Culinary Delights, What is Organic

What Frieda Rapoport Caplan Taught me

Frieda-Rapoport-Caplan-2017

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”