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Audio ActualityPreparing family meals at back to school time
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» August 18, 2010 «
It's a common refrain in many parts of California: Farmers say their crops are running anywhere from 10 days to two weeks behind a typical schedule. A mild summer on the heels of a cool, wet spring has pushed back crop development in many parts of the state. That may or may not turn out to be a serious problem, depending on weather in September and October. Early rains could cause damage if crops don't ripen in time.
Yet another invasive pest has been found in California. Inspectors found five melon fruit flies in Kern County last week. That requires a quarantine to be established, restricting the movement of plants in order to keep the pest from spreading. This marks the first findings of melon fruit flies in the San Joaquin Valley. Officials suspect a tourist may have brought them into the country in fruit that had not been inspected.
Once a fresh vegetable or piece of fruit leaves the farm, it can move through a number of steps to reach market. By analyzing those steps, researchers plan to develop suggestions on how post-harvest handling of produce can improve its flavor. Specialists from the University of California, Davis, and the University of Florida will cooperate on the study. A leader of the research team says it aims to find practical ways to make produce more flavorful.
The Dairy Council of California suggests the back-to-school season as a good time for families to gather for family meals. Studies show that children ages 7 - 11 who participate in family meals do well in school and on achievement tests. Those participating in family meals also had higher intakes of fruit, vegetables, calcium and other important nutrients. The Dairy Council established a website at www.mealsmatter.org to help families plan nutritious meals.Top