Inside this Food Report



February 1, 2012

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Whew…is January already over! It certainly has not been a “slow” start to the New Year. Maybe it is the energy of the water dragon! Noon employees began the year with company meetings and then our traditional yearly dinner at the Crab Pot in Seattle, where the crab is always delicious!

It was then off to the Fancy Food show in San Francisco. Some of the trends were similar to last years visit with olive oil, cheese and chocolate leading the way. We did notice some new items such as chia and quinoa. All types of sea salt were represented and something we have not seen before, mukimame (the peas in edamame pods) were present on top of hummus and in soups! No sooner did we return from San Francisco than a snowstorm blanketed Seattle and surrounding areas with over 6 inches of snow. It was a beautiful sight to see, however it paralyzed the city and many of us were forced to work from our homes.

Snow Blankets Seattle
One of our staff members, Mr. Steve Dole, was lucky enough to miss the storm as he left Seattle just before the snow hit to fly to Central America to source many of the products Noon International sells such as pineapple, melon and broccoli.

February is “American Heart Month” so we hope you are able to take some time to learn a bit more about taking care of YOUR heart! Please see our Eat Healthy section below. Perhaps it will inspire you to cook a homemade dinner using some of the foods mentioned on the Top 10 Healthy Heart list!

Noon staff ended the month in the city of angels, Los Angeles where we enjoyed some much needed warmth and sun!

Oh, and by the way Happy Valentine’s Day!

Lily, Betty and the Noon International Team


United States: The French fry industry is facing challenges to find enough raw products to keep their factories running. Low yields this past season and high demand is the cause. It has been reported that approximately 38 pct of Florida’s early and mid season orange crop had minor damage due to recent freezes.

Mexico: Generally it has been a mild winter, however some nighttime freezes in November and December did affect broccoli and cauliflower crops in the Bajio region. At the present moment the damage done to the crops during the past freezes are now showing up in the amount of product coming in from the fields which is lower than average for this time of the year. However most processors have adequate inventories so deliveries should continue without problem.

Guatemala: Sugar Snap Peas and Snow Pea production is underway and will continue through February. Broccoli is also being harvested and no adverse conditions are being reported.

Ecuador: Heavy rains in January caused farmers to experience lower yields of high quality broccoli.

Honduras: Due to heavy rain the melon crop began the second week of January, which is a bit later than usual. In addition the melons are smaller compared to where they should be at this time, however the quality is normal and the harvest is expected to run through the end of May.

Costa Rican Pineapple Fresh From The Field
Costa Rica: Temperature has been less consistent than normal. Daytime temperatures have been higher than usual and nighttime temperatures have been cooler than usual. This has caused the pineapple crop to bunch, resulting in inconsistent supply.

Chile: Blueberry harvest in underway in Chile and demand and quality are good. Harvest should continue through end February. The raspberry harvest is expected to go through end of March. The raspberry inventory worldwide is high and demand is low which has depressed prices considerably.

Thailand: Sweet corn harvest in Thailand is expected to begin March. Current supplies of canned sweet corn are low and prices high due to Thailand’s previous flooding. Many buyers of Thailand’s canned corn are looking to other countries for supply including the United States.

China: In January due to the Chinese New Year, domestic market demands for fresh vegetables are high and prices are strong. Green Beans will be planted towards end of February and harvest will begin end of May or early June. The poor crop last year of green beans and edamame has China hoping for an improved crop this season. However new season prices are expected to be high based on the current demand and coming into new season with no inventories.

FSMA - One Year Later

The Food Safety Modernization act was signed into law just over a year ago by the Obama administration. The act is the largest update to U.S. Food Safety laws in over 70 years. The law was enacted on January 4, 2011 and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration were given strict deadlines in an effort to implement the new laws. How are they doing?

The Deputy Commissioner for foods at the FDA, Michael Taylor has already publicly admitted that the FDA will be unable to meet all the deadlines given by congress. Deadlines that included;
  • Initiating a rulemaking process for science based produce safety standards
  • Completed rules for a foreign supplier verification program
  • Updated Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) for fresh produce
  • Guidance protecting against international adulteration of food
  • National Agriculture and Food Defense Strategy (updated every 4 years by law)
The FDA is under strict timelines and has continued to work diligently at implementing the new rules and regulations for the industry but has determined it impossible to meet all the given deadlines. In an attempt to meet the more important mandates Mr. Taylor has determined the best course of action is to begin prioritizing.

The Safe Food Coalition and food safety advocates along with FSMA lobbyist are enthusiastic about the progression being made. Although many of the timelines have not been met, there are some that have. The FDA and State Authorities have conducted inspections of 20,000 of the 140,000 food facilities in the U.S. which they say put them on tract to meet the food inspection frequency mandates. In addition 600 of the 200,000 foreign facilities registered with the FDA have been inspected. With only a year under our belt we have made progress but still have a long way to go to ensure the continued safety of our food supply.

To view the full one-year progress report on the FSMA visit the link below.

Have a Happy Heart!

According to the Center for Disease Control every 25 seconds an American will suffer a coronary event resulting in an American dying every minute from such an attack. A coronary attack is the most common form of heart disease and is most commonly associated with a heart attack. Since February is “American Heart Month” we thought it would be a good time to review the wonderful foods and actions we can take to keep our ticker ticking!

The CDC list several factors that may lead to an unhealthy heart including; high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and secondhand smoke. One of the best forms of prevention is by simply living a healthy lifestyle and that includes a good nutritional diet!

It is important to choose foods that will set a pattern for continued good health. The CDC lists these recommendations below to get you started in keeping proper cardiovascular health.

  • Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.
  • Select fat-free, 1% fat, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans-fat in your diet.
  • Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol. Aim to eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day.
  • Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
  • Select and purchase foods lower in salt/sodium.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That means no more than one drink per day if you're a woman and two drinks per day if you're a man.
  • Keep an eye on your portion sizes. (Center for Disease Control,
There are also delicious heart healthy foods to include in your diet such as spinach. By upping your servings of any type of vegetable it is sure to give your heart a boost. Spinach in particular contains lutein, foliate, potassium, and fiber, all things to keep your heart in shape. One of our favorites is avocado, which contains lots of the good kind of fat, monounsaturated. Avocados will help to lower LDL cholesterol levels which can cause clots in arteries leading to heart attack, at the same time raising the amount of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) in the bloodstream. Containing lots of lean protein while remaining low in saturated fat and contributing to lowering cholesterol, edamame is another favorite of ours.

Top 10 Unhealthy
Heart Foods
Soda Pop
Potato Chips
Pasta Salad
Fast Food Burgers
Granola Bars
Chocolate Cereal
Top 10
Heart Healthy
Olive Oil

It has been said that incorporating the top 10 heart healthy foods in your diet is like the fountain of youth for your heart!

We have only scratched the surface on heart disease and prevention so in tribute to “American Heart Month” why not take some time to learn more. We have provided a few links to help you get started.

American Heart Association

Center for Disease Control, Heart Months

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

What is ORAC?

In recent months we have spent a lot of time discussing the health benefits of various fruits and vegetables and occasionally we use the term ORAC Value. ORAC, which stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, is a score that is given to food and other substances. The score is determined by a test tube analysis that measures the antioxidant levels in the tested samples and was developed by scientists at the National Institute of Health. A high ORAC score shows a high antioxidant level in the food.

Antioxidants are directly responsible for fighting off oxygen free radicals in the body. Oxygen radicals are naturally forming chemicals that result from the process of oxidation. Every day activities like digestion and physical motion directly contribute to the buildup of these harmful radicals. Overtime this oxidation will weaken our cells, organs and other parts of the body leading to ongoing problems such as heart disease or cancer. Eating foods with high antioxidant levels will help to counteract this naturally occurring process in the body.

The USDA recommends that individuals consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetable daily and on average a person will consume just less than 1,800 ORAC units in those servings. It is recommended that an intake of 5,000 ORAC units a day be taken to have any significant effect on antioxidant levels in the blood and tissues. Doing so can increase antioxidant levels by up to 25% but does vary based on the individual. For instance blueberries have a very high ORAC score and just a handful will make up an astonishing 2,400 ORAC units. So the next time you are enjoying a fruit or vegetable why not go on line and check out the ORAC score. Eating foods with higher ORAC values certainly cannot hurt and may improve our health and help us to live a bit longer!

Unprocessed Cocoa Powder26,000
Dark Chocolate13,120
Milk Chocolate6,740
Brussel Sprouts980
Broccoli Florets890
Red Bell Peppers710
Red Grapes739
ORAC UNITS PER 100 GRAMS (about 3.5 ounces)

Happy Valentines Day!

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