According to a 2013 UCS report, The $11 Trillion Dollar Reward, increasing our consumption of fruits and vegetables could save more than 100,000 lives and $17 billion in health care costs from heart disease each year.
And better farm policies, designed to encourage production of healthy food instead of processed junk foods, will help us reap those benefits.
Here are some of the more eye-opening findings from the report:
- Medical costs of treating heart disease and stroke were estimated at $94 billion in 2010, and this figure is projected to nearly triple by 2030.
- If Americans ate just one more serving of fruits or vegetables per day, this would save more than 30,000 lives and $5 billion in medical costs each year.
- If Americans were to follow current USDA recommendations for daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, those numbers would go up to more than 127,000 lives and $17 billion saved.
- According to methods commonly used by economists, the increased longevity that would result if Americans ate the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables is worth over $11 trillion.