Which US State Produces The Most Strawberries?

Strawberries are like nature's candy, small, shiny, red, and most importantly, wicked sweet, but, believe it or not, strawberries (Fragaria ananassa) aren't technically a berry. When you bite into what smells, looks, and tastes like a berry, you are actually eating from a more complex plant, part of the rose family native to the Northern Hemisphere (via Britannica).

Strawberries have always been versatile. The University of Missouri claims the Romans believed they were a symbol of Venus, they were used as a medicine for almost every ailment, masons carved strawberry designs into cathedrals and altars, and some of the nobles in Emperor Napoleon's court even went so far as to bathe in strawberries. And while strawberries might not be a cure-all for ailments, Healthline reports that they are actually an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin B9, manganese, potassium, and antioxidants which are beneficial for the heart. It's clear that strawberries have always been highly revered, and today they are obsessively enjoyed in the United States.

The Golden State strawberry

According to the Farmers' Almanac, Americans reportedly consume an average of 3.4 pounds of fresh strawberries every year, which makes sense considering how much we love strawberry jam, pie, panna cotta, and crumb cakes, and eating them covered in chocolate. The growing demand for strawberries has forced production to increase over the past few decades.

Strawberries today are grown coast to coast, but the USDA states that 90% of the 1.34 million tons of strawberries produced in the U.S. this last year are from the Golden State of California (via Statista). This news is made even sweeter because of the state's commitment to sustainable farming; in fact, California Strawberries claims that California produces the most organic strawberries in the world. See California tells us that the state's sunny year-long growing season allows for a higher strawberry yield, 75% of which are harvested for fresh consumption while the rest is frozen and packaged.

Where in the world do strawberries grow?

Strawberries thrive in California because they like to grow in full sun between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which California offers. Still, the U.S.'s personal salad bowl state isn't the only palace strawberries grow (via the University of Florida). Florida is also a Strawberry producer, but unlike California, it has a limited growing season. Sarasota magazine states that Florida's strawberry growing season begins in November and ends in April, but while California grows a whopping 90% of the U.S.A.'s total strawberry production, Florida only produces 8%. So, the odds are that when you're buying strawberries from the grocery store in the United States, they likely come from the West Coast, not the East.

That being said, the U.S. is only the second-largest strawberry producer in the world. According to Atlas Big, the U.S. produces 1,021,490 tons of strawberries yearly, whereas China produces 3,221,557 tons. China is one of the global leaders in agriculture and currently leads the world in the production of cereals, fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, and fish due to the massive amounts of fertile land, its long and productive history in farming, and recent reform programs (via UN Food & Agriculture Organization).

For the love of strawberries

Americans love strawberries. It's a fact that we produce and consume billions of strawberries across the nation every year. Over the past two decades, the U.S. strawberry industry has seen individual consumption of the produce increase (via Agricultural Marketing Resource Center). There are many ways to enjoy strawberries, whether you like them as a raw, refreshing snack to boost your health or as a natural way to sweeten up a meal.

Yes, strawberries are known to make delicious desserts: strawberry shortcakes, strawberry milkshakes, and strawberry pies are all beloved American sweets for a good reason. The strawberry is attractive with its red hue and candy-like sweetness, but you don't have to drench your strawberries in even more sugar to incorporate them into your meals. In fact, we suggest you don't.

Instead, after coming home with a bucket full of farm-fresh strawberries, try making strawberry chicken salad full of grilled poultry, crunchy veggies, and delightfully sweet strawberries to balance it all out. Strawberries are a summertime staple ingredient in both sweet and savory meals. Don't overlook the power of the strawberry in refreshing salads, used as a glaze for pork chops or even mixed into your salsa!