Monday, October 11, 2010

Baby carrots, again

I've been asked to share my thoughts for a short article being written about reactions from Registered Dietitians (RDs) to the marketing strategy for selling more "baby" carrots to children that I wrote about on my blog a few weeks ago, with such a heavy heart.

It will be a very short article so I was asked to write just a few sentences. Of course I wrote a bit more than what will be used due to space considerations (and other RDs will be asked to comment, too). So I let the writer know that I will post up my full comments and then link back to the article if/when it is available on-line for my readers to see the full range of comments.


"I am deeply disheartened to read about the new marketing strategy that the growers of "baby" carrots are taking, "Eat 'em like junk food™". Yes, the goal is to increase consumption of vegetables among children, but to do so, does the collective agriculture and food system really have to lower the bar to that level? I don't think so. Carrots are "cool" all by themselves, without any need to equate them to "junk food", when they have been grown in school, home, or community gardens, washed and scrubbed clean, and then eaten out of hand either whole or cut into pieces. RDs can help promote eating of food that is both healthy and delicious by encouraging people to understand that not only are we "what we eat", but "we are what we grow". As a profession, I hope registered dietitians not only teach and encourage people to eat whole foods (carrots being just one example) but to first grow them and then cook them by embracing and promoting The American Dietetic Association's 2010 National Nutrition Month motto of "Nutrition from the ground up" to help create truly healthy communities."

Diana Dyer, MS, RD, Ann Arbor, MI
Author: A Dietitian's Cancer Story - Information and Inspiration for Cancer Survivors since 1997
Farmer: The Dyer Family Organic Farm - "Shaping our future from the ground up" - Est. 2009

I could have said much more, but maybe more is not needed here, either for this blog or for the article. I will be very interested in reading the reactions and suggestions from other RDs, too. I have not had time to follow this issue on other blogs, so I don't really know if I am sighing and "ranting" along with a large group of colleagues,  if other RDs are sighing and resigned to the role of marketing in lowering the bar in this way, or even if there are RDs who think this campaign is a great idea.

"Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row"

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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