Fri, Sep 23, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Consumers urged to think green

HEALTH Kukeng Township farmers got some help in Taipei from a TSU lawmaker yesterday in promoting a wide range of new uses for their green citrus peels

BY KO SHU-LING  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Yin Ling-ying smiles yesterday as she takes a dip in a barrel filled with Taiwanese oranges at a press conference held outside the legislature to promote the therapeutic effects of such fruit.

PHOTO: CNA

A lawmaker and a pharmaceutical professor teamed up yesterday in a bid to help citrus growers find new markets for their fruit in the face of growing competition from imported varieties. They all want consumers to think about citrus fruit as more than just oranges to eat or turn into juice.

Yang Ling-ling (楊玲玲), who teaches at Taipei Medical University, said green citrus rinds are high in Vitamin P, or bioflavonoids, which enhance the effectiveness of Vitamin C.

Vitamin P deficiency can cause bruising, while too much of it could cause diarrhea. She said the recommended daily dose is about 500mg of Vitamin P, and it is best taken with Vitamin C and calcium.

Yang and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Yin Ling-ying (尹伶瑛) took part in a press conference held at the Legislative Yuan yesterday to promote food and drinks made with green oranges grown in Kukeng (古坑) Township, Yunlin County.

While the Department of Health expressed doubts earlier this year over claims that green orange juice could help people shed weight, the township is promoting green citrus as a dietary and health aid.

If you are suffering from cold sores, Yang said you might consider taking a supplement of green citrus peels, which are thought to help stimulate bile production and promote blood circulation.

People who eat too many mooncakes might want to try a "fat-cutting tea" made out of sun-dried green citrus skins and Chinese herbs. A recipe of green citrus peels, garlic, pineapple, soy sauce and rock sugar will give you an alternative to commercial barbecue sauces, while a low-fat green orange dressing or pizza dough made out of green oranges, eggs and organic sprouting rice provide an alternative to hamburgers and other greasy fast food.

Yang said that bioflavonoids are effective in treating sport injuries and have an antibacterial effect.

"These are super active substances, and can provide a great deal toward our nutritional needs," Yang said.

Yin, meanwhile, immersed herself in a bathtub filled with water blended with freshly squeezed green orange juice.

Several citrus growers used the press conference to complain about the low prices they receive for their fruit.

Lai Jen-kuei (賴壬癸), who has been growing oranges in Kukeng for about 20 years, said that while the wholesale price for green oranges is about NT$7 per kilogram, his costs are about twice that.

"Labor costs alone are at least NT$800 per person a day, not to mention the money spent on fertilizers and other stuff," the 71-year-old farmer said.

On good days, he said wholesale prices for yellow oranges can go up to NT$14 per kilogram. Lai's orange field produces about 18,000kg to 24,000kg of oranges a year.

This year was the first time orange growers in the township have harvested their crops while the peels were still green.

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