Skinny Daily Post


For someone who is as concerned as I am about weight management, you�d think that I would have more interest in government studies and scientific research about diet. But I�m afraid that I�m a little cynical about the influence the agricultural lobby has over the government and science in general, and so I tend not to get too excited about their reports and findings on healthy eating guidelines.

For one thing, I really am skeptical about the five servings of fruits and vegetables that are often cited as a healthy baseline. It simply doesn�t seem like enough. What�s that? They raised it to ten? Right. Whatever. Who is coming up with these servings and how are they distinguishing between different varieties and categories?

I confess that over the past few years I�ve become a vege-fanatic. No. Not a vegetarian. Simply a fan of vegetables. I have them almost every day for breakfast, and quite often as a snack. And the more I eat them, the more natural it is to have them around a lot.

Last week, however, as I was tossing a bag of frozen veggies into a container to be steamed in the microwave, I happened to glance at the label. ‘Five servings.’ Five? Five what? Five two year-olds? I tried to picture some person steaming up this bag, putting it on a platter and serving it to a family of five. Who gets the carrot? Who gets that piece of cauliflower?

By the standards set out by researchers, my consumption of fruits and vegetables today consisted of somewhere between 15 � 20 �servings.� Don�t forget, tho, that a banana is two servings (I wonder what I�m supposed to do with the other half?). And that was in addition to the other sources of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins I had.

I guess listening to the agribusiness lobby to tell me how few fruits and vegetables I�m supposed to eat is nothing to get worked up about. In fact it just �serves� me right for reading the label.

7 thoughts on “

  1. Cheryl says:

    Hi Jonathan

    I’m enjoying your posts this week very much. It is interesting to read your dietary recommendations for fruit and veg. Australian ones are a little different to yours. If you are interested you can see them here…
    I’m like you and eat mountains of vegetables over the course of a week, so certainly don’t have any trouble getting to my serving recommendations. We eat mostly fresh, but then we’re coming up to summer here and there are plenty around!
    Look after yourself and enjoy your vegies!!

  2. eileen says:

    Hey Johnathan, I don’t mean to sound like your 6th grade English teacher, but the title of this piece really ought to be “Whose serve”, as opposed to “who’s”.

  3. Jonathan says:

    That’s okay, you spelled my name wrong. I guess we’re all a little imperfect 🙂

  4. stretchy says:


    You rock!

  5. daharja says:

    Thanks for the great article.

    I know exactly what you mean – except I’m vegan.

    Serving sizes indicated by the USDA et al are truly ridiculous. They’re so small. But then, I just ignore pretty much everything what is basically government-sponsored Agribusiness tells me what to to, and as a result am incredibly healthy.

    The USDA food pyramid is, simply put, marketing designed to benefit various food companies and interests.

    If you’re serious about good health, the recipe is simple:

    – eat as many *fresh* fruits and veggies as you can.
    – any grains should be *whole* and complete.
    – drink lots of water.
    – limit (or preferably avoid) animal foods of all types, including dairy, fish and eggs.
    – avoid all fried, processed and packaged foods.

    If you think fish is healthy, think again. It’s loaded with heavy metals. If you think dairy is healthy, think again. It’s one of the major sources of saturated fat in the typical US diet, and is linked to various forms of cancer, including breast and prostate.

    Oh, and the guy who invented the term ‘vegan’ just died. He was 95, and died in his sleep, enjoying perfect health right to the end.

    You can’t eat too many fresh fruits and veggies! Munch on, and ignore ‘portion sizes’. Do you know *anyone* who ever got fat eating broccoli or green salad? Of course not! And no, fries are NOT a vegetable – they’re junk food, plain and simple.

  6. Connie Lane says:

    Jonathan, I laughed about your reference to the package of frozen veggies and the possibility of deciding whom in my family might receive the piece of carrot, cauliflower, etc. What really irritates me is the veggie mixture that advertises broccoli and instead I find mostly tough stems that are inedible. I always feel cheated when that happens…..

  7. heide says:

    I don’t mean to be contrary, but the vast majority of people don’t eat enough veggies. The gov’t recommendation of 5-a-day is a minimum, not an allowance. Many people don’t eat any produce at all, so for some, eating five servings, even if they’re small 1/2 cup servings, is still a lot more than they usually get. The point is, eat as many fruits and veggies as you want, but eat at least five servings.

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