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

Fresh Produce can have more than good taste

“You are what you eat” has never been more embraced in our history as a society. I know that what I eat on a daily basis has an effect, not just on how I feel in general, but how healthy I am. The more mainstream acceptance of food as medicine is really good for the produce business. Whether people are going vegetarian, eating clean, or following an anti-inflammatory diet, fresh fruits and vegetables play major roles in helping them follow their healthy-eating plans. I want to share two personal examples: … Continue reading

A revolution in zucchini squash

We all know that gluten-free products have become a popular food group. As I travel around the country and visit supermarkets, I continue to see larger and larger displays of gluten-free items. With Italian food so popular, it only makes sense that one of the most common gluten-free products is pasta. Years ago, I remember the first gluten-free pasta from the DeBoles Company. But did you know that there is gluten-free “pasta” that’s also low in calories and carbs? Enter the spiralizer and the zucchini squash! I first experienced zucchini pasta when … Continue reading

My biannual trip to Berlin

A couple of exciting things happen in Berlin, Germany, each February. Most notable in the entertainment world is the Berlin International Film Festival. For those of us in the fresh produce business, February brings the largest global produce trade show, Fruit Logistica. As some of you know, I attend every other year. And I literally have to gear up, both physically and mentally, to walk through and explore the 19 buildings at Messe Berlin, the city’s fairgrounds. It’s a huge show and takes a full three days to explore properly. … Continue reading

Year of the Monkey

If you’re familiar with the Chinese zodiac, you may be aware that Monday is the Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year. It’s one of the most important Chinese holidays, and it’s celebrated around the world. And of course, food is a part of the celebration. In Chinese traditions, foods served during this time are rich in wordplay and symbolism. Some of the dishes and ingredients have names that sound similar to words and phrases referring to good wishes. For example, “kumquat” literally means “golden orange.” Symbolizing wealth … Continue reading