University of La Verne

Do College Students Need More Life Skills?

It all started on the golf course. Early last year, I attended the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. As I was wandering around the clubhouse, I ran into Mark Brian Smith, the filmmaker who produced and directed “Fear No Fruit,” the documentary about my mom and our family business. He had with him a longtime personal friend Simon, a banker. As per usual, we shook hands and exchanged business cards. So I guess I was a little surprised when six months later I received an email from Simon, who had changed banks, inviting me to be the keynote speaker at a CEO summit. As it turns out, his new bank, Union Bank, is a sponsor of the CEO Summit at the Continue Reading

Why it’s okay to confuse grocery store cashiers

Last month, Huffington Post’s Rebecca Orchant wrote about her plight as a foodie who confuses and frustrates supermarket cashiers with her purchase of “weird produce.”  As a consumer, I can understand how that feels.  You’re in a rush and the cashier doesn’t know what you’re trying to buy and takes too long to ring it up. Instead of getting frustrated with the cashier’s lack of familiarity with specialty produce, I have a different idea.  I think we should appreciate the fact that we have such a wide variety of produce … Continue reading

Oktoberfest for Vegans!

If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you know that I became vegan in August 2012.  I have continued to have a 90% plant-based diet, fitting in egg whites and fish occasionally for protein. As of late, I have been seeing more and more information about the popularity of plant-based, or vegan, diets. Recently, the headline, “This Year’s Oktoberfest Caters to Vegans” of a Specialty Food Association article caught my attention. Oktoberfest is the world’s largest fair held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is a 16-day … Continue reading

Dining with the White House Chef

This week was an interesting one to be in Washington DC.  I was there as part of the produce industry’s annual Public Policy Conference, and of course we had visits scheduled with our elected congresspersons.  But many were cancelled as part of the government shutdown. As it turns out, the highlight of the week was a special dinner at the Newseum, the official Museum of Journalism, and I have written about it here before. On Monday evening, I was invited to a dinner prepared and narrated by Chef Walter Scheib, … Continue reading