Mobile site locates farmers markets

If you’re on the go, looking for fresh food and have your smartphone handy, there’s a new resource for finding the nearest California farmers market. The state Department of Food and Agriculture has developed a mobile website that uses geographic-positioning technology to locate the markets nearest you. The site also provides market times and contact information. It can be found at the California Mobile Gallery at


Avocado board studies shopper motivation

What encourages you to buy avocados? The Hass Avocado Board has studied that question, and reports that the “in-store experience” has the most influence.

That means, how avocados are displayed, the availability of ripe and ready-to-eat fruit, quality and price. The board says it will share the results with retailers to help increase avocado sales. For example, it says many shoppers expect to find avocados near tomatoes.


Pecans benefit from broader popularity

They’re popular as a part of traditional holiday meals and as ingredients in other foods, and now demand is broadening for pecans. Farmers and marketers say pecans have become more popular as a snack item, due to their heart-healthy benefits.

Pecans remain a relatively small crop in California, but farmers say more trees are being planted each year. Most of the pecans grown here are exported, mainly to China.


UC reports new interest in home canning

Home canning and other forms of food preservation have seen a surge of attention in California. People who teach food preservation for University of California Cooperative Extension say young people have shown particular interest in learning how to can, freeze and otherwise save foods.

Along with traditional jam-making and canning, master food preservers teach how to make spice blends, stews and other preserved foods.


A daily glass of wine could help boost your immune system

New evidence has been added to reinforce the health benefits of moderate wine consumption. A study published Tuesday found that moderate alcohol consumption could bolster the human immune system and help people fight infections.

A researcher at the University of California, Riverside, says the study adds the immune system to the list of health benefits for moderate alcohol use, along with improvements to cardiovascular function.


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