EcoVillage residents urged to ride rapid
and consume colorful foods on
West Side Market trip

(Plain Press, November 2004) Residents of the EcoVillage received a lesson in not only how to be environmentally conscientious in opting to take public transportation, but also how to improve their diet while taking in the sights and sounds of the West Side Market on a short one stop rapid trip from the EcoVillage station. A small group of about 20 people gathered on Saturday October 16 th at the new EcoVillage rapid station at W. 61 st just north of Lorain Avenue to do their market shopping via the rapid. Each participant in the EcoVillage West Side Market tour was given a free round trip rapid pass to ride the rapid to the market and back.

Prior to taking the trip, participants were treated to coffee, juice and fruit cups while they listened to a talk by Punam Ohri-Vachaspati of Ohio State University Extension on the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables from five different color groups. Extension educator Ohri-Vachaspati said that by eating a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables you will benefit from nutrients such as phytochemicals and antioxidants that are not available in vitamin pills. She urged those present to eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day and to try to choose fruits and vegetables from each of the color groups every day. The color groups are: red, yellow/orange, white, green and blue/purple.

Each participant received a handout with examples of fruits and vegetables from each color group, which described the health promoting properties of the color group. For example some red fruits are: red apples, cherries, cranberries, red grapes, pink or red grapefruit, red pears, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries and watermelon. A sampling of red vegetables includes beets, red peppers, radishes, red onions, red potatoes, rhubarb and tomatoes.

Some examples of a portion size are: one medium sized fruit; a half cup of raw, cooked, frozen or canned fruits (in 100% juice) or vegetables; 3/4 cup (6 oz.) 100% fruit or vegetable juice; 1/2 cup cooked, canned, or frozen legumes (beans or peas); 1 cup raw, leafy vegetables; and 1/4 cup dried fruit.

Ohri-Vachaspati urged participants in the shopping excursion to opt for fruits or vegetables as snacks instead of candy bars or other sweets. She noted that for the price of a 65¢ candy bar you could buy 3 apples or a half a cantaloupe. She noted that people are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they are cut up in advance.

Armed with 5 A Day the Color Way brochures from the Produce for Better Health Foundation and a two sheets of coupons from West Side Market Merchants, the group hopped on the rapid to W. 25 th Street to begin their shopping excursion. Detroit Shoreway staffer John McGovern joined the group on the rapid with his bicycle. McGovern said bikes are allowed on the rapid with the exception being during morning and evening rush hour during the week.

After disembarking at W. 25h Street, the group simply crossed Lorain Avenue and entered the market at the south entrance to the fruit and vegetable areas. After finishing shopping residents returned home with their healthy produce via the rapid.

For more information on the Produce for Better Health Foundation, recipes and the 5 a Day Cookbook visit For more information about the EcoVillage and scheduled activities call Mandy Metcalf at Detroit-Shoreway Community Development Organization at 961-4242.


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