POMEROY — A new campaign, “PEACHES” — which stands for Promoting Education in Appalachia on Cancer and Healthy Eating Styles — is encouraging healthy eating among Meigs County residents.
The campaign is a part of a five-year project funded by the National Institutes of Health and sponsored locally by the Meigs County Cancer Initiative, Inc. (MCCI) and The Ohio State University.
“The Meigs County Cancer Initiative, Inc. is pleased to collaborate with the Appalachian Community Cancer Network and local growers from Meigs County to encourage good nutrition as a key to cancer prevention,” said MCCI Chairperson Courtney Midkiff.
Well-known farmers in Meigs County, including the families that run Cowdery Farms and Mitch’s Produce and Greenhouse, appear on a billboard and on posters as part of the PEACHES campaign. A billboard is located on U.S. 33 near the Pomeroy corporation line which features Mitch Meadows of Mitch’s Greenhouse in Middleport. Posters have been placed around the county, in the health department, offices, banks, stores and restaurants. The posters share the experiences of local residents who eat fruits and vegetables and provide ideas for everyone else to eat more daily servings.
Meadows said that he believes in simple eating that includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and that his eight-acre farm provides much of the food for his family, as well as produce he can sell.
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 Centers 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.
Emphasis of the PEACHES campaign is on increasing the number of county residents who eat the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Eating the right amount can help improve the health of residents. Information from the Ohio State University Hospital indicates that currently 80 percent of Meigs County residents do not meet this recommendation.
A report from the Center for Disease Control states that fruits and vegetables are vital in promoting good health, and that these foods which have important vitamins and minerals many diseases can be prevented and the risk of stroke, heart disease disease and certain cancers is reduced. Fruits and vegetables can be eaten fresh, dried or cooked. To get the most benefit, it is recommended that different colors of fruits and vegetables be eaten since the different colors contain nutrients like fiber, foliate, potassium and vitamins A and C.