chapter  11
17 Pages

Fruits and Vegetables

ByNADINE LEHRER

Walk into a supermarket in the United States today, and chances are good that you will be walking directly into the produce section.1 As such, your first experience of the store comes in the form of jet-cooled heaps of fresh fruits and vegetables. With fruit and vegetable production and consumption minor compared to “staple” cash commodity crops, it is striking that this is how supermarkets invite you in to shop. Fruits and vegetables are grown on only 0.3 percent of harvested cropland in the U.S.; nevertheless they make up 29 percent of farm cash receipts.2 Clearly, fruits and vegetables are more than just garnish; they are key ingredients in American foodways.