Food and Farm News

Flower growers see sales blossom at Mother's Day

If you're in the flower business, this is your Super Bowl week. Mother's Day leads to a surge in flower sales--and California flower growers and marketers say they're ready. The California Flower Commission says it expects lilies, tulips, daisies and cut greens to be among the top sellers for the holiday. California leads the nation in flower production, most of which occurs in Southern California coastal regions.

Cherry harvest begins in San Joaquin Valley

Spring-like weather during winter, followed by wintry weather in the spring, conspired to reduce this year's California cherry crop. Cherry harvest has begun in the southern San Joaquin Valley, with farmers reporting less fruit on their trees. Freezing temperatures at bloom appear to have had the biggest impact. Cherry growers say they expect a high-quality harvest, and that the season will continue through early June.

Study tracks walnuts' health benefits

A new study shows how walnuts help improve people's health. According to the University of Illinois, introducing walnuts into your diet improves health through the way walnuts affect microbes and bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. The study showed walnuts appeared to create higher abundance of three strains of beneficial bacteria. Researchers say they plan further study on the specific interactions involved.

USDA pledges to pursue solutions to food waste

Food waste and loss claims nearly 40 percent of the food supply, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture says it wants to bring new attention to the issue. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue convened a discussion in Washington Tuesday he said would be the first in a series of public events intended to coordinate response to food waste. Perdue suggested a "holistic approach" to unite a variety of individual initiatives aimed at reducing waste.

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