Cinco de Mayo – A Very Important Day

Today is Cinco de Mayo. In the world of produce, it is one of the biggest days for avocado sales, sometimes even exceeding sales during Super Bowl week. What I find interesting about this holiday is how few people actually know or understand what this holiday is really about. I don’t want to bore you with too much history (and it’s quite complex for that matter), but if we are going to celebrate a holiday, well… we should know what we’re celebrating! And, if you have already guessed Mexican Independence Day (as many do) you are incorrect. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Earth Day: Let’s Play Dirty

soilHappy Earth Day! We’ve come a long way since Earth Day began in 1970, but we still have quite the road to travel. Today the world will be focused on reducing carbon emissions. In the U.S. our primary strategy over the next 20 years is to reduce carbon emissions from our power plants. This is a great step, and going even further by reducing carbon emissions from our cars and other transportation vehicles will also go a long way toward reducing our carbon footprint. Read the rest of this entry »

The Heart of the Matter

climateChangeImageEvery movement that has ever been successful in it’s aim, relies on three very fundamental, and very dynamic aspects of being – wisdom, passion, and love. These are the ingredients that create an effective revolution, if you will. And yes, even a revolution must have the balance of love. Case in point, look at the leadership of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. There were many who felt the pain, the hate, and the frustration of a segregated America, and how we relegated the African American Community to a second-class status. But it was under the leadership of Dr. King that true freedom was able to come to Black America. He clearly possessed the wisdom and the passion, but the real key to success, was the love. He didn’t approach the Civil Rights fight with anger, with malice, or with hate. He had love in his heart, and that balance is what ultimately broke through. Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrate Earth Day… And Change the Way You Live

earthEarth Day is coming up on April 22nd, and while most of us in our industry are focused on how we celebrate and message the day to our customers, it’s also very worthwhile to contemplate how we personally choose to acknowledge the day. In case you’ve been too busy to think along these lines, here are a few recommendations. Keep in mind that it’s a perfect time to reflect upon what you are doing in order to help protect our environment:

– Plant Trees: As the date also roughly coincides with U.S. Arbor Day, over time Earth Day has become synonymous with tree-planting. Planting trees helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cleans up pollution, secures soil in place to prevent erosion, and provides home for a lot of biodiversity. If planting a tree seems like too much of a project, plant some flowers or shrubs, or even throw down a few seeds of grass. Everything matters.

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The History of Earth Day

earthDayWe’re roughly 4 weeks away from the celebration of Earth Day. On April 22nd people from all over the world will acknowledge and celebrate this very important day. This holiday is particularly special for the Organic and Natural Foods Industry as we are deeply connected not just to the products we sell, but to the much larger Environmental Movement that is so important, particularly at this time. Below is an article written by Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisc.) – the founder of Earth Day – providing insight into the early origins of this important celebration.

What was the purpose of Earth Day? How did it start? These are the questions I am most frequently asked. Read the rest of this entry »

The High Cost of Organic Food – It’s Debateable

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in the thick of the political season. What I found most fascinating as I watch debates is how the most successful approach comes when one candidate takes their opponents apparent strength and turns it into their weakness; and similarly, when they would take their own apparent weakness and turn it into their strength. That’s the true art of debate. Read the rest of this entry »

The Dirty Little Secret… Soil

Organic SoilThose of us in the organic foods industry, in whatever capacity we serve, find ourselves frequently in a position to explain why organic foods are beneficial, both to human health and the health of our environment. We typically understand, and are comfortable to articulate the clear advantages of organically raised food – no pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers. And it’s pretty easy to understand that if we are not ingesting chemicals or spreading them across our fields, then naturally we benefit from that. Read the rest of this entry »

Avocados and the Super Bowl

GuacThumb2014Over the last few decades, football’s championship game, the Super Bowl, has eclipsed the World Series as America’s favorite sporting event. It’s no longer just a one-day spectacle, but has become a two-week long celebration leading into the Sunday game with lots of partying and overeating. Like most of our celebrations, eating has a large role in this event, particularly emphasizing snack foods like nuts and corn chips. Of course, if you have corn chips, you need something delicious to dip them in. And this is how Super Bowl Sunday has literally become Guacamole Sunday. If you have not already begun planning for the big game next Sunday, now is the time to get your retail ducks in a row. Having a tremendous avocado display that also features, lemons, limes, tomatoes, and onions is a must! Read the rest of this entry »

Controlled Atmosphere Storage of Apples and Pears

applesAndPearsAs we move into the new year, most all of the apples and pears being shipped will come out of Controlled Atmosphere storage (CA storage). Prior to January regular refrigerated storage is used for much of the fruit marketed in the Fall and early Winter months. When the proper growing and harvesting techniques are used, many varieties of apples can store for 12 months or longer in CA. Most of these apples are shipped to market between January and September. Read the rest of this entry »

Embrace Failure

missedShotI have set myself up for failure today. The list I made this morning of what I need to accomplish is already on the verge of becoming unachievable. I’m confident I’ll get through about 80% of my list, but that’s a 20% failure rate – not considered good.

However, if I were a baseball player and we were measuring my success rate at hitting the ball and getting on base, 80% would be viewed as phenomenal… I’d be in the record books with an 800 batting average. In baseball, if you hit the ball and get on base 33% of the time, you are considered one of the best hitters in the game. You are wildly successful and will most likely be rewarded with a very handsome and lucrative salary, even though two-thirds of the time that you step up to the plate to achieve what you’re supposed to achieve (hitting the ball and getting on base), you completely fail. Read the rest of this entry »