Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wild Blueberries

Did you know Canada.. Canada is the largest producer of wild blueberries!!  Wild blueberries are also our most valueable crop.  In terms of tonnage it's apples that we produce the most of.

Nova Scotia is the biggest producer of wild blueberries in Canada, and recognizes the blueberry as its official provincial berry. The town of Oxford is known as the Wild Blueberry Capital of Canada. New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are other Atlantic provinces with major wild blueberry farming.

Wild blueberries are not as wild as they sound. Wild blueberries are really lowbush species which are fire-tolerant and blueberry production often increases following a forest fire, as the plants regenerate rapidly and benefit from removal of competing vegetation. The term wild has been adopted as a marketing term. Wild blueberries are prized for their intense color.

It was fantastic news to read that it's especially in wild species that blueberries contain anthocyanins, other antioxidant pigments and various phytochemicals, which are said to have a role in reducing risks of some diseases. Antioxidants destroy free radicals, thereby preventing the cellular damage that could lead to cancer, heart disease, loss of memory, cognitive and motor functions. Blueberries are also known to create a ‘teflon’ effect, prohibiting the growth of bacteria by preventing its adherence to urinary tract walls. Experts recommend consuming a half cup of blueberries per day to reap the full benefits. Another fantastic thing about wild blueberries for everyone is that they need almost no pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

We have a blueberry farm near us that we enjoy visiting several times a year and it's so great to know blueberries are another product Canada stands behind and can be proud of.

Source: Wikipedia

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