It ain’t easy eating green.
A frozen food company surveyed Americans to find out their favourite and least favourite vegetables but discovered something shocking — a staggering one quarter of respondents had never even eaten one.
The survey of 2000 adults, conducted by research firm OnePoll in May on behalf of Dr. Praeger’s, found that even among those who do eat them, only one third (36 per cent) of their meals actually included a vegetable.
Seventy-two per cent of respondents said they wanted to eat more vegetables and 67 per cent said they felt guilty when they failed to eat vegies with their meal. So what’s holding them back?
One in four Americans said both that vegetables were simply “too expensive” and that “they always rot before I get a chance to eat them”, 24 per cent said they didn’t have convenient access to buying them, 22 per cent said they took too much time to prepare and 19 per cent said they didn’t know how to cook them properly.
“Most of us already know they should be eating more vegetables,” Dr. Praeger’s chief executive Larry Praeger said in a statement. “While more and more people are adopting plant-based diets, there’s still a long way to go toward reaching recommended consumption levels.”
The survey was conducted to promote the company’s Veggie Tracker website.
“Eating vegies should be fun and rewarding,” Mr Praeger said. “This is why we created Veggie Tracker, to give people free tools and resources to help them fall in love with vegies and build eating habits that last a lifetime.”
It comes after an unrelated but equally disturbing survey that found nearly half of Americans had worn the same pair of underwear for two or more days, with 13 per cent saying they had worn the same pair for a week or more.
In terms of vegetables, corn was crowned America’s favourite with 91.4 per cent of respondents saying they liked it, followed by potatoes on 91.2 per cent and carrots and tomatoes tied for third at 89 per cent.
Onions and green beans both scored 87 per cent, but broccoli barely cracked the top 10, coming in at number eight with 85 per cent approval. Cabbage and peas rounded out the list on 84 per cent and 83 per cent respectively.
Turnip was named the most hated vegie with 27 per cent of respondents reporting they disliked it, followed by beets on 26 per cent, radishes on 23 per cent and brussels sprouts on 21 per cent.
Artichoke, eggplant and butternut squash tied for equal fifth place with 20 per cent each, zucchini and mushroom both scored 18 per cent and asparagus just made the top 10 with 16 per cent saying they disliked it.
Last month, a mum in the UK said her 18-year-old son had gone blind after eating nothing but junk food since the age of two. “He only eats chips, Quavers, Wotsits (similar to Cheetos and Cheezels) and Dairy Milk for every meal,” Kerry James said of her son Harvey Dyer, who has ADHD and autism.
Earlier this year, a survey of 22,000 Australian adults found less than half were meeting their recommended daily intake of fruit and just 8 per cent were meeting their recommended daily intake of vegetables.