Posts Tagged “leafy greens”

Good Volume of Arizona Leafy Greens Shipments are Expected Until March

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Phoenix, AZ:  Arizona is known as the winter lettuce capital of the U.S., providing Americans with an abundance of lettuce and leafy greens from November to March.

According to United States Department of Agriculture statistics, Arizona farmers grow approximately 25% of the total U.S. lettuce supply each year. On an annual basis, the leafy greens farming community in Arizona generates a $2 billion impact. 

“Right now, Arizona farms are actively growing and harvesting all leafy greens from Iceberg and Romaine to spinach and spring mix.” said Teressa Lopez, Administrator of the Arizona LGMA program. “Arizona LGMA food safety audits will begin this week and continue regularly throughout our growing season.”

To celebrate the start of harvest, Arizona’s governor, Katie Hobbs proclaimed November 2023 as Arizona Leafy Greens Month.  This is the 11h annual celebration, and during that time Arizona farmers have produced more than 99 billion servings of lettuce (based on the average production of 9 billion servings per year).

About Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement

Arizona LGMA works to protect public health by cultivating food safety practices, verifying on-farm compliance, utilizing data for improvement and empowering industry with tools to advance food safety.

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Watercress, the CDC’s Most Recommended Powerhouse Veggie, Boosts Immunity

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By B&W Quality Growers

Fellsmere, Fla. – As COVID-19 concerns escalate around the country, consumers are seeking immunity-boosting ingredients to incorporate in their diets. While it may be common knowledge that leafy greens are an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients, there is a lesser known variety that reigns supreme when it comes to health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks watercress at the top of their list of Powerhouse Fruits and Veggies, the foods most strongly associated with reduced chronic disease risk.

B&W Quality Growers watercress is revered by health experts and restaurant chefs for its health benefits and flavor, but home chefs have yet to realize its full potential. Watercress boasts many healthy features, including anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, 28 vitamins, minerals and compounds, and it provides a great source of Vitamin C, proven to reduce cold and flu symptoms.

The vibrant green watercress from B&W Quality Growers, the world’s largest grower of distinctive baby leaves, is versatile and adds a peppery crunch to many dishes. It can be used in salads, smoothies, appetizers, entrees, and more.

“Self-care has become so important these days, and what better way to take care of you and your family than to feed them the most nutritionally-dense food on the planet,” says Mark DeLeo, CEO, B&W Quality Growers. “Not only is watercress packed with vitamins and minerals, it is deliciously versatile enough for chefs to create memorable takeout dishes and home cooks to spice up family favorites.”

B&W Quality Growers partnered with chefs to develop simple, yet flavorful recipes they can make in under 30 minutes, such as Watercress Frittata, Watercress Turkey and Pear Panini, and Watercress Hummus. For information about B&W Quality Growers and more chef-inspired recipes, visit

About B&W Quality Growers
For 150 years B&W Quality Growers has produced distinctive baby leaves® with unique flavor profiles including green watercress, exclusive red watercress, baby arugula, red kale, and baby spinach. With year-round availability from seasonal farms spanning eight states, B&W grows, packs and ships premium quality leaves to retail, wholesale, foodservice and specialty customers across North America and Europe. B&W’s products are certified Kosher, food safety compliant and naturally packed for maximum freshness. Learn more about B&W at

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Fewer Vegetable Shipments Seen Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

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Fewer plantings of California leafy greens are expected to result in less shipments during the next few months. This is because of declines in foodservice demand related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

RaboResearch conversations with vegetable shippers reveal they are likely to cut acreage by 10 to 15 percent over the next 60 days.

Because of reduced demand over the past six weeks, growers for foodservice have walked away from fields. Many are hoping to redirect shipments to retailers.

The acreage not being used now represents 50 to 85 percent of the land normally planted for product destined to restaurants, schools and other foodservice accounts. Vegetables generally are directed to foodservice accounts more than fruits. Tomatoes and lettuce are two of the higher volume vegetables going to foodservice.

About 15 percent of fresh fruit is shipped for foodservice.

Retail performance

Increased shipments to retail have helped compensate for lagging foodservice demand.

Retail statistics for the four weeks ending April 12 reveal fresh produce sales increased 17 percent compared with the same period last year.

Fresh fruit sales were up about 9 percent for the four-week period, while fresh vegetable sales were up 25 percent.

Orange sales for the period were up 55 percent, but sales of grapes, melons and pears were down.

The 25 percent overall increase in vegetables was highlighted by gains in potatoes and sweet potatoes, at 80 percent and 55 increases, respectively.

Packaged salad sales for the four-week period ending April 12 were up only 7 percent.

On the plus side foodservice shipments are likely to increase when states end lockdowns.

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Collard Greens Volume Plunges for the Holidays

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GreensCoast-to-coast there have been weather and natural disasters which have greatly reduced shipments of collard greens in the holiday season.

There have been hurricanes in the southeast and wildfires and Santa winds in California, as well as rain in Texas.

WP Rawl of Pelion, S.C., is a grower, processor and shipper of leafy greens and notes hurricanes Florence and Michael had the indirect effect of heavy rains and winds during a three-week period in the east and southeast.  This resulted in trying growing season and stunted crops, including collard greens.

Growers in different regions of the country harvested fields earlier than usual because of the weather and high demand for Thanksgiving, leading to a lack of shipments  for the holiday season.

“After the Thanksgiving holiday and unseasonable weather, our crops did not recover to the level we had in years prior,” Ashley Rawl, vice president of sales, marketing and product development, said in a press release. “Our team made a collective decision to delay harvesting for a few weeks to allow our crops the opportunity to grow.”

San Miguel Produce of Oxnard, CA., reported this is only the second time in two decades that the greens industry has seen such a national shortage.

“Most times shortages are regional and there are options to work with colleagues around the country to help fill gaps,” Jan Berk, owner and chief operations officer of San Miguel Produce, said in a news release. “Unfortunately, we have called other growers the past few weeks hoping someone might have extra or recovered sooner than expected … only to hear they are short too and looking to source collards.”

Growers have been pushing crops with additional fertilizer to spur growth for Christmas demand, according to San Miguel Produce, but there is still concern about availability to meet demand. It is peak season for the dark leafy greens category, according to the release, and many growers have invested in crops for many months to prepare for the season’s harvest.

Collards are sometimes associated with comfort and prosperity, according to the release, making them high in demand around the holidays.  As a result some growers and shippers are promoting other greens in the place of collards.

“We consider this a great opportunity to encourage consumers to try other types of leafy greens,” Rawl said in the release. “With similar nutritional profiles, kale, mustard greens, and turnip greens are just as good for you and have similar tastes.”

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Spinach is Proven to Boost Your Muscles

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IMG_6029+1Maybe Popeye had it right: Spinach makes you stronger. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found the high nitrate content in the leafy greens like spinach, as well as beets, improves muscle performance.

In a new study, published in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure, investigators found drinking concentrated vegetable juice – in this case made from beets – increased muscle power in nine patients with heart failure.

“It’s a small study, but we see robust changes in muscle power about two hours after patients drink the beet juice,” said Linda R. Peterson, M.D., associate professor of medicine. “A lot of the activities of daily living are power-based – getting out of a chair, lifting groceries, climbing stairs. And they have a major impact on quality of life.

Nitrates in beet juice, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables such as arugula and celery are processed by the body into nitric oxide, which is known to relax blood vessels and have other beneficial effects on metabolism.

The results of the study found that two hours after the treatment, patients demonstrated a 13 percent increase in power in muscles that extend the knee. The researchers also pointed out that participants experienced no major side effects from the beet juice, including no increase in heart rates or drops in blood pressure, which is important in patients with heart failure.

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