( Photo by The Packer staff )

“Kale, eat your vegetables! I shouldn’t have to remind you, of all my kids.”

Hard for a traditionalist like me to believe, but naming babies after fruits and vegetables may be a “thing” in 2019.

Phillyvoice.com columnist Bailey King reported on the trend in a recent column, noting that Women’s Health published a list of baby names with rising popularity.

According to the Women’s Health survey, health-food related names, like Kale, have seen a 35% increase in popularity, while Kiwi has jumped 40%.

The Mom Junction blog by Bhavana Navuluri offers a post from October that promises 15 Yummy Fruit Inspired Baby Names For Girls And Boys, and I know you want some details.

Top picks? Apple, Peaches/Peach, Berry, Clementine, Banana, Plum,  and Quince.

A blog posted at thatsweetgift.com is headlined “Cool fruit and veggie names that could be baby names,” and adds “Kale,” “Olive,” “Ginger,” “Bartlett,” “Lemon,” and “Pepper.”

How about brand-loyal consumers of fruits and veggies? Will we see “Cutie,” “Driscoll,” “Dole,” “Halo,” or even “Frieda” names as a homage to beloved produce brands?

While not likely to overtake Emma or Noah in absolute popularity, the expanding harvest of fruit/veggie baby names indicate that at least some of our younger generation is taking seriously the charge of instilling a healthy eating mindset from the get go.

I can’t scoff at this trend, as much as my generation cohorts might demand me to. Better “Romaine” or “Gala” than “Ritz” or “Kit Kat,” am I right? 

The trend makes me think... my wife and I have so far been just “grandma” and “grandpa,” to our two young grandsons. With another grandchild on the way later this year, perhaps it is time we “rebrand” ourselves. 

My sister and her husband have laid claim to “Honey” and “Bear” as the stand-in monikers for grandpa and grandma. How can we top them, while perhaps still exerting a healthy-eating emphasis in the process?

I’m stumped, but at least we have a few months to look into it. In fact, I just pulled up a blog post “26 cute names for grandpa and grandma.”

Thank you, Internet — I think.


I was recently looking at comments to the Food and Drug Administration’s draft guidance for industry on Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption. The agency is taking comments on the guidance until April 22. For context, the document is 152 pages long. 

While not deliberately complex, the language is not easy to take in and requires a knowledge of what are “appropriate measures,” “measures reasonably necessary,” “reasonably foreseeable hazards” and how to “provide reasonable assurances.”

One comment about the guidance complains:

“My comment is that this is not a plain-language document. If you are an FDA employee, these words and ‘guidance’ make sense. For the rest of the country, people like farmers who do not travel in these circles and see this language regularly, picking up this document I am certain most would be utterly confused and nothing would be made more clear. Please consider true plain-language guidance.”

A lot of work has been done over the years to make the produce safety rule and other regulations more digestible. The 152-page guidance document may be reasonable; it is far from clear to many.

Tom Karst is The Packer's editor. E-mail him at [email protected].