June 29, 2005


Blueberries get a boost from health studies (Candy Sagon, 6/29/05, Washington Post)

Pity the blueberry, always dwarfed in summer popularity by peaches and strawberries.

That, of course, was before researchers took a closer look and pronounced the magic words: high in antioxidants.

Now what many growers call the ``health halo'' is helping the U.S. blueberry business enjoy a tremendous surge including what government agriculture analysts say may be a record crop this year.

Thanks to studies showing that blueberries can help protect against some forms of cancer and heart disease, as well as offset some of the effects of aging, consumers have been rushing to add the fruit to their daily diets. Blueberries may still trail the mighty strawberry in consumption and production, but sales of blueberries in all forms -- fresh, frozen and dried -- have exploded in popularity in the past three years. [...]

The United States and Canada are the world's biggest blueberry producers. The United States produces more than half of the world's supply. Maine and Michigan lead the country, followed by New Jersey, Oregon, Georgia, North Carolina and Washington state, according to the USDA.

In 2002, for example, 105 million pounds of fresh blueberries were sold in the United States. Last year, the figure jumped to 166 million pounds, according to the Blueberry Council.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 29, 2005 4:13 PM

Catching on the title the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie looks a little too bizarre to do well.

Posted by: AWW at June 29, 2005 4:17 PM

Same as the first.

Posted by: oj at June 29, 2005 4:21 PM

Tim Burton is a horrible, horrible director who simply does not know how to tell a story. Since the execrable mess that was Sleepy Hollow I've avoided his films like the plague...

Posted by: b at June 29, 2005 4:29 PM

"Oompa, loompa, do-pa-de-doo..."

Posted by: Roy Jacobsen at June 29, 2005 5:28 PM

I had blueberries on my Cheerios this morning. They're sold at our local Farmer's Market by a single family business.

Posted by: Bartman at June 29, 2005 7:19 PM

I once got a blueberry stuck in my right nostril and couldn't get it out. I had to go to school and my brother suggested that I at least jam one into the left nostril (so it would look less obvious). I passed out in homeroom and was rushed to the nurse's office. She revived me by pinching my nose as hard as she could and then clamping her mouth around my entire nose while covering my mouth and sucking as hard as she could. This is what she was doing just as my mother, summoned from the administrative office, where she worked, walked into the room. The nurse looked up at my mother, her mouth dripping red juice and my face covered with it. My mother screamed and I opened my eyes, with no idea of where I was or what was happening. My mother never bought blueberries again. In fact, the word "blueberry" was banned forever from the Steigerwald household.

Posted by: stevie s. at June 29, 2005 8:20 PM

Awesome. Was she cute?

Posted by: RC at June 30, 2005 3:42 AM

Wild blueberries have the highest level of antioxidants, twice that of cultured blueberries.

Maine produces a lot of wild blueberries, so they are available.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at June 30, 2005 8:34 AM