Salinas, California-based family-owned produce grower and shipper Hitchcock Farms conducted a survey of 3,725 Americans to test their fruit and vegetable knowledge. Survey respondents were provided images of everyday fruit and vegetables, such as an artichoke, and asked their opinion on what it was.
Two Southeast states were in the top five lowest scores. Respondents in Kentucky ranked the lowest with an average score of 20.9 percent correctly identifying everyday fruits and vegetables, and not quite a fourth of Georgians, or 22.8 percent, could identify them. Amazingly, California was tied with Georgia, despite the produce industry in the state.
Respondents in Wyoming scored the highest in the country with an average score of 72.3 percent.
Across the board, two-thirds of respondents didn’t know that pineapples grow from the ground; 18.2 percent thought they grew in bushes and 44.1 percent believed they hung from trees. Nearly a quarter of Americans admitted to not knowing that a kumquat is even a fruit, with 12.5 percent believing it to be a yoga position. Another 3.8 percent thought it was an Australian marsupial; 3.8 percent thought it was a star constellation; and 2.9 percent of respondents actually thought it was a type of exercise squat.
“A surprising number of people don’t have solid nutritional knowledge about fruits and vegetables. That could explain why so many don’t get their recommended daily dietary requirements,” says Karen Campbell, spokesperson for Hitchcock Farms. “When people know more about fresh produce options, they better understand the important nutritional benefits. That makes them much more likely to enjoy the variety that comes with a healthy diet.”
According to the study, on average, Americans get only 2.3 of their recommended five cups of fruits and vegetables per day, which is less than half the recommended amount. It also unearthed the fact that people also only incorporate these fresh ingredients into their diets 4.6 out of seven days a week, meaning that the rest of the time, Americans are not meeting their recommended daily dietary requirements.
When it comes to weekly grocery shopping, Americans acknowledge that only 15 percent of their typical shopping basket comprises fresh fruit and veggies. People also tend to shy away from trying new things as it was found that one in five admit to never buying fruits or vegetables they haven’t tried before.
Although research shows that when one is sick, increasing intake of fruits and vegetables can help your body heal faster. One-third of Americans, however, say they wouldn’t eat more fruit or veggies if they weren’t feeling well.
Encouragingly, however, the study also revealed that more than half, or 51.4 percent of respondents, think there should be an increase in urban agriculture.
Hitchcock Farms also has created an interactive quiz for readers to test their own fruit and veg knowledge and compare their score against others across the country.