America’s farmers are growing more nutrition-filled vegetables and beans, but we aren’t increasing our consumption of them. Despite increased availability for most of us – and messaging encouraging us to increase the amount we eat of these healthy foods – our consumption remains relatively flat. These are some of the findings included in the USDA’s newly released outlook report on “Vegetables and Pulses.” (Pulses are also referred to as “grain legumes“). The report, produced by the Economic Research Service (ERS) is chock-full of information about production in this sector. Nathanael Johnson (@SavorTooth) provides a brief analysis of the report for Grist, parsing the data…so you don’t have to. Great infographics, too. A must read.


“U.S. farmers are growing a lot more healthy stuff — veggies and beans — but they can’t seem to sell it to Americans. U.S. veggie consumption has stayed pretty flat, according to a new report from the Department of Agriculture, though production is booming…

Per the USDA, total U.S. output volume increased about 5% last year, as harvested areas expanded. Johnson notes:


That 5 percent growth amounts to a lot in our massive farm economy — around 6.5 billion pounds. But Americans are still only eating 1.6 cups of that per day on average, far below the recommended 2.5 cups (for a 2,000 calorie diet).”


Another finding? Potato consumption – including potato chips and french fries – is declining.


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