Vegetables are one of the cornerstones of human nutrition, vital for a healthy and balanced diet. Thus, harvested global amounts of vegetables are huge – more than one billion metric tons per year. Over three quarters of this production volume is generated in Asia. Tomatoes are by far the leading vegetable worldwide based on production volume.
In the United States, some 2.7 million acres are used in total for the growing of vegetables. The amount produced on this acreage is worth around 13 billion U.S. dollars. In 2014, the total U.S. farm income based on cash receipts from vegetables reached almost 19 billion U.S. dollars. California is the most important U.S. state when it comes to the production of vegetables, both for fresh market consumption and further processing.
Every average American utilizes some 378 pounds of fresh and processed vegetables per year. The distribution is around 38 percent of fresh and 62 percent of processed vegetables. Tomatoes and onions are the most popular fresh vegetables, followed by some varieties of lettuce. Nearly 60 percent of U.S. consumers buy fresh vegetables weekly, while one quarter of them purchase fresh produce a few times a week.
Most of the processed vegetables are frozen or canned to make them durable. Therefore, around 7 percent of all vegetables produced become frozen. Every U.S. consumer annually spends some 35 U.S. dollars on frozen vegetables. However, health-related and economic reasons among consumers lead to tendencies to buy fewer frozen vegetables.
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