PEACHES campaign encourages healthy eating

A campaign called PEACHES, an acronym for promoting education in Appalachia on cancer and healthy eating styles, encourages healthy eating among Jefferson County residents.

Pictures of local produce providers in Jefferson County will appear on a billboard and on posters as part of the PEACHES campaign as they share their ideas about the benefits of eating fresh local fruits and vegetables.

Anguili Farms & Markets, Sparta Farm and Russell’s Greenhouse are some of the businesses involved.

A billboard is located on Lincoln Avenue, Steubenville, and features Carl Anguili of Anguili Farms & Markets. Also, in July, posters were placed throughout the county in the health department, offices, banks, libraries, restaurants and stores. The posters shared experiences of local residents who eat fruits and vegetables and provide ideas for others to eat more daily servings.

“I’ve been farming for six years now, and everything we sell is fresh picked and great tasting,” Anguili said.

A toll-free hotline is available to provide local residents with information about where to find fresh produce in the area. The number is (877) 346-6446.

The campaign is sponsored by the Women in Action Against Cancer Coalition and Ohio State University. It is part of a five-year project funded by the National Institute of Health.

“We appreciate our local farmers, and their hard work and produce contribute to cancer prevention,” said a WIAACC spokesperson. “This is a great time of year to focus on the benefits that fresh fruit and vegetables provide our bodies. Take responsibility for your health and take advantage of your area’s farmer’s markets and produce centers,” the spokesperson added.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that adults eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. The recommended servings depend on a person’s age, gender and amount of physical activity. The suggested servings usually range from five to nine a day.

The PEACHES campaign hopes to increase the number of county residents eating the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Eating the right amount can help improve the health of residents, according to a press release that notes 80 percent of Jefferson County residents do not meet this recommendation.

The CDC states that fruits and vegetables are vital in promoting good health as they offer important vitamins and minerals that can help prevent many diseases. People who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce their risk of stroke, heart disease and certain cancers.

Fruits and vegetables can be eaten fresh, dried or cooked. To get the most benefit, the CDC recommends eating fruits and vegetables of many different colors which contain nutrients such as fiber, foliate, potassium and vitamins A and C.