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» February 6, 2009 «
The number of California farms increased by 2 percent from 2002 to 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's census. There are now more than 81,000 farms in the state, an increase from more than 79,000 in 2002. In spite of that, the number of acres in farming declined about 8 percent. Average farm size also declined about 10 percent, from 346 acres to 313 acres. Interestingly, the number of farms in Los Angeles County increased by more than 200 during those years.
Want to add flavor and nutrition to winter meals and snacks? Try California-grown dried fruit. Nutritionists point out that many of the good compounds are concentrated in dried fruit so those benefits are achieved by eating less. Dried fruit is easy to keep on hand and helps consumers meet the five-a-day recommended intake. Those who want to buy local can find quite a variety of dried California fruit at retail stores.
Cheese production in California halted its recent record-setting growth trend last year and declined more than 7 percent. The California Department of Food and Agriculture says production declined to just over 2-billion pounds, slightly less than what was produced in 2005. The report suggests the closure of cheese-producing plants in late 2007 and 2008 may have an influence on the production decline. Mozzarella continues as the leading variety, making up more than 52 percent of the total production.
Nutrition studies by research scientists show that the percentage of U.S. adults who meet the MyPyramid food group recommendations is low. Researchers say it was low regardless whether the volunteers ate mostly fast food or home-prepared meals. There was a correlation between those who ate mostly fast food and higher body mass indexes. That is a ratio of weight to height that gauges body fat in adults. Those who ate more fast food had higher body fat ratios.Top