Cherry Time!

Cherries
6/30  Calling all cherry lovers!  These next few weeks are prime for cherries. These beautiful bing cherries are coming from Washington State where the higher altitudes, volcanic soil and cooler climate make this growing area the best in the world for cherries.  You will find these cherries to be bigger, darker in color, crunchier (I like a crunchy cherry, hard on the outside, sweet and juicy on the inside), and a much richer cherry flavor.  Tip:  Remember to only rinse your cherries just before using, because cherries act like a sponge absorbing water, making them mushy and watering down the flavor if you rinse them to far ahead of time.  You will also find the lowest prices of the year on cherries as well.  I would be remiss not to mention blueberries as well as the flavor is great and they are coming from New Jersey.

Are you Feeling Blue...berry?

Blueberries 
6/15/10  What's cheap, plentiful and oh so Delicious... Blueberries!  Blueberries are plentiful this weekend and on sale!  Blues (as we refer to them in the produce industry) are one of the healthiest fruits or vegetables you can eat.  They are backed full of anti-oxidants (comes from the blue color), that studies show prevent some forms of cancer, heart disease and if you  consume enough blueberries it can actually reverse the aging process.  Before you get any ideas I've read you have to eat at least 2 full pints of blueberries everyday, that's a lot of berries.  But even if you do not eat 2 full pints, anything you eat you will enjoy and you will be healthier for it.

Weekend Produce Picks

Peaches01 
6/5  Just a quick note to everyone on some great tasting produce this weekend.  I visited both our Washington and Chicago facilities this week and found the Peaches and Nectarines tasting superb with great sugar.  Tip:  Leave out at room temperature 20 minutes before consuming and you will have a better tasting, juicer fruit experience, that is because as the temperature of the fruit increases the acidity levels drop letting you taste more of the sugars in the fruit. I also loved the cantaloupes and its rich melon flavor!  I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Organic Produce for Kids

Strawberry-lg 

6/4 There has been recent studies looking at the effects of pesticides on young children and their developing bodies.  If this is concern for you, the produce items that may contain the most residual pesticides and ones that you should choose an organic option are:

#1 Strawberries: Hands down this is #1!  Because of their susceptibility to disease, their growing proximity to the soil (the soils are treated with herbicides and pesticides) and their surface area with all the indentations (can harbor residual pesticides that will not wash off easily) strawberries would be my #1 choice to feed children.  I will also add that while I do not believe this is true for all organic produce, organic strawberries to me consistently taste much better! 

#2 Apples:  A little known produce industry secret is that apples are treated with a lot chemicals to ensure regular shape, besides pesticides to prevent insect damage.  Next time you have a chance take a look at an organic and a conventional apple and you will see a much more irregular shape to the organic one.  Also because you want to eat the skin of the apple where must of the nutrients and health benefits are contained it may also harbor some of these chemicals and pesticides as well.

#3 Spinach:  Because of their close proximity to the soil, and it's delicate nature (does not stand up to strong rinsing) spinach is one that I usually recommend an organic choice.

CNN posted an article a while back on what they termed the dirty dozen produce items:

Celery,Peaches,Strawberries, Apples, Domestic blueberries, Nectarines, Sweet bell peppers, Spinach, kale and collard greens, Cherries, Potatoes, Imported grapes, Lettuce.

I have given you my top 3 items, produce like potatoes, celery, and peppers while true may contain higher amounts of pesticides they are more easily washed off because their surface lends to easy cleaning.  A rule of thumb is if it is grown in the ground and you do eat the skin vs. peeling like an orange or pineapple, then an organic choice is advisable if this is concern of yours especially for children.