April 2019 - Fruit · April 2019 - Fruit · Fruit

Fruit – Week One

I ate fruit all the way from Argentina this week. You probably did too, honestly. A lot of our fruit and produce comes from different countries. Apples are the only thing in the U.S. we can usually count on as coming from only a town or two away from us. So why does fruit come to us from so far away? Sometimes it’s just because the fruit can only be grown in a certain region and other times for no reason at all except somehow it’s cheaper (capitalist wise, not environment wise – the environmental cost can be incredibly high as we’ll find out this month).

I didn’t branch out a whole lot this week although I did try two new varieties of a fruit that I’ve had before. In doing my research on this month I have to say: U.S. produce is just not that interesting, fun, or delicious as other countries fruit selection.

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Pink Cherimoya. Mark Twain called this fruit “the most delicious fruit known to men”. The creamy texture of the flesh gives the fruit its secondary name, custard apple.

“There are mangoes that taste like piña coladas. Orange cloudberries. White blueberries, Blue apricots. Red Lemons. Golden Raspberries. Pink cherimoyas. Willy Wonk’s got nothing on Mother Nature….There are thousand upon thousands of fruits that we never imagined – and that few of us will ever taste, unless we embark on fruit-hunting expeditions.

The Fruit Hunters by Adam Leith Gollner

I didn’t have anything quite as delicious as mentioned above this week. On Monday I had Cantaloupe, one of my faves. This fruit isn’t quite in season yet, and I was running late into the office so I grabbed a precut plastic container of it (I hate myself for this so no need to rub it in). It was packaged in Portland but I’m not sure where this particular one was grown as it did not say. It tasted fine – but not as good as freshly cut and in season cantaloupe.

On Tuesday I had a Banana because there was some in the office and I hadn’t been to the store in a week. This particular banana was from Ecuador and it was good. Almost all bananas in the United States are eaten from Central and South America. I’m reading this really interesting book right now called Banana, and I’m learning some really awesome facts about this commonplace fruit. Americans eat more bananas per year than apples and oranges combined; and in many parts of the world, bananas are what keep hundreds of millions of people alive. What’s interesting about the banana is how it’s evolved. The banana we eat today is of the Cavendish variety. The banana our grandparent’s ate (which doesn’t exist anymore) was called the Gros Michel. The Gros Michel apparently tasted better, was creamier and had a more fruity taste. The reason it doesn’t exist anymore is because of Panama Disease. It’s a fungus that is transmitted through soil and water and can wipe out entire crops of bananas. It made the Gros Michel extinct and is doing its best to wipe out the Cavendish at this very moment. More on that next week.

Wednesday I grabbed a basket of raspberries that were delicious. They were from Washington State. Raspberries go in season here in June, but they’re mostly good year round. I’m going to make a point to go berry picking this summer as there are a ton of wonderful patches in this area and it’s been two years since I last did it.

Thursday I branched out and had a new variety of mango. I’ve seen yellow mangoes before, but never gave them a try. This one was from Mexico – and most of those we get in the U.S. are, they just grow best down there. They are in season right now so this one was delicious, but it was extremely sweet. I’d eat it again, but I don’t expect this variety to become a staple. I’m still not great at CUTTING mango, but I will hopefully get better with time. The pit in the middle is huge, although less so with this variety, and you have to cut the cheeks off lengthwise on the sides first. These mangoes are actually called the Ataúlfo, but they’re also commonly called young, baby, yellow, honey, Adaulfo, Adolfo, or Champagne mangoes.

Friday I had a Barlett pear. I’m sure I’ve had this pear before when I was a kid. My Mom says I used to love pears as a baby and it wasn’t until I was a bit older that I turned on them. My issue was they were too much like apples that weren’t appley enough. My dad used to slice up pears like an apple and then tell us they were apples. Nice try Dad. We always knew though. This came to me from Argentina, but I don’t know why because pears grow really well in Washington and Oregon. I’m sure there is a money reason behind this.

Today I had a different variety of orange. I’m not sure if I’ve had this exact one before – it’s possible – but it was new to me as far as I can actually remember. This was a  Minneola tangelo and is a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit. It tasted awesome. This was grown in the U.S. so probably Florida based on nothing but my weak knowledge that Florida is known for making oranges probably.

I’m excited to branch out a bit more this week. I’m going to the Japanese market today to see what kind of fruit they have and pick up something brand new! What fruit did you eat this week? What’s the most interested fruit you’ve eaten? Let me know.

April 2019 - Fruit · April 2019 - Fruit · Fruit

Fruit – Intro

Do you eat a piece of fruit daily? I’m guessing most of you don’t. I know I don’t. I’m good for about two pieces every week. My diet isn’t bad per se. I don’t eat meat, I hardly ever have dessert or sweets, but my fruit intake is abysmal (I also eat a ton of bread, but we aren’t talking about my carb intake this month and you can take away my carbs after I die and not a second sooner). Fruit is a wonderful source of fiber, it’s got all the healthy sugars you crave, and it has very little effect on blood sugar levels when consumed whole. Please rid yourself of the idea that you will get be unhealthy if you eat fruit because it has sugar in it. It’s not like eating a candy bar full of sugar. Far from it.

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Kick to the curb the notion that fiber is gross – you can get fiber from a ton of different foods. Gross fiber comes from eating processed foods that don’t normally have fiber in them, but it’s added in later. Certain types of cereal, ‘nutrition’ bars, liquid fiber drinks, etc.

Most adults don’t get enough fiber and to combat this we’re downing disgusting FiberOne products and hoping a powder that dissolves in water will help with this. The best thing you can do to get more fiber is eat a high fiber diet. So that’s what I’m going to try to do this month and I’m going to do it through fruit. We need 25-30 grams of fiber a day and most of us are only getting around 15. Only 1 in 10 American adults get enough fruit in their daily diet according to the CDC. An adult should consume 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit every day. Are you even close to hitting that mark?

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Rugrats episode where Chucky eats a Watermelon seed and Angelica tells him it’s going to grow in his stomach and burst out his body because she is such an amazing Slytherin with a Troll level of 10.

I only had a few different fruits rotated to me growing up because I was terribly picky about what I would and wouldn’t eat. I would eat apples (granny smith only, skin off and cut up was the only way I’d eat them – I was gross), bananas, cantaloupe (sliced not diced, must be refrigerated) and orange slices (peel on, no white stuff – fiber – showing) only at soccer games. If my fruit was brought to me any other way I wouldn’t eat it or even recognize it as a fruit. That was the extent of the fruit I’d eat. I had grapes once at a friends house and hated them. My brother ate Kiwi’s and I was disgusted by the brown fur on them. I wouldn’t eat Watermelon because of a Rugrats episode. The seeds in strawberries repulsed me. The giant seed at the center of peaches grossed me out so I wouldn’t eat them. I mean the list just goes on. So here’s my shameful secret: I’m still grossed out by all of this. All that’s really changed is that I’ll eat watermelon, strawberries, raspberries and mango – sometimes. But not often enough.

My goal this month is to learn to love fruit again. All kinds. I want to eat a piece every day, rediscover my old favorites, try some new ones and really gain an appreciation for whole fruit foods. Every week I’ll update you on what I ate that week and what new fruit I tried. I’m also going to be reading two books and watching one documentary and I’ll fill you in on good tidbits from all three. The documentary is called Fruit Hunters and you can watch it for free on YouTube. The two books are Banana by Dan Koeppel a book on the history of our most consumed fruit and The Fruit Hunters by Adam Gollner – the book based on the documentary.

I think you should join me too. It’s good for you. Unless you are following a ketogenic diet (WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO YOURSELF PLEASE STOP, IT IS SO BAD AND YOU ARE STARVING YOUR BRAIN OF CARBS AND ROBBING YOURSELF OF HAPPINESS) or have some sort of intolerance, there really is no reason to limit the amount of fruit you eat.