- Author: Pam Devine
Postharvest technology. Hmmm. What does that even mean to you? Like most people, you’ve probably never thought about it, but it actually affects you every day. At least whenever you eat fruits and vegetables, and let’s face it, we all need to be eating more fruits and vegetables.
Working at the Postharvest Technology Center, I often think about how to spread our mission of how to reduce postharvest losses and improve the quality, safety and marketability of fresh horticultural products. Part of doing this is educating consumers about making good choices so they have a better experience eating fruits and vegetables. And, if consumers have a better experience with fruits and vegetables, we eat more of them....
- Author: Cynthia Kintigh
We're used to hearing news about food safety issues in the commercial food supply; from spinach to cantaloupes, consumers keep a watchful eye to make sure that the food they bring home from the market is safe for their families. But how much thought do you give to the safety of the fruits and vegetables from your backyard?
Many home gardeners assume that just because the food came from their own backyard it is safe. But that's not always the case.
The free UC ANR publication Food Safety in Your Home Vegetable Garden is a terrific guide to reducing the risk of contaminating the food grown in...
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
When it comes to planting stone fruit at home, pluots are the way to go, says Chuck Ingels, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Sacramento County. Cherries are delicious, but with a new maggot pest, are hard to grow. Peaches and nectarines are susceptible to leaf curl disease, which is challenging to manage because the most effective products have been removed from store shelves. Apples and pears can suffer from fire blight and coddling moths worms.
“I think plums and pluots are the best choices for backyard trees,” Ingels said. “Especially pluots.”
“Pluot” is a trade name for varieties of interspecific plum-apricot bred by private Modesto...
- Author: Diane Nelson
People often complain about grocery store tomatoes, saying they’re too hard and don’t have the flavor we remember from the days of old. And we thought we knew why - because the millions of tons of tomatoes harvested in the United States and beyond have to be picked before they’re fully ripe and juicy in order to survive being shipped long distances. What’s more, many shoppers store their tomatoes in the fridge, which destroys both their flavor and texture.
But guess what? It’s not just how tomatoes are grown, harvested and stored that affect their flavor. A research team led by Ann Powell, a biochemist in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, has discovered a gene mutation that diminishes a...
- Author: Janet Byron
The news this past week that nearly three tons of Trader Joe’s prepared barbeque chicken salad were recalled due to possible contamination by Listeria moncytogenes had me wondering anew about this mysterious foodborne pathogen. And today, seven tons of Garden Fresh prepared salads were also recalled.
I’ve spent precious minutes worrying about E. coli (ubiquitous, especially in poop) and Salmonella (the reason we must take care with raw eggs), but why doesn’t...