13 Jul 12 Reasons to Love California Strawberries
This post was sponsored by the California Strawberry Commission, whom I work with as a spokesperson.
You often here the term “farm-to-table” but not many folks have actually visited a farm or understand the flow-of-food from the farm to their table. I firmly believe that if I am going to discuss and write about healthy food, then I should follow the farm-to-fork trail.
I have been lucky enough to visit California strawberry farms and speak with the growers. There is so much information to share about how our food is grown, much of which many folks aren’t aware of. That’s why I wanted to share these 12 reasons – hopefully, it will make you fall in love with strawberries…again.
Reason #1: The Family Farmers
Tom Jones and his wife grow California strawberries on Providence Farms. Like all farmers, he has a story to tell of how he became a strawberry farmer and you can tell just by speaking with him that there is nothing else he would rather be doing. California strawberries are grown by 400 family farmers.
Reason #2: U.S. Grown
This is what a strawberry field looks like (below). Ninety-percent of the strawberries in the U.S. are grown in California. The farmers in California grow 1.6 billion pounds of fresh and 400 million pounds of frozen strawberries.
Reason #3: Pest Control Practices
Many folks assume that chemicals are always used to control pests– but that’s not necessarily true. One of the biggest pests to strawberry plants is the lygus bug, which causes damage to the fruit. Here, Tom Jones is sprinkling his strawberry plants with another critter that eat the lygus bug (these other critters don’t bother the plant).
Reason #4: They Are Nature’s Candy
There’s nothing tastier than freshly picked strawberries. Although these babies taste sweet, strawberries actually have the lowest amount of sugar (7 grams per 1 cup serving) when compared to popular fruit like apples, oranges, bananas, and grapes. Strawberries also have more vitamin C than an orange, providing 140-percent of the recommended daily amount in a 1 cup serving.
Reason #5: The Magic of Freshly Grown Food
Okay, that’s me in a strawberry field. There’s nothing that makes me feel more amazing than being in a field surrounded with freshly grown foods.
And of course there is the culinary aspect…
Reason #6: Fresh Berry Salad
This fresh berry salad is filled with strawberries, blackberries, bananas, and raspberries. It’s the perfect way to start your day, plus it will give you a nice boost of fiber to help keep you feeling full.
Reason #7: Strawberry French Toast
There are so many delicious ways to incorporate strawberries into your morning meal. French toast and pancakes are two of my favorites.
Reason #8: It’s Not Just For Breakfast
Strawberries are extremely versatile in the kitchen. Yes, these berries are one of my favorites first thing in the morning, but you can also make a delicious appetizer like this bruschetta topped with chopped strawberries and cheese.
Reason #9: Strawberry Lemonade
Strawberries balance the tartness of lemons perfectly to make a refreshing thirst quencher.
Reason #10: Panna Cotta
Top this Italian creamy sweet custard with fresh chopped strawberries and balsamic glaze. Y-U-M!
Reason #11: Strawberry Shortcake
You can’t beat strawberry shortcake packed in individual mason jars.
Reason #12: All The Strawberry Love
Everyone I work with at California Strawberry Commission shows pride in their work and their love for strawberries oozes through.
The economic activity of growing strawberries in California generates 70,000 jobs. . Plus, the California Strawberry Commission provides over $2 million in scholarships for the children of strawberry field workers.
All photos (except for reason #5) provided by the California Strawberry Commission.