September 2022: Month in Review

September month in review feature

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September month in review feature

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September was one of the most impactful months at The Produce Moms, with guests who are deeply committed to helping our nation and environment be healthier than ever before. From upcycling food, reducing food waste, increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, and helping eliminate a food desert, our guests this month are inspiring and making incredible change across the U.S. and worldwide.

September month in review1

Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak returned to kick us off in celebration of National Fruit and Veggie Month, with this year’s theme of “celebrating the roots of our food”. Her work at the Produce For Better Health foundation has identified some incredible research that shows our emotional connection to food, and how that relates to making the consumption of fruit and veggies a habit. This research is making huge changes with our government policy, and identifying data-backed gaps in the U.S’s dietary guidance, federal funding, and fruit and vegetable consumption. 

Many of us think Hurricane Katrina and it’s effects are long gone in the past, but not for The Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The Lower Ninth Ward turned into a food desert when Hurricane Katrina hit, sending many of it’s residents to leave their thriving community, or having to travel one way across three different buses just to hit the nearest grocery store. Burnell and Keasha Colton spent their entire life savings to open up their Market, which residents can now shop in and find all their basic needs, from diapers, to fruits and vegetables, to just a friendly, neighborhood smile.

Crunch Pak has been making healthy snacking easy with their sliced apples, carrot and celery stick packs, and diced fruit. Even better, they’ve now partnered with Disney and Nickelodeon to put your kids’ favorite, animated characters right on the front of their pack. Plus, Baybel cheese has partnered with them to take their sliced apple packs to the next level! There are so many fun, delicious and healthy ways to enjoy Crunch Pak’s variety of offerings, and they just keep coming. Find out how you can enjoy Crunch Pak’s snacks and reduce food waste in your home.

Speaking of food waste, Turner Wyatt is helping companies worldwide turn, what would’ve been thrown out ingredients, into healthy and delicious, upcycled products. Former TPM guests like Superfrau and brand partner Sunrise Fresh are a part of The Upcycled Food Association, which also has a certification companies can receive too. This makes it easy for you to shop for upcycled products at the store and trust they’re making a measurable, quantifiable impact that The Upcycled Food Association tracks. You’ll be surprised when you hear the huge impact UFA members have already made, and some of the delicious products you can enjoy!

Keep reading to learn more about how easy it can be for you to reduce food waste, serve your family healthy fruits and veggies and make eating produce a long-term, celebrated habit in your home.

September 2022 Podcast Episode 231

Celebrate National Fruit and Veggie Month with Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak

Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce For Better Health Foundation and helped us celebrate National Fruit and Veggie Month with this year’s theme of “celebrating the roots of our food”. Wendy and the PBH foundation are making a huge impact with their first-of-its-kind research that’s not only helping educate consumers on how they can eat more fruits and vegetables, but also helping initiate changes to government policy so we can improve public health nationwide.

Wendy spoke with TPM on Episode 146 about the vast decline in fruit and vegetable consumption over the past five years, and this time she educated us on PBH’s behavioral science findings, which show the deep connection between food, emotions and habits. We have to start making the consumption of fruits and veggies an easier habit that’s rooted in our culture, just the way cake is with birthday celebrations. Plus, it needs to be easy to cook, purchase, transport, store and eat. Wendy has tons of great ideas for how to increase consumption and create new, healthy habits on this episode!

Listen to the full episode


September 2022 Podcast Episode 232

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Learn about the only remaining grocery store in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward from Burnell and Keasha Cotlon

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the Lower 9th Ward, a once thriving community, turned into a food desert. Burnell and Keasha Cotlon started The Lower 9th Ward Market in 2014 to help local residents who would have to take three separate buses (one way) just to get to the nearest grocery store and other areas of business to meet their most basic needs. Taking out their entire life savings, the Cotlon’s opened the Market with first just a walk-up window, until they saved up enough to literally open their doors so residents can walk in, shop, and have the shopping experience they deserve.

The Cotlon’s were even featured on the Ellen DeGeneris show where they received a donation of washers and dryers to open up a laundry room for locals who don’t have access to one at home. The Cotlon’s are dedicated to serving their community in any way possible, even implementing the honor system where needed and hoping this is one step closer to bringing the Lower 9th Ward back to the beautiful, lively community it once was.

Listen to the full episode

September 2022 Podcast Episode 233

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Tony Freytag and the Crunch Pak team are bringing kids some of their favorite characters to Americas #1 sliced apple

Crunch Pak, one of The Produce Moms’ brand partners and sellers of America’s #1 sliced apple has been serving moms and kids everywhere healthy, delicious snacks since 2000. They recently partnered with Disney and Nickelodeon to put some of our favorite characters on their packages, like Mickey Mouse and Spongebob. What better way to get kids to eat healthy fruits and vegetables than to put their favorite animated characters on every front package?

Plus, Crunch Pak has recently partnered with Babybel, the brand that brings you those cute, red rounds of snackable cheese, and what goes better with apples than cheese? Crunch Pak is committed to helping kids develop healthy eating habits at a young age, which is why they’re coming up with so many new ways to enjoy their sliced apples, carrot and celery sticks, and mixed fruit snacks.

Listen to the full episode

September 2022 Podcast Episode 234

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Discover how Turner Wyatt, CEO and Co-Founder of The Upcycled Food Association is helping companies eliminate food waste and make a global impact

Did you know each year 108 billion pounds of food is wasted in the United States? That’s the equivalent of 130 billion meals and over 408 billion dollars in food! Sure, we all can start doing our part by being more conscientious about how much we buy at the grocery store, but how can companies play a bigger role? By upcycling, which is an ancient tradition using ingredients that previously would have gone to waste. 

Former TPM guest Superfrau and our brand partner Sunrise Fresh are a part of the Upcycled Food Association, which already has had over 225 businesses from 20 different countries join in just three years. As you know, Superfrau is making a delicious, sparkling, bubbly, functional whey beverage made from upcycled whey that comes from the greek yogurt fermentation process. Sunrise Fresh uses imperfect cherries to make a healthy, dried fruit snack. 

The Upcycled Food Association now also has its own certification so you can look for upcycled products at your local retailer and know they’re making a quantifiable impact.

Listen to the full episode


To see a list of all our past episodes, visit

September month in review feature

About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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