Expert response from Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RD
Former MS, RD Public Affairs, Monsanto Company
Monday, 09/09/2013 12:36
As a registered dietitian, I have worked with many people and organizations focused on balanced eating and active living to achieve a healthy weight over many years. There are many factors to consider when it comes to helping individuals and our nation achieve a healthy weight; multiple sectors, including agriculture, and individual settings and factors are involved. Take a look at the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, chapter 6, Helping Americans Make Healthy Choices, to see how all of these factors work together. We continue speak with others regarding how we can contribute to a healthful lifestyle given our focus on agriculture.
Food production starts with a seed, and this is where much of Monsanto’s business is focused. We produce a wide variety of seeds for all types and sizes of farms around the world. As members of our families and communities, our people care about how we can help contribute to a balanced plate for people all over the world. While we do not produce or sell food directly, we have a vegetable seed business (for commercial growers and home gardeners) where we seek to make vegetables and melons more appealing to and convenient for consumers.
Despite the well-documented health benefits associated with fruit and vegetable consumption, very few Americans actually meet dietary guidance recommendations. Our plant breeders are using traditional and advanced plant breeding techniques to develop improved seeds that yield vegetables and melons with excellent quality, nutrition and flavor – all characteristics that help increase the appeal and consumption of vegetables. This also means developing seeds that can be grown into plants that are resistant to certain plant pests and viruses. This allows healthful produce to be grown in many different regions around the world so we have consistent access to healthful vegetables and melons. Healthy plants grown in the right conditions can provide healthful food.
As a registered dietitian with a passion for great-tasting and healthful food, I find this work fascinating and extremely important.
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