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LIPIDS

TABLE 2

Commercial production of lettuce in the United States and the European Union

Area in hectares (1 hectare = 2.47 acres), production in millions of metric tons.

Area

United States (1997) California Arizona

European Union (1996) Spain Italy

France

United Kingdom Germany Greece

Belgium Netherlands

82,150 57,090 21,900 90,200 33,600 21,300 13,500 7,500 5,900 3,600 2,500 2,300

Production

3,116

2,243 765

2,351 925 420 366 231 144 70 85

110

SOURCE: Compiled from U.S. Department of Agriculture and Eurostat statistics for the years shown.

Martin, Franklin W., and Ruth M. Ruberté. Edible Leaves of the Tropics. Mayagüez, Puerto Rico: Agency for International Development, Department of State, and Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service, 1975.

Reinink, K., and R. Groenwold. “The Inheritance of Nitrate Content in Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.).” Euphytica 36 (1987): 733–744.

Rubatzky, Vincent E., and Mas Yamaguchi. World Vegetables:

Principles, Production, and Nutritive Values. 2d ed. New

York: Chapman and Hall, 1997.

Ryder, E. J. Lettuce, Endive, and Chicory. New York: CABI, 1999.

Said, S. A., H. A. El Kashef, M. M. El Mayar, and O. Salama. “Phytochemical and Pharmacological Studies in Lactuca sativa Seed Oil.” Fitoterapia 67 (1996): 215–219.

Stevens, M. A. “Varietal Influence on Nutritional Value.” In

Nutritional Qualities of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, edited by

Philip I. White and Nancy Selvey. Mount Kisco, N.Y.: Fu- tura, 1974.

Sturtevant, E. Lewis. Sturtevant’s Edible Plants of the World,

edited by U. P. Hedrick. New York: Dover, 1972.

Whitaker, T. W. “Lettuce: Evolution of a Weedy Cinderella.” Hortscience 9 (1974): 512–514.

tuce is produced in coastal valleys near the Pacific Ocean, particularly in the Salinas Valley, which is the most im- portant production region in the world. In the winter let- tuce is produced in the desert regions of California and Arizona. For short periods in the spring and fall lettuce is grown in the great Central Valley of California. The coolness of the season is the reason for the movement from location to location. Lettuce grows best when the daytime temperature rarely exceeds 70 to 75ºF (21 to 24ºC). The desert and inland areas are too hot in sum- mer, while the coastal areas are too cold in winter. Those locations and others with similar seasonal climates in other countries, such as eastern portions of England, the Mediterranean Coast, the Negev Desert in Israel, and the southeastern portions of Australia, produce nearly all the commercially grown lettuce in the world.

Lettuce is grown in home gardens worldwide. In warm climates lettuce growing is usually restricted to the spring and fall, when temperatures are more moderate than in summer or winter. Lettuce grows fast and is easy to grow, especially leaf lettuces, which are the ones most commonly found in the backyard garden.

See also Oil; Organic Farming and Gardening; Salad.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Cao, G., E. Sofic, and R. L. Prior. “Antioxidant Capacity of Tea

and Common Vegetables.” Journal of Agricultural and Food

Chemistry 44 (1996): 3426–3431.

Gonzalez-Lima, F., A. Veledon, and W. L. Stiehil. “Depressant Pharmacological Effects of a Component Isolated from

Lettuce, Lactuca sativa L.” International Journal of Crude

Drug Research 24 (1986): 154–166.

Harlan, J. “Lettuce and the Sycomore: Sex and Romance in An- cient Egypt.” Economic Botany 40 (1986): 4–15.

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FOOD AND CULTURE

Edward J. Ryder

LIPIDS. Lipids (fats and oils) have borne the brunt of the blame for the degenerative diseases (heart disease and cancer) that are the major causes of death in the devel- oped world. The negative view of lipids has obscured their essentiality for human health. If a problem exists, it is one of quantity, in general, and specific lipids in particular.

Lipids are important for maintenance of human health and well-being in a number of ways. Probably the most important function of lipids is provision of an effi- cient energy source. Fat provides 9 calories of energy per gram or 2.25 times as much as either carbohydrate or protein. Carbohydrate is not stored in the body and pro- tein stores are predominantly muscle, whose breakdown entails serious health consequences. Fat is stored as such and can be easily mobilized if needed. In primitive times survival may have been possible because of energy pro- vided by metabolic use of stored fat (Gurr and Harwood, 1991).

Lipids are a group of substances of diverse structures that share the common trait of being soluble in solvents such as ether or benzene. The major lipids of the body are triglycerides, which comprise a molecule of glycerol to which three fatty acids are bonded. Phospholipids are substances in which glycerol carries only two fatty acids plus phosphoric acid and an organic base such as choline or serine. Cholesterol is a member of the family of large complex molecules generically called steroids. It has the capacity to carry one molecule of fatty acids (cholesteryl ester). Cell membranes are predominantly composed of phospholipids and cholesterol. Cell membranes confer

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