Crisis merits united world effort

(Oct. 23) Atop the banks of the Ottawa river, a select group of produce intelligentsia laid the groundwork for world domination — one serving at a time.

The goals of the International Fruit and Vegetable Alliance are in no way modest:

  • Transform world health policies through better nutrition.

  • Improve consumption to more than five servings a day for adults.

  • And, more importantly for readers of this newspaper, boost the demand for produce so high that the industry becomes more viable than ever.

Meeting Oct. 15-17 in Ottawa, the group inched closer to those goals. With representation from 17 nations on hand, private and public health officials — and a few businesspeople — learned what is working for their peers. Story, Page A9

School snack programs are gaining momentum worldwide, with the U.S. leading by example.

Concurrently, our understanding of disease prevention and its relationship to good nutrition grows in meaningful ways.

And marketing of fruits and vegetables continues to emphasize positive attributes like flavor and fun.

The importance of efforts by the alliance cannot be overstated. Representatives from nearly all developed nations report more and more overweight and obese citizens among their ranks, with grievous consequences for government and private health care spending.

As obesity proliferates, the future of humanity truly hangs in the balance.

And it is balance that will save us. Balanced dieting. Balanced marketing. Balanced government feeding programs that are aligned with dietary recommendations.

So, as you lead your business forward, remember to support programs like “Fruits & Veggies: More Matters,” as well as ongoing 5 a Day-type efforts.

The revolution will follow — one serving at a time.