Originally published November 10 2009
The Organic, Raw Cranberry Market is Heating Up
by Ethan Huff
(NaturalNews) They're known for their delicious tart flavor and no Thanksgiving feast would be complete without them. The cranberry has been a Thanksgiving staple since the days of the Pilgrims and this year yet another grower of the organic variety will be dry-picking them, a method of harvesting the berries that allows them to be sold as fresh fruit without losing their flavor and texture.
Roughly 90 percent of domestic cranberries are wet-picked, meaning the cranberry beds are flooded with water once the fruit is ripe. The harvester is sent through the bogs to agitate the fruit from the plant, causing it to float to the top. The fruit's submersion in water under this method requires that it immediately be frozen or processed in order to maintain its viability. Since 95 percent of cranberries end up in juices or sauces, this method of harvesting is typically the norm since it is both efficient and practical for meeting the overall demand for cranberry products.
Due to increased demand for fresh, raw cranberries, however, harvesting techniques are seeing a shift toward the dry-picked method, particularly in the organic market. Some organic growers have started to shift their harvesting method to the dry-picking technique in order to meet the demand of this growing niche-market. Though the process is much more time-consuming and requires considerably more effort on the part of those harvesting the fruit, dry-picking maintains both the integrity and flavor of fresh, ripe cranberries, allowing them to be bagged and sold fresh in the produce section.
Research continues to reveal the amazing nutritional profile of cranberries, including their high antioxidant and vitamin C levels. Cranberries are also rich in proanthocyanidins (PACs) which help prevent the adhesion of bacteria in the urinary tract, as well as prevent gum disease, stomach ulcers, and cancer. The quinic acid found in cranberries also helps to stave off kidney stones.
Because the delicate enzymatic structures present in raw foods are easily diminished or destroyed when they are cooked or processed, consumer preference is increasingly shifting toward raw, unprocessed produce that can be eaten fresh, juiced, or gently cooked in order to obtain the maximum nutritional benefits.
As awareness about the unique health-promoting properties of many raw, organic foods continues to increase, superfruit organic growers continue to tailor the delivery of their bounty to meet the needs of people seeking organic, raw produce.
Coquille Tribe harvesting organic cranberries - Oregon Business News
Cranberry - Wikipedia
Health Research - The Cranberry Institute
About the authorEthan Huff is a freelance writer and health enthusiast who loves exploring the vast world of natural foods and health, digging deep to get to the truth. He runs an online health publication of his own at http://wholesomeherald.blogspot.com.
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