A handful of storms that have hit drought-stricken California this winter has put a damper on overall California strawberry shipments to date.
With the week ending March 5, 6.7 million trays of strawberries had been shipped. That was down significantly from the 12.9 million trays shipped at the same time last year. However, this year’s volume for that week was about 1 million trays more than the projected.
Despite the slow shipments in January, volume is increasing fast, particularly out of Oxnard. Those Ventura County loadings should continue until about mid-May.
Ventura County celery, berries, and lettuce shipments – grossing about $4000 to Chicago.
Strawberry Health Benefits Promoted
The California Strawberry Commission is promoting consumption of eight strawberries a day, citing research that finds it may aid cognitive function, among other health benefits.
The MIND diet — short for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay — lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s as much as 53% in rigorous adherents and about 35% in those who follow it moderately well, according to a Rush University Medical Center study.
Berries are the only fruit specified for inclusion in the MIND diet, and the study’s authors have noted cognitive benefits from consumption of strawberries and blueberries.
The study results were published last September in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Separately, strawberries and other berries have been named by the American Diabetes Association as among the top 10 superfoods for a diabetes meal plan because of their low-sugar, vitamin, antioxidant and fiber content.
Eight medium strawberries equal about one cup a day and total 45 calories. Vitamin C content per serving exceeds that of oranges, according to the commission, and the fruit provides folate, potassium, three grams of fiber and seven grams of sugar.