Page 18

TomatoesRiceAlmondsCaviarEndive Can you TRACE Sacramento’s Place in our Nation’s Food Economy?

By Bob LaPerriere, MD

Comments or letters, which may be published in a future issue, should be sent to the author’s email or to e.LetterSSV Medicine@gmail. com.

16

WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT SACRAMENTO’S role in food production, what comes to your mind first? Maybe tomatoes…Sacratomato is a common nickname for Sacramento, though most of the tomato production is not in Sacramento County but in the surrounding, particularly southern, areas. California rates second for tomato production in the United States, having produced close to one billion dollars worth in 2010. Sacramento was a very prominent site of tomato processing, though many of the processing plants have closed over the past decades. Maybe rice…The Sacramento Valley is the heart of rice growing, and produced 4.5 billion pounds of rice in 2010, rating California as the second largest rice-producing state. Almost all was grown within a 100-mile radius of Sacramento. Maybe almonds…In 2010-11, 1.668 billion pounds of almonds were produced in California, over 70 percent being exported internationally to more than 90 countries. Nearly 80 percent of the global supply and 100 percent of the domestic supply of almonds is produced by California’s 6,500 almond farms. Though Sacramento is not a significant producer of almonds, Blue Diamond Growers, headquartered in Sacramento, is the world’s largest tree nut processing and marketing company. But how many people realize there are two other major food producers right here in Sacramento County, one that grows the entire U.S. supply and another that produces 80 percent of the domestic supply!

Sierra Sacramento Valley Medicine

CAVIAR Few locals are aware that 80 percent of the caviar for the United States is produced right here in three sites in the Elverta/Wilton/Elk Grove area by Sterling Caviar. Caviar, when there is no other descriptive term, by definition is from the sturgeon. Other caviars (roe) require the source of the eggs be included in the name, such as Salmon Caviar (roe) and Lumpfish Caviar (roe). Native sturgeon in California are the white and the less common green. The local caviar is produced from white sturgeon farmed for this purpose. This caviar is equal or superior to the wild caviar from the Caspian Sea. Individual sturgeon can live over 100 years and have probably been around, virtually unchanged, for over 200 million years. They are truly a prehistoric animal. The most familiar sturgeon is the large Beluga, found in the Caspian Sea, the largest one weighing in at 4,350 pounds. Also found in the Caspian Sea, and of caviar importance, is the Russian sturgeon (Osetra caviar) and the stellate sturgeon (Sevruga caviar). Since the 1970s, with improvement in aquaculture, caviar from farmed sturgeon has become common and offers the most sustainable

2012-Mar/Apr - SSV Medicine  

Sierra Sacramento Valley Medicine is the official journal of the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society (SSVMS) and promotes the history,...

2012-Mar/Apr - SSV Medicine  

Sierra Sacramento Valley Medicine is the official journal of the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society (SSVMS) and promotes the history,...