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Healthy Foods Get Star Treatment on Web

February 24, 2014

Food is everywhere on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, but how much of it is fruits and vegetables versus pies and potato chips? Pizza, ice cream and bacon soar on the Internet via hashtags, Instagram photos or other social media mentions, but the richly red, healthy beet, for example, just doesn’t get much respect in cyber world.

FoodPornIndex.com aims to show how fruits and veggies can be just as tasty and beautiful as ice cream, pizza or bacon.

Bolthouse Farms, which produces juices, smoothies and other items, has developed an entertaining and dare we say, educational, FoodPornIndex.com. The site hopes to “track the health of the internet” by calling attention to food inequities and to highlight the plight of the beleaguered Brussels sprout and other less trendy but healthy fruits and vegetables.

The mission is front and center on Bolthouse Farm’s website: “We are partners on a journey to change the way people think about and use fresh fruits and veggies. We will help inspire people to lead healthier, more vibrant lives.”

The company came up with an algorithm to track hashtags on Twitter and elsewhere on the Internet, and mentions of 24 keywords for different vegetables, fruits and all those fatty, sugary favorites. Through the use of enticing pictures, entertainment and music, visitors to the site can click on the Pomegranate Piñata, the Pizzabot or the Guac-a-Mole to get a real time sense of the item’s popularity on the web. You can express your musical prowess on the Carrot Keyboard or be charmed by the Burger Snake. The goal, say Bolthouse executives, is to remind consumers that a fresh strawberry is just as beautiful as those found in a dessert like a tart — and healthier. The site also provides plenty of healthy recipes, tips for getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet and meal planning.

Eating healthier is a crucial part of the fight against obesity and the chronic diseases it can lead to – heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and stroke. Obesity is an epidemic in the U.S. and in the state of Georgia. Sixty percent of adult Georgians are obese or overweight. Forty one percent of the state’s children are at an unhealthy weight. 

“People know they should make healthier food choices, but it's not always easy,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., commissioner of the Department of Public Health. “Social media and the web are keys to educating people of all ages about the importance of healthy eating and making the right food choices. If you can make it exciting and fun for them, that’s even better.”

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