background image
Mireia Corell, their technique is not about reduc-
ing the water used arbitrarily; instead, it is about
studying the plants¡¯ water status to understand
their needs and adjust their watering schedule in
a way that gives them hydration at the best times
possible.
This technique appears to be a win-win situation
for farmers and consumers alike. The reduction in
water and energy use is significant, resulting in a
green method and cost savings for farmers. Mean-
while, consumers get an environmentally sustain-
able product that is actually more nutritious than
its predecessors.
The many health benefits of carotenoids
The tomatoes¡¯ higher carotenoid content makes
them highly desirable for healthy eating as well
as cosmetics. These plant pigments are what give
many fruits and vegetables their bright yellow,
red and orange shades, although they can also be
found in leafy green vegetables like kale. Appro-
priate levels of carotenoids in the diet can help
to protect people against cardiovascular disease,
ocular diseases and several types of cancer.
The provitamin A carotenes are converted by the
body to vitamin A. The natural foods resource
Naturalpedia reports that the vitamin A found in
cherry tomatoes can help with white blood cell
production as well as the proper functioning of the
lungs, kidneys and heart.
Studies have shown that a diet rich in foods that
contain carotenoids can help delay or prevent the
degenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,
or ALS, which affects around 30,000 Americans.
They¡¯ve also been linked to improved cognitive
abilities, with study participants who consumed
more carotenoids better able to recall word pair-
ings that were taught to them earlier in the study.
Anti-cancer effects
A study from Harvard Medical School and Brigham
and Women¡¯s Hospital found that women with
higher levels of carotenoids in their blood have a
lower risk of developing breast cancer, especially
the estrogen receptor-negative varieties. The
researchers believe their anti-cancer effects come
from their metabolism into retinol, which regulates
cell development, growth and death by affecting
gene expression. They are also believed to en-
hance the communication between cells, promot-
ing cell repair and defense.
It is believed that the technique can be adapted to
other crops, such as almonds and olives, to create
more nutritious and environmentally-friendly crops
in the future. Technology has brought us many
life-saving developments, but sometimes the sim-
plest solutions can be just as groundbreaking.
Food & Dining
2018 April/May
Pg 9 - The Sunshine Express
Best nutrition for your backyard chickens
(BPT) Raising backyard chickens has been a
growing trend in the United States over the past
several years.
Consumers crave choice in their family¡¯s diet,
which often includes food they have grown or
raised themselves. Raising a backyard flock
helps consumers have more control over the
eggs their family eats, but bringing home chicks
for a backyard flock is just the beginning.
The happiest backyard chickens have the
healthiest diets and the best eggs come from
hens eating the most nutritious feed.
Today, we are increasingly focused on the im-
pact food has on our family¡¯s health. Hobbyists
like to feed their flock the way they feed them-
selves: non-GMO, organic, soy-free, omega-free
and all natural.
Having a say in what goes into the food their
family eats is one of the main reasons people
choose to raise backyard chickens.
There are 2.9 million households in the U.S.
raising chickens, and 62 percent of backyard
hobbyists anticipate adding to their flock in the
next three years.
Raising chickens is a way to extend food supply,
and hobbyists don¡¯t plan to scale back. Provid-
ing healthy food for your family begins with the
source. Nutrena poultry feed makes it easy by
using wholesome ingredients in its selection of
affordable, homegrown, healthy poultry feeds.
By providing your chickens with the highest-
quality nutrition, you¡¯re sure to have the fresh-
est eggs for that Sunday morning family break-
fast.
With companies like Whole Foods Market report-
ing 426 percent growth in non-GMO sales from
2010 to 2014, it¡¯s evident that consumers want
to know what they¡¯re eating.
That¡¯s why Nutrena also offers a USDA-certified
organic line of poultry feed that is non-GMO.
The Nutrena poultry feed portfolio includes
three different feed lines for each type of poul-
try hobbyist.
Whether you¡¯re starting your chicks, supporting
your layers or raising meat birds, Nutrena poul-
try feed offers the nutrition they need.
For more information about the full line of Nu-
trena feed visit: NutrenaWorld.com
Extending Your Food Supply
Top Gardening Trends
To find the most popular flowers and plants this
year, we checked in with Ball Horticultural Com-
pany, a global leader on all things gardening, to
see what the top trends are in 2018.
Strong and colorful
When spring arrives, we all crave color and
warmth to celebrate the end of winter. To get
that wow factor - and get it fast - try planting
flowers that grow and fill in quickly and thrive in
extremes.
The Megawatt Begonia brings magnetic color
even in shaded spaces. It¡¯s also a low-mainte-
nance option if you¡¯re new to gardening.
Likewise, the Echinacea Sombrero Sangrita is a
perennial flower that returns each year with stun-
ning red blossoms.
For foodies who want to show off
Every chef knows the secret to tasty cooking is
great ingredients. For many gardeners, the truly
magical combination is finding that edible veggie
that looks as good as it tastes.
Take2 Combos combine two sweet pepper plants
with a touch of heat and beautiful orange and
yellow fruit.
There¡¯s also a combo of a slicer and cherry to-
mato perfect for small spaces and for snacking
and cooking.
Speaking of peppers, a new, attractive variety is
Candy Cane Red Pepper. It has green fruit strip-
ing that ripens to red and offers up crisp, sweet
flavors, much like a candy cane!
A refuge for bees, butterflies and beyond
There are dozens of reasons people choose to
garden: fresh food, interior and exterior decora-
tion, relaxation, stress reduction and more.
One emerging trend is that people want to make
their garden a destination for pollinators like
bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
A few captivating flowers that attract these beau-
tiful and helpful creatures are:
* Lucky Star Pentas - Provides butterflies sum-
mer-long flower clusters in eye-catching colors
* Copper Prince Ornamental Millet - This thriller
makes a dramatic statement with foxtail plumes
that birds feast upon
* SuperBlue Lavender - A deeply colorful and
fragrant bee magnet
Gardening helps you relax and decompress
What¡¯s more, there is a huge amount of satisfac-
tion involved in seeing your vegetables and flow-
ers grow.
Follow these trends and watch as your plants
blossom and beautify your home and yard.
After all, we could all use a little more color in our
lives.
New Hydration Technique
Reap big rewards from your garden
(BPT) Get active outdoors with a hobby more
satisfying than binge-watching another tele-
vision series. As a pastime, gardening can
help you eat delicious, more flavorful food
while transforming your patio or yard into a
colorful hangout for butterflies and bees.
Many people don¡¯t realize how easy it is to
have a fresh supply of crisp veggies, fragrant
herbs or fresh-grown flowers. Whether you
have a balcony, rooftop or patio, gardening
is a hobby that quite literally allows you to
harvest big rewards.
One of the most exciting parts of gardening
is deciding what to grow. With thousands of
plants to choose from, flowers, vegetables
and herbs, a small pot of soil can be a canvas
for creativity.
According to their findings, cherry tomatoes
that are grown with half the amount of water
that is normally used not only have the same
quality as regular cherry tomatoes, from a
nutritional and commercial standpoint, but
they also contain higher levels of healthy
carotenoids.
The results of this encouraging three-year
study were published in the journal Food
Chemistry. The researchers looked at two
varieties of cherry tomatoes as well as other
tomato types in the spring and fall cycles in
fields on the school¡¯s grounds. They used
a technique known as ¡°controlled watering
deficit¡± in which watering is reduced as much
as possible during the plants¡¯ most resistant
cultivation phase. Then, they raise their wa-
ter supply right when the phase of cultivation
most sensitive to stress begins.
According to Agroforestry Sciences teacher
Tomatoes grown with half the water
have the same quality, plus
higher concentration of carotenoids
(March 13, by Isabelle Z., Natural News)
Farmers are constantly trying to figure out how
they can conserve water without sacrificing the
quality of their crops, so a new discovery from
University of Seville researchers will be welcome
news.