100 episodes

The Produce Moms™ is a community of passionate fresh produce advocates with a mission to inspire everyone, especially children, to eat more fruits and vegetables. The Produce Moms Podcast is designed to educate consumers about fresh produce, introduce them to produce brands, engage the produce industry with consumers in inspiring conversations, and promotes public policy to protect and increase the availability of fresh produce at American schools. For more info, visit www.theproducemoms.com

The Produce Moms Podcast The Produce Moms

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.8, 45 Ratings

The Produce Moms™ is a community of passionate fresh produce advocates with a mission to inspire everyone, especially children, to eat more fruits and vegetables. The Produce Moms Podcast is designed to educate consumers about fresh produce, introduce them to produce brands, engage the produce industry with consumers in inspiring conversations, and promotes public policy to protect and increase the availability of fresh produce at American schools. For more info, visit www.theproducemoms.com

    Creating A Gluten Free Diet For The Whole Family with Jennifer Wiese, founder of BeeFree

    Creating A Gluten Free Diet For The Whole Family with Jennifer Wiese, founder of BeeFree

    “The whole family’s going to eat it and it’s going to be made with clean, real ingredients, and it’s going to taste delicious!”

    Jennifer Wiese (4:21-4:28)
     
    What was originally a decision to help her son battle autism turned into a movement to help families everywhere enjoy plant-based products that are made with real, clean ingredients.
     
    Jennifer Wiese, founder of BeeFree and mother of four sons, had to quickly find a way to help her son August when he was diagnosed with autism at age 7. At an Autism conference in Vancouver, they learned about all types of modalities to help: detoxification, hypobaric chambers, taking 30 supplements a day… but none of those options were realistic for her and her family. 
     
    Jennifer learned about gluten free (before it was “fashionable”) and it’s benefits for kids with autism, so she switched the family diet to it. Noticing a difference in her son, she started getting asked by friends and other moms at the kid’s sporting events if she would make something gluten free for them or what kind of ingredients she used. 
     
    “I saw the need for other families and other moms who were seeking knowledge and seeking information. They just wanted help.” - Jennifer Wiese (5:18-5:22)
     
    Even fellow members of the CrossFit community were wanting an alternative snack to the typical beef jerky, almonds and hard boiled eggs. She knew she was onto something and started taking her BeeFree line to the farmers market. At first, it was cookies, cakes, and pizza dough that she sold since that’s what her son, August, loved to eat. 
     
    In 2010, Jennifer turned BeeFree into an official business! Knocking on doors seeing who would answer, Jennifer moved her products into retail, then local and regional distributors to expand her footprint quicker. Her plant based products include granola and her Warrior mix that is made of ingredients only grown from the earth. 
     
    After going gluten free, she noticed her autistic sound sleeping better, being more interactive, more conversational and responsive when he heard his name. She isn’t saying this is a cure, but truly noticed a difference when removing gluten, dairy and artificial sweeteners from his diet. 
     
    BeeFree products are a great option to fit nicely into a household already filled with fruits and vegetables. Eating a plant-based diet should include variety, which is what the BeeFree products offer. Each of her flavor mixes are named after one of her sons (hey, they put sweat equity into this too!) and every product is gluten, dairy, trans fat, soy and refined sugar free. 
     
    Her granola is truly versatile due to it being baked and then hand pieced so there are a variety of chunks and clusters. Grab it straight out of the bag, top your favorite yogurt, add it to milk, or even bake it into a pie crust! With ingredients like almonds, pumpkin seeds and coconut, this is the perfect addition to other fruits and vegetables. 
     
    “The key ingredient for every recipe is love.” - Lori Taylor (21:08-21:10)
     
    Not only is BeeFree healthy, plant-based and delicious, the foundation of the company is built on family. Jennifer’s family has been impacted with the creation of BeeFree because of the time spent together making each product and she hopes to have the same impact on others. This is a family owned, family run business with new flavors coming out based on each of her son’s personalities!
     
    Thankfully, August’s health has been impacted for the better and out of it came a tasty snack filled with real ingredients that can compliment any plant-based diet. 
     
    BeeFree granola and Warrior Mix is free of gluten, dairy, trans fat, soy, refined sugar and is 100% plant-based. You can purchase BeeFree directly on their website or in most major stores. Stay tuned for new flavors including salted caramel, chocolat

    • 23 min
    Reducing Food Waste With Sustainable Tech with Patrick Cortes, Sr. Director of Business Development at Mission Produce and Aiden Mouat, CEO of Hazel Technologies

    Reducing Food Waste With Sustainable Tech with Patrick Cortes, Sr. Director of Business Development at Mission Produce and Aiden Mouat, CEO of Hazel Technologies

    “If we can increase positive interactions with avocados, we’re going to grow as a category.”

    Patrick Cortes (17:13-17:17)
     
    Food sustainability is possible without the use of harmful chemicals, but instead, with chemistry-driven technology that helps reduce waste and supports our health.
     
    Chemistry has a bad wrap in the agriculture world, but companies like Hazel Technology are changing that. Hazel Technologies has created a post-harvest solution that manipulates the environment in which avocados are stored, making them last longer and improving shelf life. 
     
    “Every year, close to a trillion dollars in produce goes bad before it can be eaten. It’s nearly a third of all produce harvested every year.” - Aiden Mouat (2:58-3:07)
     
    Aiden Mouat, CEO of Hazel Technologies and Patrick Cortes, Senior Director of Business Development at Mission Produce have teamed up together to delay the ripening of avocados and preserve their internal quality.
     
    Think about how many times you’ve purchased avocados that have ripened too quickly, or you’ve opened only to find a shade of brown rather than the beautiful, golden green we all love?
     
    By designing a technology that works atmospherically, nothing is applied to the avocado at all. No dips, waxes, sprays or coatings. Just pure biomagnetic chemistry that helps control essential biological functions, almost similar to how we think of our metabolism working. Ever heard of “biohacking”? You can think of avocados stored with Avolast similar to that –– a new, “smart” or “biohacked” avocado that’s ripening is prolonged.
     
    Avolast’s technology leaves no residue and isn’t harmful in and of itself. It’s an antidote to the ethylene avocados produce and has been successfully used for the past 30 years in the apple industry.
     
    The long term effects on our world with technologies like Avolast are outstanding. By using a cleaner and more sophisticated form of chemistry, we can reduce the chemical load of food (in the field and out of the field). Avolast’s solution is versatile to all country’s many diverse picking and packaging processes. There’s flexibility and control over how Avolast works in any given environment, starting from the tree all the way up to the consumer. 
     
    Not only does this benefit the consumer, but by giving a retailer a mere two to four extra days to sell a fruit, that adds up to a virtual lifetime and can cut through some of the major implications our produce throwaway has on the planet.
     
    “We just can’t feed eight, nine, 10 billion people without the influence of chemistry.” - Aiden Mouat (23:08-23:13)
     
    It’s a difficult conversation to have about what technology science is helping us create for our agricultural industry, but Aiden Mouat of Hazel Technologies is doing it in a very graceful and transparent way. Who knows, the next avocado you purchase may have an extended shelf life thanks to Avolast’s innovative technology rather than harmful chemical processes.
     
    How to get involved
    Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week!  Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you are in life and business! Find out more here.   
    If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

    • 32 min
    Defeating Hunger Around The Globe with Beth Bechdol, Deputy Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization

    Defeating Hunger Around The Globe with Beth Bechdol, Deputy Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization

    “It’s one of the most important times that we maintain a focus on globalism, we maintain a commitment to multilateralism and to working together.”

    Beth Bechdol (34:56-35:06)
     
    Almost 2 billion people around the world experience a moderate or severe food insecurity.
     
    Although this trend has been decreasing for the past 20 years, we’ve recently seen a plateau and even reverse trend in some countries. Yes, COVID-19 has played a part, but that’s not the only thing we can blame our food insecurity and hunger issues on. Beth Bechdol is the Deputy Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization which focuses efforts internationally on defeating hunger, improving nutrition and increasing food security. 
     
    Growing up on a farm in Indiana, Beth brings a unique skillset to the table with the FAO. Having worked in Washington D.C. and focusing on International studies at Georgetown, she also spent much of her early career in Indiana building new concepts centered in AgTech and AgBio science to improve economic development. 
     
    Blending these two experiences together in her new leadership role has been exciting to spearhead the agenda in an entrepreneurial, creative, innovative manner.
     
    The FAO works with five of the U.N.’s 17 sustainable development goals which are: zero hunger, working on gender equality, clean water and sanitization, responsible consumption and production of food and agriculture and life below water. 
     
    “Between hunger, food accessibility and food availability, our situation globally is not a good one.” - Beth Bechdol (12:32-12:40)
     
    What’s the reason for this? There’s an increasing number of political conflicts, national security and global security issues that makes access to food a challenge for the most vulnerable people. Plus, we have challenging economic times in certain countries exacerbating food insecurity, and climate changes that are changing agricultural productivity. 
     
    If our immediate challenges due to COVID-19 continue, we’re going to see an even more rapid increase in unemployment. The loss of livelihood when jobs are lost immediately increases hunger and poverty.
     
    Some countries, like small island countries in the Caribbean, countries in Latin America and Asian countries who were very dependent on food imports are struggling also because 80-90% of their economy is rooted in tourism. 
     
    On top of those already at risk for being put in a chronic hunger state or a food insecure system, there are 120 million more people now put in that position because of the disruption of our current supply chains. 
     
    We may be in a humanitarian mindset and crisis mode across the board, but what Beth’s concern is with the FAO is that their initiatives don’t breed instant gratification results. Our attention span is very short these days, and they need individuals to stay focused on making impact long term. 
     
    Inequality is also driving this crisis. America is seeing a current rise in activism against inequality, however it’s increasing in many parts of the world. There are lower incomes, a decrease in purchasing power, families having to reduce their food budget, lack of food availability and inequality with women. 
     
    The number of conflicts around the world don’t help, as they are creating price increases which, theoretically would give our farmers an opportunity to increase production, productivity and their income. Instead, rising prices are a ripple effect stemming from governments closing down markets, so farmers can’t market their goods and products. 
     
    If farmers had the economic opportunities, social protection, productivity resources and access to markets necessary for them to thrive, we would help decrease the food insecurity in many regions and communities. 
     
    “Some of the smallest scale farmers and food produc

    • 40 min
    Bringing Transparency To The Food Industry with Robyn O’Brien, Co-Founder of rePlant Capital

    Bringing Transparency To The Food Industry with Robyn O’Brien, Co-Founder of rePlant Capital

    “Anytime one of us is brave enough to stand up and speak on an issue, it does inspire other people to do the same.”

    Robyn O’Brien (13:19 - 13:26)
     
    Food security is national security, and this is one of the most fundamental issues of our time.
     
    Robyn O’Brien, Co-Founder of rePlant Capital, Found of Do Good, Found of AllergyKids Foundation, author of The Unhealthy Truth, and Adjunct Professor at Rice University Business School, has a unique perspective on what’s going on in our food industry in the U.S. 
     
    Frustrated that she didn’t understand the language of finance and accounting, she went to business school and was eventually thrown into a job as an analyst covering the food industry for a team managing 20 million dollars in assets. 
     
    “I was not somebody that was interested in food.  I didn’t know how to cool. I gave up diet coke every year for lent.” - Robyn O’Brien (3:39 - 3:46)
     
    Her passion for food didn’t really start until January of 2006 when her youngest of four children had an allergic reaction. She started to look at the condition her child had from a data perspective and that’s when she realized the lack of transparency in the labeling of new products we bring to market.  
     
    Since the 1990’s when the U.S. started to introduce genetically engineered crops, there wasn’t any traceability or accountability, so the industry could use the blanket statement of “there’s no substantial evidence of harm”, which is partially why we are in the position we’re in today. Robyn worked on federal and state campaigns in an effort to bring labeling to genetically engineered foods. 
     
    Robyn really became known for taking a stance on this issue after doing a TedX talk where she identified the double standard we’re experiencing with our food companies who produce products with artificial ingredients here in the U.S.m yet in other countries, they produce the same products either with real ingredients or labels providing transparency so consumers can make educated decisions. 
     
    Around eighty percent of consumers are now trying something organic and seventy-five percent of all grocery store categories now carry something organic. Yet only one percent of our farmland is organic.
     
    Robyn’s business background has come into play with her ability to help drive this conversation across our food industry because she understands the pressure farmers and food industry companies are under to meet the quarterly demands of Wall Street. After her TedX talk, she’s consulted for a number of different companies to help navigate these difficult conversations. 
     
    Unfortunately, there’s still a huge discrepancy in the information we’re told as consumers. Not only is there lack of transparency, but the financial system attached to our subsidizing model is keeping farmers bankrupt. Even if they want to grow organic crops, or for example, utilize just one percent of their land to help  out their local community during COVID-19, they don’t have the flexibility to do so. The icing on top is now we’re reliant on an agri-chemical model that requires a portfolio of pesticides, herbicides and insecticides that we’re concerned makes us sick.
     
    The key thing to look at is how can we make our food system regionalized and increase the direct to consumer access for farmers. There’s been a number of accounts from farmers this year who have a small e-commerce shop on their website stating that in the first three weeks of COVID-19, they did more sales than they did all of 2019.
     
    Do we really need all of the middlemen involved in getting our crops to consumers, taking cut after cut as our farmers stay bankrupt? 
     
    “The people who are in service to our country as farmers deserve so much more recognition and so much more than we have  given them.” - Robyn O’Brien

    • 34 min
    Helping Create Gender Equality in Agriculture with Frédérine Derlot, Susan Mugure and Liz Becerra of the International Trade Centre’s SheTrades Initiative

    Helping Create Gender Equality in Agriculture with Frédérine Derlot, Susan Mugure and Liz Becerra of the International Trade Centre’s SheTrades Initiative

    “Empowering women to trade benefits everyone.”

    Liz Becerra (5:19-5:22)
     
    The SheTrades Initiative is on a mission to help connect three million women entrepreneurs in Agriculture by 2021.
     
    The United Nations and World Trade Organization have come together to create the SheTrades initiative in order to create a sustainable economic impact globally. By helping women entrepreneurs, buyers and partners connect, collaborate and develop lasting relationships, SheTrade can empower women with the resources they need to overcome gender inequality in our food supply market.
     
    We had the pleasure of sitting down with three powerful women who are helping spearhead this Initiative, Susan Mugure Wambugu, Frederine Derlot, and Lizbeth Becerra. 
     
    Susan is the Agriculture Sector Specialist for SheTrades in the Commonwealth at  the International Trade Centre in Kenya where she helps small and medium sized enterprises owned by women in Kenya connect with international buyers and markets. 
     
    Frédérine is the fresh fruits and vegetables expert for the International Trade Centre in Geneva, Switzerland and specializes in market linkages, coaching and connecting exporters from developing countries to international buyers and markets. She’s worked for 15 years as an international buyer for the European food industry and is very involved with trade related technical assistance projects.
     
    Lizbeth is an Associate Programme Officer at the International Trade Centre in Geneva, Switzerland and helps monitor and evaluate the project implementation with SheTrades Initiative.  
     
    “[Women] are 50% of the agriculture workforce and it’s even higher in Africa, for example, where 70% of food production is done by women, and 80-90% of processing and storage is done by women .” - Frédérine Derlot (9:20)
     
    Clearly, women are a critical part in farming around the world, but the agricultural ecosystem is suffering in developing countries because women aren’t given the same opportunities as men. With SheTrades, women are able to connect virtually with other women owned businesses, mentors, and women in the supply chain so they can have the knowledge and support necessary to grow their businesses. 
     
    Women entrepreneurs from all over the world are welcome to join and they’ll gain access to quality data, help gaining government contracts, networking opportunities to create business deals and assistance starting and growing their business. This is the fostering women need to exchange new ideas, and get support with important decisions like handling difficult customers, production issues and specific transactions. 
     
    Why focus on women?
    Women are key components and agents of change in food production and farming. Gender equality is more than essential for the security, production, nutrition and supply of our food globally. The United Nations has 17 sustainable goals, one of them being gender equality, which act as a blueprint for our collective sustainable future. Women and children are at the center of this agenda, not only because children are our future, but many countries are not reaching key performance metrics primarily because women don’t have equal access there. 
     
    Gender equality isn’t the only UN Sustainable Goal SheTrades helps achieve. Other goals include:
    No poverty Zero hunger Good health and wellbeing Quality education Gender equality Clean water and sanitization Affordable and clean energy Decent work and economic growth Industry, innovation and infrastructure Reduced inequalities Sustainable cities and communities Responsible consumption and production Climate action Life below water Life on land Peace, justice and strong institutions Partnerships  
    Because of COVID-19, the global, regional and local demand completely collapsed for food service. 
     
    Not only has the safety and qua

    • 32 min
    How to Make Mealtime Fun for the Whole Family with Stefani Sassos, MS, RDN, CSO, CDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for the Good Housekeeping Institute

    How to Make Mealtime Fun for the Whole Family with Stefani Sassos, MS, RDN, CSO, CDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for the Good Housekeeping Institute

    “Family mealtimes are more important than ever right now to create unity in the family, to be connected, and have an opportunity for meaningful communication at the end of the day.” 


    Stefani Sassos (9:00)
     
    Stefani Sassos, MS, RDN, CSO, CDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for the Good Housekeeping Institute. She has been involved in everything from clinical work, work as a fitness instructor, private practice, and is also Board Certified in Oncology as a Nutrition Specialist. 
     
    As the head of the Nutritional Lab for Goodhousekeeping institute, Stefani gets to be involved in the testing of all sorts of new fitness equipment and products. 
     
    We probably don’t even need to tell you this, but, the realm of fitness, wellness, and nutrition is full of misinformation. Trends and fads slide in and out of the public eye, each one touting incredible results. 
     
    Goodhousekeeping is committed to thoroughly testing anything before it gets a seal of approval, and their seal of approval is backed by a warranty. They understand that just because something is trendy doesn’t mean that it is  legitimate or a quality product. 
     
    Stefani joined us in a conversation this week to talk about the benefits of family mealtime, how to make mealtime fun for your kids, and the incredible work Good Housekeeping is doing in their Wellness and Nutrition labs. 
     
    The Benefits of Family Mealtime 
     
    For many of us, the recent pandemic has brought us back to the dinner table. Schedules are cleared, and everyone is home. This new shift in family ritual can come with some major positive long-term effects for your children. 
     
    Studies have shown that something as simple as regular family dinners have major benefits for your children
     
    Better self esteem Better academic performance Lower rates of drug and alcohol use Healthier eating habits  More fresh produce consumption less sugar  Healthier body weight Lower likelihood of develop disordered eating habits Lower risk of depression  
    Important Principles to Teach Your Children 
     
    In the midst of the trends and fads foods are on an ever oscillating list of “good” or “bad” foods. Both villainizing food, and treating it as a best friend can lead to negative long term consequences for your children. 
     
    “It always comes back to increasing consumption of produce in volume and variety” - Lori Taylor. (3:00) 
     
    Instead of assigning moral value to food, help children understand that food is for nourishment. Encourage them to eat fruits and vegetables by modeling this behavior! It’s important for them to see YOU eating nourishing foods. 
     
    Make it Fun! 
     
    Make dinner prep a family affair! Assign different tasks to different children and work together to prepare something new (or something you all love).  Fruit or Veggie of the Week. Let your child pick out the “fruit or veggie of the week.” Walk through the produce section and allow your child to pick one item that catches their eye. You may find your new favorite fruit!  (Or take the Produce Challenge!)
     
    Create Your Own “Episode” of Chopped. The challenge is simple, your family has to create a meal by scavenging the fridge and using only the ingredients you have on hand. See how creative you can get!  Stay Hydrated! Ok, this tip may not fall within the “fun” category, but it is crucial. Pushing hydration is the number one thing you can do for yourself and your family. When you are hydrated you feel better and your make better choices with your food and nutrition.   
     
    Whether you adventure into new territory with a starfruit or kohlrabi, or stick to the tried and true, make it a point to make fruits and vegetables something your kids want to eat, instead of something they have to eat.  
     
    The Wellness Lab
     
    Good Housekeeping Institute houses sev

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
45 Ratings

45 Ratings

Chip380 ,

The Produce Moms knows best

No brand has more passion or authenticity than The Produce Moms! Informative & hugt relevant podcast for anyone that consumes fresh produce or works in the industry!

Ashley_FV ,

Important info delivered in a fun way

Many people these days do not have a background in agriculture or an understanding of the supply chain that brings fruits and vegetables to grocery stores, restaurants, schools and other places, so it is awesome that Lori — with her industry expertise and enthusiasm for produce — has created this platform to bring more folks into the know about this essential industry!

Millennial Man ,

Produce

Great Job Lori!!!

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