Fresh News



The Spring equinox brings a bal­ance of light and dark­ness as the sun rises from the true east and sets in the true west.

The first day of Spring arrives this Wednes­day, no mat­ter what the weather reports might claim.

Most of us in the United States wel­come the new sea­son pos­si­bil­i­ties and the promise of milder days and nights. No one more so, per­haps, than the Cal­i­for­nia farmer.

It’s been a cold, soggy win­ter in the Golden State. This year’s storms are a dra­matic change com­pared to last year, which was extremely dry.

Snow totals are above aver­age in most of the west. The high­est snow to water totals are in California’s Sierra Nevada moun­tains, which is great news for farm­ers of the San Joaquin and Sacra­mento val­leys.

At this writ­ing, num­bers are about 200 per­cent higher than 2018 totals. This is good news for the reser­voirs in west­ern states.

Read more: Ver­nal Equinox →

Cab­bages belong to the Bras­sica fam­ily of cole crops and are closely related to broc­coli, cau­li­flower and Brus­sels sprouts.

This cru­cif­er­ous veg­etable is widely used around the world in prepa­ra­tions from raw to cooked, shred­ded to leafy rolls.

While we most likely think of a com­mon cab­bage head as that large, green can­non­ball type, there are other vari­eties that make spe­cific appli­ca­tions and recipes stand out.

Red Cab­bage – Sim­i­lar to green cab­bage, this has dark reddish-​purple leaves. The fla­vor is a lit­tle deeper and earth­ier. Pick heads that are tight and heavy for their size. It adds great color to slaws and cold sal­ads.

Napa Cab­bage – Also called Chi­nese cab­bage, this oblong-​shaped cab­bage has wide, thick, crisp stems and frilly yellow-​green leaves. The fla­vor is sweeter and milder com­pared to heartier green cab­bage. Its soft tex­ture works great as a fill­ing for dumplings or as a del­i­cate fresh salad com­po­nent.

Savoy Cab­bage – This attrac­tive cab­bage is round in shape but the leaves are deep green and crin­kled. The fla­vor is mild and earthy. The leaves are ten­der even when eaten raw. Heads should be com­pact and tight and will yield to light pres­sure due to the crin­kled leaves. Soups, sal­ads and stir fry dishes are all good savoy cab­bage methods.

Read more: Cab­bage Head →

Food trends come and go. Some which are started in metro cities like San Fran­cisco and New York may com­pletely skip over the entire mid­dle sec­tion of the nation.

One trend look­ing to accel­er­ate this year is the seduc­tion of sour. Adding a punch of sour can bal­ance rich or savory dishes.

Global cuisines heav­ily influ­ence our own restau­rant offer­ings and choices. Take a page from Per­sian, Korean, Fil­ipino or even Ger­man menus to inspire new twists on fla­vor pair­ings.

Sour tast­ing foods are indica­tive of higher acid­ity, along with tart­ness or tangi­ness. Bit­ter foods are mostly attrib­uted to unpleas­ant, sharp and some­times unde­sir­able foods. Sour cov­ers pop­u­lar Greek yogurts, kim chees, sour krauts and other fer­men­ta­tions.

Sour fla­vors have piqued our col­lec­tive inter­est, on par with the spicy food addic­tion. Con­sumer demand toward tangy fla­vors has more to do with a move­ment toward well­ness, arti­sanal foods, and eth­nic cuisines.

Read more: Seduced by Sour →

Cities across Amer­ica have been imple­ment­ing bans on plas­tic bags, plas­tic straws, poly­styrene and other mate­ri­als used for food and bev­er­ages.

Retail and food­ser­vice estab­lish­ments have seen oper­at­ing costs rise along with alter­na­tive pack­ag­ing costs.

Con­sumer expec­ta­tions are higher and grow­ing in the realm of single-​use, dis­pos­able items, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to take out foods. Lit­ter and waste are not the only two con­sid­er­a­tions.

The gen­eral pub­lic is sen­si­tive to the envi­ron­men­tal and human health issues related to the overuse of plas­tics. Overuse of the seduc­tive one and done, throw-​aways is get­ting national atten­tion.

In sev­eral cities, cus­tomers must request plas­tic straws for drinks. Some have begun to carry their own bam­boo or metal straws to juice joints. We are all, by now, accus­tomed to pro­vid­ing our own reusable tote bags for shop­ping at retail stores.

Read more: Beyond Straws →

Gin­ger, lemon, honey and mint. Four fairly com­mon kitchen ingre­di­ents, they part­ner well as a win­ter home rem­edy for what might be ail­ing us.

The chang­ing win­ter weather con­di­tions and con­stant fluc­tu­a­tion in tem­per­a­tures taxes our resis­tance to catch­ing a cold or the flu.

Immu­nity lev­els tend to dip in colder months. Con­fined to indoor envi­ron­ments, expo­sure to other human’s cough­ing, sneez­ing and wheez­ing puts us at higher risk for those nasty germs and viruses.

Calm jan­gled nerves and sup­press early symp­toms by get­ting into the kitchen. OTC in the pantry means some­thing alto­gether dif­fer­ent from the vast over the counter drug­store nasal, throat and body ache solu­tions.

Stay­ing hydrated and flush­ing out the sys­tem with avail­able fresh herbs, fruits and veg­eta­bles puts the home phar­macy at our fingertips.

Read more: Win­ter Kitchen →

Flow­ers speak a lan­guage all their own. We give them for hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tions, mile­stones and achieve­ments and to mourn the loss of someone’s pass­ing.

Var­i­ous flower stems con­vey mean­ing through color, scent, and their cul­tural indi­ca­tions.

Bound by tra­di­tion, Valentine’s Day gifts typ­i­cally include cards, candy and in some cases jew­elry. Flow­ers nearly always accom­pany any of those presents.

For many cen­turies, flow­ers were used to con­vey roman­tic mes­sages with­out hav­ing to ver­bal­ize the direct inten­tions. Par­tic­u­larly in the Vic­to­rian Era, it was con­sid­ered impo­lite to openly state emo­tions or show phys­i­cal affec­tion.

The vehi­cle most often used to con­vey roman­tic inter­est or courtship was flow­ers. Spe­cific bou­quet arrange­ments, col­ors or types of flow­ers used would send a quiet lovers message.

Read more: Be Mine →

The 2019 Lunar New Year starts on the fifth of Feb­ru­ary. Com­ing off the Year of the Dog, this is the begin­ning of the Year of the Pig in the Chi­nese zodiac. The ele­ment for the year is Earth.

The promise for the new year is one of joy, cel­e­bra­tion and suc­cess in all areas of life.

The pig (known also as the boar) is said to be gen­er­ous, social and sta­ble.

An Earth Pig year com­bines a real­is­tic but happy-​go-​lucky socia­ble pig com­bined with the steady and sen­si­ble char­ac­ter­is­tics of Earth, it her­alds a reward­ing and pros­per­ous year. This will be a year to enjoy friend­ships and social con­tacts and come together for the com­mon good.

Read more: Earth + Pig + Joy →

Gro­cery mar­ket­ing has declared Feb­ru­ary as National Snack Food Month. Super Bowl Sun­day is just days away.

We are a nation of snack­ers, spend­ing over $60 bil­lion dol­lars annu­ally on those ever tempt­ing chips, crack­ers and other processed good­ies.

On the heels of those recently made res­o­lu­tions to eat bet­ter and cre­ate a life around health­ier imper­a­tives, take time for prepa­ra­tions. A month-​long snack fest requires some resis­tance, resolve and retool­ing.

Turn the tables on the media dri­ven snack food propo­si­tions. Favorite nib­bles can have a makeover that sat­is­fies every occa­sion. Don’t sup­port empty calo­ries and car­bo­hy­drates, sat­u­rated fats, high in sugar and pro­vide no nutri­tional value.

It’s hard to resist Dori­tos and Ruf­fles. Mod­er­a­tion is key in most food choices. Watch what goes in to the shop­ping cart for improv­ing the inevitable snack attacks. Look for desir­able alter­na­tives to the known cul­prits of over-​indulged behavior.

Read more: Snack Lightly →

Color affects both emo­tions and mood. Win­ter is no rea­son to for­feit bright col­ors. It may well be the absolute best time of year to strut the most vibrant hues on the color chart.

Cit­rus is at peak of sea­son in avail­abil­ity and taste. Use the many vari­eties to lift spir­its, boost immu­nity and improve menus.

Out of hand snack­ing is made con­ve­nient with portable “easy peel” vari­etals. This includes navel oranges, man­darins and tan­ger­ines.

Navel oranges have a sunny fla­vor with a touch of acid­ity. These seed­less fruits are per­fect for mak­ing any dreary day a bit cheerier. A fan favorite, they are burst­ing with unreal juicy sweet­ness.

Cara Cara oranges are very sweet with pinkish-​red fruit flesh. They have hints of berry and flo­ral fla­vors for a cit­rus change of pace. Con­sider seg­ments added to yogurt, com­potes and desserts.

Read more: Bright Lights →

Smart cook­ers like Instant Pots are enjoy­ing a moment. This cel­e­brated multi-​cooker is touted as capa­ble of replac­ing seven dif­fer­ent appli­ances.

It brags of doing the work of a slow cooker, an elec­tric pres­sure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/​browning pan, and food-​warming pot.

Cook­ing speed may be the sin­gle most advan­tage of going for the Instant Pot. This is par­tic­u­larly true if cook­ing some meats is high on the menu. Shav­ing time off of ribs, roasts and whole chicken mat­ters.

Risotto and dried beans seem to cook in record time. Soups and stews from scratch develop depth of fla­vor with­out turn­ing on the stove or oven.

Not every­one wants or needs sev­eral (or even one more) kitchen gad­get tak­ing up shelf space. Com­pe­ti­tion among food proces­sors, stand mix­ers, blenders, juicers and var­i­ous cof­fee mak­ers is fierce within most households.

Read more: Take It Slow →

Cul­ti­vat­ing Change is a local farm grant pro­gram offered by Greener Fields Together.

It aims to fund projects and pur­suits that will help local farm­ers do what they’re best at– farm­ing.

Qual­i­fied grow­ers and aggre­ga­tors are able to win fund­ing based through an online vot­ing plat­form and peer review panel.

As farm­ers applied for this cur­rent Jan­u­ary pro­gram, they were required to apply for a spe­cific fund­ing cat­e­gory to enhance an area of oper­a­tions. Demands for all farms and ranches requires a con­tin­u­ous state of improve­ment for sus­tain­abil­ity.

Cer­ti­fi­ca­tions is one fund cat­e­gory that assists with organic, food safety, non-​GMO, fair trade, bio­dy­namic or other daunt­ing reg­u­la­tory require­ments. This is an avenue of com­pet­i­tive advan­tage for many growers.

Read more: Cul­ti­vat­ing Change →

Folk­lore and super­sti­tion pre­vail in the kitchen on New Year’s Day.

What we eat on day one may well set the course for all the days to fol­low in 2019. Many cul­tures look to foods that are round or shaped like a ring will bring things full cir­cle. This sig­ni­fies good luck.

For­ward move­ment, good health and pros­per­ity are all wel­comed as we cel­e­brate the com­ing days ahead.

In Hol­land, by exam­ple, a round frit­ter made of raisins and apples is a New Year’s Day favorite. The tra­di­tional Dutch treat may, in fact, be the orig­i­nal donut. What a way to start to the New Year!

Some fam­i­lies choose to assem­ble twelve round fruits, one for each month, to usher in the new year. Gather up oranges, grape­fruit, quince, pome­gran­ate, grapes, per­sim­mons, figs and apples for this fresh offer­ing. The healthy mon­tage will only lead to wise per­sonal choices for good eat­ing in the com­ing year. That is a cus­tom worth get­ting used to.

Read more: Full Circle →

Clos­ing out the year gives way to per­sonal and pro­fes­sional reflec­tion.

As an indus­try, 2018 pre­sented many dif­fi­cult chal­lenges to hur­dle for every sup­ply chain stake­holder.

Grow­ers, ship­pers, proces­sors, sup­pli­ers, retail­ers and food­ser­vice estab­lish­ments all shared in the endeavor to deliver fresh pro­duce.

Demand­ing everyone’s atten­tion through­out the year were var­i­ous prod­uct recalls, warn­ings and alerts. Recent romaine ill­nesses are still top of mind. Fifty nine indi­vid­u­als, in fif­teen states, were affected in the last out­break.

These all too fre­quent out­breaks unfor­tu­nately adversely impact the health of any num­ber of fresh pro­duce con­sumers. For the rest of the mar­ket­place, it casts a dark shadow on eat­ing any leafy greens or veg­eta­bles.

Pro­mot­ing increased con­sump­tion of fresh pro­duce is an already tall task. Rebuild­ing erod­ing con­sumer con­fi­dence in the after­math of these peri­odic out­breaks puts addi­tional stress on most indus­try professionals.

Read more: The Last Sip →

Gin­ger­bread and hol­i­day spices are warm­ing from the inside out. Take com­fort and joy to the next level by includ­ing pears in those fes­tive prepa­ra­tions.

Maybe the best part of pears this time of year is their acci­den­tal orna­men­tal nature. The sen­su­ous shapes and var­i­ous sizes and skin col­ors sug­gest end­less culi­nary pos­si­bil­i­ties. They pro­vide a fresh fruit com­po­nent in baked goods, sal­ads and entrees, while all at once insert high drama and art on the plate.

Pears are very ver­sa­tile. In addi­tion to being served raw in almost any­thing, pears bake, poach, sauté, roast and grill very nicely. They can be made into pre­serves, jams and chut­neys which can be a sea­sonal boost to pan­cakes, waf­fles and toast.

Whole, sliced, chopped or chun­ked, pears offer great fla­vor in addi­tion to tex­ture and visual inter­est to many recipes.

Firmer vari­eties like Bosc, Anjou, or Con­corde are best for heated appli­ca­tions— poach­ing, bak­ing and grilling. Because their flesh is denser, they hold their shape bet­ter. Their inher­ent fla­vor is not over­pow­ered by other cook­ing ingredients.

Read more: Peace, Love & Pears →

As the eight days of Hanukkah fin­ish, we are gen­tly reminded of those lovely fried gems that are cus­tom­ar­ily eaten dur­ing the course of the Fes­ti­val of Lights.

Tra­di­tion serves up golden brown latkes. One does not have to be Jew­ish to appre­ci­ate this espe­cially del­i­cate good bite. Nor do we need to con­fine our latke indul­gence to the few short days of the hol­i­day sea­son.

Latkes (potato pan­cakes) are tra­di­tion­ally topped with apple­sauce or sour cream. There are many new cre­ative vari­a­tions to these cakes and top­pings.

The crisp, golden clas­sic is made of shred­ded rus­set pota­toes and grated fresh onions. Yukon gold or sweet pota­toes put a softer spin on the clas­sic.

Other root veg­eta­bles like car­rots, turnips and parsnips sur­prise the pal­let in a new cake direc­tion. Include zuc­chini, cau­li­flower, apples, green onions and fresh herbs to amp up flavors.

Read more: Patty Cakes →

Good news for fruit lovers after the Thanks­giv­ing feast. Apples and cit­rus fruits begin to dom­i­nate pro­duce stands and farmer’s mar­kets.

No need for unwar­ranted com­par­isons. Both fruit fam­i­lies con­tribute to bev­er­ages, snacks or meals this time of year.

Ver­sa­tile and dis­tinc­tive, each cat­e­gory seems to have end­less pos­si­bil­i­ties as new vari­eties become avail­able through­out the sea­son.

Ambrosia, Hon­ey­crisp, Opal or Sweet Tango apples remind us that there is a favored choice for every taste pro­file. Sweet and crisp, choose the one that fits out of hand or bak­ing needs.

Tiny Lady apples and other minia­ture vari­eties range from bril­liant red to golden yel­low with red blush. They run from sweet to tart in taste and are good for hand-​eating or cook­ing. They make for par­tic­u­larly good gar­nishes and fresh décor ingre­di­ents dur­ing win­ter months and upcom­ing hol­i­day celebrations.

Read more: Apples & Oranges →

Green business Bureau article about GP
Green Busi­ness Bureau
By Amanda John­son Sep­tem­ber 11, 2018 Blog, Mem­ber News

From food­ser­vice to retail, export to whole­sale, the fresh pro­duce dis­tri­b­u­tion busi­ness can cover a wide-​rage of busi­ness seg­ments that come together to ser­vice every­thing from gro­cery stores to restau­rants and casi­nos to schools. One busi­ness that suc­cess­fully cov­ers all of these seg­ments is Green Busi­ness Bureau mem­ber, Gen­eral Pro­duce Com­pany, a com­pany tack­ling the fresh pro­duce mar­ket in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

Founded in 1933 by Chan Tai Oy, his three sons and nephew, Gen­eral Pro­duce Co. is a third gen­er­a­tion owned and oper­ated fam­ily busi­ness that dis­trib­utes and exports fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles that are local, organic, sus­tain­able, and region­ally and glob­ally sourced. As a PRO*ACT mem­ber, Gen­eral Pro­duce is focused on energy con­ser­va­tion and reduc­tion, recy­cling and par­tic­i­pat­ing in pro­grams like Greener Fields Together, a local farm ini­tia­tive. Gen­eral Pro­duce works to inte­grate sus­tain­abil­ity – social, envi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic – into their daily busi­ness prac­tices and long range plan­ning.

While Gen­eral Pro­duce is chal­lenged with facil­i­ties that are dated in terms of struc­tures, energy sys­tems, fleet demand for ser­vice and CA leg­is­la­tion, they have worked hard to be cre­ative in address­ing the demands of state man­dates, as well as facil­ity lay­out. From light­ing to cool­ing and refrig­er­a­tion, the company’s oper­a­tions and facil­ity team con­tin­u­ously work toward mak­ing improve­ments. They also look for ways to min­i­mize the company’s envi­ron­men­tal impacts in the areas of water, waste, energy and air, and reduce their car­bon foot­print by installing cost sav­ing mea­sures.

“Our approach to busi­ness is guided by our com­mit­ment to the prin­ci­ples of integrity, hon­esty, per­sonal rela­tion­ships, diverse exper­tise, stew­ard­ship and inno­va­tion,” said Linda Luka, Direc­tor of Mar­ket­ing & Com­mu­ni­ca­tions. “We are ded­i­cated to pro­vid­ing qual­ity ser­vice and prod­ucts. To do so, our aim is to ensure that our work­force and com­mu­ni­ties ben­e­fit from the small scale of our daily oper­a­tions to the large scale of our sup­ply chain.”

Read the orig­i­nal arti­cle here.
It has been almost a year since our last recipe chal­lenge. In response to over­whelm­ing demand from our team, we decided to host one on our own fea­tur­ing Brent­wood corn.

On Mon­day, August 20, our res­i­dent GP “Chefs” made 10 deli­cious dishes. Some devel­oped their own recipes while oth­ers tried their hand at clas­sic recipes found in cook­books or inno­v­a­tive recipes found on food blogs. The win­ning recipe was Gina Backovich’s Cobb Ice Cream with Smoky Corn Crack, and boy was it addict­ing! Despite some skep­ti­cism about “corn ice cream,” any­one who tried it could not walk away with­out tak­ing at least one more bite.

Read more: Sum­mer Corn Recipe Challenge →


Seek­ing to infuse your culi­nary or bev­er­age cre­ations with the ulti­mate fresh fruit fla­vor? No need to peel, dice, purée, and sim­mer for those ideal results.
Per­fect Purée is the solution!

Per­fect Purée is the pre­mium purée prod­uct on the mar­ket. The suc­cu­lent, single-​note fla­vors of Per­fect Purée inspire every­thing you can think of: cock­tails, mari­nades, cakes, cook­ies, sor­bets and smooth­ies. At the back of the house or front of the house, chefs, cookes, baris­tas, bar­tenders, pas­try chefs, and brew mas­ters love this prod­uct line!

For a per­fect sum­mer, try out our favorite warm weather fla­vors: El Cora­zon, Pink Guava & Pas­sion Fruit.

Call us today to order your sam­ple kit. Can’t wait? Go online to http://​bit​.ly/​g​p​p​u​r​e​e.

Last month, we were invited to host another PRO*ACT Recipe Chal­lenge with our employ­ees. This time, we were selected by Tay­lor Farms to try out their Cau­li­flower Pearls. Cau­li­flower has been trend­ing as a great carb sub­sti­tute and is com­monly used as a rice or potato replace­ment, so this con­ve­nient prod­uct was cre­ated to meet those demands.

On Mon­day, Sep­tem­ber 18, our res­i­dent GP “Chefs” made 12 deli­cious dishes with recipes they devel­oped just for this chal­lenge and recipes they already knew and loved from their favorite food blog­gers. The com­mon opin­ion among the Chefs is that the pre­cut Cau­li­flower Pearls saved them time by cut­ting out the prep­ping steps of wash­ing, cut­ting, and pro­cess­ing cau­li­flower. With how deli­cious all of these dishes are, that’s a huge win for any­one who wants to recre­ate them.

Read more: Cau­li­flower Pearls Recipe Challenge →

Gen­eral Pro­duce was selected by D’Arrigo Bros. Co., of CA to par­tic­i­pate in a PRO*ACT Recipe Chal­lenge. The prod­uct D’Arrigo chose to fea­ture was their Andy Boy Broc­coli Rabe. When we received the invi­ta­tion, we knew it was time to get cook­ing!

Our res­i­dent GP “chefs” boldly accepted the chal­lenge. With­out any expe­ri­ence cook­ing with the pro­vided Broc­coli Rabe, they faced off against one another to cre­ate orig­i­nal dishes. GP employ­ees tasted & voted on their favorites. D’Arrigo pro­vided prizes for the 3 chefs with the most pop­u­lar recipes. So who won? The cov­eted first place went to Linda Unden for her Broc­coli Rabe Soup. Sec­ond and third places respec­tively went to Mar­vin Wat­son for his Broc­coli Rabe Feta Ham Pie and Jen­nifer Ho for her Broc­coli Rabe Korean Pan­cake.

For both the par­tic­i­pants and the taste-​testers, it was a dif­fi­cult choice. We had 9 won­der­fully deli­cious recipes to enjoy. Check them out below & let us know which ones you would try.


Read more: Broc­coli Rabe Recipe Challenge →


David John dif­fer­en­ti­ates var­i­ous yams and sweet potatoes.



David John explains what Smit­ten Apples are, how they taste and how they com­pare to other apples.



David John talks about what to do with Cal­abaza and Red Kuri Squash. Try it!



How Sat­sumas are dif­fer­ent from other cit­rus fruits.



How to pick, store, and 3 ways to use fennel.



David John III explains how to pick, clean, eat and use the cac­tus pear.



David John explains the his­tory and cur­rent state of Apple Hill apples.


Dan Chan (Pres­i­dent) and Tom Chan (CEO) with Sacra­mento Food Bank & Fam­ily Service’s Kelly Siefkin (far left) and Blake Young (sec­ond from right)
Last week, Farm-​to-​Fork and Food Tank hosted the inau­gural food sum­mit called Farm Tank in Sacra­mento. Look­ing to fur­ther offer indus­try mem­bers oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn about the unique per­spec­tive of Cal­i­for­nia food and agri­cul­ture, Gen­eral Pro­duce par­tic­i­pated in Farm Tank in many ways. We really wanted to pro­vide an exhil­a­rat­ing expe­ri­ence that will advance con­ver­sa­tion around access to healthy food. All of the thought­ful con­ver­sa­tion and edu­ca­tion that tran­spired those few days could poten­tially improve our local food system.

Read more: Farm Tank Sum­mit & On the Plate 2016


Chilean Navels are in sea­son and bet­ter than ever!