Friday, April 4, 2008

What I didn't know about food

From the Washingtonian article:

1. Grey Poupon Dijon mustard may look like a French import, but it's actually made near Allentown, Pennsylvania. Le Sueur peas, with the French fleur-de-lis on the can, come from Le Sueur, Minnesota.
2. California has 500,000 more milk cows than Wisconsin, and it produces 15 times more fresh peaches than Georgia, the Peach State. More than half of the country's mushrooms come from around the little Pennsylvania town of Kennett Square, southwest of Philadelphia. We now import more garlic from China than we buy from growers in California. Only a quarter of the blue crabs harvested in the United States come from the Chesapeake Bay.
3. More than 90 percent of Florida's oranges go into juice.
4. About half the grapes are made into wine, just under 40 percent are marketed in dried form as raisins, and only about 12 percent are sold as table grapes.
5. The unfortunately named rape plant, whose seeds had been pressed into an industrial-quality oil for years, is grown in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Since the 1970s, after scientists made genetic adjustments to reduce a fatty acid in the seed, the oil has been marketed for cooking under the made-up name "canola oil."
6. The fuzzy brown fruits were originally called "Chinese gooseberries," but importers were worried that Americans would shun them because the name suggested a link to a communist country. In fact, the fruit was mostly grown in New Zealand, so they changed the name to kiwi, after New Zealand's national bird.
7. About half our peanuts go into peanut butter, which is fine, because lots of fruit goes into jelly.

Much, much more in the fascinating article.

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