Food & Farm News
» July 27, 2011 «
Consumers are clamoring for California raisins, and growers report steady demand. The California Raisin Marketing Board says demand has risen because shoppers appreciate the health benefits and portability of raisins and other dried fruits. Also, a report released this summer found that eating dried fruit had the same nutritional benefit as fresh fruit. Raisin prices have risen, in part due to reduced raisin grape acreage in California and decreased supplies from Australia and China.
Cool, mild weather this spring and early summer slowed melon crops in the Central Valley, but supplies are increasing now. Farms in the southern portion of the state benefitted from a quick rise in temperatures ideal for melon growth, but late rains to the north led to lower production and slower maturity for watermelons, cantaloupes and honeydews. A crop weather report noted this week that farmers are in the midst of harvesting melons, one to two weeks later than the normal schedule.
Just like the rest of us, farmers are finding high fuel prices taking a bite out of their incomes. Economists from the American Farm Bureau Federation report that even though farmers have been earning good prices for commodities, rising production costs raise concern. Fuel prices make it more expensive for farmers to run tractors, harvesting machinery and shipping trucks. Fuel costs for marketing crops can also affect prices consumers pay for food.
Eating your veggies may protect you from cancer, according to new research. The study found that broccoli, cauliflower and similar vegetables include a compound called sulforaphane that attacks precancerous cells while leaving normal cells unaffected. The study comes from Oregon State University. The university said clinical prevention trials based on the research have started, focusing on potential treatment for prostate and breast cancer.