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July, 2008

Friends, (Romans) countrymen, lend me your ear. (of corn that is!)

By Mark Mulcahy

Corn, potatoes, tomatoes, berries and more....

Organic Veggies
What a perfect way to lead into this month of patriotic celebrations! Give Melissa’s a call and you will have plenty of ears to buy, lend, or sell to your customers. We hear you’re looking for great tasting organic corn, and we can keep you well supplied with Yellow, White, and Bi-color corn fresh from California all summer long. This corn is so good that your customers won’t even need butter. At least they butter not!

Wonder why your customer might be looking past the conventional and buying the organic? Consider that much of the conventional corn crop is grown with intensive farming techniques that include the use of pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizers. This is one of the causes of soil erosion and ground water contamination in farming communities in our nations Corn Belt and California. Organic farmers use cover crops and green manures to save valuable topsoil from erosion while eliminating common ground water contaminants. They also use (Bt), a natural bacteria that kills a common corn pest known as the corn earworm. Relying on these techniques, organic farmers reduce earworm damage without the use of toxic chemicals. Now there’s an earful that none of us minds hearing.

Baby Dutch Yellow<sup />®</sup> Potatoes
Do you like potatoes? Well, you’re not alone because the potato happens to be the most widely planted crop in the world. There are over 235 species worldwide. Great for every type of cooking imaginable: baking, frying, boiling, steaming, you name it - and potatoes can be cooked that way. Melissa’s is now offering a new crop of California grown Reds, Russets, and not to mention the ever-popular Yukon Gold’s. Why not create a bountiful display where your customers have the opportunity to mix and match all of the colors, flavors, and varieties to make their favorite potato salads extra special… it’s always the hit of the picnic.

Organic Tomatoes
And speaking of summer favorites, who doesn’t like plump and juicy summer-time tomatoes. I know I can’t stop eating them when they arrive! Melissa’s has negotiated an agreement with a great organic tomato farmer to keep you supplied with the traditional 2-layer cases, or with the convenient single-layer trays to suit all your buying needs. Your busy customers will appreciate you adding a few bottles of balsamic vinegar and chilled containers of fresh mozzarella to the display for a delicious, quick and cool summer dinner idea.

So what’s the most patriotic dessert you can serve this Fourth of July? One that shows your true colors I would suspect. How about serving Melissa’s organic strawberries and blueberries along with some vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. This red, white, and blue dessert is one that would make even Uncle Sam proud!

Organic Strawberries
Melissa’s has more than just the blues and strawberries for you we’ve got other summer favorites too! Fresh organic blackberries and raspberries that are as good for you as they taste. They are all Berry Powerful when it comes to nutrition. For example, One cup of fresh blackberries contains 60 calories, 50% of your vitamin C RDA, 22% of your fiber RDA, plus a well-rounded offering of iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin A. Even more impressive is their high ORAC, or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, a measure of antioxidant activity. Antioxidants scrub our blood of toxic free radicals that make cells vulnerable to aging, and diseases such as cancer. Vitamins A and C are antioxidants; and so are ellagic acid, quercetin and catechins—all anti-cancer fighters found in blackberries. Salicylic acid, an anti-inflammatory similar to aspirin, which is thought to help prevent arteriosclerosis is also present.

Organic Blueberries
How do berries compare with other antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables? The USDA recently characterized, blackberries, along with blueberries raspberries, strawberries among the top antioxidant foods. So you better have plenty of flats on hand when your customers find this information out. Another cool idea is too freeze Melissa’s Red flame and Thompson seedless grapes and offer them to kids who been in the hot car driving to your store. When they come into your produce department. They’ll be saying who needs Popsicles with these around. I know you’re wondering is that all they have to offer? Of course not! Melissa’s organic program has all of your hot weather fruit needs covered. Peaches and nectarines, red, green, black plums... everything your customer needs to take a nice big bite out of summer.