WHY DIVERSIFY DIETS WITH FRUIT AND VEGETABLES?
Some efforts to increase nutrient intake have been made by biofortification and nutrient supplementation. Biofortifying staple crops is increasingly used as a complementary strategy for combating micronutrient malnutrition among the poor in developing countries (Bouis, 2002). Maize (Zea mays L.) biofortified with β-carotene and rice (Oryza sativa L.) biofortified with iron or β-carotene are examples of efforts to increase micronutrient uptake in staple-heavy diets. Supplements are commonly available in developed countries and can be used to provide the required micronutrients among populations with nutrient deficiencies in developing countries but at a relatively high cost. It has been shown that administration of vitamin A capsules can reduce child mortality by up to 23% (S. Tanumihardjo, personal communication, 2008). Although supplementation and fortification programs have been successful in many countries, the majority of the world’s population lives in rural areas or peri-urban ar