Folsom, Calif., (July 27, 2017) – The California Walnut Commission (CWC) is pleased to announce that walnuts were selected by the state of California as one of the official state nuts.
“On behalf of the California walnut industry, we’re thrilled to be named an official state nut of California,” said Bill Carriere, Chairperson for the California Walnut Commission. “Walnuts have a long and rich history in our state, having been first cultivated in California by the Franciscan Fathers in the late 1700s, followed by commercial walnut production beginning in the 1870’s.”
Today, the California walnut industry is made up of more than 4,000 walnut growers and more than 90 walnut handlers (processors), who harvest approximately 315,000 bearing acres of walnuts. Walnuts from California are more than 99 percent of the U.S. commercial supply and in the current 2016 crop year the California Walnut Board reported a record crop totaling 684,338 tons, with global shipments up 18% year-to-date.
“California walnuts are the 9th leading commodity grown in the state and the 3rd leading export, contributing nearly $1 billion to the state in annual farm gate revenue,” said California Assemblyman Adam Gray. “I am pleased that my colleagues and I at the Capital have been able to recognize the tremendous contribution the growers and handlers make to agriculture in our state.”
In addition to offering a broad range of culinary uses, walnuts also add essential nutrients to the daily diet. Unique among nuts, walnuts are the only nut to contain an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid required by the human body, with 2.5 grams per one-ounce serving. Walnuts also offer protein (4 grams per ounce) and fiber (2 grams per ounce).
For more than 25 years, the California Walnut Commission has supported scientific research on consumption of walnuts and outcomes in areas such as heart health, cognitive function, cancer, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, weight, and male reproductive health.
For more information about walnuts, including industry reports and nutritional information, visit www.walnuts.org.