Get Going with Grapefruit

Grapefruits aren’t just extra tart versions of oranges just like February simply isn’t another chilly month of winter. Grapefruits are luminary in February for National Grapefruit Month—and for a number of worthy reasons!

Grapefruits were first discovered and considered “forbidden fruit” in Barbados in the 1700s. They are the only citrus fruit that does not origin from South East Asia. As hybrids of a pummelo and sweet orange, this fruit did not grow in the US until the 1800s. Today, the US is the largest grapefruit producer in the world. Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas are the states that mainly grow these fruit in the US. You can often pick these fruits off your backyard tree and add some color to your kitchen’s fruit bowl.

If you are looking for a nutritious morning breakfast, one peeled grapefruit has a large dose of vitamin C, which is excellent for women’s health. Red and pink grapefruits are high in lycopene, beta-carotene, which are cancer-preventing antioxidants. Grapefruits create a healthy fluid balance in cells and muscle activity through their high potassium levels. Once you get used to their more bitter taste, there is nothing but gain with this fruit.

Go Florida Grapefruit gives a number of florida facts pertaining to this special fruit:

  • The primary varieties of Florida grapefruit are Ruby Red, Pink, Thompson, Marsh and Duncan. The fresh grapefruit season typically runs from October through June.
  • Florida grapefruit is grown on approximately 57,000 acres in the state of Florida, or about 90 square miles. The main growing region is the Indian River region on the east coast of Florida, 150 miles north of Miami.
  • Florida is the largest grapefruit growing area in the world, and Japan is the largest market. Nearly 40% of all fresh grapefruit produced in the state goes to Japan, and more than 50% of all exported grapefruit goes to Japan.
  • Citrus has been farmed commercially in Florida since the mid-1800s. The first citrus was brought to the New World in 1493 by Christopher Columbus.
  • Florida's unique sandy soil and subtropical climate proved to be ideal for growing the seeds that the early settlers planted and have flourished ever since. Today Florida’s citrus industry is close to a $9 billion industry, employing nearly 76,000 Floridians.
  • To harvest the fruit once it's ripe, workers carefully hand pick the fruit and place it in large canvas bags. The bags are then placed into specialized vehicles called “goats” that bring the harvested fruit from the grove to roadside tractor-trailers. Citrus grown for fresh consumption is hauled to packinghouses where it is washed, graded and packed. Citrus produced for juice is transported by truck to processing plants for juice extraction.
  • There are about 40 citrus packinghouses and 20 citrus processing plants in Florida.

Visit an orchard to get fresh this month! Celebrate February by enjoying their juicy delicious flavor and wide variety of health benefits.

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