Pineapple Phil

pineapplephilWe’ve talked about many different foods and their components over the past 150 weeks of Wellness Wednesdays. The benefits of diverse foods from produce to proteins, carbohydrates, and junk food.  Here is something you might not have seen yet! Today’s topic is all about pineapples.

Apparently, pineapples have become an incredibly popular produce to consume in various ways as well as prominent home and office décor.  Speaking of office décor, a little background on Pineapple Phil, our new office mascot.

Recently, one of our employees brings a cup of water with leaves in it. I was extremely curious to know what he was doing; I asked Alan “What’s in the Cup”, he says “I am growing a pineapple, have you never done this before?” No, I have never grown my own pineapple. Pineapples are tropical plants, not your typical West Texas foliage and the most tropical vegetation I tried to grow as a kid was an avocado tree with no success. But now, as an adult and avid vegetable gardener along with treating my bougainvillea plant like my third child and planning a spring garden is not new to me, but pineapples in cotton country, now that’s new. I feel fairly well informed about vegetation, from growing to preparing and the nutrient content of a lengthy list of foods. Somehow, I missed these simple facts about growing pineapples. How-to-grow-a-pineapple-and-make-a-pineapple-planter

According to produce retailers, in 2015, the U.S imported 1.17 million tons of pineapples. The following year, in 2016, 39% of U.S. households purchased this fruit.

The highest exporter of pineapples in 2015 was Costa Rica at US$821.9 million (47.9% of total pineapples exports) followed by the Netherlands, Belgium, Philippines, United States and Mexico.  Pineapple by the numbers

Food historians believe that pineapples were first recorded in 1398.  Pineapples were first imported by Christopher Columbus to Europe and given the actual name “pineapple”. Beginning in 1664 the fruit was cultivated for the consumption of royals, the rich and nobles and later used to prevent scurvy, a disease resulting from vitamin C deficiency.

Tips to getting your “Fill” on campus:

Eat Fresh Pineapple: Visit our All You Care to Eat location at Hulen/Clement and Fresh Plate at Bledsoe/Gordon. Find more fresh fruit at Smart Choices in the SUB and in our pressed juices.

Grab and Go Coolers: Horn/Knapp on the Go, at Sam’s Places and Sam’s Express Kiosks, have fresh cut fruit cups for a quick snack.

In Smoothies: at Paciugo (SUB), Sam’s Places-Murray, West and The Café in the Market

On Salads and Cooked Woks: Add in chunked pineapple for a sweet addition as a salad topping or in a spicy Asian rice bowl.

Shopping Tips to getting your “Fill” off Campus:

  • Peak Pineapple season begins in March to July.
  • Pineapples should have fresh green leaves that cannot be easily plucked and feel heavy like a bowling ball.

Online Resources

Why getting your Pineapple “Fill” is a Smart Choice!scapproved500

1 Cup of Pineapple: 82 calories, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, 2mg sodium (salt), 22 carbohydrates

  • 131 percent vitamin C per cup
  • Folate, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium & Beta-carotene
  • Pineapple extract contains a mixture of digestive enzymes called bromelain. Numerous studies suggest the compound may reduce sinus/nasal inflammation, arthritis, muscle soreness, and more.

Pineapple pairs nicely with poultry and seafood and mixed in salads or smoothies. It can be eaten fresh, grilled, canned, baked, sauteed or frozen.

Hospitality Dietitian: Mindy Diller, MS, RDN, LD : 


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