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Colorado Dept. of Agriculture
Survey Reveals Positive Consumer
Perceptions of Agriculture
Statewide; Strong Preference
for Local Foods
July 14, 2017: It¡¯s no secret that con-
sumers have shown a preference for
locally grown and produced foods over
the last decade, and a recent survey
conducted by the Colorado Department
of Agriculture (CDA), in collaboration
with Colorado State University (CSU),
about consumer attitudes toward ag-
riculture reveals that preference has
moved beyond a trend to a lifestyle for
Coloradans.
Citing price and flavor as the two
primary motivators for Coloradans to
purchase and eat locally grown and
produced foods, almost 85 percent
Food & Dining
2017 August/September
Pg 9 - The Sunshine Express
4 surprising health benefits of cherries
(BPT) Have you ever said no to a cherry?
Probably not. This summertime treat is simply
delicious. And if you¡¯re looking for another rea-
son to indulge, you¡¯ll be pleased to know that
cherries are surprisingly good for you. Recent
research indicates that this summer¡¯s superfruit
offers a variety of health benefits, including the
four outlined below.
Reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes
Heart disease and diabetes threaten the health
of millions of Americans every year, and cher-
ries can help. Research from Michigan State
University found that 20 cherries provide 25
milligrams of anthocyanins, which reduce in-
flammation by shutting down the enzymes that
cause tissue inflammation. This helps protect
the arteries from the damage that leads to heart
disease. Further research shows that those
same anthocyanins also help lower blood sugar
levels in animals, leading scientists to speculate
that a similar blood sugar lowering effect could
occur in humans.
In addition to being packed with anthocyanins,
cherries also have a low glycemic index, mak-
ing them a good choice for people with diabe-
tes. Foods with a high glycemic index cause
blood glucose to soar and then quickly crash. In
contrast, foods with a low index, like cherries,
release glucose slowly and evenly, helping you
maintain a steady blood sugar level - as well as
leaving you feeling full longer and potentially
helping you maintain a healthy weight.
Combating arthritis and gout
More than 8.3 million Americans suffer from
gout, a form of arthritis characterized by severe
pain, redness and tenderness in the joints. This
condition is commonly associated with elevated
levels of uric acid in the blood. A study conduct-
ed by researchers at the University of Califor-
nia at Davis found that people who ate sweet
cherries showed reduced levels of uric acid. In
addition, research from the Boston University
School of Medicine showed that people who ate
cherries had a 35 to 75 percent lower chance of
experiencing a gout attack.
Sleep support via melatonin
Everyone understands the value of a good
night¡¯s sleep, but sometimes your body sim-
ply doesn¡¯t want to cooperate. When you find
yourself wide awake and restless, your melato-
nin levels might be low. Melatonin is the chemi-
cal that controls your body¡¯s internal clock to
regulate sleep and promote overall healthy
sleep patterns. Studies show that cherries are
a natural source of melatonin, and research-
ers who have studied the melatonin content of
cherries recommend eating them an hour before
bedtime to help stabilize your sleep cycle.
Fiber for weight loss
Many Americans struggle with weight issues,
and poor diet is often identified as a major
culprit. But although there is a great deal of
discussion about what people shouldn¡¯t be eat-
ing, there isn¡¯t as much talk about what people
should be eating, like fiber. Most Americans¡¯
diets are fiber-deficient, falling short of the 25-
35 grams per day recommended by the USDA
Dietary Guidelines. These guidelines recom-
mend two cups of fruit daily, and cherries are an
easy and delicious way to meet that target.
Enjoy a bowl of superfruit today
In addition to all these health benefits, cherries
also possess cancer-fighting properties, accord-
ing to a study by the USDA¡¯s Western Human
Nutrition Research Center. So whether you¡¯re
looking to boost your health or you enjoy the
taste of this juicy treat - or both - there are
plenty of reasons to reach for a bowl of cher-
ries for your next snack or to add them to the
menu at your next meal. Whatever your prefer-
ence, be sure to get them quickly before cherry
season is over.
To learn more about the health benefits of cher-
ries visit: NWCherries.com
The Summer Superfruit
grown products like sweet corn, Rocky Ford
cantaloupes, Western Slope peaches, Pueblo
chiles and more. Additionally, these and other
local foods have benefitted from the support of
the CDA¡¯s Colorado Proud program.
Colorado agriculture consistently ranks as one
of the state¡¯s top three leading industries,
advancing the state¡¯s economy and preserving
natural land.
In fact, with more than 34,000 farms encom-
passing nearly 32 million acres, agriculture is
a vital part of Colorado, providing more than
173,000 jobs, contributing more than $40 billion
to the state¡¯s economy annually and feeding the
world with nearly $2 billion in exported prod-
ucts.
Colorado ranks in the top 10 nationally for pro-
duction of a variety of agricultural products.
To read the whole Colorado Dept. of Agriculture
survey visit: tinyurl.com/publicfoodreport
(source: www.colorado.gov)
And The Survey Says...
agree that supporting local food systems is impor-
tant, while 95 percent feel maintaining land and wa-
ter in agricultural production is important. In addi-
tion, 90 percent believe agriculture is very important
to the quality of life in Colorado.
¡°As agriculture becomes increasingly complex, and
consumers become more interested in understand-
ing where their food comes from, it¡¯s important for
us to understand public perceptions and to identify
new opportunities to engage consumers in a two-
way conversation about Colorado agriculture,¡± said
Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture, Don Brown.
According to the survey, consumers cited corn,
peaches, melons, vegetables and cattle as the top
five products they believe to be grown or raised in
Colorado, while in reality cattle, dairy, corn, hay and
wheat hold the top five spots.
This glimpse into consumer perception versus reality
speaks to the success of the CDA and agriculture
associations and trade groups working together with
producers, ranchers and growers to brand Colorado