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Corporation promises locally sourced produce in bid to win back consumers
Fresh Produce at Wal-Mart
After recent complaints of poor quality produce, Wal-Mart Corporation has announced plans to overhaul their fresh food initiative in the hopes of improving not only the caliber of their goods, but also their standing in the public opinion.
According to a report on npr.com, the company plans to purchase about 80 percent of their produce directly from growers, eliminating the role of wholesale sellers in the transaction. They also plan to initiate a training program to better equip employees to handle, stock, and identify fresh fruits and vegetables.
Hand in hand with this announcement comes Walmart’s pledge to bolster its stock of local ingredients. The popular farm-to-table trend that is prevalent in the restaurant sphere has reached American homes, where a new emphasis on local and organic ingredients is changing the way the people are purchasing their fruits and vegetables.
With both the health and economic benefits of locally sourced food moving up in our social consciousness, it’s logical that America’s super-super-store wants to be able to offer consumers what they want. Yet the question remains as to whether Walmart’s local sourcing truly benefits small farms, or whether the company, which requires volumes of product far above the typical yield of a small farm, is purchasing locally from massive, high-earning super farms instead.
Walmart Revises Fresh Produce Plan - Recipes
- Did you know that the kiwifruit’s skin is edible? The skin, even though fuzzy, is full of nutrients and fiber.
- Make sure to eat kiwis shortly after cutting. Kiwis contain a special enzyme that has tenderizing effects, which means that it will continue to soften the longer it sits after being cut.
- A 2-in. diameter kiwifruit contains 2 grams of fiber – that’s 8% of the recommended daily dosage from a tiny piece of fruit!
- Kiwis come packed with fiber, potassium and vitamins C and E.
- With zero fat, cholesterol and sodium, you can treat yourself to these sweet green fruits all day long.
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Courtesy of Imperfect Foods
Imperfect Foods is an online grocer with a mission to create a more sustainable and effective food system. The company sources imperfect produce—fruits and vegetables that have cosmetic imperfections—and surplus food directly from farmers, growers and food purveyors, and delivers these goods directly to customers' doors through a customizable subscription service that is often 30 percent less than what you pay at the grocery store.
"They have a wide variety of produce that may not be Instagram-worthy by the classic definition, but they taste just as good. If you are going to be chopping up that red pepper, who cares if it looks a little lopsided? It still has the same taste and nutrients," says registered dietitian nutritionist, Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, CPT, the author of Fueling Male Fertility: Nutrition and Lifestyle Guidance for Men Trying to Conceive and owner of Nutrition Now Counseling,
This is the perfect fresh produce subscription box if you're also looking for a one-stop-shop for groceries. Imperfect Foods boxes also offer 200 shelf-stable grocery items like lentils, dairy, proteins, quinoa, olive oil, and bread.
Walmart Launches New 'Marketside' Fresh Food Lines - Plus A 'Fresh' Campaign to Create Brand Buzz
Private Brand Showcase: Fresh Foods
Walmart Stores, Inc. has been busy creating and launching new fresh food product lines under its "Marketside" private brand, along with adding new SKUs to its existing lines, since we last reported on and wrote about the introduction of a new line of "Marketside"artisan breads and related baked goods in September. [Read the story - September 9, 2010: Walmart Introduces 'Marketside' Brand Packaged Fresh-Baked Breads, Sub Rolls and Chocolate Chunk Cookie.]
Since then, Walmart has launched three notable new "Marketside" lines: a line of ready-to-use refrigerated dips (for chips, crackers, fruits and veggies) a cook-in-three-minute fresh, refrigerated pasta line and a companion line of ready-to-heat fresh-prepared pasta sauces.
Dips: The extensive line features numerous SKUs, including Guacamole a range of ranch dips like Chipotle Ranch and Buttermilk Ranch Bleu Cheese a cream cheese and vanilla bean fruit dip and others.
Fresh Pasta: The "Marketside" line of fresh, refrigerated pasta includes numerous pasta shapes, along with ravioli and tortelloni varieties filled with meat and cheese, like the Three Cheese Tortelloni pictured above. All of the fresh pasta varieties take three minutes to boil.
Pasta Sauce: The "Marketside" refrigerated, fresh-prepared pasta sauces come in tomato-based and cream varieties, as well as pesto. The cream-based sauce varieties include the Asiago and Smoked Provolone cheese sauce pictured above. The tomato-based marinara sauce varieties include the Tuscan-Style Marinara Sauce, also pictured above.
Walmart has yet to add the new "Marketside" fresh pasta, pasta sauce and dip lines, as well as some of the new SKUs added to the existing lines, to its Marketside.com product website.
Walmart's "Marketside" private brand now includes lines and products in the fresh-prepared foods, fresh produce and bakery categories.
The fresh-prepared food lines include both ready-to-eat items - grab-and-go salads and sandwiches party trays Rotisserie chicken and other meat and non-meat items and side dishes plus the dips and sauces - and ready-to-heat or quick-cook items, such as entrees, side dishes, pizzas, pastas and sauces.
There's also a line of "Marketside" packaged fresh cheese and a line of packaged lunch meats which are sold in some Walmart stores.
The fresh food products are sold in the retailer's Walmart Supercenter, Walmart Neighborhood Market and marketside by Walmart banner stores in the U.S. Additionally, selected "marketside" items are also sold in some of the retailer's discount format stores.
The product grouping above - the ready-to-eat rotisserie chicken and take-and-bake pizza, along with a bag of fresh spinach, a loaf of fresh bread and a cookie - is a good graphic depiction of the "home meal replacement" marketing positioning focus Walmart is using for its "Marketside" fresh foods brand.
Home meal replacement positioning, building brand buzz
Walmart's strategic vision and marketing strategy for "Marketside" is to create a multi-line family of fresh food products and position them to shoppers as an affordable, fresh and high-quality "home meal solutions" brand and concept, which it has started doing, using a handful of marketing and promotional vehicles.
The retailer's new campaign for "Marketside," which began the first week of November, is designed to create online buzz around the brand by engaging food-oriented bloggers and "mommy" bloggers, many who are members of Walmart's moms' blogger group.
The "home meal replacement" positioning for brand "Marketside" is the central theme of the campaign. Boulder, Colorado-based design and corporate identity firm Mighty Fudge Studios, the creators of the "Marketside" product packaging, prepared an attractive and detailed collateral piece for the week-long promotion. The package was sent to the bloggers as an information piece about the brand, along with inviting them to receive a selection of free "Marketside" products over a period of time, which they could try and hopefully write about in their respective blogs, thereby creating some desired online grassroots buzz for and around the brand.
The marketing communications piece (pictured above) uses the "home meal solutions" positioning as its overall theme, focusing the "Marketside" brand message on that key element.
A number of the food-oriented and "mommy" bloggers who received the free products and market communication piece have since posted about the "Marketside" products, along with posting recipes they created using the fresh food items.
More brand 'Marketside' to come
In addition to introducing the new "Marketside" fresh food lines, Walmart has added new SKUs to many of its existing lines over the last couple months, such as new fresh bread items, ready-to-heat refrigerated soup varieties, value-added produce items and a some others.
New line creation and SKU expansion are far from over at Walmart for brand "Marketside." The retailer is currently working on additional new fresh food lines, including prepared-foods, and new SKUs to add to the existing lines, for introduction in the first half of 2011.
So, What is a 21-day cleanse?
Fill your body with the most nourishing, delicious foods to reset your cravings, kick start your weight loss and be naturally energized.
Experience a full body cleanse
- You suffer from allergies & sensitivities
- Your digestive system is giving you grief
- You want to be healthier but struggle to start
- You're eager to eat more plants
- You want to boost your green smoothie game
- You’re feeling stressed out and tired
Save Money, Live Better
The first of the three initiatives is called Save Money, Live Better. This initiative has a number of components that Walmart is following.
- Price Leadership: The Company is well known for its “Everyday Low Pricing”, but Walmart is aiming to give the consumer greater value for each product category. By achieving price leadership Walmart hopes to ward off attempts by other retailers such as Target from gaining market share.
- Consumables: This component is an area where Walmart is looking to reduce outlay. Changes will be made in promotional cadence, seasonal advertising, and in-store signage.
- Private Label: One area where Walmart can increase revenue is to expand their private label categories. The current economic climate has consumers looking to save money and the value of Wal-Mart’s private label products should be good for the consumer as well as the company.
- Integrated Brand Communication: Although Walmart is looking to reduce the overall number of suppliers and products, the company will be looking for remaining vendors to increase co-branded advertising campaigns.
- Leverage Selling General and Administrative Expenses (SG&A): The Company can ask suppliers to introduce efficiencies in the transportation of items. This can be the supplier to the distribution center, distribution center to the store and also within the store.
Freezing Sweet PotatoesLast Fall, I experimented with freezing different vegetables. My aim was to cook food ahead and have individually frozen portions ready to thaw, heat and serve. My carrots and baby Lima beans turned out well. I am especially pleased with my sweet potatoes.
Fluffy Banana Choco Chip PancakeHere's a simple recipe you can even teach your kids to do it for themselves. This doesn't necessarily need measuring since our leavening agents baking soda and baking powder are absent in this recipe. These two are ingredients you have to put correctly into your batter or else you'll have a weird tasting pancake. The other ingredients, they can be estimated so it's safe for your children to participate this activity but still teach them the right estimate and proper procedure to get good results.
Avocado Salad DressingAvocados make a wonderful creamy salad dressing that is more healthy than mayonnaise based dressings. Serve it over fresh greens, pasta or even fruit.
Coq au Vin (Rooster in Red Wine)Coq au vin is a real star of traditional French recipes, known internationally as one of the best examples of French gastronomy. This dish combines two symbols of France - rooster and wine!
Ripe Avocado Salad DressingI got a deal on some very ripe avocados at my grocer and decided to make an easy sauce to use on noodles or as a salad dressing. You just mix them all in a blender and refrigerate until use so there are really no steps but measuring them into the appliance! Delish and healthy too! Check it out!
Velouté de Potimarron et MorteauI am French and I really love to cook simple but delicious dishes. This recipe is about Velouté de Potimarron et Morteau. Most this dish would most likely translated as Pumpkin Soup with smoked sausage from Morteau, but in French we do not call it soup, namely velouté because of its special creamy texture.
‘Microfarms’ come to South L.A. frontyards, bringing fresh produce to food deserts
Jamiah Hargins knows the modest frontyard at the corner of Angeles Vista Boulevard and Olympiad Drive like the back of his hand.
A military brat who grew up moving from one country to another, he has traversed the yard’s 970 square feet countless times. He and a small team of volunteers spent a month cultivating the land, installing equipment and planting sloping rows of vegetables, including bok choy, Tuscan kale, rainbow chard, red cherry tomatoes, basil and chives.
It’s enough to cause people in this View Park neighborhood, including their regular mailman, to gawk at the lush green grass transformed into a minifarm.
“For a while, we thought it was just the typical landscaping job in View Park. And we were curious when we saw just how much work was going into it,” said Ibiere Seck, 40, who lives in the neighborhood and watched the farm come to life during walks with her children. “Every day we would just pass and see it evolve. . There are many beautiful things to see in this neighborhood. But by far, this is the most fascinating and inspirational.”
Seck said she was inspired to adjust a backyard landscaping project she began months ago to include more green space — and is now interested in making space for a microfarm.
That’s something Hargins, a 37-year-old with the easygoing but determined disposition of a youth minister, likes to hear. His Asante Microfarm is named after a Swahili word meaning “thank you.”
According to the USDA, large swaths of South L.A. suffer from low access to fresh food. It’s a problem even in some socioeconomically better off neighborhoods. In View Park, a majority Black neighborhood where households earned a median income of more than $92,000 in 2015-19, the nearest grocery store is an Albertsons more than a mile away.
Some residents have responded by turning to community gardens and mini markets. Others are building small backyard gardens. The farm at Angeles Vista and Olympiad is a neat hybrid of these approaches.
“The success of Asante Microfarm is an example of the need for more innovative approaches to food sovereignty that are created by, for, and within the communities that have been systematically and strategically excluded from food production,” said Pearson King, Agency Relations Manager at Food Forward, a nonprofit that brings fresh surplus fruits and vegetables to people experiencing food insecurity across Southern California.
Founder Jamiah Hargins discusses the Asante Microfarm in View Park.
The Asante Microfarm is not a vegetable garden for private use, a large urban farm or community garden for a small group of green thumbs. Rather, Hargins has designed an urban farm just big enough to fit in a front yard, real estate most people use for decoration.
Hargins wants to empower underserved communities while giving them access to fresh food by planting small, sustainable farms in lots across L.A.
“Everybody is entitled to the nutrients beneath their feet. That applies to people in apartment buildings, or condos,” he said. “They have the right to have local food. Folks can have a different life. I’m hoping to show that it can be done.”
Filmmaker Ali Greer and teacher/chef Eric Tomassini are juggling full-time careers while living their dream of running the Avenue 33 Farm, an urban farm carved into the steep acre behind their Lincoln Heights home, just minutes from downtown L.A.
For Hargins, the microfarm, built on a residential frontyard on the 4600 block of Angeles Vista Boulevard, is a proof of concept for a much larger goal.
The crops grow from nutrient-rich sacks of compost and the whole farm is supported by an irrigation system that not only recycles water but uses just 8% of the water previously used for grass. The farm was built using part of a $50,000 LA2050 grant from the Goldhirsh Foundation but will be sustained by subscriptions that cost $36 per month and $43 with delivery. For that, subscribers get a 3-pound mix of greens and vegetables every week.
Hargins’ father was an Air Force engineer who moved the family from Colorado Springs, where Hargins was born, to a village called Haverhill in England — then Kaiserslautern in southwest Germany before landing in Clovis, N.M.
In Clovis, Hargins flourished academically, even winning a NASA Mars settlement competition at age 17. On Sundays, he served alongside his father as a deacon at the family church. His father, the head deacon, taught him how to bring people together and cemented his commitment to service.
The social consciousness Hargins developed as a youth nagged at him as a political science student at the University of Chicago and later when he pursued a career in finance. “I did that for a few years, but never really felt the soul in it or felt that it was a real service to the world,” he said.
He moved on to consulting for nonprofits but eventually enrolled in an economic and political development program at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.
Hargins was married by 2015 and he and his wife decided to move to California, where his parents were originally from and where his mother had since settled. Their daughter Triana arrived in 2017. He found a place in L.A.'s West Adams neighborhood, where there wasn’t always easy access to fresh produce. Hargins decided to start a backyard garden and before long found himself burdened with more fruits and vegetables than his small family could eat.
“Growing food is empowering and it builds your confidence because you produce something that exists only because of your hard work,” he said. “You can own it fully. And generally, if you grow too much of it, you can give some of it away.”
Hargins logged onto the Nextdoor app with the idea to swap produce with neighbors.
On the appointed day, 15 people — from all backgrounds and walks of life but mostly from West Adams — showed up at his home ready to exchange artichokes, kale, and onions from their own gardens for Hargins’ lemons, herbs, and beans. The group continued to expand until 2018 when Hargins started Crop Swap LA, an organization dedicated to growing food on unused spaces and creating green jobs.
Hargins mustered his charm and passion to get the space that would become the Asante Microfarm. He hit it off with Mychal Creer, an educator who worked with Hargins’ wife at an L.A. charter school. Creer felt for years that he could be doing more with his frontyard. Turning it into a farm seemed like a no-brainer.
“All he had was his word and his plan,” Creer said of Hargins. “I can’t lie I was nervous at the jump but I wanted to take the risk.”
Besides, he added: “Jamiah was adamant. He just continued to follow up with me until one day he said ‘Hey, Mike, let’s start.’”
From there, Hargins partnered with a group called Enviroscape LA to map out the irrigation and landscaping. And he assembled a team of dedicated volunteers who helped with the hard work of cultivating the yard, digging trenches for irrigation and tending to the plants.
“He’s an amazing teacher. It’s amazing to be part of something where you’re working together, but there’s also leadership. I feel honored to call him a friend and also a mentor,” said Gabriel Stout, 25, a musician who met Hargins at the West Adams Farmers market and has since become a trainee at Crop Swap LA.
His East L.A. backyard is mostly concrete, but Ken Sparks has transformed the hardscape into something alive, with chickens, a butterfly garden and organic vegetables.
It took one month from when the team broke ground to the farm’s grand opening in April. Today, Asante can grow over 600 plants and feed about 50 families.
There are already 35 subscribers, most of whom visit the farm on foot or by bicycle to pick up produce. Along with serving them, Hargins and his team set aside 10% of every harvest for families in need via a community fridge on Degnan Boulevard in Leimert Park.
“It’s a community tithe. That’s what I’ve been calling it. I guess it comes from my church days,” Hargins said.
Hargins and Crop Swap LA hope to grow their project and feed L.A. one yard at a time. Right now, the biggest hurdle is acquiring space, including a headquarters for Crop Swap LA — a property where Hargins and his family can live, garden, and host others who want to reproduce the model set by Asante Microfarm. Ultimately, he hopes to help build and manage 400 microfarms across the city.
Future farms from South L.A. to the Westside can be funded, Hargins says, through a mix of approaches. Hargins intends to raise funds to support planting farms in the yards of low-income homeowners. He’s also working on developing a sliding scale that will allow homeowners to share in profits made by the farm based on their level of investment.
“I’d like to create a culture of economic sustainability,” Hargins said. “I want to create an expectation that people do something better with their space than water grass.”
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About Green Potatoes
Elise founded Simply Recipes in 2003 and led the site until 2019. She has an MA in Food Research from Stanford University.
Green = vegetables = good, right?
Not when it comes to potatoes.
Here's an important piece of information that my mother taught me years ago, but fewer and fewer people these days seem to know about. Green in potatoes indicates the presence of a rather harmful toxin. When you see patches of green in your potatoes as you peel them, cut out the green parts entirely and discard them.
What is the green? Actually it's chlorophyll. Not bad for you at all. But the chlorophyll indicates that the potato has been exposed to sunlight. And where the potato has been exposed to light is where a natural toxin in the potato (solanine) becomes concentrated at harmful levels. So, never store your potatoes on the counter. Always keep them in a cool, completely dark place.
Solanine is a natural defense mechanism of the potato to ward off fungus and pests. It will also be triggered when a potato is bruised, so if your potato is at all damaged or bruised, discard it.
According to the Wikipedia, deep-frying potatoes at a high temperature (306°F) effectively lowers the level of toxins. But boiling them (212°F) has no effect. Best to stay on the safe side and just cut away the green parts. The NIH website mentions that the potato sprouts can also have concentrated solanine, so those too should never be eaten.
One of the things we've been noticing recently is that more often than not the bag of potatoes we buy from our local grocer contains several potatoes with green splotches. Once in a while is one thing, but every time? We've complained to our store's manager and if you are finding green in the potatoes from your produce supplier, we urge you to do the same.
Potato Poisoning - Green Tubers and Sprouts - Medline Plus, of the National Institute of Health
About solanine - Wikipedia reference
Green Potatoes are Poisonous: True - Snopes Urban Legend Reference Pages
Harold McGee on green potatoes
Produce Sharing allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.
Near Santa Monica , California, United States
About 640 days ago, 8/21/19
Sharer's comments : Jonathan knows what's going on.