Are blueberries even blue?
By The Berry That Cares On October 10, 2017

‘Eat the rainbow,’ they say. Many of us assumed (without much observation, obviously) that we were reaching our daily amount of blue by adding a handful of luscious blueberries to our oats, a smoothie, or some creative recipe. But in fact, blueberries aren’t technically true to their name.

Our farmers know that a blueberry is ready for harvesting when it has matured into a deep shade of purple. This hue comes from anthocyanin, a pigment naturally found in blueberries and other foods with rich coloring of red, purple and blue. You don’t need to be a scientist to know which berries have a higher concentration of anthocyanin: simply look for those with darker skin.

What good is it to know which berries have more anthocyanin however if we don’t even know the benefits? Anthocyanins are believed to have antioxidant properties, specifically those combating inflammation. As an added bonus, because blueberries are such a good source of anthocyanins, the fruit has been popularly used for natural, plant-based dyes. The berry’s true color is revealed in this process however as fabric dyed with boiled blueberries often turns a dark plum color rather than blue. If you recall eating juicy blueberries by the handful as a child and the aftermath of stained fingers and clothes, this may not be so surprising. (Whoever was in charge of doing laundry in your household at that time probably wouldn’t raise an eyebrow either.)

While playfully painting our fingertips and keeping that food baby (or fruit baby) at bay is all well and good, anthocyanins may not be getting their full due respect.

Think about it: the alluring color of the berry (whether interpreted as blue or purple) was likely what first drew humans and animals to consume the small round fruit. And, without getting too detailed, the natural seeding through excretion that followed allowed for the plant to repopulate and thrive. In short, the rich, natural color of a blueberry offers the fruit more than just beauty, it may have meant survival for our favorite bite-sized snack.

Even though blueberries may not technically be true to their name, you can still be sure that our berries are true to their roots and all natural. After all, Mother Nature knows best.

There’s nothing more satisfying than grabbing a handful of fresh berries and knowing they come straight off the bush. But a blueberry’s journey from field to table requires more than just a skillful hand. A few factors attribute to our product being as plump and fresh as it is.
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