National Editor Tom Karst
National Editor Tom Karst

Looking for balanced consumer press coverage of the Dirty Dozen list from the Environmental Working Group? NPR did a nice job with this story, "Why you shouldn't panic about pesticide in produce."

Discussion of the "chilling effect" on consumption from the drumbeat of EWG language (toxic, doused, contaminated, pesticide laden and, oh yes, "dirty") related to pesticides dominated a teleconference with a panel of experts assembled by the Alliance for Food and Farming. More later on that conference call - and a separate interview with officials from the EWG...

However, I would like your input on this poll question I put to the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group.

 The question:

"What's the biggest drag on consumer demand for fresh fruits and vegetables?"

The choices are:


Pesticide Residue fears

Microbiological safety fears

Other (explain)


So far four comments and several votes on the poll. One comment covers the gamut and is not far wrong, in my view;

Being brought up with a cheap food policy from government...the will to and enthusiasm to prepare fruits and vegetables... no time to wait for it to cook.... lack of cooking knowledge... fear of cooking... lack of relevant equipment ....and a fear of the unknown, reinforced by food safety fears, which are fostered by do-gooders...advertising and marketing of a processed alternative with no mess of bother....

Vote and, more importantly, share your thoughts on what is holding the industry back...


Keith Mathews, chief executive officer of FirstFruits Marketing of Washington, Yakima, sent a link to a video called "Give Me Your Hungry."  The inspirational video features Katie Stagliano (Midwest Produce Show speaker and recipient of a grant from the Broetje farming family with FirstFruits Marketing.

Katie is speaking the morning of Aug. 14 at The Packer's Midwest Produce Conference and Expo.

From the session description: 

Four years ago a third grader grew a 40-pound cabbage in her garden and decided to feed the hungry with it. That experience lead Katie Stagliano to found Katie's Krops, a charity that helps school kids grow fresh fruits and vegetables and donate them to food banks. Katie will tell her inspiring story, while Don Goodwin, president of Golden Sun Marketing, shows how produce companies can raise their profile by getting involved in this and other charities.

Looking forward to hearing Katie!