August 2021: Podcast Month In Review

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Let’s take a look back at our August 2021 Podcast Episodes.

August on The Produce Moms featured many discussions around plant-based food options. There are a lot of titles around this dietary lifestyle, be it Vegan, Vegetarian, or Pescatarian, but one thing is clear: Consumers simply want to eat better. While there are a lot of options out there, many have added ingredients that counteract the ideals of plant-based. This month we focused on food options in the form of true veggie burgers, whole foods, and meat replacements. We also learned about the innovation of one of America’s favorite food snacks you might not have known about.

When you grab a pack of sunflower seeds at the store or gas station, do you realize that’s just *one* variety? Although the sunflower seed industry is largely dominated by two companies, there are so many other options to choose from. What if you could supersize your favorite seed snack? That’s what Josh Schroeter and South 40 Snacks are bringing with a unique variety only they can provide. 

Many farms that provide us with our favorite produce continue to be family-owned and operated. This is thanks, in part, to partnerships with grower-owned co-ops that help these small farms thrive. The same can be said for the success of Bowerman Blueberries. Going into its fourth generation of leadership, Bowerman has partnered with North Bay Produce to further ensure the ideals of quality and safety in their crop.

Whether you’re moving to a fully plant-based diet, or you’re just trying to eat a bit better you’re more than likely looking for a good burger option. Unfortunately, a vast majority of the options on the market right now are either heavily processed meat replacements or frozen veggie burgers. Jason Rosenbaum had the same issue as he was searching for a true veggie burger. After partnering with Hailey and Andrew Swartz, the three created Actual Veggies; a true refrigerated fresh veggie burger option. Their product is all in the name with their Black, Orange, and Green Burgers, you get exactly what’s in the titles.

It can be difficult to move to a plant-based or a meatless diet when there are certain flavors and textures we love and have become accustomed to. By taking the largest tree-borne fruit, the jackfruit and evolving it into a meat replacement product, KARANA is hoping to show the world they can truly eat well, without sacrifice. With their staple product of a pork replacement, KARANA is currently accommodating restaurants in Asia that are creating dishes around the jackfruit, and are working diligently to bring it to the table of consumers in The United States.


August 2021 Podcast Episode 174

Episode 174 South 40 Snacks Banner Image

Bringing a fun super-sized snack to the States thanks to a varietal innovation.

We, as consumers, may not realize it but a basic snack food like sunflower seeds hasn’t seen much growth as of late. Josh Schroeter realized this after serving on the advisory board of a large sunflower seed company, which is now coincidentally his competitor.

Growing up in Israel, Josh knew of a giant-sized sunflower seed that only grew there. Aside from being obviously larger compared to seeds that we’re used to now, these seeds are much easier to crack with a higher payoff, making the process of eating them more of an “activity”. As he got older, Josh realized these seeds couldn’t be found anywhere else. In an effort to bring this new variety to United States consumers he traveled back and forth to Israel to find out if a supply chain was possible. Thus, South 40 Snacks was created. 

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AUGUST 2021 Podcast Episode 175

Episode 175 Bowerman Blueberries Banner Image

Assuring food safety through co-op partnerships, testing, technology, and tracking.

Kassie Grasmanis joining the family farm was a given. She grew up on it and was now going to be the fourth generation leader of Bowerman Blueberries. So after attending college for management and accounting, it was her turn to take the reins. Her brother-in-law, Andrew VanTil, however, did not have as much experience in agriculture. Despite his lack of “grow” knowledge, Andrew joined to focus mostly on production, particularly with advancing technologies in harvesting and packing. 

Together, Andrew and Kassie have been focusing primarily on food safety and advancements at Bowerman’s. Thanks to a partnership with North Bay Produce co-op, Bowerman Blueberries can assure safety in their produce along with picking earlier and providing crops longer throughout the year.

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AUGUST 2021 Podcast Episode 176

Episode 176 Actual Veggie Banner Image

A fresh whole veggie burger option that you can see and taste.

Assuming he was fairly healthy, Jason Rosenbaum actually had fairly high cholesterol due to his genetics. Deciding to cut out meat in 2019, he struggled to find a good replacement for beef burgers. Through his research he discovered there were essentially two options: imitation meat, typically processed, and frozen veggie burgers packed with preservatives. 

With an entrepreneurial mindset and innovation as the key, Jason took matters into his own hands to create his own refrigerated whole veggie burger for the market. Partnering with Hailey and Andrew Swartz and consulting with experienced chefs, Actual Veggies was born. Aptly named, the company provides veggie-based burgers that are clearly what they say they are based on the color, smell, and taste.

Listen to the full episode


AUGUST 2021 Podcast Episode 177

Episode 177 KARANA Banner Image

Providing a simple, yet high-quality meat replacement while keeping a focus on farmers.

While jackfruit is a common meat replacement, it hasn’t been commercialized well in recent years. The versatility of the fruit brings about endless options and that is what KARANA is currently providing to chefs in Asia. With their offerings of pork replacement, chefs can cater dishes to their respective restaurants in a new way.

KARANA is also making sure to put a focus on farmers in the process. A low maintenance crop, most farmers actually use it to shade other crops, losing out on potential profits as the crop goes to waste. KARANA is honing in on improving the supply chain while assuring farmers get their fair share. In the process, KARANA uses the jackfruit at an early stage, before the sugars are formed. As such, they’re able to use the whole fruit, making it more sustainable.

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To see a list of all our past episodes, visit

About Kristin

Kristin Ahaus is the Director of Content and Communications for The Produce Moms. Her focus and passion is helping all of TPM's brand partners share their stories while also helping consumers understand how to select, serve and store fresh produce. Connect with Kristin on LinkedIN.

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