Episodes

EPISODE 2: The Mystery of the “Green” Apple – SOLVED?

In search of the truth, Special Agents William Neal and Patrick Cuccaro explore the mysterious Green world of sustainable special events and catering. What myths will they shatter? What will they uncover?

 

The Truth is out there…so we’re told.

 


 

In Episode 1, William and Patrick posed the question, “Which is best—an apple grown organically or one grown locally?

 

DEAR SPECIAL AGENTS: For the last two weeks, you’ve been sharing ways to make better choices about living a sustainable lifestyle. Ideally, everything that my family eats would be local and organic, but that’s not always possible—sometimes I have to choose between one or the other. Can you help? – SIGNED: Confused-but-Committed-in-Atlanta

 

WILLIAM: Confused, you have asked a fantastic question, and we’re going to give it our best shot today.

 

There is absolutely NO doubt, I’m a sucker for a farmers market or roadside stand.  Maybe it’s the chef in me, or it might be my love of gardening, but when I drive by a stand loaded with beautiful produce, I just have to pull over.

 

Grant Park Farmers Market - Freewheel Farm

 

I get such a kick out of watching my kids eat samples of the fruits and vegetables we discover on our trips. I can see their wheels turning—it’s here where they start to understand that food isn’t something that comes flash-frozen out of the mega-mart freezer.

 

I get really excited when schools use gardening in their lesson plans. It’s a commonsense way to ensure healthy food and eating habits for generations to come.

 

And the taste! There’s nothing like biting into a fresh apple that was picked just yesterday in the North Georgia Mountains. It might not be organic, but when it comes to flavor, I’d pit it against any organic apple that has to make its way to us from California, no matter how great the pedigree.

 

PATRICK: And that, Confused and William, is at the core, pardon the pun, of this puzzling question of “local versus organic.” Do the health benefits of an organically grown apple outweigh the flavor of a freshly picked one? Does taste trump health?

 

My answer is that health always trumps taste. I have memorized the Dirty Dozen—the 12 vegetables and fruits that typically have the highest pesticide residue—and I always try to purchase them organically grown. As for the rest of the Non-Dirties, if I can’t find them grown both locally AND organically, then I have to know my local farmers. If they practice healthy, sustainable farming methods, that’s what I’ll buy hands down. If not, I go organic.

 

On a side note, there’s an app for The Dirty Dozen.

 

By the way, Agent Neal, those apples that your kids sampled at the roadside stand…if they’re not organic and you don’t know anything about that farmer, they’re probably on the Dirty Dozen list!

 

WILLIAM: So lemme get this right. Rather than eat a non-organic local apple, you’d choose an organic Pink Lady apple that was grown in Western Australia, loaded onto a container, hauled to a ship, floated across the ocean, hoisted onto a truck, and driven across the United States to a distribution center that then dropped it off at a grocery store 21 days later? You’re really telling me that’s better than snatching one up from a roadside stand that was picked four hours ago?

 

PATRICK: Ah, well, since ya put it that way…I think maybe we need to talk more about “food miles”.

 

WILLIAM: That traveling apple story wore me out. Next week, Patrick, there will be no stats. Next week we have some fun…Let’s talk about sexy apples and DATE NIGHT!

 

To be continued…

 


 

Do you have any favorite local farmers that you trust with your family’s health and nutrition? Please, share your favorite(s) with us in below comments section.

 

Join us next week when Special Agents­­­­ Patrick Cuccaro and William Neal investigate the burning question: Can Green be Sexy?

 


This week’s 3Rs…

 

What is Revealed?

 

REVEALED: Riverview Farms

 

 

 

 

What is Revered?

 

REVERED: Captain Planet Foundation

 

 

 

 

What is Reviled?

 

REVILED: Grocery Store Shelf Space

 

 

 


 

Special Agent
Patrick Cuccaro
UNIT: Legacy Green
Affairs to Remember Caterers
Special Agent Patrick Cuccaro possesses an analytical mind and keen intellect. As Past Chair of the Georgia Restaurant Association (2012)—representing more than 4,000 restaurants and 100,000 employees—he casts a studied eye towards one of the country’s largest creators of waste—the food industry. Armed with a vision for…[more]

Special Agent
William Neal
UNIT: Legacy Green
Affairs to Remember Caterers
Agent William Neal is a hardened professional in the culinary industry. Well…maybe not hardened, since his favorite quip is “Never trust a skinny chef!” Agent Neal has held some interesting posts throughout his career. Starting as a chef, he became a…[more]

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Episodes

EPISODE 1: The Mystery of the “Green” Apple

In search of the truth, Special Agents William Neal and Patrick Cuccaro explore the mysterious Green world of sustainable special events and catering. What myths will they shatter? What will they uncover?

 

The Truth is out there…so we’re told.

 


 

In our PROLOGUE, William and Patrick spoke of commitment—taking one small step toward a more Green and sustainable lifestyle. Not so easy, you say?

 

DEAR SPECIAL AGENTS: Last week, you spoke of making a commitment to a green lifestyle, and I’ve done that. Ideally, everything that my family eats would be local and organic, but that’s not always possible—sometimes I have to choose between one or the other. What’s the lowdown on local versus organic? — SIGNED: Confused-but-Committed-in-Atlanta

 

WILLIAM: Dear Confused, I have a simple one-word answer for you, and that is…Arghhhh!!!

 

Going Green. Sustainability. Local versus organic. Farmers market versus mega-mart. It all leaves us just a little perplexed. Actually, it can be baffling.

 

PATRICK: I’m with you on that. But I take my Special Agent status very seriously, William, so we need to get un-baffled pretty quick, and we need to answer Confused‘s question…

 

Confused, in our world of special events, we have found that not everything about Green is black and white. It’s our job as professional “event people” and serious Special Agents of Green to make some sense of it, though—if not only for ourselves, then for the sake of our future millions of readers! And you!

 

WILLAM: So here’s the deal. From the bride who has a sustainable vision for her reception, to the CEO who has a big picture bottom-line strategy in mind…being Green can be an imperative.

 

People from all walks of life have a stake in this.

 

As a father, I want to make the right choices for my family’s health and nutrition. But at the same time I want my choices to be environmentally friendly, and the choices that we’re given on this journey to Greenocity aren’t always consistent with those goals.

 

PATRICK: “Journey” is the key word, William. Well, “Greenocity” is a pretty good word, too, but that’s another episode…

 

There is a learning curve here for all of us—even some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the industry have fundamental questions and disagreements. Really smart, well-intentioned people differ on some of these issues.

 

The GREEN AppleFor instance, one debate that’s going on pits organics against “food miles”—the number of miles it takes for your food to get from the farm to your table. In other words, do we focus on health—organic farming is widely considered a healthier option…or freshness—the fewer “food miles” an apple travels to reach market, the fresher it will probably be.

 

WILLIAM: My head’s doing that spinning thing again. You told me when I took this Special Agent gig that you knew how to make that stop.

 

Some of my clients ask me to design and produce Green events, and that’s one of my favorite challenges. Interpreting my client’s vision is my Number One accountability. But the sheer volume of factors to consider in Greening an event can be overwhelming.

 

Apples and organics and food miles! Are these things truly important to the typical person or organization that wants to do something good for the environment?

 

Since I’m in the business, I consider it my duty to figure out this quandary, but if you’re a typical person who’s focused on going Green and you’re out there on your own, it’s expecting a lot. Too much, don’t you think? Food miles! REALLY?!?

 

Hopefully this blog journey that we’re on, Patrick, will fill in some of the blanks for our readers—AND for us.

 

PATRICK: OK, William. Lets ask it plainly of our readers:  Is the fact that an apple is grown organically really that important? Or is a more sustainable choice the purchase of an apple that’s grown conventionally in the North Georgia Mountains?

 

Only more questions today, Confused. Still no answers.

 

Just remember our mantra, William…Not everything about Green is black and white.

 

WILLIAM: Yes, I’ll remember. And I’ll remember that “The Truth is out there.

 

To be continued…

 


 

When you have a choice of purchasing something organic or local, do you always go in one direction? What governs your decision? What are your thoughts about that apple? Tell us in the “comments” below…

 

Join us next week when Special Agents­­­­ Patrick Cuccaro and William Neal investigate the pros and cons of local vs. certified organic produce.

 


This week’s 3Rs…

 

What is Revealed?

 

REVEALED: Georgia Organics

 

 

 

 

What is Revered?

 

REVERED: Affairs to Remember’s “Green” Clients

 

 

 

 

What is Reviled?

 

REVILED: Food Distribution Systems

 

 

 


 

Special Agent
Patrick Cuccaro
UNIT: Legacy Green
Affairs to Remember Caterers
Special Agent Patrick Cuccaro possesses an analytical mind and keen intellect. As Past Chair of the Georgia Restaurant Association (2012)—representing more than 4,000 restaurants and 100,000 employees—he casts a studied eye towards one of the country’s largest creators of waste—the food industry. Armed with a vision for…[more]

Special Agent
William Neal
UNIT: Legacy Green
Affairs to Remember Caterers
Agent William Neal is a hardened professional in the culinary industry. Well…maybe not hardened, since his favorite quip is “Never trust a skinny chef!” Agent Neal has held some interesting posts throughout his career. Starting as a chef, he became a…[more]

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