A good summary of global food guide recommendations for vegetable and fruit daily servings is 6-a-day, 4 vegetables and 2 fruits. This provides the vital minerals and vitamins and fibre that is the start of healthy eating for each person.
Farmers are consumers too and hardly any farmer just eats their own food anymore. Farmers who grow food still eat mostly imported food just like everyone else. Farmers need their 6-a-day too.
Let us review some key research that supports the idea of 6-a-day. First we have the 2006 BC Food Self Reliance study which has a detailed analysis of what people in BC actually eat. This is based on trade figures and production figures and not just asking people what they eat (see Consumer Reading Room section of this web site for a copy of the report).
In this study, the recommended daily servings are 3.75 Vegetable and 3.75 Fruit. What is actually eaten is 2.8 vegetable and 1.9 fruit servings daily. (see page 12 of above study).
The French national food guide, as well as the UK and the Australian ones, all recommend 4 vegetable and 2 fruit servings daily.
The new Canadian food guide recommends between 7-10 combined vegetable and fruit servings daily. The USA guide recommends the same(?) but research show Americans only eat three combined vegetable and fruit servings daily.
My own life-long efforts at healthy eating inspired my search for something easy to do every day. Expert advice is complicated and confusing and often contradictory. What works at the kitchen table level?
Combining what people already eat with what they should eat lead to 6-a-day. It was later that research showed this is what other national food guides recommend. Please remember this is a minimum amount of vegetables and fruits to eat daily. You can eat more if you want.
I find 6-a-day takes a lot of work to do but is very helpful in the quest of healthy eating. This information is provided for educational purposes only.