What is in this article?:
- Pistachio industry on road to billion-pound crop
- Health-packing pistachios
- U.S. pistachio growers bracing for 1-billion pound crop a few years from now.
- As pistachio production increases, the American Pistachio Growers association is working to increase consumption.
- Pistachios carry health benefits related to: erectile disfunction, fiber, protein, potassium, antioxidants, and blood pressure.
“Sometime between 2018 and 2020, there will be a billion pounds produced (in the United States),” says Richard Matoian, APG’s executive director.
Hirigoyen showed a video from a Susan G. Komen run in Fresno at which participants were given 100-calorie snack packs of pistachios that claimed 2 ounces of pistachios provide more protein than 2 ounces of cooked halibut, more fiber than 2 ounces of cooked broccoli and more potassium than a large banana.
Nutritionist Becci Twombley, who has been working with athletes at the University of California in Los Angeles and will be working with athletes at the University of Southern California, talked about the virtues of the pistachio that include considerable nutrients in a small package and ease in consumption while traveling.
Twombley said the nuts help with eye health, have Omega 3s for inflammation and protect the brain from concussions.
There are also claims the nuts are high in antioxidants and help in muscle recovery and skin health.
Hirigoyen referred to a Pennsylvania State University study funded by the association and published online in June showing the nut helps reduce blood pressure and biological responses to everyday stress.
And she showed a video featuring Dr. Christian Jessen, whom she described as the Doctor Oz of the United Kingdom, talking about the virtues of “the love nut” and how it “may help” with erectile dysfunction.
Among those who traveled with the previous Miss California to China to promote pistachios was Zachary Sheely, who is part of a family farming operation on the West Side of the central San Joaquin Valley.
Interviewed after the annual meeting, Sheely said availability of water this year remains a challenge to growers. “But because it’s a desert plant, we’ve been reducing consumption and still have good production and efficiency,” he said.
Jake Sheely, Zachary’s brother, said some neighboring pistachio growers, notably those with orchards near almonds, have battled the navel orangeworm with as many as three sprays this year.
Matoian said Zachary Sheely, an opera singer, caused something of a stir when he took the stage at events during the promotional tour in China.
“When he was introduced as a grower who would be singing, there was polite applause at the beginning,” Matoian said. In a cell phone video, Matoian showed that applause grew as Sheely’s voice resounded.