A new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics indicates that teaching children how to garden might make them more inclined to eat healthfully. Researchers from the University of Florida and other universities surveyed 1,351 college students and found that the ones who reported that they had gardened as children ate more fruits and vegetables than the ones who had never gardened. Of course, studies that rely on participant recall are notoriously unreliable (especially the ones that involve diet), but this study provides a promising foundation for future research. “This finding is particularly relevant, given the recent popularity of school gardens and farm-to-school projects,” said the lead author of the study in a press release.
The most important takeaway from this study, however, is not its implications for public gardening programs. It’s the name of the project that funded the study. Are you ready? The project that funded this study on gardening is called “Get Fruved.”
From the press release:
“Get Fruved,” an acronym for “Get Your Fruits and Vegetables,” is a $4.9 million collaborative project among eight American universities, including the University of Florida.
“Fruved” is undoubtedly a momentous addition to the English language, but I have one small quibble with this description. An acronym is an abbreviation consisting of the first letters of other words and pronounced as a single word, like NASA, FOMO, or MILF. If eight American universities had decided to call their produce-promotion initiative GYFAV, that would be an acronym. “Get Fruved” is not an acronym. It is a mashup of random letters plucked from the phrase “Get Your Fruits and Vegetables,” and it half-rhymes with “groovy,” which is a bit of cutting-edge slang popular among today’s teenagers and college students.
What is “Get Fruved,” you may wonder?
“Get Fruved” uses peer interaction, social media and campus events to try to get high school and college students to eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise more and manage stress more effectively.
I can only imagine the “peer interactions” happening on campuses across the country as kids pressure their friends and acquaintances into trying new substances. “Hey man, wanna get fruved after class?” “I have gotten, like, totally into fruving this semester.” “Bro, I got so fruved last night!”
They also may expand gardens, work to improve access to healthy foods at campus eateries, hold dance events and challenge each other to exercise more.
I would do anything to be a fly on the wall at a “Get Fruved” dance event. Do kids who get fruved learn special choreography when they get initiated into the movement? Will fruving join twerking, dougieing, whipping, and nae-naeing as an iconic dance move of the 21st century?
Currently, the @getfruved Twitter account has 215 followers, but it’s only a matter of time before “getting fruved” turns into a fruvement. (I wish I could take credit for “fruvement.” Alas, I stole it from the Get Fruved website.) My biggest worry is that, as getting fruved sweeps the nation and captures the hearts and minds of America’s youth, it will turn into a cudgel wielded against nerds. “Get fruved, loser,” the queen bee of every school will say, biting blithely into a carrot, as her posse of sycophants laughs cruelly at the class weirdo. But if peer pressure from the cool kids is what it takes to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, so be it. I just hope adults don’t catch wind of getting fruved anytime soon, because we all know that teen slang stops being cool as soon as grown-ups start coopting it to try to sound like they’re in the know.