Basics Market is a collection of small-footprint food stores in greater Portland, OR with a mission-driven, community-centric message of being a “market with a purpose: nurturing strong, healthy communities through food.” It’s founded on the belief that one of the best things for your health is cooking your own food and that the most nourishing ingredients are fresh, in-season, and locally grown.
Karen Salinger is co-owner and sales director of Veritable Vegetable, a San Francisco-based organic produce distribution company. Established in 1974, Veritable Vegetable is the oldest organic food distributor in the US, and it currently sells over two million pounds of organic produce a month. Karen joined OPN for a conversation about the company, her role as sales manager, organic produce trends, and more.
Both organic apples and pears are in good supply currently, though the source for each are continents apart. Washington state still has a good supply of organic apples in controlled atmosphere storage while the organic pear crop has transitioned from the Pacific Northwest to Argentina.
Organic growers, shippers, distributors and the USDA are doing their best to deliver certified organic produce during the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. Distributors like Albert’s Fresh Produce experienced skyrocketing buying habits in the first weeks of the pandemic, with shelf-stable items like organic onions, yams and potatoes in high demand and elevated FOB pricing.
“Food is not cheap; it’s expensive to produce, and its value is critical to the health of our bodies and our communities. If people are going to be paid a fair wage and the farmer’s going to make a living at it, the public needs to understand the true cost of food.”