Add One More Vegetable - launch

29 February 2024

Media release 

Add One More Vegetable: improving New Zealanders’ health by adding one more vegetable a day, every day

Improving every New Zealanders’ health by encouraging them to Add One More Vegetable a day, every day, is the idea behind a new initiative launched today.

‘Everyone can improve their health by adding one more vegetable a day, no matter how many vegetables they are currently eating,’ says Vegetables NZ Chair, John Murphy.

‘That’s the beauty of this initiative: the simplicity of the message and how easy it is, through the straightforward action of adding one more vegetable to meals and snacks.’  

Health and education manager for, and registered nutritionist, Julie North says most New Zealanders do not meet the recommendations for vegetable intake, and it comes at a cost to their health and to our health sector.

‘Perceived value, lack of time to prepare, lack of skills, dislike, and concern about waste can all present a few barriers. Yet vegetables are so important for good health, and there are many affordable varieties available all through the year. With endless ways to add vegetables in so many snacks and meals, we felt a positive and simple message was needed.

‘Add One More Vegetable encourages people to have a bit of fun and keep it simple. It is easy to throw a few handfuls of spinach into a curry or Bolognese. Carrots or zucchinis can be grated then added into lasagne, omelettes or even baking. There are hundreds of ways to add just one more into meals and snacks. It’s a fun challenge.’

The initiative has been carefully designed to have relevance to everyone whether they are veg-enthusiasts or just starting out.  For those who eat very few vegetables, adding just one is only a small challenge, but a big step in the right direction.

Findings from a 2023 report from Otago University: ‘The health and health system cost benefits of increasing vegetable intake by one serve for all New Zealanders’ support the initiative. Using modelling methods, all New Zealanders adding one more vegetable (75g) every day, estimates health system cost savings of just over $830 million over the life span of the population.

The initiative will be supported by and the 5+ A Day Charitable Trust, through a series of promotions and events. These will highlight the vegetables that are in season and suggest easy ways to increase consumption.