Pundit’s Mailbag — Choice Of Farmer Lee Jones As Keynote Speaker Of IDEATION FRESH Foodservice Forum at The New York Produce Show And Conference Is A “Most Interesting Strategy”
Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, November 4, 2011
Our piece, Farmer Lee Jones To Keynote IDEATION FRESH Foodservice Forum At The New York Produce Show And Conference, brought some divergent response:
David’s point is well taken. Firms that manage to compete by adding value do much to elevate the trade. We also confess that we find these kinds of products extraordinary and very special. We enjoy looking at them, learning about them and eating them very much.
We would even say that to use David’s phrase, we find ourselves “in awe” of the people and the products.
Yet we add a little caveat, which is that we are also in awe of Wal-Mart and Aldi and Wegmans and Costco and many others. By this, we mean that, though it is absolutely amazing that Farmer Lee Jones can freeze and thaw a vegetable 69 times and in so doing raise sugar levels to create new peak flavor experience or that he can offer a one-inch cucumber with the blossom still attached, and we would relish the chance to enjoy these things, we also think it amazing and laudable that Wal-Mart can provide an economical source of food for so many.
We are very much looking forward to hearing Farmer Lee Jones. Beyond his story, though, we want to think it out and see how the beauty he has created can be painted on a larger canvas.
Another reader was more skeptical about Farmer Lee Jones:
We thank Noelle for her kind words and appreciate her elucidating the facts, although we don’t think Farmer Lee Jones intended any deception.
The Census report he was referring to is not the USDA Census but the actual national Census called for in the Constitution. There he is correct, although there are various agricultural worker categories; there is none for “family farmer” or anything similar.
Sometimes in writing, the flavor of a speaker is lost and we don’t think Farmer Lee Jones was being literal. He was using a little hyperbole. It is, however, interesting to note, though, that the actual imported food percentage isn’t that high. Best estimates are that roughly 15% of US foods are imported by volume and 7% based on value — though the percentage has been increasing.
In any case, it is asking these kinds of questions and thinking these kinds of issues through that is what IDEATION is all about.
So we hope that both David and Noelle will find their way to New York City and to the Ideation Fresh Foodservice Forum and the broader New York Produce Show and Conference.
You can see the incredible IDEATION FRESH Foodservice Forum program here.
If you would like to register, please send us an e-mail here.
Hotel rooms are available here.
And travel discounts are available here.