The VHQ (Verified Health Quality) Program
"Eat your fruits and vegetables" is a familiar statement we all heard as children and have spoken as adults. And for good reason! Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of certain diseases and health conditions. Unfortunately, the majority of Canadians do not meet the recommendation of eating 5 to 10 fruits and vegetables per day.
Gordon Surgeoner Ph.D., President of Ontario AgriFood Technologies, is the Author, and driving force behind the Verified Health Quality concept. In this short Audio message Dr.Surgeoner explains why the VHQ system is important to you, your health, your life.
We are fortunate in Ontario to have an abundance of affordable, locally grown produce. Dedicated, educated farmers ensure a supply of safe, nutritious fruits and vegetables. We have choice in where we buy this produce: at the farm gate, farmer markets or in our local grocery store. Ontario farmers supply both organic and conventional foods. No matter which type of produce is chosen or where it is purchased, we all benefit in eating the number of servings recommended.
Despite being the largest single section in a grocery store, the produce department rarely provides adequate nutritional information for consumers. Most fresh fruits and vegetables do not have nutritional labels.
This web-site is designed to provide the consumer with verified, science-based information on the nutritional value of specific fruits and vegetables and the role they play together in promoting good health. Wherever possible we have used Canadian standards and sources provided by Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Health and research information is under review and verification by a scientific review committee at the School of Nutrition, Ryerson University. The website is the sole responsibility of the VHQ program.
The consumer can follow the primary references and respected third-party sources including Health Canada, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Linus Pauling Institute, and the U.S. National Library and the National Institute of Health.
No single food can provide all of the nutrients the body needs. Therefore, it is important to enjoy a variety of foods. Use the Canada's Food Guide to choose the foods you eat and to meet the nutrient needs of your family. As a society with escalating health care costs, we must focus increasingly on the maintenance of wellness, not simply the treatment of illness. Being an informed consumer can improve the purchasing decisions you make each day and benefit the health of your family members.
The Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers' Association, and the Province of Ontario
Gord Surgeoner, PhD.
Ontario Agri-Food Technologies