By Kent Pinkerton
Americans believe that Ponce de Leon and his men brought
the first orange to Florida in 1513. Since then, the state has bloomed into the second-largest orange growing
producer in the world, after Brazil in South America. Although enjoyed as a delicious fruit, around ninety
percent of Florida oranges are used to prepare orange juice which is consumed all over the world, giving an
annual return of $8 billion to the state.
Hold a Florida orange in your hand and you will realize it
is heavier than the other oranges grown outside the state. This is largely due to the high juice content and
very thin peel.
Growers do not pick the fruits from the trees until they
are ripe. If plucked raw, the fruit will not ripen further. Interestingly, the oranges growing on the south
side of an orange tree tastes sweeter than those in any other location. Fruit growing on the north side of the
tree will give you sodium-free but tasteless fruit.
Health practitioners heavily recommend including these
oranges in your diet, as Florida oranges are an excellent source of important minerals like potassium, calcium,
folate, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorous, magnesium and copper.
A medium-sized fruit will give you only seventy calories,
and is fat- and sodium-free. Moreover, this will provide you with antioxidants, from the vitamin C in the
fruit. Antioxidants help you retain your youthfulness and improve your immune system.
Storing your oranges in a plastic bag will deteriorate the
quality of the fruit. In the absence of air, moisture develops between the rind and the plastic container,
leading to unsightly and harmful mold growth. Ideally, your citrus should be stored at a temperature between 35
-50 degrees, which will ensure it remains fresh for a month and can retain its original sweet