Earlier this month, I had the great pleasure to travel to California to delve into two of my favorite things: learning and eating delicious, healthy foods! I attended California Strawberries #GetRealinCA farm tour and culinary retreat in Monterey.
I can’t say enough positive things about this experience. I learned so much!
Monterey is a huge agricultural area—most of our country’s strawberries and lettuces come from there. The way that California Strawberries grows their strawberries astounded me. Every single strawberry plant is hand-planted and hand-picked. No machinery involved! The strawberries are non-GMO and they are packaged right on the fields!
I used to worry about eating non-organic strawberries because they are on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list, but I won’t worry about eating non-organic strawberries anymore; I learned that you would have to literally eat 1,508 strawberries a day to experience any effects from pesticide residues. Also, many of the farms grow organically, but they haven’t reached the three-year mark to get their USDA organic-certification.
The stories of the over 400 family farms that grow the majority of our country’s strawberries were so heart-warming. Many of these farmers are living the American Dream. California strawberry farming has given Latinos more ownership opportunities than any other major crop; you can read some of their stories here.
I have always known that strawberries are healthy—a cup of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange. I learned so much more about their health benefits at this event. They are great for your heart. A recent study in Circulation (the journal of the American Heart Association) found that women who ate three servings of strawberries a week had fewer heart attacks. They are also super-low in sugar, making them a great choice for diabetics.
And the culinary experience at this event was amazing. I learned that strawberries can be used far beyond dessert. I absolutely loved the entrée we were served—Wood-oven-roasted Alaskan Halibut with lentils, dandelion, and berry broth. Head over to my website and grab some recipes for an awesome strawberry-kale salad or the most delicious strawberry shortcake you ever had.
Here is a video that California Strawberries put together about our experience.
Thank you so much California Strawberries for this absolutely amazing experience; I learned so much!