What's So Tough About Eating Your Vegetables?

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I didn't like salad until I was in my mid-twenties. I get it. But you know what? Eating vegetables isn't that hard. You have to do it, and it can even be fun! Fun or not, you aren't five years old — unless you are one very precocious Kitchn reader — and it's time to grow up and eat your vegetables. Some of you, apparently, are still eating baby food.

Government recommendations call for adults to eat about two and a half cups of vegetables a day, more like five if you are counting fluffed up, leafy greens. That doesn't sound like much, and most of us probably consume more. But according to a recent piece, the Jolly Green Giant feels like it needs to trick you into eating your veggies. Is that really necessary?

→ Read the whole article: Stealth Vegetables at The New York Times
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The fact that you're reaching for a food product with a cartoon character on it should tell you something. Admittedly, a vegetable lover like myself finds the strapping and always smiling Green Giant a little dreamy, but I don't need a friendly version of the Incredible Hulk to fool me into eating vegetables.

Green Giant's new Veggie Blend-Ins are exactly what you think: pureed vegetables you can sneak into almost any dish, including brownies. (As an aside, why would you do that to a brownie? What has the brownie ever done to you? Quit judging the brownie and let it be who it is, man. Peace.) By the time all the other ingredients are accounted for, the pouches aren't making much headway. You'll still have a long way to go to get your two and a half cups of veggies.

I don't hate pureed vegetables. I'm all for pumpkin soup, mashed turnips and cauliflower, squash puree as a side dish and, as of very recently, a lovely cold cucumber soup. But I don't need extra packaging and expense to get those things. My mini food processor can handle just about anything. And brownie time will never be vegetable time in my house; the strangest thing I'll add to that delicious treat is a little salted caramel.

The fact is, according to that article, if those dishes get me to my recommended allotment of vegetables every day, then I'm in the wee majority. "Not quite 5 percent of Americans younger than 50 are getting the recommended amount of vegetables" — shocking, right? — "and only 10 to 25 percent of older adults achieve this goal."

So while we raise a dubious eyebrow at pureed vegetables in a pouch, we also are all for anything that moves the needle on those numbers. Why are they so low? What's so tough about eating your vegetables?

Do you eat your veggies? If not, would pre-pureed veggies help?


(Image credits: Nealey Dozier; Anne Wolfe Postic)

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