When I want to make a kale salad, I go to the grocery store and buy a bundle of kale. When McDonald’s wants to make some kale salads in their restaurants, they have to set up an entire supply chain for millions of pounds of kale. As fast-food customers are demanding that restaurants use recognizable, pronounceable ingredients, that makes it difficult to mass-produce food that doesn’t seem mass-produced. [More]
Let’s be honest: the Banana Bunker, an adjustable plastic tube meant to protect your banana from bruising or other damage when you carry it as a snack, is a hilarious piece of snack equipment that looks like a space-age sex toy. It just does. That’s why we have to commend Groupon’s Facebook team for not only making sure to highlight the Bunker’s availability, but responding to all jokes that potential customers and Facebook jokesters made. [More]
When you buy a sack of potatoes with dirt still clinging to the spuds, you know they’ll need a wash before going into your dinner. But those completely clean-looking apples, peaches, and strawberries may carry a less-visible danger in the form of pesticide residues. [More]
Last summer, a California-based fruit packing company recalled all fruit that had passed through their plant during a six-week period, since they were potentially contaminated with Listeria bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have definitively linked fruits from the Wawona plant and cases of Listeriosis in different parts of the country, but what does that mean? should people who are pregnant or frail avoid fresh peaches and nectarines? [More]
As adult consumers increasingly lean toward the healthier items on restaurant menus, so it goes that the offerings for their children are also heading in the more nutritious direction. To that end, McDonald’s is rolling out the new option for whole, fresh fruit in its Happy Meals, with the introduction of clementines to the kids’ menu. [More]
Wawona Packing Company in California has expanded its recall of fruit that it processed and packaged during the months of June and July that may be contaminated with the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. The company has alerted consumers and retailers that all fruit packed at the facility between June 1 and when it shut down operations on July 17 are potentially contaminated, and that all fruit that has passed through the plant is potentially contaminated. [More]
We’ve all got kitchens and we all eat food, but not everyone can agree on where and how to store that food so it doesn’t immediately turn into a moldy mess or dry out into a worthless husk. Last week, we looked at the the best places and methods for keeping your bread, dairy and eggs fresh, and in this second Spoilage Wars installment, we’ll deal with the fruits and vegetables you endeavor to keep from rotting away. [More]
In our hectic modern world, it’s difficult to find time in the day to pick up a butter knife and slice up a banana. I eat at least once sliced-up banana with peanut butter every day, and know this feeling well. That’s why someone decided to invent the Banana Slicer, which chops your banana into uniform slices with a single stroke. Because apparently that’s something that people want. [More]
You might be able to figure it out from the name, but a Pluot is a hybrid between a plum and an apricot. As for what percentage of each of those fruits are represented in a Pluot, well… Walmart doesn’t seem to know. [More]
The fall harvest season is here. For some reason, that makes people want to pay large sums of money to go out and pick their own fruit. Delicious. Reader Jennifer wrote in to share her apple-picking experience this past weekend at two different orchards in the Midwest as a cautionary tale. Sometimes the businesses out to mislead you and rip you off aren’t monolithic global corporations. They’re a farm in the next town over. [More]
Florida is apparently under quarantine because of diseases that affect the quality of citrus fruit. This isn’t information your average person from Wisconsin is in possession of, so when the United States Department of Agriculture wrote to one Waukesha woman to let her know that she’d have to give up her Meyer lemon tree, she was a little confused. [More]
In Florida, acres of delicious strawberries are starting to ripen, and… being left to rot and plowed under. Thanks to cold weather at just the right point of the winter growing season, berry crops are so bountiful that it’s more cost-efficient to let the berries rot than it is to pay anyone to pick them. [More]
Snazzy new bar codes are starting to adorn our fruit and vegetables to stop blurry-eyed cashiers from ringing up organic produce as the cheaper-priced regular stuff. They’re called GS1 DataBars, and they’re already appearing in select supermarkets to help consumers move faster through checkout lines.
Ever wonder why bananas are the cheapest fruit in the supermarket? It makes no sense. They’re grown thousands of miles away by steely imperialist multinational corporations, and spoil within two weeks. A Times Op-Ed argues that bananas are on their way out, and may disappear entirely from store shelves in the next twenty years.
Wise Bread has an interesting story about the economics behind a family trip to a “U Pick” apple orchard. Picking your own apples is now called “agritainment,” and it’s a better deal for the orchard than it is for you. On the other hand, the high prices for an “apple picking experience” may be the only thing keeping the apple trees on the land—and not another subdivision.
On a recent visit to Kuipers Family Farm, about an hour from Chicago, I shelled out $6.50 each for my husband, our 3-year-old daughter and myself to enter the orchard and pick 1/4 peck of apples, about 3 pounds. I could have sat on my couch and ordered a 3-pound-bag of apples from Peapod for $2.50.
Prevented From Calling Your Produce USDA Certified Organic By Federal Law? Call It "Artisan Naturals" Instead
Stemilt Growers can’t call its produce USDA Certified Organic until they grow without chemicals for three years, but that isn’t stopping them from branding their produce “Artisan Naturals” in the interim. The three year chemical-free transition period is marked by insect infestations, infertile soil, and poor crop quality, which conspire to ravage a farm’s profitability. Stemilt, one of the nation’s largest apple growers, is hoping that consumers will pay a price premium for “natural” produce, which will likely be confused for USDA certified organic produce.
The orchard is in its second year of transition to organic, but the fruit will be sold under Stemilt’s Artisan Naturals label, promoting its naturally farmed history.