I remember when I was a kid growing up in the north of Tasmania, dinner usually involved a meat of some type and three vegetables. The vegetables were always potato, carrots and something else. Sometimes we would have peas, beans, corn, cabbage, cauliflower or even brussel sprouts (they were definitely not a favourite on my plate).
The interesting thing is that regardless of what other vegetables were happening, there was always potato (in different forms) and boiled carrots.
Now 40 years later (and it was weird writing that!!!), carrots are still big when it comes to dinner in this country. In August AusVeg commissioned a survey to be done to determine what vegetables we are purchasing.
It found that 94 percent of the 800 consumers surveyed had purchased carrots, making it the number one vegetable purchased.
However, as the survey only asked consumers and did not consider the food industry, potatoes were not found to be the highest purchase. When the chips and other products in restaurants, cafes and other food businesses are taken into consideration, it is widely recognised that potatoes are the main vegetable crop in this country.
This is a monthly survey and will be run over the next three years.
The top 10 vegetables purchased in august 2013 were;
- tomatoes – 92 per cent
- potatoes – 83 per cent
- broccoli – 80 per cent
- cauliflower – 79 per cent
- celery – 78 per cent
- capsicums – 76 per cent
- white onion – 76 per cent
- cabbage – 74 per cent
- zucchini – 74 per cent
The choice of vegetable is personal but it definitely includes the belief that some are healthier than others. Carrots are believed to be good for the eyes and are easy to handle, making it a popular vegetable across time
Andrew White, AusVeg Manager of Industry Development and Communications, said; “This consumer research provides valuable insights to the Australian vegetable industry that will assist growers in understanding consumer’s preferences over a three-year period. Insights include not only which vegetables are being purchased the most, but also what the triggers and barriers to purchase are and how these might be overcome in order to see growth in purchasing.”
My family would never have had zucchini, broccoli or capsicum on our dinner plates back when I was a kid, but these vegetables are a regular part of meals in my house now. Times change but some things like potatoes and carrots will always be important to us, but it is interesting to see that even now brussel sprouts don’t make the popular list.
This article has been written by Rachelle Williams – The Green Food Safety Coach