SOURCE: Fresh Express; Chiquita

November 01, 2006 08:14 ET

Shake the Post-Halloween Sugar Rush

Star Chef Todd English and Actor-Director Andrew Shue Challenge Teens and 'Tweens to 'Go-Greens' and Eat Healthy; Duo Help Launch National Program in Search of 'Sky's the Limit' Teen Salad Creations

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 1, 2006 -- Fresh Express, the No. 1 salad maker, and Do Something™, the national not-for-profit that empowers young people to change our world, today joined forces with acclaimed chef Todd English and celebrity entertainer-MTV star vee-jay Susie Castillo to announce a landmark initiative and nationwide contest urging teens and 'tweens (8-12 year-olds) to create their own "kid-approved" salads, get serious about developing healthier eating habits and do something about childhood obesity. Together, they kicked-off the "Teens for Greens Amazing Search for Fresh Salad Recipe Challenge," a national contest, educational program and way for kids to "concoct" and share their coolest salad recipes with "sky's-the-limit-appeal," inspiration and good nutrition.

Starting today, teens and 'tweens across the country will be able to join the challenge and the emerging ranks of young people who want to find ways to take responsibility for eating healthy and avoid becoming a statistic. Today more than one in seven kids in the United States are overweight and 9 million are classified as obese -- triple the number in 1980*. Research, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that given the chance, kids want to beat obesity or avoid it altogether. In a recent survey from Action for Healthy Kids, 94 percent of student leaders say eating healthy is important to them and 61 percent say they perform better in school when they eat healthy foods.

This challenge helps give kids a fighting and fun chance to succeed by getting into the kitchen themselves and "going for the greens" by willingly making good-for-you salads and veggies as part of their daily diet. Do Something™ has long recognized that the most effective way to carry a call to action to young people is with the help of other young people. Fresh Express has heard consumers loudly and clearly that salads need to have appeal -- and for teens and 'tweens that means nifty new combinations of fresh lettuces, deeply colored greens and salad fixings.

According to Andrew Shue, the Teens for Greens program is a natural for Do Something. "It's important for kids and their parents to understand the negative effects of not eating healthy and not exercising. Through the contest, as well as through specially designed classroom curricula and fun, informational materials, we're teaching teens and 'tweens how to take care of their best instrument -- their body -- by going for color-rich mixes of fresh lettuces and greens. That way, they can begin now to lead healthy, active lives that help them contribute to their communities and to their world."


Todd English, noted restaurateur, Iron Chef America and executive chef of the 2005 MTV Music Awards, among other accolades, agrees. He has three kids, two of them teenagers. "Eating right doesn't suddenly happen when you turn 21. You have to start young and the very best way to make it work is to get kids into the kitchen to express their own creativity and experience firsthand the pleasure of working with fresh salads and other produce," he said. "The Teens for Greens salad-creation challenge motivates young people to use their imaginations and experience the endlessly varied ways to enjoy fresh salads and produce so they'll learn to eat healthier for a lifetime."

"I was in the kitchen putting a salad together when my two young daughters said they wanted to make one too," said Fresh Express President Tanios Viviani. "It dawned on me then that we need to involve our young kids in the process of making healthy eating a part of their lives rather than just talking at them. Do Something™ is a perfect partner in helping to spread the word because the organization is made up of young people doing and sharing with other young people."

The Fresh Express-Do Something™ Teens for Greens Amazing Search for Fresh Salad Recipe Challenge provides the chance for teens to get involved, take charge of their health and inspire other young people to do the same. Just by clicking on the Teens for Greens section of the Fresh Express or Do Something™ website home pages, teens and 'tweens nationwide can join the challenge to develop awesome, inspiring or creative salad recipes. Contest categories include the extra-personal "Signature Salad," the salad-to-end-all-salads "Silver Platter Recipe" and the are-you-sure-you-want-to-know-what's-in-it "Salad Surprise." An easy recipe template helps them get started and they can also view all the fun prizes they can win including the grand prize: an educational scholarship to the college or culinary school of their choice and, a salad bar makeover for their school cafeteria, or if preferred, everything needed to create an edible schoolyard as a lasting legacy to healthy eating.

The winning recipes will be published in a Fresh Express "Teens for Greens" recipe collection on the Fresh Express web site, in a special edition of Do Something's Build Magazine and in a range of other print media.

Teens have 80 days -- one day for each of the years Fresh Express has been providing fresh salads and other produce selections to U.S consumers -- that is, until Jan. 20, 2007, to enter. A panel of notables will join Shue and English in selecting the most amazing recipes, with prize winners to be announced in February 2007.

To learn more about the Teens for Greens Amazing Search for Fresh Recipe Challenge, teens, 'tweens and their families may visit www.freshexpress.com or www.dosomething.org.

About Fresh Express

Fresh Express, a subsidiary of Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB), has been a leader in fresh foods for more than 80 years and is dedicated to providing consumers with healthy, convenient and ready-to-eat spinach, salads, vegetables and fruits. With the invention and introduction of the Keep Crisp™ bag, Fresh Express was the creator of the retail packaged salad category and the first to make ready-to-eat salads available to consumers nationwide. It's no wonder that more than 20 million consumers enjoy Fresh Express salads every week. Fresh Express is dedicated to providing not only fresh and healthy salads but also a wide range of other fresh and healthy value-added vegetables, fruit and fresh foods. Fresh Express offers more than 50 different salad varieties including nine delicious blended salad mixes that draw from up to 25 different varieties of fine lettuces and greens for endless and nutritious salad creations.

About Do Something™

Do Something™, the not-for-profit internet company that is a one-stop shop for young people changing our world, offers resources for taking action in the community, Build Magazine, seed grants, and socially responsible networking™ for teens. What's your something? www.dosomething.org

*Ogden, CL, Flegal, KM, Carroll, MD, Johnson, CL. Prevalence and trends in overweight among U.S. children and adolescents, 1999-2000. Journal of the American Medical Association 2002. 288:1723-1727.

Editors' Note: Photos are available via the Associated Press Photo Network and on the Internet at Feature Photo Service's link through http://www.newscom.com.

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