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June 3, 2013 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
Half of physician Mimi Choi's pediatric patients are overweight or obese. She instructs them to eat more fruits and vegetables. Now she can go one step further - refer them to a discounted produce stand steps away from the South Los Angeles health center where she works. Choi said she can talk about better nutrition until she is "blue in the face," but her patients will eat more fresh food only if it's available and affordable. "One of the biggest issues is access," she said.
August 25, 2011 | By David Karp, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The most distinctive and enigmatic stone fruit in markets currently is the Indian Blood Freestone peach. The first thing you'll note is its intense rose-like aroma, which can fill a room with peachy perfume. The fruits look like nothing else, with thick white fuzz over mottled red and creamy white skin, which can give them an odd gray-green cast; the flesh is snowy white with blotches of red — occasionally it can be spectacularly, fully red, almost like a beet. When really ripe — look for specimens that are plump and rounded near the stem end, with a vibrant cream background color — they've got a great balance of sweetness and acidity, and a unique berrylike or vinous flavor.
August 26, 2011 | By David Karp, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The word "heirloom" is commonly applied to the produce sold at farmers markets, but the concepts behind it frequently are misunderstood or stretched, both by growers and the public. Originally the word was a legal term referring to goods that descended to an heir along with real property; by extension, it came to refer to something of special value handed down from one generation to another. In a horticultural context, the Oxford English Dictionary defines "heirloom" as "a variety of plant or breed of animal which is distinct from the more common varieties associated with commercial agriculture, and has been cultivated or reared using the same traditional methods for a long time, typically on a small scale and often within a particular region or family.
December 5, 2003
"World Sneezes; U.S. Diners Get Sick" (Opinion, Nov. 30) grossly exaggerated the public health concern associated with consuming fresh fruits and vegetables based on an isolated, rare outbreak linked to only one small produce commodity. We understand the need to educate consumers about the current hepatitis outbreak, but Madeline Drexler's comments about the safety of fresh produce and of possible sources of contamination were irresponsible. Her piece actually poses greater danger to most people's health by deterring them from consuming at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day, the No. 1 public health message of federal health authorities today.
February 5, 2010 | By David Karp
The Santa Monica Saturday Organic farmers market was originally conceived in 1991 as an all-organic venue, but when this proved impractical, nonorganic vendors were admitted. Nevertheless, it does offer a high percentage of organic vendors, currently about 20 of 46, and more important, it's one of the best markets in the Southland, in good part because Mort Bernstein, the manager since soon after its founding, is a stickler for integrity and quality. Laura Ramirez, who drolly calls her Redlands-based farm J.J.'s Lone Daughter Ranch, brings superb avocados, keeps customers informed about the seasonal progression of varieties, and expertly picks out fruits to the desired ripeness.
July 6, 2013 | By Titania Kumeh
Karen Segura dug her hands deep into the soil of an onion patch at Bell Gardens Intermediate School as cars zipped past the nearly empty schoolyard. The 14-year-old was busy uprooting weeds in the school's edible garden, while around her five other students watered, tilled and pruned a lush assortment of fruits and vegetables. There were tomatoes, avocados, apples, pineapples, pumpkins, zucchinis, lavender, lettuce, Swiss chard and artichokes. Every public school in Bell Gardens has just such an urban farm run by members of the Environmental Garden Club, an after-school program that started at the intermediate school and now includes a rotating roster of 8- to 18-year-olds.
September 11, 1989 | From staff and wire reports
California researchers have isolated a gene that plays a key role in the ripening process of fruits and vegetables. The discovery could lead to new ways to reduce spoilage of the crops, and thus to get fresher produce to customers. In the United States, almost 50% of fruits and vegetables are eventually lost as a result of spoilage caused by premature ripening, according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
January 22, 2001
Some thoughts came to mind when reading the article about the supposed news that dark vegetables and fruits do not contain as much vitamin A as previously believed ("Eating Enough Dark Veggies?," Jan. 15). How many decades have we been tampering with and depleting the soil content as well as the plants themselves with fertilizers, pesticides and so on? Now we are treating seeds with growth hormones, picking the vegetables or fruits when they are so far from ripe that they rarely even resemble what they are supposed to look like in their mature color.
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