By Trish Zecca MS, Nutrition Lead and Senior Program Manager, Campbell Snacks
I’m a proud vegetable lover and advocate for the important role they play in nutrition, health and well-being. Just as importantly, I believe vegetables are delicious, versatile and central to a meal. While vegetables may not be top of mind for most people, as a nutritionist it’s something I think about every day through my work at Campbell Soup Company.
Like most families, mine tries to eat healthy meals that feature a variety of vegetables. It’s not always easy but with a bit of coaxing, my whole family has learned not just to enjoy veggies but to love them! We’re far from the normal though, with 91% of American adults failing to meet their recommended daily intakes*. While this number is high, it’s not entirely surprising. Experts recommend adults consume 2.5 cups of veggies every day!
Preparing and cooking vegetables can seem out of reach when people are stretched thin each day due to busy work schedules, commitments with family and friends, and keeping up with daily chores. Ultimately, any way to fit more vegetables into your daily diet will have benefits for you and your family.
That’s why Campbell strives to provide simple, affordable ways to help everyone get in more veggies each day. In my 10 years at Campbell, I’ve been proud to help develop new recipes and products that increase vegetables in Campbell products and can have a really positive impact on the food supply.
Today Campbell was honored by the Produce for Better Health Foundation as an Industry Role Model for the 6th consecutive year. The 2018 Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® Awards are given to individuals and organizations who go above and beyond to promote fruit and vegetable consumption. Campbell was honored for our work to promote fruits and vegetables in all forms (fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100% juice). Beyond the food we make, this award also recognized our commitment to transparency and education through communications on our brand websites, nutrition education and recipe development featuring vegetables.
I was proud to be part of the team that designed a pilot program to reorganize supermarket juice aisles according to servings of fruits and vegetables and other product benefits. We leveraged our partnership with the Produce for Better Health Foundation to help consumers find the juice products with benefits they were looking for. Based on positive feedback, this pilot program will expand to more grocery retailers this year.
Small steps at the corporate level can have significant public health impact. Our nutrition team puts a lot of effort into advocating for vegetables in our products and accurately calculating how many servings they provide. In fiscal 2018 alone, Campbell put more than 16 billion servings of vegetables into the marketplace and more than 10 billion of that was from products, like Campbell’s Soup and V8 juices.
Eating enough vegetables is challenging for most Americans but we’re working hard to make it just a little bit easier and even more delicious. #haveaplant
Trish Zecca was also recognized individually as an Ambassador of Excellence Award Honoree for her passionate work to promote increased fruit and vegetable consumption and support of the PBH organization. www.fruitandveggies.org
* 2018 State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables
Trish leads Global Nutrition for the Americas business of the Campbell Soup Company. She and her team of experienced RDs and nutrition scientists are responsible for nutrition strategy, innovation and labelling for all soup, simple meals and beverage brands in the US. Trish is the lead for corporate nutrition communications and stakeholder engagement and a sought after expert, serving on the Board of Trustees and Executive committee for the Produce for Better Health Foundation, sodium committee of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) and an invited thought leader for the Academy’s Nutrition Impact Summit. She received her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in nutrition science from the Pennsylvania State University, and is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 1984. Trish spent 15 years in WIC and maternal and child health programs before transitioning to her current role at Campbell’s.
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