Submitted to: Food Policy
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Relative to USDA dietary guidelines there is a 30% deficit in vegetable production and a 100% deficit in fruit production in the USA. The western USA, especially California, dominates current production of both fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. Constraints in land and water resources in California suggest that some shifts in production could occur in the future if production is matched to self sufficiency. Opportunities exist for production to increase in the eastern half of the USA where water is abundant, especially fro processed products. Even regions with long winters, such as the northeast, could be self sufficient in fruits and vegetables. Past responses of agriculture to producing more healthy products include vegetable oils, low fat milk and greater production of poultry. Crop improvements programs have not included nutrition and health characteristics as a guiding principle and much potential to improve these traits in fruits and vegetables exists. Greater understanding of the effects of environmental and management factors on crop "quality" is needed and strategies to produce nutritionally consistent products should be developed.