Food & Farm News
» April 24, 2013 «
Avocados highlight many Cinco de Mayo celebrations, and California farmers say they expect a larger crop this year. The California avocado harvest begins to hit its peak about now, and the California Avocado Commission estimates the new crop could reach 515 million pounds, up 11 percent from last season. The commission estimates more than 50 million pounds of avocados will be consumed during Cinco de Mayo festivities.
April and May represent the peak of the California artichoke season, and farmers say the crop looks good this year. Artichoke marketers say shoppers should keep an eye out for specials running at grocery stores on the thorny green vegetable—which is technically a thistle. One-hundred percent of U.S.-grown artichokes come from California and most of those come from Monterey County, where Castroville declares itself the Artichoke Capital of the World.
Strong winds have been blamed for scattered damage in fruit and nut orchards. A crop report says winds blew young almonds off the trees, and some stone fruit trees lost limbs. Crop estimators say the damage has been limited in most cases. They say some of the almonds would likely have dropped off the trees later anyway. In addition, fruit growers typically thin fruit off of trees to ensure the remaining fruit grows to larger size and higher quality.
New names for common cuts of beef and pork will result from a voluntary initiative by meatpackers. The US Agriculture Department says shoppers will soon find updated meat labels using names that reflect terms they often hear in restaurants and on cooking shows. For example, what was a "beef loin Porterhouse, bone-in" will now be simply a "Porterhouse steak." The new labels will also include preparation recommendations.Top