Is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just trolling us with the timing on this new report? On a day when most of us are elbow-deep slathering turkeys with butter, the CDC dropped a big ol’ finger wag of a study that finds only 10 percent of American adults eat enough fruits and veggies. Wait, do the celery chunks in this stuffing count?
The results are drawn from the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report—sounds fun—which gathered the fruit-and-veggie data from a 2015 study across all 50 states. Adults should eat 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables per day, but just 9 percent of adults meet that veggie goal and 12 percent meet the fruit goal. Alaska residents do best on the vegetable front, with 12 percent consuming the daily recommended levels, and Washington, D.C. residents do best in terms of fruit, with 16 percent meeting the goal. West Virginians fare worst on both accounts, ranking last in percentage of adults who get their recommended intake.
The CDC identified a few barriers that keep these numbers low, including fresh food’s high cost, limited availability and access to produce, and consumers’ perceived lack of cooking/prep time. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from vegetable bewilderment, allow The Takeout to suggest these nine vegetarian Thanksgiving sides that even the fiercest carnivores will enjoy. It’s what we do here: save the world one Brussels sprout at a time.