The Food Bank of Delaware’s Veggie Meter

The Lempert Report
October 29, 2018

While it might sound like a joke, it’s anything but and is changing the way they serve people consuming fruits and vegetables

The veggie meter, cost $15,000 and has been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It looks similar to an electric pencil sharpener. 

Here’s how it works.  A person's height and weight are entered into a laptop connected to the device, then you stick your finger in the meter and it determines in just a few seconds, how many fruits and vegetables a person is eating by an LED light that measures  a specific pigment stored in our skin – carotenoids (ka-rot-a-noids) - as the antioxidant which is found in green, yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables. The score ranges from 0 to 800. The higher the score the better.

Food Bank of Delaware says they often see people score between 200 to 400, and their hope is that by using the device, and making it “fun” they can increase produce consumption. The information is stored in a spreadsheet with a person's correlating Produce Prescription Program ID number. 

The Produce Prescription Program allows low-income Delawareans to pick up a 25-pound box of fresh fruits and vegetables, making it easier and more affordable for families to eat more fresh food.