We’re still three weeks and an entire season away from summer officially starting, but that’s not keeping anyone in Florida from celebrating strawberries. The 77th annual Florida Strawberry Festival has kicked off in one of the warmest states in the union. Taking place in Plant City, the festival focus is on juicy red berries, but beyond that the food vendors, crafts, entertainment, and parades mimic festivals throughout the country.
We love that while some fairs, like the State Fair of Texas, are synonymous with the most gut-busting food creations around, Florida’s festival is focused on fruit! They’re obviously preparing for the season early as strawberries are traditionally in season June through August.
Truly, there isn’t anything much sweeter or more delicious than a ripe strawberry. While the taste is remarkable, so are the health benefits. You can practically eat as many as you want. One whole cup of strawberries has about 45 calories and they’re full of fiber that promotes digestion. Additionally, hidden under that leafy green top are antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that make this a cancer-fighting food. You’ll get a big boost of vitamin C and the mineral manganese from strawberries, and the potassium, vitamin K and magnesium promotes strong, healthy bones. (more…)
Something is not ripe with the tomato industry, according to Barry Estabrook’s book, Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit. Estabrook examines the corruption and hardships of the red and juicy fruit that is often seen atop many salads.
The fruit best known for being fresh in the summertime finds its way to the produce section each winter thanks to warm, sunny Florida weather. Estabrook writes that approximately one-third of the U.S.’s tomato supply comes from a state where tomatoes do not naturally grow. Florida’s environment is often difficult with a lack of nitrogen in the soil, insect pests, and bacterial and fungal diseases that can threaten the life of a plant. To make up for these disadvantages, tomato growers often spray the tomato farms with chemicals and pesticides, according to Estabrook.
These chemicals are very harmful to the hard-working tomato pickers and their families, who can get sick or have children with several birth defects. Not to mention these chemicals are extremely harmful to consumers, who may be at risk when ingesting the tomatoes. In addition, tomato pickers work very long and taxing hours in the brutal sun. The workers get no paid vacation and no benefits, and some have even been forced into slavery.
Orlando has a population of just over 230,000, making it the 82nd largest city in the nation. The greater Orlando population is over two million people, making it the 27th largest metropolitan in the nation. The Orlando climate is a humid subtropical one and the average yearly temperature is around seventy two degrees (oh man, that sounds nice.)
Because of its warm weather, Orlando is a fitness oriented city where a healthy lifestyle is a must. Check out below to find the best gyms in Orlando!! (more…)