MONTEREY, Calif. — National berry experts in a range of fields shared
their insights during the first ever public session of the Berry Health
Benefits Symposium on June 22.

Berries to eat, berries to improve health during fruit-focused conference
                                                    Dawn Withers

Mary Pagan, right, executive chef and owner of the Culinary Center of Monterey, prepares blackberry dijon dressing during the Berry Health Benefits Symposium's public session.

The free event was part of the first sessions of the two-day symposium and featured six researchers who gave an overview of the berry and health research being presented — everything from preventing skin cancer through topical treatments derived from black raspberries to improving brain function as people age through berry consumption.

The 70 attendees of the public session were also treated to a live cooking demonstration with Mary Pagan, executive chef and owner of the Culinary Center of Monterey, who created three dishes, including strawberry lemonade, with different berries.