The Real Food Deficit is the gap between our vision of healthy communities and reality. It's a complex problem including everything from moms struggling to prepare healthier meals for their families to underserved neighborhoods that don't have access to fresh produce. Helping more people enjoy real food is the mission that inspired us back in 1984, and why we're passionate about making an impact today.
At Kashi, we believe everyone deserves affordable, nutritious, real food. The Kashi REAL Project is designed to champion nonprofit organizations that are aligned with our mission to tackle the Real Food Deficit by providing education about nutrition and healthy eating or working to provide greater access to healthy foods such as fresh produce. With your support, we believe real food can and will change people's lives.
Here are some of the central issues of what we refer to as The Real Food Deficit:
On average, we eat JUST 42% of the recommended daily intake of fruit.
We all know it's a good idea to be eating more fruits and vegetables, but there's a significant gap in this country between what we need to eat for optimum health and what we are actually eating. Sadly, on average, we eat just 42 percent of the recommended daily intake of fruit, only 59 percent of vegetables and a dismal 15 percent of whole grains.
82% of food deserts are in urban areas with no grocery store in sight.
A desert is a region that is so arid it supports "sparse and widely spaced vegetation or none at all." A food desert is an area where people have limited access to affordable, healthy and fresh foods. More than 13.5 million people in the United States live in a food desert. With longer distances to find staples like fresh produce, it's easy to understand why people turn to more convenient, less healthy options.
ONLY 10% of schools participate in farm-to-school programs.
While interest in garden-based education is growing, less than 10 percent of schools in America have a farm-to-school program. Learning how to grow your own food and how to prepare it are wonderful hands-on ways to get kids excited about enjoying a variety of fruits and veggies. Studies have shown when kids are served more fresh fruits and vegetables, along with educational activities, they are inspired to make positive food choices.
If eating trends continue, three out of four Americans will beOVERWEIGHT or obese by 2020.
Currently one in three adults in the United States has one or more types of cardiovascular disease while diabetes affects more than 25 million people. Since 1980, obesity among children and adolescents has almost tripled and for the first time in 200 years, the current generation of children in the US is expected to have a shorter lifespan than their parents. Despite the prevalence of these diseases, over half of all overweight and obese people consider their health to be good or very good. Because these conditions are largely preventable with diet and lifestyle changes, clearly there is a lot of work to do to close this gap and encourage people to make more healthy choices.
ONLY 0.7% of U.S. cropland is certified organic.
Whether or not you are politically active, food policy shapes both the quantity and quality of our food system. One of the most important pieces of legislation that influences the food we eat is the Farm Bill. This bill is scheduled for review later this year and will decide the five-year funding for programs like nutrition education, expansion of farmers markets and assisting farmers with the transition to organic production. It can also support organic agriculture research and local food in rural areas. Collectively, the bill will have a major and long-term impact on how well we can align our food system with our country's public health goals. Learn more about the Farm Bill.