Levy County may not be at the center of the orange industry in Florida, but the industry does play a large part in the economy of the state. Oranges are one of the most popular fruits on the planet, and Florida is one of the largest producers of this great tasting piece of heaven. If you love oranges even half as much as we do, they probably find a place in your fridge more often than not. Our kids just can’t get enough of them; it’s a nice healthy alternative to candy and ice-cream, so it’s definitely a love to be encouraged. We thought it would be fun to take a look at some interesting facts about this little orange fruit we love so much.
Brazil’s the Orange King
Anyone living in North America may think Florida is the center of the orange universe, but it doesn’t even come close to matching the amount of oranges that are grown in Brazil. This South American country produces more than double the oranges that Florida does, or about 28% of all oranges that are produced on the entire planet. Florida’s a distant second when it comes to growing oranges, and the European Union and China aren’t that far behind it. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a very profitable industry for the state – those Florida oranges do taste great!
Great Source of Vitamin C
One of the greatest things about oranges, besides the taste, is that they’re a great source of vitamin C. You’re probably well aware of that, but did you know that vitamin C does a lot of healthy things for the body? Sailors in the 19th century discovered that it’s necessary to prevent scurvy, which was a common problem on ships at the time. It’s also great for treating colds and can give your immune system a nice boost in general. What’s not as commonly known is that it’s also good for fighting high blood pressure and reducing the risk of stroke. Sounds like some good reasons to eat lots of oranges!
Florida’s State Flower
The orange also happens to be a flowering fruit and it’s the state flower of Florida. That probably shouldn’t come as any surprise, since its orange groves are one of the most easily identifiable things about Florida. It may be the home of Mickey Mouse as well, but it was the home of the North American orange industry long before Mickey came along.
Don’t Throw Out the Peel
There aren’t too many people I know that like to eat the orange peel; its taste isn’t overly appealing and most of us just throw it out. Perhaps you should rethink that, as the peel actually has some great things going for it. Orange peel is used in the candy industry as a flavor boost; a lot of your favorite orange candies may have some peel in them. It’s also used to make some orange-flavored teas that can be quite tasty. That all sounds great, but you may be wondering what that has to do with you throwing the peel out at home? Well, here’s a fun fact – you can actually use that peel as a home cleanser; it’s very effective at getting grease spots out of things. So the next time you go to throw that peel out, you may want to reconsider.
Automation in the Orange Industry
The orange industry is a booming business and uses many of the same automated production processes that other industries do. They might not be at the point where they have automated robots to pick the oranges off the trees yet, but robots are used in the industry. They help on the assembly lines that package the orange juice we love to have with our breakfast – creating and filling the sealed containers for the orange juice we buy from the supermarket. Some people may not be thrilled with the prospect of robots taking on human jobs, but they do make the process quicker and help to keep prices down for the consumer.