Thoughtful guest comment below was submitted today by from John Sauve, managing partner with Swardlick Marketing Group, Portland, Maine.

Hug a Researcher Today

Recently, the produce world lost one of its greatest supporters, someone whom most of this industry may never have had occasion to meet or even hear his name mentioned. However, if you grew or sold a single fruit, or veggie, or nut, your business was likely impacted in some way by a remarkable scientist, researcher, and global preacher of the goodness of produce.  For some of us, he was in our lives often. And once you were lucky enough to have him in your life, he sort of was always there. He was a special person.

His name was Dr. Jim Joseph.

Jim was the head of the Neuroscience Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts in Boston, Massachusetts. His research on fruits, veggies, and nuts and his special, energetic presentations of that research are known around the world.

He spent a lot of his life discovering and studying good things that people could eat so they would be healthier…and live longer, happier lives. Jim called it "successful aging."

Jim loved researching, and eating, fruits, veggies and nuts…all things in a plant based diet.  He traveled the world telling audiences everywhere, in many languages, about the wonderful health benefits that God had put inside those magnificent and colorful plant based foods. He believed in God and used Him a lot in his presentations…thanked him often for fruits, veggies and nuts. He co-authored (not with God…at least we don"t think so) the book entitled Color Code: A Revolutionary Eating Plan for Optimal Health…mostly about colorful fruits and veggies…now maybe you recognize his name.

To all of us in the berry and nut business, Jim"s work and humorously passionate presentations helped bring science based and meaningful health messages into our individual product marketing worlds…in a memorable and instructive way.  

Indeed, Jim Joseph cared about people and about their lives. He really wanted people to eat healthier and live longer. Those of us who had the pleasure of listening and watching him present his work with his special passion and humor will always remember certain "moments" in his presentations that will stay with us forever. If you spent any time with Jim, you were guaranteed special moments.

At his funeral services in Plymouth, Massachusetts, one of his closest friends, Dr. Don Ingram, from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana delivered a moving eulogy that so perfectly characterized Jim. Don finished with the following blessing that so eloquently describes the importance that the world of produce played in Jim"s life…and the new audience that would be listening to Jim"s presentations on the health benefits of produce.

"Dear Lord, we pray for the sake of those assembled here to honor Jim, that you find for him a special place in heaven where he can grow his garden, to share with others, loved ones who have gone on before him, those wonderful fruits and vegetables and nuts, and that they will assemble there to enjoy his special food and to hear his special humor and stories and feel the warmth of his love. We ask those left behind to remember Jim"s special gifts and the contributions that he has made and to keep his memory alive.   We honor his life, Father, and we thank you for the privilege of sharing in the life of one your special creations.  Amen"

Those of us who had the chance to get close to Jim are fortunate to have been his friends. He was special…and he did special things for the produce world.

We will all miss Dr. Jim Joseph…even if you never knew him.
Researchers like Jim play a vital role in the ultimate success of the produce industry.

Be sure to hug a researcher today.