Only a third of Americans eat their recommended two servings of fruit a day, and only a quarter are eating their recommended three servings of vegetables. That’s according to a Science Friday podcast I’m listening to this morning.
There’s a big information challenge when it comes to healthy eating. Not one of the 5000-6000 ads an average child sees per year promotes fruits or vegetables. It’s painfully difficult to find consistent, trustworthy advice on how to eat healthy on the internet, and as the food pyramid fiasco showed, the government was not a much better information source. Finally, there’s the fact that families in some communities don’t know how to turn fresh foods into a healthy meal.
What’s more, it’s inconvenient. It’s hard to keep fresh. And it’s time-consuming to have to run to the supermarket and pick up. Almost every weekend I’m home my mom is making another run to Costco.
A caller calls in suggesting a return to home deliveries. “There’s more energy moving around for the delivery services…” the guest Dr. Willett mutters hesitantly. And then it hits me.
What if my mom literally ran to Costco every weekend?
Ok, it’s not exactly like that. But as I walk past the bike machines, watching people cycle in place, I think wistfully how efficient it would be to harness that energy to get fresh food to people’s doorsteps.
Imagine this: You sign up for a program to have fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to your door. You decide online what you want to order and how much you want to order. Every few days, a volunteer cyclist—perhaps a member of a local gym doing his regular routine—rides up to your door and delivers the goods. (You give him/her a little tip.) Your food comes fresh. You get perfect portions and reduce food waste. You save yourself a trip to the supermarket, not to mention the gas it takes to get you there, and avoid the risk of buying all the processed foods you have to pass to get to the vegetable isle. The cyclist gets a nice workout.
Even better, you tell your adolescent son to get off the sofa and go pick up the groceries. By bike.
(What do you think, viable idea or head-in-the-clouds thinking? Here are some other related posts showing how bicycle delivery is already being utilized for local restaurants, including a particularly interesting one on using bicycle trailers to deliver local foods.)