My great grandfather had an apricot orchard in Sunnyvale, California. My grandfather had an apricot orchard in Cupertino, California and another one ins Hollister, California. Today, my father and uncle co-own the Hollister orchard. I come from apricot farmers, and as such, I have convictions about apricots. I am going to share them.
California apricots taste good. They have flavor. They are chewy in just the right way. They are locally gown (if you're in CA and more locally grown than imports if you're anywhere else in the US). Most apricot orchards are 40 acres or less, often 20 acres. They are grown on family farms. Apricots are labor intensive, so agro-business would rather import them from countries with lower standard of living where they can exploit farm labor even more than the can in CA. California apricots taste good, are local and support family farms. However, they are endangered by imports, primarily from Turkey.
Just say no
Seriously. You call yourself bobo. You buy fair trade coffee. You boycott sweatshop labor and buy locally grown produce and then you buy apricots from Turkey? How far did those cots have to travel to get to North America? Turkish apricots are every where because they're cheap. And they're cheap because the labor costs are very cheap. Drying apricots is labor intensive. When you buy California apricots, you're creating jobs in California. When you buy Turkish apricots, you're creating jobs in Turkey. I could go on to talk about Turkey's government and how people tend to "disappear" there and about the Armenian genocide (perpetuated by Turkey) and how they're trying to crush the Kurds, but um, let's just think about how much fuel, energy and pollution it took to get those dried apricots from turkey to your mouth. global warming much, hm?
the other reason Turkish apricots are cheap is because they're crap. They don't even cut them in half before trying them. They taste like nothing. bleah.
Health + Sulphur + Conclusion
You buy organic, I buy organic. Yay organic! But what about sulphur on dried apricots? Sulphur is an anti-oxidant, which prevents the fruit from oxidizing and turning all brown and prevents the growth of bacteria on the fruit. Some people like brownish dried apricots. That's ok. I don't. The sulphur ads a bit of flavor to it. But is the sulphur bad for you? no, unless you're allergic of have asthma. you know if you have asthma. If you're allergic to sulphur, you might not know, however, wine also contains sulphites. If wine doesn't make you sick, than sulphured apricots are fine. Sulpgur has been used as a preservative for a very long time. It's not some new, scary compound produced by evil chemical company. it's traditional. Also, dried apricots are seriously good for you. They have potasium, vitamin A, iron, fiber and all sorts of good stuff. I wish there were more sources of California organic, sulphured cots, but I don't know of any. So I eat them with pesticides, alas. Um, but seriously. Eat more california dried apricots and stop buying turkish ones. you don't even know what you're missing. CA apricots are in trouble and there won't be any more family farms if consumer spending doesn't shift.
Tag: Dried Apricots