Eating Seasonally

Pears with mother and son

You may have heard mention of the importance of eating seasonally, but what does that mean and why does it matter? Eating produce when it is in season is not a new idea, in fact, it was the norm before industrialized agriculture and giant grocery stores. The general idea is that we eat foods when they are naturally harvested, such as berries in the summer and pears starting in the fall. The nutritional benefit is that seasonal fruits and vegetables tend to pack more nutrients and richer flavors than foods that should ripen before being harvested or during shipment. And in this way, seasonal foods tend to be cheaper and less damaging to the environment. An interesting fact about pears is that optimal ripening actually occurs after being harvested and cold storage, and therefore, they are available nearly year-round!

So which fruits and vegetables should I eat now? Interestingly, autumn is the season when the most produce is harvested, including pears, apples, grapes, persimmons, kale, broccoli, squash, and brussels sprouts. Check out SNAP-Ed for a more detailed list to get your mouth watering! Try adding fresh seasonal produce to recipes for added flavor and texture. On a side note, since canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are picked during their peak seasons, these are also excellent choices as additions to your dishes. Look for products without added sauces and fruits packed in juice to limit added sugars. Happy eating!

For more information, visit the American Heart Association.

First Taste of Fall!

Summer has flown by, and while I never want to wish it away, I LOVE the fall.  For me, the first sign that it’s on the way is the beginning of the USA Pear harvest.

Among the first of the season: this Green Bartlett that showed up at the office yesterday.  I can’t wait for it to ripen up – it’s the only major variety that will noticeably change skin color from green to yellow as it ripens.  But of course, my go-to test for ripeness for any variety is to Check the Neck!

These delicious little beauties are en route to Moscow, Russia, for sampling.  But they’ll start popping up soon in your local grocery stores, if they haven’t already, along with Red Bartletts and Starkrimson.  These early season varieties are at center stage now – while the Anjou, Bosc, and others are still on the trees – so enjoy the first fresh, juicy, sweet, and delicious taste of fall!

pears

The New Season is Here!

While everyone here at our office and our reps around the world are busy, busy planning for the new USA Pears season, harvest has finally begun!  Bartletts and Starkrimsons will kick things off – look for them to start popping up in your local grocery stores soon!

Anjous in Bins

I’m getting ready for a tour of the growing regions a bit later in the fall with groups from India and Russia.  The most popular variety around the world is the Green Anjou.  Many countries aren’t familiar with the lesser-known (but equally delicious in their own way) varieties.  It’s a lot of fun to take visitors to the orchards so they can see all the different shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors of USA Pears!

Pear Varieties

If you haven’t already sampled all of the varieties of USA Pears, add it to your list of things to do this fall, and let us know which is your favorite (if you can choose just one)!