What better way to savor the taste of summer than to enjoy delicious California grown watermelon.
I took this opportunity to recognize the hard work and dedication of CDFA employees in protecting California agriculture and assisting our farmers and ranchers in producing a safe and secure supply of food.
Last year California growers harvested approximately 11,000 acres of watermelons statewide. Mostly grown in the Central Valley and southern California deserts, this summertime fruit is the most-consumed melon in the United States. Elizabeth Somer, nutritionist for the National Watermelon Promotion Board, has stated, “ Where else can you get a wealth of nutrition, help keep your heart healthy, stay hydrated, and satisfy a sweet tooth, all for so few calories!”
Nutrition is vital for all Californians and the nation. Yesterday, the USDA released food stamp data indicating that once again, food stamp levels rose to a record 45 million people in May. Improving food access and expanding consumer choice in healthy food options (like watermelon) is key to better health and well being for individuals across this state. From certified farmers markets accepting CalFresh EBT payments to donations of farm products to local food banks –farmers support a healthy California.