The highly acclaimed blueberry has become #1 on the Superfood Chart in recent years – the certified organic variety are an extremely healthy fruit. We are able to drive a few minutes from home and pick an abundance of this juicy organic fruit during our summer. That is special. Over the past few years blueberries have reached “star” status because of their antioxidant properties and large Vitamin C content.
Naturally, blueberries contain phytochemicals which fight diseases such as cancer :
- Energy per 3.5 oz 57 calories
- Carbohydrates 14.5 g
- Fiber 2.4 g
- Fat 0.3 g
- Protein 0.7 g
- Vitamin A 54 IU
- Vitamin C 10 mg
- Calcium 6 mg
- Magnesium 6 mg
- Phosphorus 12 mg
- Potassium 77 mg
Fresh Local Berries for Juice
We are glad we found Matsqui Blue Farms. We have visited them on several occasions to pick certified organically grown blueberries to eat fresh as well as buy berries to make (and can) our own blueberry juice. Matsqui Blue are B.C. Certified Organic (the big green tick).
Each year maintaining the (B.C. Organic) certification is becoming more and more challenging as surrounding farmers use fungicides and other chemicals on their crops and “drift” is a serious concern. It is my understanding that the fruit bearing perimeter crops are not saleable as “organic” produce because of this drift and soil contamination, etc.
Matsqui Blue also sells organic grapes, hazelnuts and rhubarb in season and frozen blueberries all year round at a most reasonable price. Well worth a visit and we hope they will be growing “blues” there for many years to come.
Mmmmm – many healthy, delicious ways to eat blueberries – from fresh on yoghurt to a frozen “blue” fruit smoothie and the ever popular blueberry pie.
Update: June 2016
This is our 4th year buying certified organic blueberries from Matsqui Blue and today’s batch are delicious! Starting June 20, Matsqui Blue are open for commercial and pick-your-own. Visit this local blueberry farm to buy your quality certified organic blueberries. Thanks Chris and Jen.
Links & References
- Matsqui Blue Farms – organic blueberries
- PAN’s list of pesticides used on non-organic blueberries (California 2009)
- Here’s is PAN’s criteria for their Bad Actor list of chemicals
- If you are interested in finding out anything about a “chemical” used in food growing or processing PAN’s (Pesticide Action Network) database is a good place to start
- Link to CAP article how to make and can homemade blueberry juice
- Nutrition table and other information
Children are more susceptible and sensitive to pesticides
because they are still developing and
have a weaker immune system than do adults.
The chemicals can bioaccumulate in the body over time.
Chemicals Used on Blueberry Bushes
Unfortunately, the down side to this delicious small fruit is that it is sprayed often before it reaches your local store and here are a few (not all) of the common chemicals which may be used on commercial (non organic) blueberries – the information is mainly taken from, and chemicals are on PAN’s Bad Actor List :
- 1,3- Dichloropropene – a fumigant and nematicide – possible carcinogen in humans. Being phased out in Europe but still used in North America
- Chloropicrin – a fumigant and nematicide – once used in chemical warfare and is highly toxic. Used in combination with #1 and #4. This one is not very nice. See Safety in Wikipedia.
- Paraquat dichloride – a herbicide – toxic to humans and animals and one of the most widely used herbicides in the world
- Methyl bromide – a fumigant, insecticide, herbicide and nematicide – this is an ozone depleting chemical and is being phased out in many countries worldwide. Still being used in the USA (exempt status) and is also used on tomato and strawberry. Also used in Chile (to be phased out by 2015)
- Oryzalin – herbicide – trade names include Dirimal, Rycelan, Ryzelan, Ryzelon and Surflan. It is also a General Use Pesticide
- Captan – fungicide Methomyl – insecticide, breakdown produce – “ Captan is often added as a component of other pesticide mixtures…. It also improves the outward appearance of many fruits, making them brighter and healthier-looking … Captan is a probable human carcinogen” according to EPA.
- Iprodione – fungicides – another known / probable carcinogenic. In California almonds and onions receive a large amount of this fungicide
- Carbyl -insecticide, plant growth regular, nematicide – is toxic to humans. It is classified as a likely human carcinogen. It’s been around more than 50 years ! Carbyl has many names with Sevin possibly a household name
Over 98% of sprayed insecticides and 95% of herbicides
reach a destination other than their target species.