In our hectic modern world, it’s difficult to find time in the day to pick up a butter knife and slice up a banana. I eat at least once sliced-up banana with peanut butter every day, and know this feeling well. That’s why someone decided to invent the Banana Slicer, which chops your banana into uniform slices with a single stroke. Because apparently that’s something that people want. [More]
You might be able to figure it out from the name, but a Pluot is a hybrid between a plum and an apricot. As for what percentage of each of those fruits are represented in a Pluot, well… Walmart doesn’t seem to know. [More]
The fall harvest season is here. For some reason, that makes people want to pay large sums of money to go out and pick their own fruit. Delicious. Reader Jennifer wrote in to share her apple-picking experience this past weekend at two different orchards in the Midwest as a cautionary tale. Sometimes the businesses out to mislead you and rip you off aren’t monolithic global corporations. They’re a farm in the next town over. [More]
Florida is apparently under quarantine because of diseases that affect the quality of citrus fruit. This isn’t information your average person from Wisconsin is in possession of, so when the United States Department of Agriculture wrote to one Waukesha woman to let her know that she’d have to give up her Meyer lemon tree, she was a little confused. [More]
In Florida, acres of delicious strawberries are starting to ripen, and… being left to rot and plowed under. Thanks to cold weather at just the right point of the winter growing season, berry crops are so bountiful that it’s more cost-efficient to let the berries rot than it is to pay anyone to pick them. [More]
Snazzy new bar codes are starting to adorn our fruit and vegetables to stop blurry-eyed cashiers from ringing up organic produce as the cheaper-priced regular stuff. They’re called GS1 DataBars, and they’re already appearing in select supermarkets to help consumers move faster through checkout lines.
Ever wonder why bananas are the cheapest fruit in the supermarket? It makes no sense. They’re grown thousands of miles away by steely imperialist multinational corporations, and spoil within two weeks. A Times Op-Ed argues that bananas are on their way out, and may disappear entirely from store shelves in the next twenty years.
Wise Bread has an interesting story about the economics behind a family trip to a “U Pick” apple orchard. Picking your own apples is now called “agritainment,” and it’s a better deal for the orchard than it is for you. On the other hand, the high prices for an “apple picking experience” may be the only thing keeping the apple trees on the land—and not another subdivision.
On a recent visit to Kuipers Family Farm, about an hour from Chicago, I shelled out $6.50 each for my husband, our 3-year-old daughter and myself to enter the orchard and pick 1/4 peck of apples, about 3 pounds. I could have sat on my couch and ordered a 3-pound-bag of apples from Peapod for $2.50.
Prevented From Calling Your Produce USDA Certified Organic By Federal Law? Call It "Artisan Naturals" Instead
Stemilt Growers can’t call its produce USDA Certified Organic until they grow without chemicals for three years, but that isn’t stopping them from branding their produce “Artisan Naturals” in the interim. The three year chemical-free transition period is marked by insect infestations, infertile soil, and poor crop quality, which conspire to ravage a farm’s profitability. Stemilt, one of the nation’s largest apple growers, is hoping that consumers will pay a price premium for “natural” produce, which will likely be confused for USDA certified organic produce.
The orchard is in its second year of transition to organic, but the fruit will be sold under Stemilt’s Artisan Naturals label, promoting its naturally farmed history.
A ten-year study found that organic tomatoes contain twice as many antioxidants as conventionally grown tomatoes. The study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry claims that when compared to standard produce, organic strains contain higher levels of two high blood pressure-fighting flavonoids.
These findings also confirm recent European research, which showed that organic tomatoes, peaches and processed apples all have higher nutritional quality than non-organic
The Dole Fresh Fruit Company recalled several thousand cartons of imported cantaloupes after the fruit tested positive for salmonella. The recall, which covers the eastern United States and the Canadian province of Quebec, is the second prompted by salmonella fears this week. Dole said there had been no reports of illness as a result of the contaminated cantaloupes, which were grown in Costa Rica.
Meg Hourigan, co-founder of Blogger, has posted a methodology for decoding fruit labels to discern whether or not it is conventional, organic or genetically-modified.