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Standards Bring Produce to the Table during Fruit and Vegetable Month

New York, Jun 08, 2010

June is Fruit and Vegetable Month, highlighting the importance of having a diet high in produce for good health. From growing fruit and vegetables to storing them in the home, every step in providing families with fresh produce is aided by standards.

Many standards have been developed to improve the safety and efficiency of agricultural methods used to cultivate fruit and vegetable crops. ANSI/ASAE S318.16 JUN2006, Safety for Agricultural Field Equipment, is one such standard. Developed by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), an organizational member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), this document is a guide to provide a reasonable degree of personal safety for operators and other persons during the normal operation and servicing of agricultural field equipment.

Small family farms and larger corporate ones may use different methods to tend to fields, transfer equipment, and distribute yields, but both rely on standards to improve their work. ASABE has standards that address headlamps on both mechanical equipment, in ANSI/ASABE S608-2008, Headlamps for Agricultural Equipment, and animal-drawn equipment, in ANSI/ASAE EP576.1 JUL2008, Lighting and Marking of Animal Drawn Equipment. These standards provide guidelines for lighting on equipment that is being operated on public roadways.

ANSI company members contribute to the production of fresh fruit and vegetables nationwide, too. Deere & Company, an ANSI member, is a leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery. And ANSI member Caterpillar, a maker of construction and mining equipment, also provides a wide range of solutions to help agriculture producers improve productivity and efficiency to maintain profit margins.

Once harvested, fruits and vegetables travel from the farm, to the grocery store or farmers’ market, to the home. Some kinds of produce, like bananas and tomatoes, are best left to ripen on the kitchen counter. Other varieties, however, are better stored in the refrigerator to prevent over-ripening and spoilage; these include lettuce, spinach, and other leafy greens, cucumbers, summer squash, and many kinds of berries. Citrus fruits can also be stored in the refrigerator to elongate their shelf life.

Americans can rely on refrigerators to provide even and consistent cooling thanks to many standards that guide these appliances. ANSI/AHAM HRF-1-2007, Energy, Performance and Capacity of Household Refrigerators, Refrigerator-Freezers and Freezers, establishes a uniform and repeatable procedure or standard method for measuring specified product characteristics of household refrigerators, household wine chillers, and household freezers. This assures that refrigerators of different brands can be accurately compared for performance and other characteristics. This American National Standard was developed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), an ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer.

From the farm to the table, standards assure that Americans can enjoy a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables this month and beyond.

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