Fresh magazine interviews Camire about benefits of Maine wild blueberries

Mary Ellen Camire, professor of food science and human nutrition, was interviewed for a story about Maine’s wild blueberry industry in the July–August edition of fresh magazine. Hannaford Supermarkets publishes the magazine for their customers to highlight seasonal ingredients, and provide recipes and cooking and nutrition tips. Camire, who has conducted research for the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine, noted that the state’s wild berries have higher levels of antioxidants than cultivated berries, providing enhanced health benefits. But she said she sees the renewed focus on health benefits derived from consuming blueberries as a blessing and a curse. As cultivation increases to meet growing demand for blueberries, prices for Maine wild berries have fallen, in spite of their popularity with bakers, and an endorsement from Maine summer resident Martha Stewart. Promoting the enhanced health benefits of Maine’s wild blueberry, which is featured in countless Maine-made products and is the central attraction at numerous annual festivals and statewide events, is a tried and true strategy. But Camire said she likes to emphasize the mystique of the wild blueberry. “When you go into a wild blueberry field, all these different varieties grow together. You might have some that are bigger, some that are sweeter, some that are tarter,” she said. “That’s kind of what makes it fun — you’re not sure what you’re gonna get.”