• “Baze is a young, global company, well positioned to make this concept and truth of personal nutrition accessible for all.

    Lori Taylor (19:03)

    The future of personalized nutrition is NOW.

    Allison Baker is a Registered Dietician, the VP of Business Development at Baze, and an absolute superstar in the realm of personalized nutrition.

    Baze was founded in 2014 with a mission to revolutionize the personal nutrition industry. Baze utilizes cutting edge technology to test client’s blood nutrient levels, tailor a unique supplement plan. They take the guesswork out of nutrition and believe they hold the key to provide optimized healthcare for all.

    “The whole purpose of our brand is to empower individual wellness for all.” - Allison Baker (29:02)

    We are surrounded by supplements, but still in the dark.

    When it comes to supplements, there is no shortage. In fact, 73% of the US takes a multivitamin. And yet, 33% of individuals have a nutrient deficiency.

    Across the board Americans are deficient in every micronutrient except sodium.

    Furthermore, the measurements used to determine the “standard” RDA for nutrients are only aimed to keep you from being deficient, not focused on getting your levels optimized for exceptional health.

    The system is broken.

    How do we actually know what we need, and how much we should be taking?

    We don’t.

    When we rely on guesswork to help us choose which micronutrients to supplement, and how much of each we should be taking, the statistics show we drastically miss the mark.

    This is where Baze comes in.

    Nutrition is a personal journey. Your needs are as unique as you are. Baze can help.

    Baze is a pioneer in blood nutrient technology.

    Nutrient testing through your general practitioner is expensive, time-consuming, and is not typically readily available for the comprehensive set of nutrients tested by Baze. Our healthcare system is focused on treating disease after it happens. Baze believes that focusing on preventative healthcare now will change the future of our wellness and increase our longevity.

    It’s important to know where you’re deficient, and also to know the dosage of nutrients you need to close the gap and optimize your health.

    How does Baze work?

    The process is simple. Baze sends a testing kit right to your door. The device uses an array of tiny needles paired with suction to provide a virtually painless process. You return the kit, and your blood levels are analyzed.

    You then receive a personalized report and supplements are recommended, using a dosing algorithm based on the results, and they are shipped directly to you.

    A dietician approves every single dose before it goes out the door.

    Three months later your levels are reassessed.

    Clients who reassessed saw a 73% decrease in deficiencies. These results are absolutely phenomenal, and unheard of in this industry.

    What are the results?

    What does it look like to have your nutrient levels optimized? Baze clients have experienced some incredible results.


    More energy More focus Optimized Immune System Healthier Skin Weight Management

    If you’re like many of us, and struggle to fall into a regular routine of taking a daily supplement, Allison said, “It’s ok!” Even taking your personalized supplement every couple of days will still bring your levels to an optimal level. It may just take a little bit longer than the average 12 weeks.

    “If we just focused on eating the micronutrients that we need to be healthy… and started eating towards that, and supplementing appropriately and smartly, it would change everything.”

    - Allison Baker (30:00)

    When you give your body the nutrients it needs, it performs in the way it was designed. It was created to thrive, and be healthy.

    We spend too much of our time focusing on the things we need to cut out of our diet in order to be healthier. But what if, optimal health wasn’t found in the things we eliminated from our diet, but rather the nutrients we put in?

    When Produce and Supplements Partner Up.

    “Baze is really focused on the mission. This is a company that cares about the end result, to the point that they are actively collaborating with complementary industries… it’s really cool to see how authentic the Baze company is.” - Lori Taylor (28:19)

    Food is the foundation of everything we do. At Produce Moms we know that optimal health begins with an optimal diet.

    Supplements are just that - a supplement.

    Recently, Baze has partnered with companies like Monterey Mushrooms and Eat Local to pair necessary supplements with real food.

    Initiatives like increasing the amount of Vitamin D in Monterey Mushrooms through enhanced UV exposure are revolutionizing your ability to get the nutrients you need from the food you love.

    Baze and Eat Local partnered to create pre-prepared meals that contain the most common nutrients that are deficient in our diets. Deploying the power of your personalized vitamins, while tailoring your food intake in support is literally a 360 degree solution to optimize your health.

    Optimal health has never been more attainable. We owe it to ourselves, our children, and our families to give our bodies the nutrients it needs to live a long, healthy life! So what are you waiting for?

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here. Listen to Allison’s previous interview on the Produce Mom’s podcast. Learn more about how Baze can help you optimize your health here. Learn more about Baze’s partnership with Eat Local here. Learn more about Baze’s partnership with Monterey Mushrooms here.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

  • “I try to remind folks that we aren’t going to run out of potatoes. We still have 13 billion pounds of potatoes that we are shipping across America and around the world.”

    Frank Muir (7:20-7:35)

    Frank Muir has served as the President and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission for the past 17 years. He is leading the charge to help consumers around the world understand that Idaho potatoes are delicious, nutritious, and extremely affordable.

    The media is buzzing about a “potato shortage” that could leave us fry-less.

    Concerned consumers and businesses alike have been writing in to The Produce Moms to get the scoop on the potato shortage. With dramatic headlines insinuating that America could run out of potatoes - Frank Muir wittily described it as French Fry Famine Fear - we decided to go straight to the source to gather some facts, and put minds (and stomachs) at ease.

    In 2019, an early frost and inclement weather from Hurricane Dorian threatened to destroy potato crops not just in Idaho, but in the midwest and parts of Canada.

    Idaho farmers and harvesters worked around the clock days before the frost to gather as much of the harvest as possible and were able to get 85% of the crop into storage before the severe weather took out the rest. Some of the remaining crop was salvageable. The yield varied between 0-5%, meaning some fields did experience a total loss.

    While it’s hard to determine the long-term impact of a loss of this magnitude, many focus on the loss without taking time to consider all of the facts.

    The 2019 harvest yielded 13 billion pounds of potatoes! That’s enough to fill an entire football stadium end-to-end and one mile high.

    The bottom line: There are still plenty of potatoes for everyone.

    “They aren’t just good to eat, but they’re actually good for you. We’ve made big strides in returning the Idaho potato to its rightful pedestal as America’s favorite vegetable.”

    - Frank Muir (2:30-2:45)

    The Harvest Cycle of the Idaho Potato.

    To fully comprehend the impact of a diminished harvest on the farmers and consumers alike, it’s helpful to understand a little bit more about the harvest cycle of Idaho potatoes.

    In Idaho, potatoes are grown along the Snake River Plain that stretches across the bottom third of the state. Potatoes are harvested only once per year, and are then placed in extremely sophisticated climate controlled storage facilities, where they wait to be shipped, sold, and eaten by you!

    If you do your best to mimic the climate controlled environment utilized by Idaho potato distributors, your potatoes can last much longer!

    “At the end of the day, Idaho potatoes are, dollar for dollar, one of the most nutrient dense foods in the world. I don’t know if there is a more affordable commodity in the produce department.”

    - Lori Taylor (19:05-19:20)

    Impact on the Consumer.

    As a Produce Mom, I’m sure you are very familiar with the concept of supply and demand. When supply is down, price increases.

    So, how will this affect our potato purchases?

    While there’s potential for price to increase as the Idaho potato supply tightens, the potato will remain a frugal, nutrient-dense purchase.

    Consider this - even if Idaho potatoes doubled in cost, they would still only cost on average between $2.00-$5.00 for a 5lb bag.

    Can you think of another vegetable in the produce section that you can purchase for $1 per lb?

    “Potatoes are the most economical vegetable you can purchase. Even with a tightening supply and prices going up a little bit, it’s still going to be the most valuable return for produce that you can purchase in the grocery store” - Frank Muir (9:45-10:15)

    ‘Potato Lovers Month’

    Did you know that February is the month to celebrate potatoes?

    Baked, fried, or instant, Idaho loves potatoes and wants the world to celebrate with them.

    Be on the lookout for displays in one of the over 5000 local grocery stores who participate in the annual display contest, and follow the Idaho Potato Commision on social media to join in the fun!

    The Takeaway.

    The media outlets have overdramatized the potato crop shortage, leading consumers to believe that the crop may not last through the year.

    The Idaho Potato Commission is still promoting and advertising, alongside the vast number of restaurants and grocery stores.

    So, never fear, the salty companion to your ketchup should stay hot, fresh, and ready to be dipped for the duration of 2020.

    When you’re shopping, always look for the ‘Grown in Idaho’ seal, to buy the very best potatoes have to offer!

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here. Be sure to check out The Produce Mom podcast EP39, also featuring Frank Muir, to learn more about why the Idaho potato is so special. Visit the Idaho Potato Commission’s website for recipes and more, and follow them on social media to join in all of the ‘Potato Lover’ fun!

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

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  • “You took a non-existent category in the value-added produce section to what today is over 700 million in retail sales.”

    Lori Taylor (2:11-2:18)

    Crunch Pak is Proving that Convenience and Health Can Go Hand-in-Hand.

    Tony Freytag, Executive VP and co-founder of Crunch Pak, is an absolute legend and pioneer in the produce industry. He took a nonexistent category in the value added produce section and grew it to $700 MILLION is retail sales. Each week, Crunch Pack produces over 250,000 cases of apple products.

    Tony was born into the produce family. While he grew up in the city, he was from a family of farmers and each summer would get “shipped off” to the farm. While he grew up immersed each summer in this industry, he decided early in life that agriculture was NOT his career path of choice. However, life came full circle, and eventually he began helping a prominent pear business develop an anti-browning solution. Now he is passionate about getting fresh, delicious produce into the hands of families around the country.

    “When it is fresh-cut and ready to eat, it is less likely to end up in the trash, and more likely to be consumed. That is why I never hesitate to purchase things from the value-added section for my family.” - Lori Taylor (22:37-22:52)

    What is Crunch Pak?

    Crunch Pak provides the most convenient delivery of produce into the hands of your family. Fresh apples and pears, sourced from Washington farms, are sliced, packaged and placed in groceries around the country, giving your family the gift of time. Because, let’s face it, as moms our lives can get pretty hectic. Crunch Pak wants you to snack healthy, without the stress or hassle of fresh food preparation.

    Crunch Pak and the Value of Value-Added Foods.

    Why would we buy a packaged bag of apples when they are easy to slice, or could even be eaten whole?

    Easy. In our country, 40% of fresh produce is wasted, and a large portion of this percentage happens in our homes. Produce is purchased with the best intentions, and then life gets in the way.

    Crunch Pak, is a simple yet effective way to take control of your grocery efficiency. Value-added foods, typically located near the bagged lettuce section in your local grocery, takes the work out of produce prep. Crunch Pak’s goal is to help you incorporate more healthy snacks into your family’s diet as easily as possible.

    Is Crunch Pak Safe for My Family? Is It Healthy?

    If these thoughts were rolling through your mind, you aren’t alone. Tony has been asked this question countless times over the years.

    The answer is a resounding YES!

    Crunch Pak’s anti-browning agent is made of Calcium and Vitamin C. It is a natural, flavorless additive that keeps produce fresh until you’re ready for a snack.

    Snacks On Snacks On Snacks

    The snack category continues to boom, accounting for $2.6 billion each year.

    Crunch Pak works hard to provide healthy snacks that have a well-rounded nutritional profile. They are continually innovating to keep their products on trend and appealing to a wide range of consumers.

    With more adults doing “deskside dining,” and families constantly on the go, snacks that offer a source of protein go along away to keep your family fueled up. Check out their products page to look at all of the options they have for healthy, convenient snacking.

    Crunch Pak has done a fantastic job of partnering with brands that appeal to children. They have proudly co-branded with both Nickelodeon and Disney. Your kids are future consumers. The healthy choices you are helping them make today, will shape the healthy choices they make as an adult.

    “Kids are our future customers… The healthier we can make kids today, the healthier they will be later in life.”

    - Tony Freytag (15:50-15:55)

    It’s no secret that kids are a target demographic. In fact, Crunch Pak’s competition is not other produce companies. There is a beautiful camaraderie between many different companies. The competition comes from the center of the store. The cereal and candy giants who have a fortune to spend on advertising are also targeting the younger demographic. They provide convenience, but will never measure up to the nutritional benefits fresh produce has to offer.

    “Everything we do is co-branded because we want strong values and brands to be associated with Crunch Pak. We are co-branding with The Produce Moms because of the value you bring to Crunch Pack.” - Tony Freytag. (10:33-11:22)

    Exciting News!

    Produce Moms is so proud to announce that we are co-branding with Crunch Pak! Crunch Pak is very selective about the businesses they choose to share their name with, which means that this exciting partnership is an incredible honor.

    Be on the lookout for co-branded Crunch Pak items in a grocery store near you.

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here. Find out more about Tony Fretag and Crunch Pak here. Connect with Crunch Pak on Facebook.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

  • “Fair Trade empowers the workers and allows them to uplift their living conditions and this is very important for us as a company.”

    Iris Madrigal (6:12-6:21)

    Located in Sonora, Mexico, the mountainous region extending from northern Mexico to southern Arizona, Covilli Brand Organics was formed in 1965 as of Terry Poiriez’s pursuit to do things right and take no shortcuts.

    Long before organic produce was a thing, Terry and his co-founders were growing food, free of harmful pesticides, chemicals, additives and genetic modification. From the beginning, they believed it was the right thing to do for consumers, farmworkers and the planet.

    As a second-generation grower, his son, Alex Madrigal, is now President of Covilli Brand Organics. Alex’s wife, Iris is the Marketing Manager as they continue to grow and build Terry Poiriez’s legacy and brand.

    First Company to be 100% Organic and 100% Fair Trade

    After an extensive process, Covilli Brand Organics obtained Fair Trade Certified ™ status from Fair Trade USA in 2015.

    Fair Trade is a program that seeks to empower family farmers and workers around the world while enriching the lives of those struggling in poverty.

    It goes beyond community development. They obtain both financial literacy and employment literacy. Helping workers understand what their rights are as employees.

    For every pound of produce sold, farmworkers earn an additional income earmarked for critical community projects like education and healthcare.

    “$800,000 in community development premiums is what the products grown by Covilli has been able to produce through the Fair Trade certification and programming .” - Lori Taylor (7:34-7:47)

    To use the Community Development Fund, workers form a Fair Trade Committee; elected amongst themselves. The workers at Covilli chose to call their Committee Nuchi Sansekan, meaning all together in Nahuatl. This name signifies that only by working together can a community attain its goals and true purpose.

    Taking care of workers needs

    After the Fair Trade Committee was formed, a basic needs poll was conducted to determine the needs of the workers and their families. Covilli’s Nachi Sansekan, conducted in-depth personal interviews with over 450 workers. It was concluded that health was a primary need of the workers and their families. Based on these results, workers were offered several Community Project ideas.

    One of the largest projects was a health clinic which was inaugurated in January 2019. The clinic was fully funded by Fair Trade Premium Dollars collected from the sale of Covilli Brand Organics Fair Trade Certified™ products and managed by Nuchi Sansekan. The clinic offers general primary and preventative care services for men, women and children; as well as general dentistry services.

    “This clinic brings access not only to our farmworkers, but their families, the people from our community and the people from surrounding communities... between 7,000-10,000 people that are with this clinic, receiving access to dental and general health .” - (Iris Madrigal 16:30-16:46)

    Today, Covilli’s Farm, Agricola Ciari in Guaymas, Mexico, grows the Covilli brand’s core items (warm weather crops) in multiple varietals: tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, green beans, peppers, peas, cucumbers and brussels sprouts. All of these crops and the farm are certified organic and fair-trade.

    Look for these items in your local grocer and remember, if you don’t see something you want, feel free to request it from the produce manager.

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

  • “It takes 706 gallons of water to make 1 cotton t-shirt. That’s enough water for humans to drink for 2 ½ years.”

    Gina Lee (6:39 - 6:47)

    Gina Lee is the Founder of The UPcyclers Network and is a passionate advocate for businesses that are creating value from “waste.”

    Gina has over 15 years of experience working in the areas of corporate social responsibility and social impact in the United States, China and Germany with organizations including the Aspen Institute, the American Sustainable Business Council and Mercy Corps.

    Gina believes that social entrepreneurs will change the world, and she founded The UPcyclers Network to challenge our reliance on natural resource extraction and build a sustainable economy where waste is simply a resource out of place. Building a sustainable economy is imperative for all industries, especially agriculture. This vision lays the foundation for the circular production model of the future.

    What is a Circular Economy?

    A circular economy is presented as a system of resource utilization where the elements of reduction, reuse and recycle prevail. The goal is to minimize production to a bare minimum, and when it’s necessary to use a resource, to go for the maximum reuse of the elements that can’t be reused and recycled.

    Gina recognizes that there is no solution for our world’s ever-increasing consumption of consumer goods. With the World Resource Institute and Brookings Institute predicting consumer spending to increase three-fold, action from consumers and producers is needed now. It starts with reduction, but we also need to figure out a more sustainable consumption system.

    “As consumers/retailers we need to advocate to have more recycled content in our stuff...not just say-is this material recyclable? Because otherwise, this stuff is all just recyclable, but no one's buying that recycled material back. It doesn’t work.” Gina Lee (9:29-9:47)

    Waste as a resource

    How do we create value from waste that we currently send to the landfill? There are numerous ways. For example, recycling aluminum saves 95% of energy and recycling glass saves 34%. When you take a car to a junkyard and they scrap metal, that can reduce greenhouse emissions by a thousand pounds which is equivalent to 400 gallons of gasoline.

    Being able to reuse recyclable materials has a huge environmental footprint. When we buy products; furniture, household goods, clothing, it creates a large stress on our planet because you need a ton of resources to consume “stuff.” Landfills are filling up so fast and we need to develop an industry that will reduce the need for landfills and make sustainable products from waste.

    “While environmental problems are growing, we do each have the power individually and through sharing with our families and loved ones about more sustainable ways to live...” Gina Lee (9:29-9:47)

    Call to Action

    As Gina explained, the earth recently reached a point where our resource consumption exceeds the earth’s capacity to regenerate resources. It all comes back to reduction.

    Recycle what you know can be recycled but also lower your personal environmental footprint by purchasing items that are re-used or second hand. If consumers are demanding it, then corporations will follow.

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here. Learn more about Upcyclers Network.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

  • “Mushrooms are a superfood. They are nutrient-packed with fiber, B vitamins, potassium, selenium, copper and ergothioneine”

    Lindsey Occhipinti (11:07 - 11:12)

    With the gloomy winter months upon us, especially here in the Midwest, we can all use more vitamin D. Thankfully, we have innovative farms like Monterey Mushrooms who have teamed up with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to replicate vitamin-D rich sunlight indoors for a much higher concentration of the vitamin normally found in mushrooms.

    “Monterey Mushrooms is a national brand but is locally grown always.” - Lori Taylor. (8:08 - 8:11)

    Monterey Mushrooms has grown from a single farm in 1971 to producing mushrooms on nine farms across North America. Monterey Mushrooms strive to provide fresh, locally grown mushrooms to everyone’s favorite grocery stores and restaurants. Lindsey Occhipinti is the marketing manager at Monterey Mushrooms. She has spent nearly a decade working in the fresh produce industry and specifically focused on mushrooms.

    Monterey Mushrooms harvest a large variety of fresh mushrooms including White Button Portabellas, Oyster, Shitake, Brown beech, White beech, King Trumpet and Portabellini®.

    All the mushroom varieties from Monterey Mushrooms can be used to make diverse and tasty meals in the kitchen, including meatless dishes. Mushrooms make a great side dish or topping to any meat. Lori suggests cooking them with garlic and shallots. You can reduce your salt intake by cooking with mushrooms. Mushrooms are versatile enough to compliment almost any meal that you craft.

    Try introducing mushrooms to your family in creative ways by adding them to your family's favorite dishes. At home, Lindsey replaces a chicken breast with a portabella cap in her favorite chicken marsala recipe. Using Monterey Mushrooms will reduce your reliance on vitamin D supplements as mushrooms are a natural source.

    “What we’re really trying to do is accomplish what's done out in nature. So in rough terms what happens in nature in 20 minutes, we have figured out how to do in about 20 seconds .” - Lindsey Occhipinti (14:27-14:43)

    The high vitamin D content of Monterey Mushrooms is produced from an expedited process where the Ergothioneine is converted to vitamin D through a post-harvest process involving the exposure of the mushrooms during packaging to a precise wavelength of ultraviolet light.

    Most Americans are not getting the necessary amount of vitamin D

    Vitamin D is essential for absorption in the body of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, which helps to maintain bone strength.

    Beyond being essential for bone health, vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in diabetes, colon, prostate, and breast cancer, hypertension, depression, multiple sclerosis and arthritis. In general, vitamin D is critical to overall health and is a major contributor to the immune system.

    Unfortunately, dietary sources of vitamin D are limited to certain types of fish, animal livers and eggs and fortified foods.

    Mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable that naturally contain vitamin D.

    Now, through exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, Monterey Mushrooms can naturally increase the stable level of vitamin D within mushrooms to well above 50 percent of the FDA’s recommended daily value.

    Monterey Mushrooms has made it easy for you to consume “high in vitamin D” mushrooms. Look for a vitamin D enhanced label found on select packages of Monterey Mushrooms’ white buttons, baby bellas, and portabella mushroom caps. Where can you buy these? We have you covered! Follow this link https://www.montereymushrooms.com/where-to-buy-high-vitamin-d-mushrooms

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here. Want to learn more about Monterey Mushrooms, then follow them on their website here.

    The Produce Moms Podcast is live on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify. If you like what you are hearing on the podcast, reviews, subscriptions & ratings will help us keep this going! It would mean the world to hear your feedback, and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

  • Let Food Be Thy Medicine with Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Cali’flour Foods, Amy Lacey

    “Healthy food has to taste as good as it makes you feel.”

    Amy Lacey (25:04-25:07)

    Amy Lacey is the Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Cali’flour foods. When her business exploded in 2017, Amy went from “CEO” of her household of five, to managing the expansion of a wildly successful, and much needed company.

    While many new products hit the shelves of grocery stores as a result of the monetary dreams of an entrepreneur, Cali’flour was born out of Amy’s personal health struggle, and the vegetable that changed her life.

    Let food be thy medicine.

    When Amy Lacey suddenly fell ill, she received a Lupus diagnosis, and a plethora of new medications. The pain, depression, and horrendous side effects of all the medications made it difficult for Amy to make it through each day. This wife, and mom of three, decided that enough was enough, and began to research ways to use food to treat her condition.

    When Amy began cutting grains and sugar from her diet, she saw a dramatic shift in her health. Eventually she was able to come off of ALL her medications, and lost 40 lbs in the process!

    The return to “normalcy.”

    In an effort to return some normalcy to family life, after this 9 month struggle, Amy sought out a way to make their family game night favorite - pizza. In the midst of her search she found cauliflower.

    It’s so easy to swap unhealthy foods for more healthy options, but it is not as easy to make it taste good! Using a recipe found online, she attempted to create a cauliflower pizza crust. After a few failed pizza crusts, Amy Lacey was able to adapt a recipe that her whole family enjoyed - even the son who refuses to eat his vegetables!

    From there, the rest is history. The crust became a family favorite, and a friend convinced Amy to sell the crust at a local Farmer’s Market. Amy then utilized her background in ecommerce to set up shop on the web.

    And Cali’flour was born.

    “Cali’flour is making a food product, but it’s so much more than that. They have created something that is capilizating on… the fact that food is culture. Cali’flour empowers people regardless of dietary restrictions - to maintain the cultural component of food, which is the essence of life in so many ways.” - Lori Taylor. (22:05-22:29)

    Where healthy food meets culture.

    There is something so universal about the way that food brings people together. Food ingrained into each culture. One of the beautiful aspects of Cali’flour is the way they are able to provide healthy alternatives to traditional comfort food products. Amy’s goal is to create products that are reminiscent of the foods you love.

    Why cauliflower?

    Amy uses the word “bland” to describe cauliflower, which is so accurate. However, she shares that the mild flavor makes it absolutely perfect. It has the ability to take on the flavor of other foods, and it has a consistency that gives it versatility as a flour alternative.

    Cauliflower is high in Vitamin C and antioxidants. It is a quiet vegetable with loud benefits!

    “There’s no better time to make those healthy swaps than the start of a new year.” - Lori Taylor. (17:43-17:48)

    What sets Cali’flour apart?

    I’m sure you’ve noticed that Cali’flour is now one product of so many that have gotten creative with cauliflower. Look down the aisles of your local grocery and you’ll find rice, pretzels, and several crust options, to name just a few products.

    In the cauliflower product industry, Cali’flour reigns supreme. While many other brands use cauliflower that has been powdered or pureed - and imported from China - Cali’flour’s produce is grown in California goes directly from their farm to their manufacturing plant.

    They are avid about avoiding waste, and thus, utilize all parts of the cauliflower!

    When shopping for cauliflower products, it is so important that you take time to read the ingredient list. Fillers result in a lower quality food, and likely indicate that an alternative form of cauliflower has potentially been used.

    Where to Find Cali’flour

    Cali’flour products are in grocery stores nationwide. You can visit their website to find a store near you!

    Amy and her team have developed a cookbook with 125 recipes that utilize cauliflower!

    Cauliflower changed Amy’s life, and now she is on a mission to change yours. If you’re looking for food items that nourish your body, and your family’s body, while still tasting good, Cali’flour can help!

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

  • “It takes so many resources to grow, transport, store, cook, and get food to our plates. When we throw food out, we throw those resources out with it.”

    Dana Gunders (8:10-8:28)

    The average American throws away around $30 worth of uneaten food every month. When you factor in the food being wasted by restaurants, grocery stores, and other points along the supply chain, it’s easy to see how big of a problem this is becoming.

    Dana Gunders is the author of Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook: A Guide to Eating Well and Saving Money By Wasting Less Food. Her work has been featured on media outlets that include NBC, NPR, CNN, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Known as the “food waste warrior”, Dana began exploring the issue of food waste while working in the fruit and vegetable industry.

    Dana was taking part in finding ways to make agriculture more sustainable by reducing the use of water, fertilizer, and energy on farms. She started looking into the waste component and stumbled upon some surprising numbers.

    40% of food in this country goes to waste. 25% of its water is used to grow food that’s never eaten.

    Dana’s report titled Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40

    Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill looks at how food is treated throughout the supply chain. The report played a huge role in bringing the issue of food waste to the public’s attention.

    Dana is the new interim Executive Director Speaker for ReFED, an organization dedicated to addressing the food waste problem in the U.S. Their efforts are geared toward providing data, money, and other resources to enable others to take action on this important issue.

    “When you look at all the food that’s wasted, households produce most of it. We waste more food than supermarkets, restaurants, farms or anywhere else in the supply chain.” - Dana Gunders (7:10-7:30)

    Households produce most of this country's food waste, and households with kids tend to have even more food waste. Fruits and vegetables are the number one food product wasted in today’s homes.

    It takes a lot of resources to grow, transport, store, and prepare food. It involves labor and other natural resources. When we throw food out, we throw all of those resources out along with it.

    Wasted food is equivalent to about 37 million cars worth of greenhouse gases.

    If food waste were a country, it would rank number three in terms of its carbon footprint, second to the U.S. and China. In fact, food is actually the number one product entering landfills today,

    One of the best ways to combat food waste at home is to make smaller shopping trips. There are plenty of options to help you do this. Whether it’s curbside pickup, grocery delivery, or the technologies grocers are using to help consumers shop more efficiently.

    “When I did bigger shopping trips, it would be the demise of a large portion of my food. My berries and lettuce would freeze because my fridge was stuffed full.” - Janelle Lara (14:31-14:40)

    Turn a weekly trip to the grocery store into multiple smaller trips. You waste less food at home while saving money by not throwing any food out.

    People care about this issue and nobody wants to waste food. But they don't necessarily know what to change in their lives to stop doing it.

    The important thing is to start somewhere. Even doing a little bit makes a big difference. Taking the right steps to reduce waste can help you do your part in helping solve this problem. Buying (and eating) fresh fruits and vegetables contributes to your family’s health while helping to save our valuable and limited resources.

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

    Transcription: Tpm79tpm79

  • “It’s the juiciness that stands out with the Cosmic Crisp® apple. It's unusual to have an apple that’s just that juicy.”

    - Kate Evans (16:34-16:42)

    Kate Evans, a professor at the Department of Horticulture at Washington State University, has been instrumental in leading the University's apple breeding program within its Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center.

    The center is focused on researching tree fruits from the horticultural perspective as well as looking at aspects related to pathology and entomology. The results of their research are shared with the produce industry, and the center works to educate the next generation of researchers and industry members.

    “The Cosmic Crisp® apple continues to stand out to my team. We’ve tasted every fruit in our lab, but we still go back and have an extra bite at the end of the day.” - Kate Evans (15:58-16:19)

    The Birth of the Cosmic Crisp® Apple

    The process of breeding a new apple is pretty straightforward. Researchers take two parents based on the qualities they’re looking to improve. They take the pollen from one variety and use it to pollenize the stigmas of the other variety to produce the seed resulting from that cross-breeding.

    The apples they produce must demonstrate a level of robustness that helps them survive the refrigeration, packing, and other processes required to bring fruits to market.

    The Cosmic Crisp® is the Best of Both Worlds

    The Cosmic Crisp® apple was tested against the popular Gala and Honeycrisp apples, and researchers received positive results from consumers on the apple’s appearance, taste, and texture.

    The apple stands out for its high level of juiciness, and the flavor of the Cosmic Crisp® apple is a balance between tartness and sweetness, giving consumers the best of both worlds.

    The Cosmic Crisp® apple is a beautiful fruit. The fruit got its name from the deep red color of the apple combined with the white pores in the peel, giving consumers the impression of looking at the cosmos.

    “We have tart apples, we have super sweet apples, and then we have the Cosmic Crisp®, which is the best of both worlds.”

    - Lori Taylor (17:37-17:43)

    The Cosmic Crisp® apple bakes well, but you can enjoy it raw or by adding slices to a charcuterie board to pair with your favorite cheeses. Another important characteristic of this apple is that it’s slow to oxidize, which means it won’t brown quickly.

    The introduction of the Cosmic Crisp® apple is another example of the delicious new varieties of fruits making their way to local grocery stores.

    As more consumers taste different varieties of apples and other fruits, they can expand their palates when it comes to choosing healthy fruits and vegetables. To learn more about the Cosmic Crisp® apple, visit www.cosmiccrisp.com to see what’s in store.

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

  • “Growers are becoming smarter each and every day in their quest to raise the most flavorful food for us all.”

    Lori Taylor (15:09-15:17)

    As we wind down another year and look to 2020, The Produce Moms team is taking a look back on our biggest takeaways, favorite podcast episodes, and industry trends to look out for.

    “We're close to a perfect five-star rating. We have amazing reviews, and when I read them, it motivates me to stay dedicated to this platform. When we get that feedback from our audience, we know it's worth it.” - Lori Taylor (11:37-12:01)

    We’ve done some amazing work this year with Kroger Health and supporting their mission to spread their message of health through their Fresh for Everyone initiative and other projects. We’ve added new brand partners and have had some breakthrough media opportunities, which is helping us reach an even larger audience.

    The Fresh Summit, the Super Bowl of the fresh produce industry, brings all brands involved in the industry together to showcase their new products. We were so proud to be involved in the event and see the Produce Moms logo on the packaging of one of the Crunch Pak products. The company’s Apple Slices product is a perfect fit for our company and the audience we serve.

    Most Memorable Moments of 2019 on The Produce Moms Podcast

    The podcast is one of my favorite platforms for spreading our message of better health through fresh fruits and vegetables. It lets us highlight the remarkable people who are helping the industry achieve so much more.

    Interviewing the founder and CEO of Hazel Technologies was a personal favorite podcast moment. Hazel Technologies is working to reduce food waste, which is a critical issue for the global food supply.

    In other episodes, we discussed the process of recycling as well as how the produce industry is leading the way in packaging innovations. We highlighted the role that plastic can play in mitigating food waste—something that most people don’t understand.

    We did an episode on the coconut fruit and its misclassification as a tree nut by the FDA, which is a big problem when you consider the impact this can have on food labeling.

    Fruits and Vegetables are Here to Stay

    The growing interest in plant-based eating is an indication that fruits and vegetables are here to stay. A trend to watch out for in 2020 is plant breeding that focuses on flavor first in a way that’s never been done before. Today’s growers are using new methods for enhancing the quality of the foods they produce and distribute.

    Medjool dates have emerged as a healthy, satisfying, sweet, and natural treat. It's like nature's candy. If you've never tried a Medjool date, 2020 is your year to try them.” - Lori Taylor (12:58-13:13)

    Jicama, celery juice, and dried fruits continue to become popular among health-conscious consumers. Herbs like basil are being recognized for their ability to make just about anything taste better.

    Many people have reached out to The Produce Moms team about pomegranates. Most people’s experience with this delicious fruit is through drinking pomegranate juice. But the fruit’s small edible seeds can also be found in your local grocery store.

    Reflecting on everything we’ve done this year gives us a tremendous feeling of gratitude. We could not be more thankful for everyone who supports the work we do here at The Produce Moms.

    It takes a lot of passionate people bringing their talents to the table, and we look forward to what 2020 has in store for us and for you and your family.

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

  • “We want to make sure that when consumers pick up an Applewood Fresh apple, they're getting the best eating experience for their money.”

    Nick Mascari (16:04-16:13)

    Farmers want to farm. They don't always want to get involved in the marketing and sale of their products.

    Applewood Fresh works with family farmers to bring their products to market. They represent over 34 Michigan apple farmers, spanning 11,000 acres throughout the state of Michigan.

    Nick Mascari, President of Applewood Fresh, grew up in the produce industry. His great uncle started a company that served as a distributor to restaurants and grocery stores. His father took over the business, giving Nick the chance to learn about the industry.

    Nick went on to work for Chiquita and Dole before returning to the family business and then venturing out on his own. He soon landed in Michigan as the Vice-President of sales and marketing for Applewood Fresh before becoming its President and a managing partner.

    Growing Apples in the Midwest

    The nutrient-rich soil found in Michigan is optimal for growing apples and other agriculture products. The area’s unique climate protects the fragile spring buds, which can extend the growing season into late fall.

    “Sunny days and cool nights sharpen the apple’s flavor, color, and crisp bite. What you get in Michigan is a tasty, juicy, crunch-packed apple-eating experience.” - Nick Mascari (9:53-10:06)

    Applewood Fresh has three packing facilities in Michigan. They distribute to 20 states, including major retail chains, food service companies, universities, and hospitals.

    Applewood Fresh grows 21 varieties of apples. But their Kanzu, Rave, and Sweet Tango apples are what set the company apart from others in the industry.

    A hybrid apple is a cross between two apples. Growers take a specific kind of apple and breed its characteristics with another to grow high-quality apples for consumers.

    The Most Popular Apples on the Market

    The Gala apple has become the most popular apple. But other apples like the Honey Crisp are also popular among consumers, and many growers are using the Honey Crisp as the parent for growing new varieties.

    “When you choose an Applewood Fresh apple, you're making an excellent choice.” - Lori Taylor (15:32-15:35)

    If you can’t keep up with all the different apples that appear on the market, the first step is to know what you like. Here’s a good rule of thumb: Try them all and find your favorite.

    You can find Applewood Fresh apples in Kroger, Target, Trader Joe’s, Aldi, and other major retailers.

    Applewood Fresh wants you to explore the apples at your local grocery stores. There are so many varieties that range from tart to sweet and everything in between. Try them all and try them often.

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

    Transcript available here:


  • “Without exception, I’ve never talked about Brighter Bites and not had someone say, ‘That's amazing. I want to support that. I want to be a part of that.’”

    Rich Dachman (22:09-22:23)

    Rich Dachman is the former vice-president of produce for Sysco and was an executive at Sysco for almost three decades. He is now the CEO of the Brighter Brights.

    The road that led him to Brighter Bites started with a newspaper article he read about a Lisa Helfman, a woman on a mission to bring more fruits and vegetables to families. After spending so many years in the produce industry, Rich saw this new opportunity as a higher calling to make a difference in the lives of others.

    “It's pretty much impossible to be healthy if you don't eat fruits and vegetables.” - Rich Dachman (2:49-2:56)

    Rich connected with the Brighter Bites founders Lisa Helfman and Dr. Shreela Sharma and was soon on the board of directors before ultimately becoming the CEO and running the organization. He’s playing a major role in carrying out the non-profit’s mantra and ethos: Creating communities of health through fresh food.

    Brighter Bites mission focuses on behavioral changes that support health. When Lisa Helfman first started Brighter Bites, she wanted to start a food co-op to give out produce to families at schools. Over time, Brighter Bites began partnering with food banks around the country.

    They now provide fresh and healthy produce to families through schools alongside a nutrition education program that helps students and their families understand the essentials of healthy eating.

    “The produce industry is a higher-calling industry. It’s a mission-driven industry. We’re supplying the world with the most nutrient-dense food....period.” - Lori Taylor (03:52-4:05)

    Brighter Bites started in one school, and now it’s in over a hundred schools. A project that started with just a few families now reaches over 25,000 families with that number continuing to grow.

    The Impact Brighter Bites is Making to the Fresh Produce Industry

    Businesses in the produce industry tend to focus on consumption...both for business and public health reasons.

    Brighter Bites wants people to eat more fruits and vegetables as part of the goal of combating obesity and diabetes, especially in children.

    Brighter Bites is the only non-profit program that actually gives the food to the families, educates them on health, and has a direct impact on their wellbeing.

    Brighter Bites is focusing on making healthy eating fun. They’re helping food-insecure communities get the nutrition they need. Creating a community around health makes the process of giving food to families an extraordinary experience for the organization, its volunteers, teachers, and parents.

    The services that Brighter Bites provides is free to families. They organization welcomes donations on their website and offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities.

    When people read about Brighter Bites, when they hear about it and see it, they want to get behind it.

    Brighter Bites is creating consumers for the produce industry in a sustainable way. Schools and their families continue to eat fruits and vegetables long after they’re no longer in the program. Creating new consumers is good for health and for humanity. It’s good for the entire produce industry.

    How to get involved

    You can learn more about Brighter Bites and their mission by visiting their website at www.brighterbites.org. Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

  • “Sunbelt is really focused on three things: food, people, and relationships. When we hire people, we want to make sure that people fit that culture.”

    Stacy Ward (14:13-14:21)

    Stacy Ward is on the executive board of Coastal Sunbelt Produce. With decades of experience under her belt, Stacy is a super-focused and disciplined professional and mom, and she loves produce.

    After working for Sysco, Stacy met a salesperson for Coastal Sunbelt who thought she would be a good fit for their company.

    She knew it would be something different and a new challenge for her. At the time, Sunbelt was a small company, and Stacy was hired to manage a contract for a hotel division—something the company had never done before.

    “I didn't ever dream that I wanted to be in the produce industry. But this is a great industry. There are so many different things that one person can do in this industry.” - Stacy Ward (9:58-10:13)

    Stacy’s Path to Leadership in the Produce Industry

    Within the first three to five years of managing that division, it was tremendously successful. The company was soon taking over 60% of the market in their area. They started hiring more people and expanding. The hotel division is now well over $25 million in annual sales. Stacy has worked her way up to having a seat in the boardroom and becoming a partner.

    In 2008, Stacy had the opportunity to manage more contract business in their multi-unit chain business. She had no idea what she was doing. but she was willing to learn and work hard every day to figure it all out.

    In 2010, Stacy was awarded a position on the board. She worked closely with the CEO and the partners on that board. She showed them that she wanted to learn, and she quickly realized she’d found the right place and wanted to continue to grow.

    Taking Care of the Coastal Sunbelt Team

    Coastal Sunbelt takes care of its team members as well as it takes care of its customers. The company has an on-site nurse practitioner who employees can turn to for healthcare needs at no cost.

    They provide a produce store where employees can grab some milk, eggs, or healthy produce.

    “If we take care of our people and we take care of our customers, everything else will take care of itself.” - Stacy Ward (14:25-14:31)

    The company’s traditional flag-raising ceremony recognizes the diversity of its team. It allows every employee’s home country to be represented at work. This is a source of pride for everyone whose flag is displayed.

    The company has an open-door policy that allows everyone to have access to every executive, including the CEOs and company presidents.

    At Coastal Sunbelt, everyone is treated equally and with respect. If you’re just starting your career in produce, or you’re considering getting started, Stacy reminds everyone of the importance of taking chances.

    Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get involved. The more you learn, the bigger the impact you can make in the industry and the world.

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

  • “When you marry aquaculture and hydroponics, you get aquaponics.”

    Kurt Wagaman (5:04 - 5:09)

    Kurt Wagaman is the GM at Superior Fresh, an industry-leading aquaponics facility specializing in leafy greens, Atlantic salmon, and Steelheads. Their facility is situated on a 720-acre native restoration property nestled in the Coulee Region of Wisconsin. Superior Fresh’s flagship facility is the largest of its kind, filled with state-of-the-art equipment and technology.

    What is Aquaponics?

    Aquaponics can be broken down into two separate technologies

    Hydroponics, which is growing leafy greens in a greenhouse, and aquaculture, the practice of raising fish in a facility. When you marry the two, you get aquaponics.

    Aquaponics lets companies like Superior Fresh get certified as organic and achieve rapid and sustainable growth.

    Superior Fresh’s Incredible (and Sustainable) Output

    Superior Fresh can produce 8 million pounds of leafy greens annually and 1.6 million pounds of fresh fish. They use a fraction of the land and water when compared to the same output from regular land and water farming.

    Superior Fresh is the first landlocked Atlantic salmon farm in the United States using recirculating aquaculture technologies. Their state-of-the-art systems allow them to bring in certified disease-free eggs and have complete control of the life-cycle from hatch to harvest.

    A Commitment to Sustainability

    Superior Fresh isn’t backed by your regular venture capitalists. They’re funded by philanthropists who want to create an example of using aquaponics to grow large amounts of healthy foods in a way that is sustainable and beneficial to the local area.

    Superior Fresh has led restoration efforts to the point where they’ve restored hundreds of acres of land and water to where they were a hundred years ago.

    “Our commitment to sustainability carries as much gravity as one can possibly imagine from a startup.”

    - Kurt Wagaman (12:48 - 12:59)

    Superior Fresh is focused on nutrient recycling. The vast majority of the water they use is recycled and plays a role in farming for both their fish and leafy greens.

    Superior Fresh supports local organizations, including the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts as well as local high schools. They participate in focus study groups for the University of Wisconsin’s marketing programs.

    “Superior Fresh is a solution to some of the threats and problems that agriculture is facing.” - Lori Taylor (9:24 - 9:33)

    Two of the biggest threats facing agriculture are sustainability and the ability to feed an ever-growing global population. Superior Fresh addresses both of those problems by providing healthy nutritious (and delicious) food in a way that benefits the planet, and the local communities they operate in.

    If you want to experience first-hand what Superior Fresh is offering, pick up some of their products at a local retailer near you.

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here. Learn more about Superior Fresh.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

  • “Joy Bauer is passionate about inspiring children and people of all ages to eat the healthiest foods and live their best lives.”

    Lori Taylor (7:24 - 7:37)

    Joy Bauer is one of America’s leading health authorities. She’s a New York Times number 1 best-selling author and the health and nutrition expert for NBC’s Today show.

    Joy is also the host of the TV show Health and Happiness with Mayo Clinic. She’s a mother, and the author of Yummy Yoga, a new children’s book that promotes wellness, exercise, and glorifies fresh produce in a fun and artful way.

    Fresh Produce: The Pinnacle of Living Your Best Life

    Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is essential to healthy living. They give us nutrients that include vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.

    “Fruits and vegetables are high in volume and low in calories. They fill you up without filling you out.” - Joy Bauer (8:08 - 8:15)

    Health and Wellness is a Lifestyle Shift

    Weight loss, health, and wellness require a lifestyle shift. You can maximize your results by setting goals and following a plan you can stick to long-term. Plan for choices that fit your lifestyle. Set short-term goals while creating a long-term vision of where you want your health to be.

    Don’t beat yourself up about making mistakes, because they’re a necessary part of the journey. The key is to get back on track with your healthy lifestyle right away.

    Inspiring Children to Make Healthy Choices

    As a mother, Joy Bauer understands the importance of making healthy choices for children. Every parent wants their child to be comfortable, happy, healthy, and thriving.

    “Yummy Yoga makes health education fun. It gets kids engaged and excited about making healthy choices.” - Joy Bauer (18:54 - 19:01)

    But it can be hard to get kids to try new vegetables or go outside and move. This is especially true in today’s world of technology and over-stimulation from smartphones, tablets, and video games.

    That’s what inspired Joy to write Yummy Yoga, a children’s book that makes health fun and engaging. It encourages kids to try things like yoga and new vegetables through interactive and innovative strategies.

    Exercise has been shown to boost the immune system, enhance confidence, and improve general health. Yoga can help with focus and stress-reduction, which can improve a child’s quality of life.

    The choices your family makes today will have a lasting impact on your health and wellness for years to come.

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here. Check out JoyBauer.com for delicious produce recipes. Find out more about the children’s book Yummy Yoga.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

  • “Part of the obesity problem is that health care providers aren’t sufficiently trained to give the information patients need to make healthy choices.” -

    Dr. Amanda Velazquez

    Dr. Amanda Velazquez is an obesity medicine doctor and a nutrition specialist, and she is board certified as an internal medicine doctor. Dr. Velazquez helps her patients with weight loss so they can improve their health and address medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

    “Let food be thy medicine.” - Hippocrates (The Father of Medicine)

    The concept of food as medicine was first presented by Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician who is considered by some to be the father of medicine. But the topic of food doesn’t come up as often as it should when doctors are advising patients on treatment plans. The good news is that nutrition is becoming more mainstream in medicine. But there is still a long way to go.

    “Be cautious how you take in media coverage of diet and weight loss programs. You need the support from your doctor and a trained professional.” - Lori Taylor

    For some doctors like Dr. Velazquez, nutrition is a critical component of health. She gives food equal power as the medicines she prescribes when it comes to treating various ailments. She emphasizes the value of food in conversations with patients, so they can realize the power of nutrition in health.

    What we eat plays a critical role in treating a wide range of ailments such as arthritis, diabetes, and excess body weight, among many others. The issue often is that many doctors are not well equipped with nutrition knowledge through their medical training.

    An effective nutrition plan has to be unique and customized to each patient’s unique circumstances, taking into account various factors such as schedule, family life, budget, and other factors.

    Obesity is not about body image, it’s a health crisis.

    Carrying extra weight over a certain amount can be harmful to health. It can contribute to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, joint health issues like arthritis, and other ailments.

    Weight is still a taboo topic, and many people who suffer from it don’t get to have the right conversation with their medical provider. With extra body weight, hormonal balance is disrupted, which can alter how the body functions.

    You might experience changes in blood sugar. This can contribute to diabetes, prediabetes, and blood pressure issues. If left unchecked, things can progress to a point where organ systems are affected by the extra weight.

    People who have gained a certain amount of weight can find it almost impossible to lose because their body doesn’t burn fat like it used to.

    Obesity isn’t about body image, it’s a health crisis. We’re not trying to conform to unrealistic body image standards often portrayed in the media. We’re trying to maintain optimal health so we can be happy and energetic. You don’t need to lose 100 pounds. Just losing 10 percent of body weight can go a long way for people that are suffering from obesity.

    How can fresh produce be the solution to the obesity crisis?

    Consuming fresh fruits and veggies is a crucial component to addressing obesity. It’s one of the healthiest ways we can get macronutrients and micronutrients in our diet in a natural way. The body receives all the nutrition from food to nourish itself. This can affect our hormones, cardiovascular health, and metabolism.

    “Don’t strive for a perfect body image. Instead, focus on improving your health.” - Amanda Velazquez

    Talk to a medical provider who can guide you with a nutrition and exercise plan that will work for you. Taking small steps towards a healthier lifestyle can go a long way in developing sustainable habits and a healthy life for you and your family.

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here. Connect with Dr. Amanda Velazquez on Instagram.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

  • “The Coconut Coalition of the Americas was founded in order to fight the negative perceptions of coconuts resulting from false reports.”

    Traci Kantowski (2:35 - 2:45)

    Traci Kantowski, of the Coconut Coalition of the Americas (CCA), has over eighteen years of marketing communications experience in corporate and non-profit sectors. She’s leading the CCA’s communication efforts to develop educational materials, promote the organization throughout social media, conduct media outreach.

    The Coconut Coalition of the Americas

    The Coconut Coalition of the Americas (CCA) consists of coconut manufacturers, growers, and various other stakeholders. Its purpose is to combat the negative perceptions that result from false reports about health risks. The CCA is currently focused on removing coconuts from the FDA’s list of major food allergens.

    They educate the public about the numerous health benefits of coconuts and coconut oil. Coconut water is delicious, and it’s rich in electrolytes needed for hydration. Coconut oil is a healthy source of dietary fat, low in calories, and can add flavor to most of your meals.

    What’s So Great About Coconuts?

    Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which can kill harmful bacteria and viruses. Coconut also promotes healthy cholesterol levels, and it might support brain health. If that wasn’t enough, you could use it topically for healthy, supple skin. So, why does the CCA need to fight negative perceptions about coconuts?

    The FDA’s Major Food Allergens List and FALCPA

    The FDA identified the foods that are responsible for 90 percent of the food allergies that people have. Things like milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soybeans, and others.

    In August 2004, they enacted the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) to help consumers avoid these foods.

    “The biggest thing hurting the produce industry is a perpetual state of consumer confusion. Sometimes, we can’t even get the labeling right to identify food items correctly.” - Lori Taylor (8:14 - 8:42)

    The FALCPA is a critical resource for many people that live with food allergies because they have no cure, and the health consequences can be severe.

    Coconuts have been wrongly classified as tree nuts. In fact, they’re in a similar category as cherries, plums, and many others.

    This has had a cascading effect on consumers and manufacturers of coconut products. Even if a coconut product doesn’t contain tree nuts, manufacturers of products that contain coconut still have to mention that it includes tree nuts in the labeling. As a result, people with tree nut allergies avoid coconuts.

    Manufacturers may avoid using coconuts so they don’t have to avoid mentioning tree nuts on their labels. They might use palm oil, which has more calories and is less beneficial to health than coconut oil.

    There may be some individuals who have minor allergic reactions to coconuts, but that’s no different from other fruits. Some people have allergies strawberries, watermelons, bananas, and other common fruits. But, most people who have tree nut allergies can safely consume coconuts and enjoy the health benefits they provide.

    What the CCA is Doing to Update the FALCPA

    The CCA is focused on spreading the message that coconuts aren’t tree nuts. They're working with allergen advocacy groups to set the record straight about coconuts.

    But, the most significant project they’ve undertaken is the Allergen project. It’s a citizen petition to remove coconuts from the FDA list of allergens. It’s also one of the best ways to get the FDA’s attention because they’re legally required to respond to citizen petitions.

    “People with food allergies already have to limit what they can consume. It’s a shame if they have to miss out on the beneficial nutrients available in coconuts.” - Traci Kantowski (12:31 - 12:43)

    If you’re interested in being a part of correcting a mistake that’s preventing countless people from enjoying the benefits of coconuts, please take the time to visit the CCA and support their efforts today.

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here. For more information about coconuts, and to support the Allergen Project citizen’s petition, visit the Coconut Coalition of the Americas.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

  • “We’re transforming agriculture by enabling local production within farms in major cities...where the people are.”

    Marc Oshima (2:07 - 2:13)

    Marc Oshima is the co-founder and CMO of AeroFarms, one of the most innovative companies in the world, according to Fast Company. They were selected as a winner in Environment for the 2018 World Technology Awards.

    AeroFarms disrupts traditional supply chains by building farms on major distribution routes and near population centers.

    What is AeroFarms all about?

    AeroFarms is on a mission to transform agriculture by building and operating environmentally responsible farms throughout the world. They enable local production at scale to nourish our communities with safe, nutritious, and delicious food.

    They’re a global leader when it comes to local, delicious, and nutritious produce grown indoors without sun or soil. AeroFarms is headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, and they’ve built nine indoor farms to date.

    “Our primary focus should be to develop delicious food products. At the end of the day, it’s not nutrition until it’s eaten, and no one is going to choose food that doesn’t taste good.”

    - Lori Taylor (7:45 - 7:59)

    AeroFarms is a mission-driven organization that aims to grow the best produce possible for the benefit of humanity. They’ve developed patented and award-winning aeroponic technology (the process of growing plants in the air without the use of soil) that provides the perfect environment for plants to grow.

    They’re all about celebrating flavorful food and having a beneficial impact on people and the planet. AeroFarms isn’t just focused on the United States. They want to reach the entire world.

    What is AeroFarms growing?

    AeroFarms produces over 700 types of plants, including short-stem leafy greens, herbs, and microgreens. Growing indoors focuses on identifying where the business opportunities are and where AeroFarms can add value to the consumer.

    A hundred years ago, there were almost five hundred varieties of lettuce available for people to consume. Now, that number is somewhere around forty. Having full control over the production process allows AeroFarms to re-introduce many of those varieties back to the market, adding richness in variety, flavor, and nutrition.

    AeroFarms can grow short-stem leafy greens in less than fifteen days. They do this by having a deep understanding of plant biology and giving the plant what it needs with extreme precision.

    They do all this with 95 percent less water than what’s required in a field farm. They don’t have to use pesticides since they’re growing indoors, minimizing the environmental impact and improving the health of the produce.

    A global mission with a local focus.

    An increase in production can go a long way in ensuring that there is enough food produced for the masses, which is one of the components of the mission. The world population is expected to hit nine billion by 2050, and traditional farming resources are declining.

    “Buying local is the number one trend in retail. It’s even bigger than organic. People want to have a connection with their food. They want to know where it’s coming from.”

    - Marc Oshima (12:52 - 13:01)

    Even as they aim to feed the entire world, AeroFarms maintains a focus on the local community where they serve consumers. Being able to grow in cities where people live, they can provide consumers food that is sourced locally, while at the same time benefiting the local economy.

    People want to buy local food even more than organic. And through their retail brand Dream Greens, AeroFarms hopes that you’ll soon be able to enjoy locally grown, pesticide-free, flavorful, and nutritious produce all year round.

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here. Learn more about AeroFarms.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

  • “Onions are in every home and restaurant. They’re a part of everyone’s recipes, whether it’s a gourmet restaurant or grandma’s family recipe.”

    Lori Taylor (4:13 - 4:26)

    Jessica Peri is a fourth-generation farmer at Peri & Sons Farms, one of the leading onion growers in the country. Starting with only 100-acres in 1979, Peri & Sons Farms has experienced incredible growth while maintaining the company’s reputation as one of the most well respected family-owned onion farms in the industry.

    “When people get a recipe that requires onions, they often go for yellow onions simply because that’s what their grandma used.”

    - Jessica Peri (5:06 - 5:14)

    Looking Beyond Yellow Onions

    Whether it’s a chef at a fancy restaurant, or your grandma making her signature pasta dish, onions are a staple in most recipes. But American consumers often miss out on the variety of onions available on the market and their unique characteristics. Yellow onions may be your go-to choice because that’s what was used in your family growing up. Or, you might have never given it too much thought, and you just pick the yellow onions because they typically occupy the most shelf space at the store.

    If that sounds familiar, then you may be missing out. There is a wide array of onions for you to choose from, including red onions, white onions, sweet ones, and others. But white onions are one of the most underrated onions available.

    Why You Should Be Using More White Onions

    White onions are one of the best types of onions for cooking. They’re flavorful, cook better, and don’t taste bitter. They can also add a crispy texture to the meal. The market for white onions is mostly untapped, and there’s a big opportunity to introduce white onions to consumers to broaden their cooking and taste horizons. White onions are widely used in Mexican, French, and Italian cuisines, which are known for their exceptional flavor.

    “White onions are truly an untapped market. They cook better than yellow onions, have no bitter taste, and maintain a crispy texture.”

    - Jessica Peri (5:20 - 5:32)

    Consumers might not be using more white onions because they’re typically given a small section on grocery store shelves. But don’t let that stop you. Next time you’re at the store, choose some white onions and give them a try. You might be surprised by what you discover.

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here. Connect with Peri & Sons Farms on their website, on LinkedIn, or on Instagram. Learn more about Peri and Sons Farm’s famous white onions.

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

  • “Companies like Hazel Tech are a part of the solution to the global food waste crisis.”

    Lori Taylor (17:26 - 17:33)

    Aiden Mouat is the CEO and co-founder of Hazel Technologies, a company passionate about saving resources and reducing global food waste, and they’re doing it in an eco-friendly way.

    Food Waste is a Global Crisis

    How can we produce enough food to give everyone around the world enough calories and adequate nutrition? With advancements in technology and agriculture, it’s still troubling to hear that there are people who don’t have access to enough food.

    “Even though agriculture touches everyone on the planet, hasn’t been much progress in reducing pollution and waste when compared to other industries.”

    - Aiden Mouat (2:02 - 2:26)

    But did you know we already produce enough food to give everyone enough nutrition? The issue isn’t production, it’s the amount of food goes to waste. Approximately one-third of all the produce that’s harvested perishes before reaching the local market, the grocery store, or your dinner table.

    Hazel Technologies Offers a Solution

    Hazel Technologies is a Chicago-based company developing biotechnology for reducing waste in the agricultural supply chain. This extends the shelf life of perishable produce. The company is dedicated to solving the problem of food waste in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. Hazel Technologies is funded by the USDA, and they’re growing fast.

    Hazel Technologies creates active packaging inserts that can be inserted into standard commercial packaging for produce. They’re placed in big produce storage units as they’re transported through the supply chain from the growers to the retail stores. While in the box, the insert time releases active materials into the atmosphere to increase the shelf life of the produce, significantly reducing the amount of food that is unnecessarily wasted each day.

    The technology works with items like apples, pears, cherries, melons, okra, leafy greens, herbs, and even avocados. Hazel Tech plans to bring their products all the way to your kitchen countertops and refrigerators. How awesome would it be if you could eat half an avocado and store the rest with a tiny sachet and keep it fresh for days?

    That’s precisely what they’re working on. Hazel Technologies recognizes that if they want to spread their technology through every level of the supply chain to extend shelf life for perishables, then they need to have a product that works at every level, from the grower to the consumer.

    “If we want to reduce waste throughout the supply chain, from the growers to the consumers, then we need to have a product that works at every part of that chain.” - Aiden Mouat (15:17 - 15:30)

    Food waste is a global crisis. Millions of people around the globe don’t have access to adequate nutrition, causing significant harm to the economy. Hazel

    Technologies wants to bring waste down to zero through innovative solutions, and we can only hope more companies will follow their lead.

    How to get involved

    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week! Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here. Check out Hazel Tech!

    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!