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Ocean Park Joins Department of Health to Kick-off Joyful Fruit Month Fruit-loving Animal Ambassadors and New Fruit Dishes Help to Promote Fruit-ful Diet

2013-03-26

(Hong Kong - 26 March 2013) Being a perennial champion of healthy lifestyles, Ocean Park today joined hands with the Department of Health to host the kick-off ceremony for Joyful Fruit Month. Held at Ocean Park, the ceremony was officiated by Dr. Ko Wing-man, Secretary for Food and Health, and Mr. Matthias Li, Deputy Chief Executive of Ocean Park. The goal of Joyful Fruit Month is to encourage students to include an appropriate amount of fruits in their diet. In support of Joyful Fruit Month, Ocean Park today also revealed the healthy fruit diets of various animal ambassadors, involving them in encouraging guests to eat more fruits. The Park also announced that it will increase in-park fruit supply by 30% and introduce a new series of “low-fat”, “high fibre” fruit dishes designed by celebrity guest chef Mr. Christian Yang.

In addition, Ocean Park will install education panels about the benefits of eating fruits, as well as animal fun facts about fruits in various animal attractions. Students taking part in education programmes offered by Ocean Park Academy, Hong Kong (OPAHK) will also be reminded of the benefits of eating more fruits. The Park will give out free fruits to all of its staff members on 28 March and provide a wider variety of fruits at discounted prices in the staff canteen to promote the initiative within the company.

For its many fruit-loving animal ambassadors, Ocean Park each year purchases 20 varieties of fruits, totalling over 12 tons, taking into account their preferences and health conditions to design specific diets. Giant pandas, being heat-averse, are served pears and apples frozen within ice cubes, so they can crush them with their sharp teeth to enjoy fruits and keep cool at the same time. Pears and apples are also major components of red pandas’ diet. Rich in water content and dietary fibre, pears and apples satisfy red pandas’ need for large amounts of dietary fibre while helping strengthen their immune system. Toucans are fed with various tropical fruits, including bananas, grapes and papayas, depending on the season. As for the tiny marmosets, which weigh only 100 grams, they consume a wide variety of fruits weighing up to a total of 30 grams, including bananas, blueberries, figs, grapes, guavas and peaches. Other Park animals that love fruits include macaws, red-handed tamarins, Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkeys and Southern two-toed sloths.

Dr. Ko said, “Today’s event marked a milestone as the first-ever collaboration between the Department of Health and Ocean Park in jointly promoting healthy diets. Being a world-class zoological theme park loved by both tourists and Hong Kong people, Ocean Park is the perfect place for promoting healthy lifestyle. According to a recent survey conducted by the Department of Health, only one out of every five adults consumes the necessary daily intake of fruits and vegetables, while one out of every five primary school students is over-weight or suffers from obesity. Since 2006/07, the Department of Health has collaborated with a number of organisations to promote Joyful Fruit Day annually. This year, we have extended the initiative to a month-long campaign, giving more flexibility to participating schools in implementing promotional activities.”

Mr. Matthias Li said, “Ocean Park has played a leading role in promoting healthy diets, from promoting low-carbon dishes, offering only sustainable seafood to co-organising Joyful Fruit Month with the Department of Health and introducing new fruit menu items created by guest chef Christian Yang. Ocean Park also places the highest priority on the health of our animal ambassadors by providing them with ample fruits.”

To help promote Joyful Fruit Month, Ocean Park invited guest chef Christian Yang to create 13 new fruit dishes to be served at restaurants and food kiosks within the Park from 29 March to 5 May. Some of the new “low-sugar”, “low-fat” and “high-fibre” dishes are: the colourful Fruit Cone with Local Honey Whipped Yogurt; the family-friendly Fresh Fruit Pizza; the refreshing Slightly Grilled Salmon with Orange, Ponzu and Chili; Zucchini Muffin with Bananas and Pear Streudel with Vanilla Apple Cream Soup, made with healthy flax seeds or flax oil. Seafood ingredients used in the dishes are certified to be sustainably sourced, enabling guests to support conservation when enjoying healthy and delicious dishes. 

Ocean Park Special Fruit Month Menu Factsheet
uploads/File/Fruit Moneht 2013/Factsheet on F&B menu - FINAL.pdf

Animals’ Fruit Eating Habits Factsheet
uploads/File/Fruit Moneht 2013/Factsheet on animal fruit eating habits - FINAL.pdf

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