Culinary Delights, Environment, Social Implications in Agriculture, What is Organic

Breaking the Mold: Do You Know What Happens to “Ugly” Produce? It’s Getting Prettier


Did you know that about one-quarter of all the food produced in the world is wasted? That means that one-quarter of the water, land, and inputs are essentially thrown away as well.

Around half of these losses could be prevented with a more efficient food supply chain—and one billion extra people could be fed if food crop losses were halved.

Our penchant for perfect produce has contributed to the massive food waste in our food supply. If you’ve ever been to a produce packing facility, you’d be amazed at the amount of fruit and vegetables that are tossed away.

These “ugly” fruits and vegetables are considered rejects; they are discarded for their perfectly shaped counterparts.

Finally, this ridiculous waste on vanity is being brought to our attention. Throwing away nutritious fresh food is having an impact on our global food security.

As global populations increase, we must begin to reimagine all the ways we can utilize more of the food we grow. Continue reading “Breaking the Mold: Do You Know What Happens to “Ugly” Produce? It’s Getting Prettier”

Culinary Delights, What is Organic

What Frieda Rapoport Caplan Taught me


I never personally knew Frieda Caplan, the woman who is credited with bringing many once-exotic fruits and vegetables to the United States. I knew only of her gifts—kiwifruits, habaneros, jicama and Asian pears. I was just a toddler when she opened Frieda’s Specialty Produce, the first woman-owned wholesale produce business. The ground she covered made it easier for me to open my company in 1996.

Hearing of Frieda’s passing at 96, I was profoundly touched by the outpouring of admiration and sorrow. I reached out to a few of my early colleagues who knew her. I was moved to tears by their stories.

Thus, began a series of revelations about the importance of mentoring and being mentored. Continue reading “What Frieda Rapoport Caplan Taught me”

What is Organic

Genetically Engineered Fresh Produce

Guest Author:  Simcha Weinstein

delicious organic produceA question I was frequently asked at the Natural Products Expo in Baltimore was, “Are there any fresh produce items that are genetically modified, and if so, which ones?”

 GMOs are present in about 70 percent of foods on US supermarket shelves, as the vast majority of processed foods contain GMOs. One major exception, however, are fresh fruits and vegetables. The only genetically modified produce you’re likely to find is the Hawaiian papaya, a small amount of zucchini and yellow squash, and some sweet corn – all grown using conventional farming methods. Remember, USDA organic standards prohibit any genetically modified ingredients. Organic fresh produce CANNOT (by law) be raised using genetic engineering! No meat, fish, or poultry products approved for direct human consumption are bioengineered at this point, though most of the feed for livestock and fish come from GM corn, alfalfa, and other biotech grains. Only organic varieties of these animal products are guaranteed to be GMO-free. Continue reading “Genetically Engineered Fresh Produce”