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Good Dilemmas – Krana or Cranberries?

Good and healthy nutrition is connected with other concepts like environmental and economic sustainability for society as a whole and affordability and convenience for individual consumers. Those are also related to activities that support local communities.

In other words, it is important to have a holistic attitude from farm to table. This is something European Commission came to offer in the context of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Krana and cranberries are two products – coincidentally having common qualities as well as similar names – that are good examples of such a mindset.

Both offer more or less the same thing to the consumer (a highly nutritional fruit), but your locality, your amount of consumption, and other parameters should guide you to choose ‘the right one’ for you, the consumer and beneficiary.

If I am not exaggerating, krana is the non-commercial ‘sibling’ of the cranberries. Krana can also give you the pleasure of ‘memories of Yiayia’ from the village, but cranberries are the right choice for everyday use wherever in the world you live.

Krana (Cornus mas) is a beautiful yet tiny tree that lives among oak trees in thick forests. It thrives in the shadows of oaks and provides a yellow-spectacular shape amid the moody gray fall/winter scenery. It offers little red miracles, the fruits – ‘krana’ – which traditionally are used to make liquor in Greece. The fruits can also be eaten raw or dried and offer you antioxidant, antifungal, 0and anti-inflammatory properties. It is not rigorously proven, but there is evidence that it helps the nervous system, including improving memory and concentration. Also, it lowers blood pressure and helps with heart diseases and has anti-cancer properties – but it is difficult to find and is usually very expensive if you are not buying it locally.

Cranberries (Vaccinium sp.) is a cultivated shrub with many varieties. High in yield, it is a commercial plant cultivated in many places in the world, or rather, the colder places of North America and Europe.
This highly nutritious fruit offers approximately the same benefits as krana, and some varieties offer more attractive taste – they are less sour than krana – and are easy-to-process fruits. In whatever form you consume it, it has very much to offer: fresh, frozen, dried.

The choice amounts to a dilemma. My advice is that if you can go to the source, take the local one!

* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.
Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Botany-Biology.


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