By: Grace Schroeder
Along with the blueberry and the concord grape, the cranberry is one of the few fruits native to North America. In fact, the cranberry has been around so long that the first cranberry reference was traced back to 1680. Oregon Cranberry Farmers’ Alliance states “There are several theories to the origin of the name ‘cranberry’ came from, but one is that the open flowers look like the head of a crane”(3). That means nobody is really certain how cranberries got there name. That certain theory might be why the pilgrims called them“craneberries” at the first Thanksgiving(Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association 1). Cranberries have been in the area for over 332 years from record, and they have even become Wisconsin’s state fruit. The small little berries have grown to be a popular fruit to Americans in commercials, television, books, music, and everyday products.
Facts and health benefits of cranberries are endless. They range from how they grow to how many are sold each year. Did you know that according to the Oregon Cranberry Growers Alliance, “Honeybees are often used to pollinate cranberry crops, and are in fact more valuable in the performance of this task than they are in the production of honey” (1). Which means honeybees are a big factor in the production of cranberries. Another fact about cranberries that shocks most people is how cranberries don’t really grow in water. They actually grow on bush-like vines, and they are only in water in harvest season. The farmers do this because it is easy to corral them and transport them if they are in the water. This is because cranberries have four air pockets, so they float to the top. One way you can tell if a cranberry is good and ripe is easy. If they are actually ripe they will bounce. This is how cranberries got the name “Bounce Berry”. One last fact about the little red berry is it is good for your body too. They are packed with antioxidants, so they can help your cardiovascular system, immune system, and are proven to even help prevent certain types of cancer (Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association 2). This means cranberries are a small fruit with a big impact.
There are over a thousand cranberry products on the market today. Some of these products include juice, sauce, lip balm, floss, candles, and more. Though cranberries are known for being a whole fruit, 90% of cranberries are produced into more processed products (Oregon Cranberry Farmers Alliance 4). That means more cranberries go into other products than a cranberry itself. As explained by More2explore Company, “They are most often consumed as juice, sauce, or dried fruit”(7). This is telling people the most favored cranberry products are those they just described. Many people enjoy making recipes out of these products to bring out the tart and sweet taste of the fruit. If you wanted a drink you could have a cranberry wine, and if someone else wanted a dessert they could have cranberry ice cream. These recipes have no limit to what they have to be because of the wide variety of recipes for the cranberry.
- "Family Vacations & Travel with Kids | Kids Can Travel." Family Vacations & Travel with Kids | Kids Can Travel. More2explore, 2012. Web. 30 Oct. 2012.
- "History." History. Cape Cod Cranberry Growers' Association, 2002-2012. Web. 30 Oct. 2012. <http://www.cranberries.org/cranberries/history.html>.
- N.d. Photograph. Colonial Willaimsburg. Google Images. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. <http://www.google.ca/imgres?q=cranberry+site:.org&hl=en&lr=&sa=X&as_qdr=all&biw=979&bih=618&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=EAGnjurQSuwWsM:&imgrefurl=http://www.history.org/foundation/journal/holiday06/cran.cfm&docid=nuMUQmsCB_LnUM&imgurl=http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Holiday06/images/cranberryX_roundup.jpg&w=550&h=371&ei=2byGUJ-qOuKQyQGk6IHoDQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=334&sig=109653410913003880807&page=2&tbnh=184&tbnw=259&start=6&ndsp=10&ved=1t:429,r:6,s:0,i:153&tx=158&ty=117>.
- N.d. Photograph. USCranberries. Google Images. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. <http://www.google.ca/imgres?q=cranberries&num=10&hl=en&lr=&as_qdr=all&biw=979&bih=618&tbm=isch&tbnid=M_wn7jGfHfs5dM:&imgrefurl=http://www.uscranberries.com/health/heart.html&docid=1vx5jCSANLG-QM&imgurl=http://www.uscranberries.com/images/health/cranberry_heart.jpg&w=425&h=333&ei=-72GUPCUHcX5ygHnwYHoAw&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=297&sig=109653410913003880807&sqi=2&page=2&tbnh=194&tbnw=254&start=7&ndsp=11&ved=1t:429,r:12,s:0,i:168&tx=115&ty=89>.
- N.d. Photograph. Wisconsin Cranberry Growers' Association. Google Images. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. <http://www.google.ca/imgres?q=cranberry+products&num=10&hl=en&lr=&as_qdr=all&biw=979&bih=618&tbm=isch&tbnid=HzFid81Z7z9eIM:&imgrefurl=http://www.wiscran.org/recipes_products_0004/In_the_Store_0052.html&docid=sAoCLKq68tnrRM&imgurl=http://www.wiscran.org/user_image/Cranberry_Products.jpg&w=306&h=287&ei=Vb2GUK-rHpP7yAHUtoGoAw&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=264&sig=109653410913003880807&sqi=2&page=1&tbnh=183&tbnw=217&start=0&ndsp=6&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:66&tx=111&ty=94>.
- "Uscranberries.com." Cranberries + Heart Health. Cranberry Marketing Committee, 2012. Web. 30 Oct. 2012. <http://www.uscranberries.com/health/heart.html>.
- "WSCGA: Wisconsin Cranberries Play a Role in Preventing Urinary Tract Infections, Reducing Risk of Gum Disease and More." WSCGA: Wisconsin Cranberries Play a Role in Preventing Urinary Tract Infections, Reducing Risk of Gum Disease and More. Wisconsin Cranberry Growers' Assoication, 2012. Web. 30 Oct. 2012. <http://www.wiscran.org/health_benefits_0003/>.