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Market Watch

Asparagus: Expect unusually high markets for the month of May. Temps are increasing and production remains light out of Baja and Peru. Quality will be fair to good with inconsistent sizing. 

Lemons: Demand exceeds supplies on 140s and smaller, all grades.

Oranges: Demand exceeds supply on 88s/113s/138s both grades.

Iceberg: Demand continues to exceed supply. Quality remains fair with insect pressure, pinking, mechanical damage, bruising, and fringe burn noted. Markets are active.

Leaf Green & Red:  While the market is showing signs of easing, it remains active. Quality is fair but improving; defects noted are under-sizing, mildew, and mud.

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May 1st - May 14th

This week's guide includes fresh, local ingredients from:

Abby Lee Farms

Our Spicy New Label

We're excited to announce that as of last week we began receiving and shipping spices under our very own label, Culinary Essence. Packaged by Tampico Spice Company, we're confident that you'll be blown away by the quality and consistency found within each extraordinarily aromatic bottle. Packed to order in clear, plastic containers, you'll not only be able to quickly identify the freshness your product and volumes remaining, but eliminate any concern of tearing and waste accompanied with the bagged products distributed by competing brands.

Like us, Tampico is family owned with well over 50 years' experience within the food processing industry and widely recognized in markets across the Western United States as an established purveyor of high quality herbs and spices. Importing freshly harvested seasoning from around the world, each shipment is stored whole until re-cleaned, ground, sifted and blended within their Los Angeles, CA facility; always in small batches to maintain optimal freshness.

Visit our products page to see all items currently available AND be sure to contact your local representative for samples and to learn more about our generous introductory offer.

What PLUs Have to Tell You

Wow... I actually get mail, E-mail that is. So, let's call this post "Dear Rj"

"Is it true that you can tell whether the fruit or veggie was organically grown, genetically modified, contains pesticides, chemical fertilizers, herbicides, etc... by just the PLU sticker?"

Absolutely true! PLUs for conventionally grown produce are usually a four-digit number, currently in the 3000-4999 range. If an item is organic, you will see a five-digit number beginning with the number 9. If it is genetically modified, you will see a five-digit number beginning with the number 8. Personally, I try to only purchase produce with a PLU beginning with a 9. For now, a PLU seems to be the only thing to count on if you buy from larger stores. To my knowledge there are only 4 GMO veggies or fruits in the grocery store, papaya from Hawaii, some zucchini and yellow squash, and corn. You can also add sugar beets, alfalfa and soybeans to the list which are found in a ton of processed foods. Since PLUs are currently optional to use, and especially since many Americans are afraid of genetically modified foods, retailers and even some seed suppliers when selling to farmers, opt out of using the identifying numbers. The bottom line usually wins out over concern for the health of the people. There's not a lot of money to be made on a planet full of healthy, informed people, and there is plenty of money to cover up the issues caused by producers of genetically modified product as well as advertise its unfounded benefits. Companies like Monsanto have a budget of approximately $754m a year for advertising alone. Wonder what the ad budget is for organic farming?


Month of May  
In Season:

*Items in BOLD will prove to usually be better values as they are in their peak harvest period.

Almonds, Green Corn Peas - English
Apples Cucumber Peppers - Padron/Shishito
Artichokes Endive, Belgian Peppers - Bell
Artichokes, Baby Feijoa Peppers - Chile
Asparagus Fennel Pineapple
Avocados Fiddlehead Fern Potatoes - Purple
Bananas Grapes - Perlette Potatoes - Red
Beans - Fava Horseradish Potatoes - White
Beans - Green  Kale Potatoes - Yukon Gold
Beets Kiwano Quince
Berry - Blackberry Kiwifruit Radicchio
Berry - Blueberry Kohl Rabi, Green Radish
Berry - Raspberry Kohl Rabi, Purple Rhubarb
Berry - Strawberry Leeks Salanova
Broccoli Lychee Shallots
Broccoli Rabe Mangoes Spinach
Broccolini Melon - Cantaloupe Spinach - Baby
Cabbage Melon - Honeydew Squash
Cabbage - Napa Melon - Pepino Squash - Chayote
Cactus Leaves Melon - Watermelon Squash - Summer
Cactus Pear Mushroom - Maitake Star Fruit
Cauliflower Mushroom - Morels Stinging Nettle
Celery Mushroom - Mousseron Stonefruit - Apricots
Celery Root Mushroom - Porcini Stonefruit - Cherries
Chard Okra Stonefruit - Nectarines
Cherimoya Onions - Spring Stonefruit - Peaches
Citrus - Blood Orange Onions - Spring Sweet Tamarillo
Citrus - Grapefruit Onions - Vidalia Turnips
Citrus - Lemon, Meyer Papaya Walnuts, Green
Citrus - Oranges Pears - Packham
Citrus - Kumquats Peas

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