 10 percent more vegies daily, we'd save $100m per annum in combined government healthcare costs
Eat your vegies: if every Australian ate just 16 grams more vegetables daily, we'd save $100m per annum in combined government healthcare costs.
Jessica Spengler, Flickr CC

The report, released on 4 August 2016, has found if Australians ate just 10 percent more vegetables a day, federal, state and local governments could reap $100 million annually in combined health savings and growers netting an estimated $23m more each year.

The report, commissioned by Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) and compiled by Deloitte Access Economics, also found that more than 90 percent of Aussies fail to eat the government’s recommended daily vegetable intake of five or more serves (375-plus grams).

Right now, the average Australian eats just 2.3 serves of vegies a day – less than half the amount advised for ongoing good health.

The Australian Government’s fruit and veg guidelines are outlined in the Go for 2+5 campaign video below.

The Deloitte report findings indicate that the nation could benefit significantly if the current average intake of 174 grams was boosted even marginally, to just 190 grams, Hort Innovation Chief Executive John Lloyd said.

“If Australians ate just a handful more of broccoli or two extra carrots per week they would reduce their risk of some cancers and cardiovascular disease,” he contended.

“In economic terms, based on detailed modelling, all levels of government would also stand to benefit through an estimated $100 million in health expenditure savings per year combined.

“On top of this, a 10 percent increase in national vegetable consumption would further support vegetable growers nationally, with an estimated $23 million per year in additional profit.”

Fresh vegetables on sale at Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne: if consumers upped their vege intake by just 10 percent, vegetable growers would reap an extra $23 million annually in profits.
Fresh vegetables on sale at Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne: if consumers upped their vege intake by just 10 percent, vegetable growers would reap an extra $23 million annually in profits.
Sharon Bautista, Flickr CC

Other key findings

The Deloitte report also found that:

  • men eat fewer vegetables than women, with 3.8 percent of the Aussie males surveyed consuming adequate amounts of vegetables compared to 10.2 percent of females;
  • while Tasmanians eat more vegetables per person, per day, than Australians in other states and territories, only 12 percent of Tassie’s population consumes the recommended daily intake;
  • vegetable consumption generally increases with age, peaking among those aged between 75 and 84 years old;
  • excluding potatoes, ‘fruiting vegetables’ such as corn and pumpkin are the vegetables consumed most by Australians; and, sadly,
  • Australia ranks a lowly 63rd in the world by apparent consumption of vegetables per capita.

Perhaps it’s time we all put a few more vegies on our plates a bit more often. Okay, at least 10 percent more veges, a lot more often. What do we have to lose (apart from excess kilos)?

More information

For information on vegetable production and consumption in Australia, visit the Hort Innovation website

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