Produce Buzzers - A Podcast for Lovers of Fresh Fruits and Veggies
*This podcast discusses the nutrition and health benefits of fresh produce but the panelists are not offering health advice in any way. Always consult with a doctor for medical issues.
Produce Buzzers - A Podcast for Lovers of Fresh Fruits and VeggiesSep 29, 2023
Cousin Colette Shares a Tasty Treat
This week the Produce Buzzers are going to take a walk down memory lane and reminisce about the wonderful food we grew up with in Western North Carolina which always featured lots of fruits and veggies fresh off the farm.
To help us do that we have a very special guest returning to the program. Our guest today is our cousin Colette Worley. Her mother was our father’s sister. Her family owned a very popular restaurant in our hometown of Hendersonville, NC, called “The Tasty Treat.” You could get just about anything you wanted to eat at their café, but standard fare was a daily specials board with a choice of several meats and two or three veggies to go along with it. You don’t see restaurants like that much anymore. But in the 1960’s and 70’s when their restaurant served the area, these were very common.
Today we are going to have Colette tell us about the restaurant and some of her memories from those days and then she is going to share with us one of her favorite veggie sides that you could have ordered at The Tasty Treat and how to prepare them. And she will also tell us the method her husband Wayne uses to can an heirloom green bean called Morgan Beans.
Season Seven Episode Two
Fruits and Veggies All in the Family
A mother and daughter-in-law share how their love of fresh fruits and veggies changed their lives. A conversation with a professional dietitian and her favorite patient. This week we have a very interesting mother-in-law, daughter-in-law duo as our guests. Both of them have a passion for all things fruit and veggie and are going to share that passion with us today and explain why fresh produce not only brings great joy, but is key in maintaining and bolstering your health.
Stephanie McBurnett is a registered dietitian who is doing some very important work to get fruits and veggies recognized as a crucial factor in treating chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and inflammation. She works for the non-profit organization Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine which is dedicated to the promotion of plant-based diets for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases
Generations of Joy: Growing Apples, Pears, and Cherries Is In Their Genes
Our guest this week has spent his career at one of the largest and premiere fruit growers in the nation. Mac Riggan, the director of marketing for Chelan Fresh and the “Joyfully Grown” brand, joins us to tell us the story of the Chelan Fresh farmers.
Chelan Fresh is a shipper of apples, pears, and cherries owned by the farmers who grow the fruit. Their farms are family-owned, many of which are now being led by the fourth, fifth, and even sixth generations of those families. Sons and daughters have followed in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents, in some cases great and great-great grandparents. Growing fruit and growing it well is just in their genes.
Tune in to learn about why the foothills of the Cascade Mountain range in central Washington state has ideal fruit growing conditions. Learn about how the apples are grown and delicious new varieties are developed. And hear their family story that inspired the name of the “Joyfully Grown” brand.
Let Food Be Thy Medicine: Prescribing Fresh Produce for Health Care
We have a very special guest returning to the show this week. Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms®, a global community on a mission to put more fruits and vegetables on every table. She has been making a great impact in getting more people to eat fresh fruits and vegetables through the wonderfully creative content on her website theproducemoms.com. Lori is also a fellow podcaster as the host of The Produce Moms Podcast. Over the past month she featured a very interesting series there on the subject of “Food As Medicine.” We are going to ask her about that and how the idea is getting a lot of attention across many professional and scientific disciplines. More and more, doctors are prescribing fresh fruits and veggies to solve and prevent health issues and insurers are beginning to pay for them. It’s an exciting trend that is building great momentum.
Four Freaky Fabulous Fruits! Lychess, Rambutans, Mangosteens, and Passion Fruit
This week we are delighted to have Robert Schueller, Director of Public Relations at Melissa’s World Variety Produce, back on the show. Robert has been dubbed the “Produce Expert” by the media since he has unique access to such a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. He has written several books about the cornucopia Mother Nature has to offer in the world of fresh produce.
In this week’s episode, Robert is going to tell us about some strange but wonderful exotic fruits. These fruits are freaky and look so strange. Eating them is an adventure too. We will learn about lychees, rambutans, passion fruit, and “the queen of fruits,” mangosteens. Listen to learn about their unique look, unsurpassed flavors, and how to get inside them to eat them.
Artichokes: The Veggie of Passion and Love!
Artichoke season is here and in full swing. The origin of these deliciously creamy and rich flavored vegetables is an interesting journey around the Mediterranean to the modern world. And has for thousands of years been associated with romance. In this week’s episode, we are going to get an in-depth look at this veggie, which technically is a flower!
This week’s guest is Mark Munger, Senior Director of Marketing for Ocean Mist Farms based in Castroville, CA in the Monterey, CA area. The company has been around for almost 100 years and was the first to grow artichokes commercially in the U.S. Today they are the leading grower of artichokes in North America.
Mark worked for Theresa’s Nolan Network alongside Rick, Cynthia, and Edwin in the early 1990’s. He was a valuable part of our team of merchandisers representing our clients of companies and commodities on the West Coast. Since that time, he has been a rising star in the produce business. He will tell us all about artichokes. Learn about how the unique climate of the Bay Area of California allows the top quality veggies to grow there. The name Ocean Mist is a clue to why that area is called the world’s “salad bowl.”
Mangos: The Fruit for Your Soul!
June is National Mango Month. So, in this week’s episode we celebrate this delicious and healthy fruit, one of the most popular fruits in the world, if not the most popular. Mangos originated in India and are considered a sacred fruit there as well as other Asian cultures. They became symbols for many rulers and spiritual leaders throughout Indian and Asian history. According to legend, Buddha meditated under a mango tree.
This week’s guest is Dr, Noris Ledesma, a horticulturist specializing in tropical fruits. She is one of the world's foremost experts on mangos. She is an emeritus curator at the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Coral Gables, FL. and a courtesy professor at the University of Florida, Tropical Research and Education Center, Homestead, FL.
Her work has taken her all over the world—the U.S., Mexico, Latin America, Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Africa, India, Oman and Saudi Arabia. Dr. Ledesma is working on breeding the “perfect mango.” In this episode she will tell us how mangos made it to the New World and how new varieties are being developed. Her passion for mangos is contagious and you will be craving them after hearing her talk about them. She will tell you why mangos are the "Fruit for your Soul!"
The Legacy of Japanese American Farmers
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month so we have a guest today who is going to enlighten us on the great contributions Japanese Americans made to agriculture in the United States beginning in the late nineteenth century and continuing today. Our guest this week is Glenn Tanaka, a.k.a. “Farmer Tanaka,” a third-generation Japanese American farmer who is continuing the legacy of his family’s farms in Southern California. He joins us along with Ron Inatomi, a produce manager at Gelson’s Markets in Southern California. They will talk about the major contributions that Japanese American farmers have made to American agriculture since the early twentieth century. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, thousands of them were forced off their farms and into internment camps for the duration of the war. Most of them lost everything and had to completely rebuild. Listen to be inspired by their resilience. Learn about their dedication and loyalty to the United States, even though they had everything taken from them by the country they loved and of which they were legal residents.
Dan The Produce Man!
Build your passion for fresh fruits and veggies as you listen to a 50-Year Veteran of the Produce Industry. Our guest this week is Dan Avakian, a.k.a. “Dan, The Produce Man” and he has almost 50 years working in the produce business. He has a deep passion for all things about fresh produce and brings that energy, along with his deep, rich, velvety voice when he talks about fruits and vegetables to his audience. He was probably the first person to have a radio show that focused on fresh produce. Long before we had the term “podcasting” our guest was on the radio airwaves across the country with a show called “The Produce Pair.” Now Dan is featured regularly on one of the most popular podcasts about fruits and veggies, “The Produce Industry Podcast.” He is featured in a specially themed version of the show called “Fresh from the Field Fridays” in which he zeroes in on a particular fruit or veggie to give the audience everything they need to know about it. We love Dan’s passion for fruits and veggies
Season Five Episode Thirteen
The Vidalia Onion: How Sweet It Is!
Spring has arrived and spring vegetables have been showing up in your local produce aisles and markets for a few weeks now. But this week is the sweetest week of the spring vegetable season. That is because this is the week that the sweetest onions in the world will be first shipped for the 2023 season. Yes, it’s time for a fresh crop of Vidalia Onions. They are named for a small town in Georgia which is at the center of the growing region for onions in the state. The area there has a special soil that gives them their deliciously sweet flavor. Today we are going to celebrate Vidalia Onions and we have a very special guest joining us to tell us all about them. Delbert Bland and his family have been growing Vidalia onions for over 40 years. They started with just five acres of the onions but now are the largest producer of them in the region. From those humble origins, Delbert has grown the business into a nationwide and international farming success with farms in Texas, California, Mexico, and Peru.
Don’t Fear the “Dirty Dozen” Your Fruits and Veggies Are Safe Whether They Are Organic or Not
The Environmental Working Group recently released its annual report known as “The Dirty Dozen” which identifies the fruits and veggies that have the most pesticide residue. But the fear it inspires might harm our health more than these pesticides. This week's guest is Dr. Steve Savage, a plant pathologist, and agricultural expert who has studied the data in great detail. Listen to our latest podcast to hear his findings. They may surprise you. He will answer whether organic is safer than conventionally grown produce. If you are not eating fresh fruits and veggies because you are afraid of these residues, you may be impeding your well-being. The chemicals in these fruits and veggies will do more to help you than the pesticides on them will harm you.
A "Banana Badass" & Her Quest for Fair Trade
Bananas are underpriced. This most popular fruit is one of the cheapest fruits per pound in the produce aisle. They are usually one-fourth to one-third the price of apples, oranges, and pears. The reason is that the farmers and farm workers who grow and harvest the fruit are underpaid, while the global companies who export and distribute them keep the vast share of the profits. Our guest this week on the podcast is out to change that. Kim Chackal is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Equifruit based in Montreal, Canada. They are the leading importer of Fairtrade bananas. Fairtrade is an independent international organization that certifies products are produced and sold according to established fair trade standards.
Kim calls herself a “banana badass!” She took the title to draw attention to her and Equifruit’s mission to make the banana industry predominantly fair trade and ensure the growers and workers get more of the benefit from the billion-dollar revenues that flow from it. She will enlighten you about all things banana and convince you of the importance of looking for fair trade bananas coming to a store near you. It may cost you a bit more, but fair trade bananas are still a bargain compared to other fruits and other foods in the grocery store. And the extra cost to you as a consumer need only be pennies per purchase to ensure they are fair trade. For the average consumer, that may only be the price of one Starbucks coffee per year added to their banana purchases!
Boiling Down the Truth About Peanuts: The Amazing Boiled Peanut
The peanut originated in South America and was first cultivated by Indigenous people in Peru. It was a status symbol in those societies and used as a currency! So, working for peanuts there was not a bad thing. But peanuts throughout the centuries were mostly eaten boiled. Since the 1800’s people in the Southern United States have preferred them boiled rather than roasted. In fact, roasted peanuts did not come onto the scene until the mid-20th Century. And peanuts in most other cultures around the world are primarily eaten boiled.
Lauren Marcinkoski, CEO of Luray Peanut Company in South Carolina is our guest this week and she is going to enlighten you about the delicious boiled peanut. Also known as the “caviar of the South!” Her company is on a mission to popularize them with a very convenient and tasty new microwavable package of boiled peanuts. Boiled peanuts are much more nutritious than roasted peanuts and have 40% fewer calories! Tune in to learn about them and the amazing peanut—the most sustainable source of protein on the planet according to Lauren.
Fresh Produce Pioneer: The Woman Visionary Who Brings You Your Berries
We have a unique guest joining us on the podcast this week. She is a pioneer in the produce industry and one of the first women to establish her own business in the fresh produce world. Janice Honigberg is the founder and CEO of Sun Belle, a leading grower and importer of all types of berries and some other specialty fruits and vegetables. Janice’s story is an inspiring one. She is truly a visionary who anticipated and instigated trends that changed the global fruit and veggie markets. She was one of the first to begin importing berries from Central and South America so that we can have them year-round. She will tell us about how those get to us from so far away and the great strides that are being made in taste and quality. And you will learn about a delicious new fruit called “goldenberries.”
Risky Fruit: The Legal Challenges Faced by the Growers of Your Fresh Produce
Farmers and purveyors of fresh fruit and vegetables face tremendous risks like no other business or industry. In addition to the risk of adverse weather, pests, and the high perishability of their products, they put themselves at legal risk. This week’s guest is an attorney who helps them navigate those legal minefields. Katy Koestner Esquivel has over 15 years of litigation and advisory experience in the produce industry. She has earned a reputation for being a fearless, thorough, and aggressive advocate for her clients. Add to that her experiences as a woman, and a mom, as well as her perseverance, grit, and determination and you will understand why Katy has been able to build a very successful law firm that has helped people and businesses in the fresh produce industry. Katy will tell us about the dedication and commitment of these people to keep the grocery store shelves stocked with healthy fruits and veggies. We hope it will give you newfound respect for the people who grow your food.
Where Do Your Pickles Come From?
Today the Produce Buzzers are in a bit of a pickle. But don’t worry. We wanted to be. Because we are going to honor one of our favorite foods—pickles! Almost any vegetable can be pickled but we are going to focus on the most common ones, those made from cucumbers. And we have one of the country’s foremost experts on them with us today. Bill Olvey buys and sells cucumbers to pickle packers all over the U.S. He joins us to tell us all about how they are grown, harvested, processed, and packed. S05:E06
What's New In 2023? Miracle Berries?!
This week, we welcome back Robert Schueller of Melissa’s World Variety Produce. He will tell us about some unusual, exciting, and delicious new products they will be offering in 2023. Robert’s official title at Melissa’s is Director of Public Relations. But we prefer his unofficial title given to him by countless consumer and national trade publications along with TV and radio personalities. “Produce Expert.” There probably is no one on the planet who is more of an expert on produce than Robert because his company sells well over a thousand different varieties of fresh fruits and veggies from all over the world. Tune in to hear about miracle berries, Tasmanian cherries, Calypso mangos, guava paste, toasted chickpeas, and a Japanese melon that is so delicious and prized that it sells for over $100 each.
It Takes a Community. The Complex Journey of Your Fruits and Veggies
Patrick Kelly is a recognized expert in the supply chain for fresh produce. For more than 15 years Patrick has been dedicated to growing supply chains for produce partners around the world. He is also a fellow podcaster with a show that focuses on how the industry works. He joins the Produce Buzzers to tell us all about how fruits and veggies get from the farm to your table. It’s a complex system with delicate time and temperature sensitivities. It involves the dedication of a community of people who work tirelessly to ensure that they arrive as fresh as possible. And Patrick is also dedicated to building and strengthening that community. Hear his insights about bridging the generation gaps and what he is doing to bring people together in the one-half trillion-dollar global produce industry. Patrick is an entrepreneur who is wise beyond his years and gave us a lot of nuggets of enlightening thoughts. Tune in to be inspired by them.
It's Chinese New Year! Celebrating the Delicious Fruits Treasured In the Festivities.
The Chinese calendar is based primarily on the phases of the moon which is why this celebration is also called the Lunar New Year. The new year usually begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice. This year it begins on January 22nd and ends on February 5th. It is believed that the Chinese have celebrated the new year for about 3,500 years. But the first reference to it came from a Chinese agronomist during the Han Dynasty named Cui Shi. He wrote a book on agriculture called Simin Yeuling sometime during the second century A.D. So today we welcome back a very honored guest on the show, Robert Schueller of Melissas World Variety Produce and recognized “Produce Expert.” Robert is going to tell us all about his favorite Asian fruits and veggies today and we will talk about how some of them are used in the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Citrus From Heaven! Halos Brand Mandarins And Seedless Lemons!
January is the beginning of the season for the most delicious citrus fruit of the year. Groves in California, Florida, and Texas are getting into full production and will peak soon in flavor and volume. To celebrate that, we have a guest on the show this week who is one of the world’s foremost experts on tree fruit, especially citrus. Zak Laffite, the president of Wonderful Citrus, one of the largest growers and shippers of citrus in the world and the largest in North America. They grow and market the Halos brand of mandarins and clementines, one of the most recognized and loved brands in the produce aisle. He joins us to tell us about the delicious citrus products the Wonderful Company grows and distributes. Including Seedless Lemons! And you will learn what pomology is!
Super Satisfying Snow Season Soups
Welcome to Season Five of the Produce Buzzers Podcast! We start the New Year with a little alliteration. LOL! There is no more satisfying meal in the cold winter months than one featuring a hot, rich, and hearty soup. And if it is chock full of veggies there is nothing that is healthier. But soups are not just gastronomic treats. They are usually very quick and easy to make and very budget friendly. Now that the winter is here the Produce Buzzers wanted to share a few recipes for their favorite soups. Tune in to learn how to make them and at the same time, learn some interesting trivia and a little history about soup. And what are some of the most bizarre soups made around the world?
Thank You Produce Buzzers Guests in 2022!
On this week’s episode of PB Podcast, we want to look back at 2022 and pay tribute to the wonderful guests we had on the show. They helped make our podcast one of the most popular podcasts in the food category and right at the top of podcasts about fruits and veggies. So get ready for some of the best clips of the podcast in 2022 featuring the most interesting and knowledgeable experts in the fresh produce industry. This show is chock full of fascinating nuggets about fruits and veggies. Hope you enjoy it. And we have many more lined up for 2023, so make sure you subscribe and keep checking in for new episodes as the new year begins.
I'm Dreaming of a Warm Christmas: Fruits and Veggies For Celebrating The Holidays Down Under
When we think of Christmas, we tend to believe that most of the world will celebrate it beside a toasty fire indoors wearing comfy sweaters and nice warm socks because, well. “Baby, it’s cold outside.” We see them imbibing imbibe in hot chocolate and hot mulled cider. They are feasting on roasted meats, winter root vegetables, and the fruits of deciduous trees like apples and pears. But on the other side of the earth, it will be the beginning of summer. And along the center of the earth, most people will still be able to go outside in shorts and t-shirts. They will be more likely to build a sandcastle than a snowman. The fact is the vast majority of people around the world will be celebrating a "Warm Christmas", not a "White Christmas." So what are some of the fruits and veggies they celebrate with for the holidays?
The Fruit and Veggie Hunter: The Man Who Is Documenting The World's Amazing Fruits and Vegetables
This week we have an extraordinary guest on the show with a fascinating mission in the world of fresh fruits and veggies. This man has to be one of the foremost experts, if not THE foremost expert, on the amazing diversity of edible plants that mother nature has to offer. Bob Harrington is the president of Specialty Produce, a wholesaler of fresh fruits and vegetables primarily to restaurants in San Diego, CA. They sell every type of fruit and vegetable, but as the name implies, they have become an invaluable source for chefs of more exotic, rare, and hard-to-find varieties. Bob has been traveling the world for almost three decades looking for and cataloging thousands of fruits and vegetables and their seemingly endless varieties. And he is going to tell us all about that adventure and what he has achieved. Tune in to hear about his quest and how you can access information on the thousands of fruits and veggies he has documented.
Doing Good Is Good Business: How One Produce Company Is Giving Back to Needy Farmhands
Doing good is good business. That is the belief of Martin Casanova of THX! Dreams, a fresh produce company that donates part of its profits to help farm workers fulfill vital needs. And it is not only his belief, but he is showing that it is true. THX! Dreams provides many types of necessities to needy families who work on farms where their fruits and veggies are grown--from computers and tablets for children in school to home improvements like adding rooms to their homes to online education and medical needs. Listen to the podcast to be inspired by Martin’s story and vision to give back after many years as a successful business owner. And learn how you can help him in his quest.
National Roasting Month! Roasting and the Rapid Rise of Humans
It will probably come as no surprise that November is National Roasting Month since the Thanksgiving meal most often features plenty of roasted dishes. So just in time for your holiday meal, the Produce Buzzers talk about a few of the best vegetables to accompany your turkey. Beets, Brussels sprouts, and rutabagas. But some anthropologists believe that humans learning to cook may have been one of the primary reasons for their rapid development physically. And that might help explain the vast difference between humans and animals. The first method of cooking for humans was roasting.
Fighting Fruit Frustration! How to Keep Your Fresh Produce Fresher Longer
Consumers have always despaired over the high perishability of fruits and veggies and how easy it is to lose them to rot or decay before having a chance to eat them. But now that Inflation is here and stinging us in the …ummmmm… back pocket, throwing away those veggies is even more painful. Even before the pandemic and the steep rise in costs we have seen over the past year, tossing out those moldy berries or sprouting potatoes has discouraged people from eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. But now the Produce Buzzers are here to help. Today we are going to show you how to make your fruits and veggies last longer. We will take a look at the ten most popular items in the produce department and those on that list that frustrate us the most when it comes to decay and loss in our pantries and refrigerators.
Italy's Special Ingredients for Living "La Bella Vita"
We all desire “La Bella Vita” or the beautiful life. And eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies is one of the keys to experiencing it. In Italian, “Bella Vita” translates literally as “beautiful life” but, it also means “healthy life.” The Italians know well the ingredients and recipe for a beautiful and healthy life. This week’s guest on the podcast is an Italian man who has been in the fresh produce business for his entire life and his family for over a century. Celso Paganini is the owner and CEO of Bella Vita Foods, a company helping bring those Italian secrets for a healthy life to the United States. He has been importing some unique and delicious fresh produce items from Italy for over 30 years. Today he joins us to talk about one of the sweetest onions in the world from Tropea on the southern coast of Italy and Italian chestnuts, the best and highest quality chestnuts in the world. Celso will tell you the very best way to roast chestnuts just in time for the holidays. Tune in to learn all about these delicious Italian treasures.
Play the "Which of These Is A Real Fruit" Quiz Game
How well do you know your exotic fruits and veggies? Mother Nature has given us some strange and wacky fruits to delight us and sometimes disgust us, but either way, they are fascinating. Some of Mother Nature’s weird creations have become commonplace for us in the modern world, like kiwifruit. But some exotic fruits have not made their way to our grocery store shelves here in the United States and are weird in name, appearance, and flavor. So today we will play a game we call “Which of these is a real fruit?”
The Produce Mom's Amazing Journey
`She is “The” Produce Mom." But she will not pester you like your mom did and tell you to “Eat your veggies!” Instead, she will inspire you to LOVE fresh fruit and veggies and make them a delight in your meals like they should be. Lori Taylor, founder and CEO of The Produce Moms® joins the Produce Buzzers to tell her amazing story of creating a multimedia powerhouse that is having a major impact in getting people to eat more fresh fruits and veggies. The Produce Moms® is a global community and Certified B Corporation that is on a mission to put more fruits and vegetables on every table. Lori often appears in the media as a cook and produce industry expert. Her media appearances always include innovative and inspiring ways to prepare and eat fresh produce. She has been featured by Oprah, Martha Stewart, GQ Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, HuffPost, StyleCaster, and more. Listen to be inspired not only to eat healthier but also by her hard work and diligence to make The Produce Moms a success.
Time to Celebrate National Fruits and Veggies Month!
September is National Fruit and Vegetable Month! Since we are celebrating all things fruit and veggie this month, we are thrilled to have back on the podcast this week a woman who is at the epicenter of efforts to get people to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to work with more than 500 industry and government partners to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption through all produce forms — fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100% juice. She will tell you how to get more fruits and veggies in your diet by using behavioral science.
The Marvel of Mushrooms!
You have heard of “Johnny Appleseed,” but have you heard of “Johnny Mushroom Spore?” He is the man who is spreading mushrooms throughout Western North Carolina, and we have him on the podcast this week. Greg Carter of Deep Woods Mushrooms in Mills River, NC, joins us to tell us about the amazing world of mushrooms. Greg has been growing mushrooms for over 20 years and has made a successful career out of growing, foraging, and selling mushrooms. He also teaches people how to forage for wild mushrooms and how to grow them using the best methods for the highest quality mushrooms. And he is a genuinely "fun guy!" Groooaaann!
The Paradox of Peak Summer Fruits!
Fresh fruits and vegetables are a bit of a paradox because they are probably the only thing you can buy that are usually the least expensive when their quality is at its best. That is because the peak volume and supply typically coincide with the peak quality. We are once again joined by Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce, a recognized "Produce Expert." Robert is eager to share with you all the information about some of the summertime's most delicious fruits. These fruits are in peak season now in August and exhibit the fruit and veggie paradox the most. Robert will focus on melons and grapes and tell you about some exotic melons that are the most flavorful and sweetest that you can find.
The Cult of Hatch Chili Peppers!
What is the hottest pepper in the world? Not the Carolina Reaper, not the Ghost Pepper, not the Scotch Bonnet! It's the Hatch Chili Pepper! But we are not talking about Scoville or heat levels. We are talking about popularity. It's so popular that it has a cult following. But they are only available six to eight weeks each year. From August to September, many Hatch chili enthusiasts buy scores of pounds (several cases) of these peppers to roast and freeze so they can have them year-round. A major festival is dedicated to them in their hometown of Hatch, New Mexico every Labor Day. Thousands of people descend on the tiny mile-long town to pick, consume, and roast these delicious peppers with an unrivaled flavor. What gives them that special flavor? Tune in to find out. Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce, recognized as a "Produce Expert," joins us to tell us all about them. But beware. You might be persuaded to join the Cult of Hatch Chili Peppers!
Canned Pears! The Most Delicious Fruit You Can Get in a Can
As our regular listeners know, we focus primarily on fresh fruits and veggies on the podcast, but we are not discriminatory when it comes to frozen and canned fruits and veggies. Especially knowing that freezing and canning of fresh produce is often done just hours after harvesting and preserves the nutrients of those fruits and veggies allowing them to be enjoyed much longer than fresh. So today we are going to diverge from our fresh tradition and talk about one of the most delicious fruits you can get in a can. Pears from the Pacific Northwest United States. To help us learn all about them, we have Susan Renke, promotion director for the Pacific Northwest Canned Pear Service. She will tell all about the amazing process of getting pears from the tree into the can.
Celebrate National Blueberry Month and National Peach Month!
July is one of the most abundant months for all kinds of fruits and veggies. And there are many celebrations featuring so many of them. July is National Blueberry Month and National Peach Month. So, we join in the celebration by replaying a couple of segments from last year in which we featured these two most delicious summer fruits. The blueberry is one of only a few fruits native to North America. Learn the surprising story of how the wild versions became cultivated and grown commercially, producing the superior varieties available today.
The Produce Buzzers Get Corny for National Corn Month. And Spinach!
Corn is now the world’s most abundant grain surpassing wheat and rice by huge margins. Twice as much corn is produced annually as rice and more than one and a half times more than wheat. But it is not primarily used for human consumption. But since it is National Corn Month, we salute sweet corn as a mainstay for those summertime barbecues. Learn how to select and cook the perfect corn on the cob. And July 16th is National Spinach Day, so we salute Popeye’s favorite source of strength.
Watermelon: The Happy Fruit! July Is National Watermelon Month
Mark Twain once wrote, “to taste watermelon is to know what the angels eat.” July is National Watermelon month. And this week we celebrate American Independence. Watermelons are always on the table at Fourth of July parties. So, we celebrate this fruit deservedly called “The Happy Fruit” in this week’s episode. Our guest is a seasoned veteran of the produce industry and has helped promote, market, and merchandise watermelons for over 25 years! Tune in to find out all about watermelons. And maybe most importantly, get some great tips for choosing a good one at the market.
Mango Mania! Celebrating the World’s Most Popular Superfruit.
June is National Mango Month. So, in this week’s episode, we celebrate this delicious and healthy fruit, one of the most popular fruits in the world, if not the most popular. Mangos originated in India and are considered a sacred fruit there as well as in other Asian cultures. We don’t know if mangos are actually sacred, but we do know that the experience of eating them is divine! And the health benefits are tremendous. Our special guest, Manuel Michel, executive director of the National Mango Board, joins us to tell us all about mangos.
The Myth and Origin of the Cornucopia. And Cherries and Apricots!
June is National Fruits and Vegetables Month. Our modern world is so blessed with such an abundant supply of fresh fruits and veggies. Not only in terms of quantity, but also with amazing varieties, and with supplies of almost all of them year-round. It is as if we have found the mythical “cornucopia” that Zeus, the leader of the Greek gods, head of the pantheon on Mount Olympus, created. The cornucopia is a symbol of never-ending supply of sustenance. So we thought it would be fun to tell the story of the origin of the “horn of plenty.” And it’s the season for two of our favorite tree fruits—cherries and apricots! Yummmmmm! And we will get another delicious recipe from Cynthia.
How Safe Are Your Fruits and Veggies? Tracy Fry Talks About Advances in the Prevention of Food-Borne Illnesses
Every now and then, news breaks announcing an occurrence of food-borne illness in the food supply. These sometimes cause panic and inspire fear of buying fresh fruits and vegetables. As often as we hear about them, the reality is that they are very rare considering how much food is being shipped every day. This week’s guest is Tracy Fry of iFoodDS, a company that is pioneering methods to track every step of the distribution process for our fruits and veggies. The progress being made is making our food safer and safer. Tracy will tell us how technology is improving the safety and quality of the food supply chain, especially as it concerns fresh fruits and veggies.
Time to Spice Things Up! June 10th is National Herbs and Spices Day
This week, on June 10th, we celebrate National Herbs and Spices Day. So, we dedicate this episode to honor these delicious flavorings that make our fruits and veggies taste even better. To do that we have invited Melinda Richardson to join us on the podcast. She is an account executive at Gourmet Garden, an Australian company that is spicing things up with its delicious products that give you the flavor of fresh herbs, but in a way that makes them last much longer. Melinda is a veteran of the fresh produce industry and has a lot of information to share about fresh fruits and veggies. Do you suffer from “wilt guilt?” If you do, you will want to hear about their line of herbs and spices.
The Fruit and Veggie Celebrations of May: Salad, Salsa, and Asparagus!
May is a great month for celebrating veggies! It’s National Salad Month, National Salsa Month, and National Asparagus Month. So, we dedicate this episode to them all. Learn about the history of salad. Surprisingly, it’s really quite interesting. And we dance around with America’s favorite condiment. No, it’s not mayonnaise or ketchup. It’s salsa! And then we tell you all about wonderful asparagus. It’s the perfect season for enjoying this unique veggie.
National Strawberry Month - Jim Grabowski of Well Pict Berries Brings Us the Joy of Strawberries
Beautiful spring weather is all around and we hope that is bringing you joy. And there is no greater joy of spring than the arrival of one of the fruits that have been most often cited by people as the most joyous of all fruits and veggies—strawberries! May is National Strawberry Month and so this week we have a very special guest who has to be one of the world’s leading experts on the fruit. Jim Grabowski has been the director of marketing for one of the most successful strawberry growers in the world for over 33 years! Well-Pict Berries. In this episode, he will tell us how strawberry varieties are developed, how they are grown, and what berry growers are doing to implement sustainable solutions.
Asian Heritage Month: Ron Inatomi Tells Us About the Significant Contributions Japanese Americans Made To American Agriculture
May is Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This week we have a very special guest on the show that will tell us about the substantial contribution that Japanese Americans made to American agriculture, especially on the West Coast, from California through Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Ron Inatomi is a third-generation (Sansei) Japanese American who has been working in the produce industry for over 40 years. In our discussion with him, we will learn how industrious the first- and second-generation Japanese Americans were and how they rose to be some of the largest growers of fruits and vegetables in the U.S. That was before the war. But after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, all of them were incarcerated and their lands were taken from them. After the war, many of them returned and started over from scratch and once again rose to prominence. It’s a sad but inspiring story.
Where Does Your Food Come From? Chip Carter Talks About the Special People Who Bring It to You
Chip Carter is a natural-born storyteller. And he’s made a profession of it for over 30 years. He worked as a journalist for several prominent national newspapers before he decided to return to his farming roots and begin to tell stories about America’s farmers. At that point, he launched the Southeast Produce Weekly, a publication and Website that covered news about fresh produce in that region. Building on the success of that, he created a new television show called “Where the Food Comes From” which is about… well, the name speaks for itself! Season one is just finishing up and season two is almost ready to debut. The show airs on the RFD-TV network. Chip joins us to talk about the miracle of how our food gets to us and the heroes he has met while filming the show who work so hard to make it happen.
The Stars of Cinco de Mayo! Avocados, Cilantro, and Limes S03-E01
Welcome to a new season of the Produce Buzzers Podcast. We are delighted that the first episode of season three celebrates the tastes and flavors of Cinco de Mayo. In this episode, you will learn about the history of the celebration and why it is more popular in the United States than in Mexico. But that is just an excuse for us to talk about the fruit and veggie stars of Cinco de Mayo—avocados, cilantro, and limes! Tune in to find out how to become an “avocado whisperer!”
Mix It Up With Leafy Greens! And a Very Special Onion Is Here. Season Two Bonus Segment
This week we have another bonus segment from season two of the series to keep you fed until season three starts next week. It's short, so it’s just a snack. But we think it will satisfy your hunger for all things fruit and veggie. In this segment, Theresa is going to tell us about the amazing nutritional value of leafy greens and how eating them every day can heart-attack-proof you. And after that, you will learn all about a very special onion that is harvested every year in April. But since it is more delicate than other onions, they are not available year-round because they decay faster. You will want to know about these so you can get them in the next few months before they are gone.
The Miraculous and Delicious Cauliflower! Season Two Bonus Segment
Season two of our podcast has concluded and we are excited to announce that season three will begin at the end of April. Make sure you subscribe so you can get notifications of the new episodes. We have some interesting and delicious episodes planned for next season. But in the meantime, enjoy this bonus segment from season two that wound up on the “cutting board.” Not the “cutting floor” as we say in the film business, but the “cutting board” as we say as avid fruit and veggie lovers. In this segment, Theresa tells us all about the miraculous and delicious super veggie, cauliflower. Listen to learn about how powerful it can be for your health. And we will give you some great and easy serving suggestions. Have you ever had a cauliflower steak?!
Power of Produce: A Consumer Survey And What Is Your State's Official Fruit?
Have you ever ordered fresh produce online for delivery or pickup? How do you feel about letting someone else pick out your fruits and veggies? The Produce Buzzers examine a recent survey of consumers about their fresh produce buying preferences. And play along with the Produce Buzzers as they play guess the official fruits of each U.S. State.