By Kati Mora, MS, RD for Around the Plate
Melons might just be one of the most overlooked fruits of the season. And although other summer treats like berries and peaches are great, melons shouldn’t be forgotten.
Of course, watermelon is often a summertime staple, but what about the other members of the melon family like honeydew and cantaloupe, just to name a few? Melons are great fruit options worth enjoying during some of the warmest months of the year, and not just because of their high water content! Melons are virtual nutrient powerhouses. Let’s take a closer look at two of my personal favorites: cantaloupe and honeydew.
Although the cantaloupe isn’t quite as orange as a carrot, it’s still a great source of vitamin A. In fact, some studies even claim that cantaloupes can have as much as 3,138 micrograms of the carotenoid beta-carotene for every 100 grams of fresh weight. That’s 30 times more than vitamin A’s poster child, the carrot. (more…)
UDATED August 23, 2012: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has identified the southern Indiana farm responsible for producing the cantaloupes linked to the deadly salmonella outbreak that has reportedly infected 178 people in 21 states. Chamberlain Farms of Owensville has been named as one potential source for the outbreak that has killed two people and hospitalized 62 more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a result, the farm has voluntarily recalled its melons, although the FDA nor the farm have released any information regarding the cause of the contamination.
Another product recall has happened, so be on the look out for fruit you may have purchased on July 15 or later. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning to consumers to avoid eating whole cantaloupes from Burch Equipment LLC, of Faison, North Carolina, because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono).
What You Need to Know
The company shipped 580 cases of whole cantaloupes on July 15 that were delivered to retail stores in New York, Maine, and possibly other states. If you have a cantaloupe with a red label and the words “Burch Farms” and referencing PLU #4319, discard it immediately.
The cantaloupes tested positive for L. mono during sampling carried out in New York by the USDA Microbiological Data Program. Following the positive result, on July 28, Burch Equipment issued a voluntary recall of 580 cases of cantaloupes. As of yet, no illnesses have been reported that would be linked to the cantaloupes. (more…)
When the peak of summer hits, I start craving light, refreshing foods to help cool me down and keep me feeling healthy. Two of my very favorite summertime foods are watermelon and cantaloupe. And while I love eating them as is, it’s fun to change things up every once in a while to make an old thing new again.
My grandpa used to bring black diamond watermelons in by the dozens during the hottest summer months in Kansas. He and my grandma had a garden just outside of their house and I always knew I was in for a treat when I’d peek outside and catch him moseying around, looking to see if anything was ripe. No matter how many times I’d bite into the sweet, ruby red fruit, I always declared “This is the best watermelon I’ve ever had.” That’s exactly how good watermelon should taste every time.
We should be able to trust the Food and Drug Administration to protect us against foods that might not be safe for our consumption, right? I never would have questioned this before, but after Del Monte Fresh Produce recently filed a lawsuit that could have long-term consequences against the regulatory organization, I am starting to have my doubts.
Let me explain: The FDA recently forced Del Monte to halt the importation of its Guatemalan cantaloupes because there was a possibility that the fruits could have been contaminated with salmonella. Then, Del Monte fired back against the FDA with a lawsuit. This all seems like standard operations, but the problem is that in the future, it is possible that the FDA will become more reluctant to issue warnings against possibly-contaminated foods for fear of being taken to court.