The Center for Science in the Public Interest offers its supporters a yearly Good Foods calendar. The Good Foods 2022 calendar’s photo of frozen blackberries and raspberries, illustrating the future month of December 2022, caught my eye as I thumbed through the photos for each of the 12 months of 2022.
Founded in 1971, the Center for Science in the Public Interest is a science-based consumer advocacy organization whose agenda is to “improve the food system to support healthy eating.” It is always of interest to view CSPI’s selection of “healthy foods” to illustrate its Good Foods calendar. Each photograph chosen to illustrate a particular month includes a couple of sentences explaining the selection of the spotlighted edible.
December 2022’s “Frozen Berries” includes this explanation beneath the photo of frozen blackberries and raspberries thawing in a dish: “Where can you shop for berries when the season’s over? The freezer. Thawed berries are softer and more liquidy than fresh ones, which makes them perfect for adding to a smoothie of a bowl of yogurt or oatmeal. Got extra fresh berries in the summer? Freeze them on a tray (so they don’t stick together), then transfer them to an airtight container.”
This backyard gardener grows raspberries but never enough to freeze any for use in the winter. But for years, whenever the home-grown raspberries run out, I turn to frozen cranberries and/or frozen blueberries to add to the morning bowl of oatmeal.
Every fall, I depend on my local food co-op, the Honest Weight Food Co-op in Albany, NY, to stock fresh organic cranberries. I keep a special eye out for Cape Cod cranberries. This fall 2021, Cape Cod cranberries were in short supply at the co-op although they did appear a couple times over the fall months. Fortunately, the Honest Weight stocked a plentiful supply of Patience Fruit & Co organic cranberries from Quebec, Canada. When they would go on sale especially after the Thanksgiving holiday, I was certain to stock up and freeze a couple dozen 8 ounce bags for future use in the wintry months ahead.
In earlier posts, I’ve spotlighted Trader Joe’s Wild Boreal Blueberries “Grown Naturally with No Pesticides in the Boreal region of Quebec, Canada” at the bargain price of $2.49 for a 16 oz. (1 lb) package. I always have a supply of these frozen blueberries at hand. Understandably then, the photo of Frozen Berries illustrating CSPI’s calendar page for December 2022 made great sense to this mindful eater.
In addition to a supply of cranberries and blueberries in the freezer compartment of the fridge, I also keep on hand frozen broccoli. Although broccoli was not selected to illustrate this year’s Good Foods calendar, January 2022 has a photo of Red Cabbage and March 2022 a photo of Orange Cauliflower. Of course, a good argument can be made for cabbage and cauliflower as good foods to include in a person’s diet.
Nonetheless there is no doubt that broccoli deserves to be on the good food pedestal. For a member of the baby boomer generation when the word “broccoli” is spoken, the name of former president George H.W. Bush comes immediately to mind. It was only a slight surprise to see that Wikipedia has a separate page for George H.W. Bush broccoli comments!
This Wikipedia page sums up the matter, looking back to when George H.W. Bush served as the 41st president of the United States from 1989 to 1993:
“During his tenures as the 41st president . . .Bush frequently mentioned his distaste for broccoli. When asked if he had lost the ‘broccoli vote’ due to his views, he said: ‘I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid. And my mother made me eat it. And I’m president of the United States. And I’m not gonna eat any more broccoli!'”
An edible error!
The UCLA Healthy Years publication includes a monthly column called Nutrition. The column in February 2022 spotlights the benefits of broccoli noting that “This cruciferous veggie packs a powerful punch against cancer and other diseases.” According to Vijaya Surampudi, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Human Nutrition at UCLA Health, broccoli’s abundance of sulforaphane has “been linked to reducing the risks of prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and oral cancers.”
This article on Nutrition also notes other “health-boosting compounds” provided by broccoli and other cruciferous veggies (such as cabbage and cauliflower which do illustrate the 2022 Good Foods calendar):
Carotenoids are best known as antioxidant powerhouses that protect against disease and enhance the immune system; Vitamin C helps protect cells against harmful free radicals; Glucosinolates help inhibit cancer enzymes and protect against inflammatory diseases; Folate promotes cell growth and function; Dietary Fiber plays a key role in normalizing bowel movement and lowering cholesterol levels; Flavonols help reduce risk of vascular diseases, such as high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.”
In other words, eat your broccoli. And in winter keep a supply of frozen broccoli!
(Frank W. Barrie, 2/11/22)