Facts about the Blues...

BC Certified Organic Blueberries - The Blues

Storing and Handling

  • Sweet revenge: At 80 calories a cup, you can afford to eat certified organic blueberries out of your hand, just like candy.
  • Fresh, organic blueberries should be stored covered in the refrigerator and will keep up to ten days.
  • Simply freeze organic blueberries in their original box or in freezer bags/containers
  • Unused portions of frozen organic blueberries should be returned to the freezer promptly.
  • Properly stored, frozen organic blueberries will last up to two years 
BC Certified Organic Blueberry Health Information
  •  In a USDA lab at Tufts University in Boston, researchers have found that ( Certified Organic) blueberries rank #1 in antioxidant activity when compared to 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants help neutralize harmful by-products called "free radicals" that can lead to cancer and other age-related diseases. Anthocyanin- the pigment that makes blueberries blue-is thought to be responsible for this major health benefit. (1)
  • In another UDSA lab at Tufts, neuroscientists discovered that feeding blueberries to laboratory rats slowed age-related loss in their mental capacity, a finding that has important implications for humans. Again, the high antioxidant activity of blueberries probably played a role. (2)
  • Blueberries may reduce the build-up of so called "bad" cholesterol that contributes to cardiovascular disease and stroke, according to scientists at the university of California at Davis. Once again, the antioxidants are believed to be the active component. (3)
  • Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey have identified a compound in blueberries that promotes urinary tract health and reduces the risk of infection. It appears to work by preventing bacteria from adhering to the cells that line the walls of the urinary tract. (4)

    (1) Prior, R.L et al. J. Agric. Food Chem. 1998, 46:2686-2693
    (2) Bickford, P.C. et al. Society for Neuroscience Abs. 1998, 24:2157
    (3) Heinenen, L.M. et al. J. Agric. Food Chem. 1998, 46:4107-4112
    (4) Howell, A.B. and V. Nicholi. New Engl. Med. 1998, 339:1085-1086

HOW MANY BLUEBERRIES DO WE PRODUCE?

BC produces about 95% of the Canadian production of cultivated blueberries. This is about 9 million kilograms per year. About 70% of these are processed; the others are bought fresh for export and local consumption through stores and farmgate outlets. In BC, about 2045 ha are farmed by over 450 farm families.

HOW ARE BLUEBERRIES PRODUCED?

Blueberries require an acidic soil. Good drainage and nutrient balance is important for blueberries. Blueberries were once grown only on peat (drained bogs), but now production is moving into areas of mineral soil.

A blueberry plant is started from a plant cutting rooted in rooting soil. The first year is spent in a greenhouse and then the bush is planted in rows in a field. A mulch is placed around the plants. The main advantage of mulching is to regulate the soil temperatures. Blueberries are very shallow rooted and can be affected by high or low soil temperatures. A mulch also keeps the soil moist, aids in water conservation, and keeps the weeds down. Plants must be pruned each year to ensure good quality berries. If there is too much excess growth, the berries will be small. Pollination is important. Farmers rent bee hives during flowering to ensure good pollination. A blueberry plant can grow to 2 to 2.5m and go in to peak production at 100 years.