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July 23 , 2010
Articles

Americas More Matters Pledge Toolkit Now Available Online
Schoolmenu.com and PBH Team Up
Scientific Panel Debunks Dirty Dozen List
USDA Asks, Are Coupons More Effective Than Price Discounts?
Child Nutrition Legislation Update
FDA Seeks Comments on Front-of-Package and Menu Labeling
Let’s Move Update: Let’s Move Website Gets a Makeover
UHealth Beat: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
New Ideas for Increasing Fruit & Vegetable Consumption


Americas More Matters Pledge Toolkit Now Available Online
 

The new online pledge campaign, America’s More Matters Pledge: Fruits & Veggies … Today and Every Day!, kicks off in September and PBH’s latest marketing toolkit is now available online to support it. The campaign begins during Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Month but will be ongoing, so make use of these free resources into next year. Three versions of the America’s More Matters Pledge: Fruits & Veggies … Today and Every Day! marketing toolkit are available online. Click through to check out the retail toolkit, the supplier toolkit, and educator toolkit online. 
 

Toolkit materials are customizable. Even the America’s More Matters Pledge logo itself can be customized! If the user doesn’t have enough room for the entire logo in their project, the fruit and vegetable background can be omitted leaving only the key-shaped interior logo. Also, the watermelon image at the bottom of the graphic can be customized to highlight a particular fruit or vegetable in any form, fresh, frozen, dried, canned, or 100 percent juice! 
 

The new toolkit materials include downloadable pledge cards, press release templates, newsletter articles, radio and on-hold messaging scripts, and POS pieces. There are also toolkit items designed to help the industry, educators, and members of the public health community announce their related activities to the consumer media and other audiences. As always, these materials are free of charge. 
 

A webinar to discuss ideas for using the new pledge toolkit materials and answer any questions about them will be held on Wednesday, July 28 at 1:00 pm Eastern time. To join the webinar: open your web browser to www.pbhf.glance.net?key=7465 so that you can view the presentation and call 1 (605) 715-4920 with the access code 271885 to join the audio portion. 
 

America’s More Matters Pledge is a result of discussions between the National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance (NFVA) and first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move childhood obesity initiative. Additional activities are currently in discussion with the Let’s Move initiative and NFVA. More information will be released as more information becomes available. 
 

For more information about the pledge toolkit, view the three different versions online, the retail toolkit, the supplier toolkit, and educator toolkit, or join the July 28 pledge toolkit webinar by logging on to www.pbhf.glance.net?key=7465 and calling 1 (605) 715-4920 with the access code 271885.


Schoolmenu.com and PBH Team Up
 

PBH has joined with Schoolmenu.com to provide a variety of nutrition information online. Schoolmenu.com works with school districts across the country to post elementary, middle, and high school menus on their website, including the nutritional content of the items served. The site is provided free and can be customized for each individual school within the district. Work is currently underway on an updated website to be launched this fall featuring a new look, improved user-friendly navigation, and lots of fruit and vegetable nutrition information provided by PBH. The updated website will feature the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters fruit and vegetable of the month, a kids section, as well as fitness and health information from nationally-known institutions and experts. For more information, visit www.schoolmenu.com online.


Scientific Panel Debunks Dirty Dozen List
 

A new report has been released by the Alliance for Food & Farming in response to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen list. An expert panel of five respected scientists from diverse backgrounds was assembled to evaluate the scientific validity of the so-called Dirty Dozen list, released annually by EWG, regarding the health effects of pesticide residues on food. 
 

The scientific panel concluded that the Dirty Dozen report is misleading to consumers and an impediment to public health because it discourages consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. It also states that there is no scientific evidence that pesticide levels found on produce pose any risk. In fact, they noted that the very studies that show health benefits from fruits and vegetables are studies using fruits and vegetables that likely were grown with pesticides. Based upon these findings, there is no reason why a consumer should use this list to guide their purchasing decisions for fruits and vegetables. A series of three webinars was held to introduce it to the industry, nutrition professionals, and the press. 
 

Although the expert panel was commissioned by the Alliance for Food and Farming, that group did not participate in the production of the panel’s report. Alliance for Food and Farming has a new website that provides more information about pesticide residues on fresh produce to the media and consumers. Visit the site online at www.safefruitsandveggies.com
 

The Alliance for Food and Farming is a non-profit organization. Its membership includes approximately 50 agriculture associations, commodity groups, and individual growers/shippers who represent farms of all sizes, both organic and conventional. All funding for the expert panel review of the Dirty Dozen list has come from farmers or groups representing farmers. 
 

For more information, read a PDF version of the report, A Review of the Science on the Potential Health Effects of Pesticide Residues on Food and Related Statements Made by Interest Groups, or visit www.safefruitsandveggies.com.


USDA Asks, Are Coupons More Effective Than Price Discounts?
 

In June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service released a report that looks at coupons and price discounts and uses household purchase data and a consumer demand model to examine the efficacy of each approach in increasing the purchase of fruits and vegetables. A PDF of this report, Promoting Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: Are Coupons More Effective than Pure Price Discounts?, is available on their website. 
 

Coupons influence consumer behavior by offering items at a lower price and also by, in essence, advertising the item on the coupon. Researchers theorized that, because of this double effect, coupons may be more effective at increasing fruit and vegetable purchases than a pure price-discount policy or other noncoupon promotion. For more information, visit the USDA Economic Research Service’s website.


Child Nutrition Legislation Update
 

On July 15 the House Education and Labor Committee passed the Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act of 2010.  An amendment that will include frozen fruit in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program passed with a voice vote and no debate. As part of an effort to provide healthier school lunches, the bill would allow the Agriculture Department to create new standards for all food in schools, including vending machine items. The legislation would spend about $8 billion more on nutrition programs over 10 years. 
 

Many of the nation’s largest food and beverage companies are supporting this legislation. New standards would not remove foods like pizza or hamburgers from schools completely, but would make them healthier. Vending machines could be stocked with less candy and fewer high-calorie sodas and more healthy items like fruits and vegetables.


FDA Seeks Comments on Front-of-Package and Menu Labeling
 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has asked for comments from the public and other interested parties about front-of-package nutrition labeling and shelf tags in retail stores. As it deliberates about how to enhance the usefulness to consumers of point-of-purchase nutrition information, the FDA wants to know what consumers want to see. Written comments may be sent to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305) Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville Md., 20852. Comments may also be submitted electronically by going to the regulations.gov website and entering Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0210. Comments will be accepted until July 28, 2010. For more information, read the FDA’s press announcement
 

The FDA is also soliciting comments and information to help the agency implement a new federal law that requires the posting of calorie content and other nutrition information on menu items at certain chain restaurants and similar retail food operations and vending machines. Section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act was signed into law March 23, 2010. The law requires certain restaurants, coffee shops, delis, movie theaters, bakeries, ice cream shops, and vending machines to list calorie content information on their menus, including drive-through menu boards. Other nutrient information, such as total calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates, sugars, dietary fiber, and total protein, must also be made available in writing on request. 
 

The FDA wants to know what members of the food industry, consumers, and other interested parties have to say about menu labeling. Written comments may be sent to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305) Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville Md., 20852. Be sure to include docket number FDA-2010-N-0298 on each page of written comments. Comments may also be submitted electronically by going to the regulations.gov website and entering Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0298. Comments will be accepted until September 4, 2010. For more information, read the FDA’s press announcement.


Let’s Move Update: Let’s Move Website Gets a Makeover
 

First lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative aims to eliminate childhood obesity in this generation. Here are the latest happenings relating to this important initiative. 
 

The Let’s Move website, www.letsmove.gov, has been updated to include some new features that add to its status as an online resource for parents, teachers, and community leaders to help children eat better and become more active. They have added a page of simple steps to success, a new blog, a great outdoors page with ideas for getting kids moving, a list of weekly menu plans created by chefs, and a link to the Let’s Move Facebook page. 
 

For more information about the Let’s Move initiative, visit the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Let’s Move page of the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters website.


Health Beat: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
 

This month, the Obama administration unveiled new rules specifying which preventive health services will be free to consumers under the new health law. Obesity prevention services were included and will be available to consumers without a co-payment or other direct costs in new health plans after Sept. 23. These services include screenings to determine a person's body-mass index, as well as other detection and counseling services, including diet counseling. Free preventive services, like obesity prevention, were included based on recommendations from groups, including the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). 
 

The USPSTF is an independent panel of non-federal experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine and is composed of primary care providers, such as internists, pediatricians, family physicians, gynecologists/obstetricians, nurses, and health behavior specialists. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is congressionally mandated to support this task force and does so through an AHRQ Prevention and Care Management Portfolio. 
 

The USPSTF conducts scientific evidence reviews of a broad range of clinical preventive health care services, such as screening, counseling, and preventive medications, and develops recommendations for primary care clinicians and health systems. These recommendations are published in the form of Recommendation Statements.  For more information about the USPSTF visit www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstfix.htm.


New Ideas for Increasing Fruit & Vegetable Consumption
 

This month’s edition of the International Fruit and Vegetable Alliance’s (IFAVA) scientific newsletter looks at new ideas for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. Specifically, articles discuss promoting the consumption of fruit in an elementary school cafeteria, cooking skills and their relationship with inadequate fruit and vegetable intake, and preferences for steaming vegetables. For more information, visit IFAVA or contact PBH’s Marketing and Communications Assistant Jill LeBrasseur.



PBH is pleased to recognize the following companies as leaders in the fruit and vegetable industry and thanks them for their support. Their generous contributions help make possible PBH’s many activities to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. PBH thanks all current and new donors who have contributed to the foundation from July 6, 2010 through July 22, 2010. Together we can make a difference in the nation’s fruit and vegetable consumption. To find out how you can support PBH, and grow your business in the process, contact PBH West Coast Fund Development Director Jennifer Armen-Bolen or PBH East Coast Fund Development Director Renee Bullion.


Returning Trustees ($10,000+ Annual Contribution):
Green Giant - Frozen and Canned Foods


Returning Donors:
Amigo Farms, Inc.
M. Caratan, Inc. DBA Columbine Vineyards
Datepac, LLC
Hero/WhiteWave
Morita Produce Company & Nuthouse
National Produce Consultants, Inc.
Pacific Collier Fresh Company
Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Program
Progressive Produce Corporation
Publix Super Markets, Inc.
Ruiz Sales, Inc.
Valley Fig Growers

 

For more information, contact Kristen Stevens.


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