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

What’s up with Kimchi?

With fermented foods hitting near the top of trending foods the last few years, I think it’s time to talk about kimchi (also written “Kim Chee”). Many people have a love/hate relationship with kimchi. They love the garlicky, spicy, raw freshness of the pickled cabbage, yet have to apologize to their friends for their, well… garlic breath, which seems to also permeate one’s pores. If you’ve never tried it, but you keep hearing about it, let me enlighten you. Kimchi is a traditional, fermented, Korean side dish made with vegetables—typically … Continue reading

How DO you open a young coconut?

Well, for sure, coconut is a trending flavor. It feels like coconut is everywhere. Rows and rows of packaged coconut water are in your grocery store or at the gym; shredded chunks of fresh coconut can be found in the refrigerated section of the produce department; and coconut cupcakes, coconut milk, and coconut water are definitely everywhere you look. Although I have purchased Tetra-packed coconut water on occasion, for me there is something not quite right about drinking coconut water from a plastic container. I want the real deal. I … Continue reading

The Fruit Awakens: Why ‘Star Wars’ Produce Branding Is a Good Thing

When “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” hit theaters last month, guess what hit grocery shelves? Android BB-8 on bags of oranges and Darth Vader on bags of apples. (And R2-D2 on everything from baked chips to canned soup.) Yep, it was timed perfectly. True 21st-century marketing. But I was surprised to see some of the backlash on the “Star Wars” branding of fruits and vegetables. Many people said Disney had gone too far. There’s even a meme going around with BB-8-branded oranges that says, “Disney needs to calm the [bleep] … Continue reading