FAO serves up four challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean to encourage more consumption of fruits and vegetables.
As it turns out we need more than an apple a day to keep the doctor away. In fact, we need approximately 400 grams of fruits and vegetables daily according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization.
Under the theme “Fruits and vegetables, your dietary essentials”, the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV) offers the celebration of two food groups that we can all identify with and with which we all have a unique relationship. Its role in how we shape our ideas about the value of fruits and vegetables in our daily lives is important as it creates numerous avenues for us to educate, engage with and think about these food groups in imaginative and colourful ways.
In celebration of Earth Day on 22 April and IYFV, the need for the production and consumption of healthy and nutritious food remains at the forefront of discussions and efforts to ensure a healthy planet and the health of all people.
While it is recognized that access and prices can affect the ability to consume healthier diets, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has come up with a unique initiative to encourage more consumption of fruits and vegetables.
It is against this background that FAO in Latin America and the Caribbean has launched a series of four fun, family-friendly social media challenges to raise awareness on the important role of fruits and vegetables in our nutrition, food security, health and in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Renata Clarke, FAO Subregional Coordinator remarked that the four social media challenges present an educational and interactive way to encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables. With the alarming cases of childhood obesity and diabetes across the region, she believes this platform not provides an opportunity for learning, but for behavioral changes in food consumption which can lead to a longer and healthier lifespan.
She added that “since the first COVID19 pandemic lockdown in 2020, access to fruits and vegetables was a concern for many persons who started planting their own food and setting up backyard gardens to ensure their food supply was adequate and readily available. We also noted that many parents involved their children in backyard farming as a fun outdoor activity who had to find creative ways of educating their children as schools remained closed.”
FAO not only aims to raise awareness on IYFV, but also to encourage persons to get involved using their social media platforms, maintaining healthy diets, and sharing in this activity with family and friends in their safe spaces so that together we can influence the consumption of healthy diets inclusive of fruits and vegetables.
Social Media Challenges:
#BackyardChallenge – In this challenge, persons are encouraged to share a creative 60 seconds video/photo of the fruits or vegetables harvested from their gardens using the hashtags #IYFV2021 and #Backyardchallenge
#UglyFruitChallenge – In this challenge, persons are encouraged to share a creative 60 seconds video of a dish prepared from ‘ugly fruit or vegetable’ using the hashtags #IYFV2021 and #Uglyfruitchallenge.
In this challenge, if you have the ugly fruit fever and are eating fruits that look ugly to others, we invite people to share a creative 60 seconds video of this with us using the hashtags #IYFV2021 and #uglyfruitchallenge.
#Namethefruitchallenge or #Namethevegchallenge – In this challenge, persons are encouraged to share a creative 60 seconds video identifying a fruit or vegetable by looking at a photo or the actual fruit or vegetable and try to guess the name, using the hashtags #IYFV2021 and #Namethefruitchallenge or #Namethevegchallenge.
#Tastethefruitchallenge or #Tastethevegchallenge – In the final challenge, persons are encouraged to taste a fruit or vegetable blind-folded and to then identify the fruit based on the taste, using the hashtags #IYFV2021 and #Tastethefruitchallenge or #Tastethevegchallenge in a video of 60 seconds or less.
All four challenges are open to the public and persons may participate as often as they wish by posting their photos and videos on all social media platforms using the hashtags and tagging FAO accounts on Twitter in the Caribbean and Americas:
More information can also be found on FAO’s website.