Last week I posted about Bountiful Baskets OLD food and GMOs.
The Bountiful Baskets coordinator was completely indifferent to my complaint about receiving in my organic basket lettuce “best used” 3 weeks earlier  and she blamed ME for failing to inspect my box and accused me of lying about ordering the organic basket.
Since it’s impossible to reach anyone else at Bountiful Baskets, I contacted Earthbound Farm, the supplier of the old lettuce.  They immediately apologized (it was NOT their fault!) and they sent me several coupons, one of which I already used on Earthbound Farm organic cauliflower and it was delicious.  But I couldn’t find out how the old lettuce ended up in my Bountiful Basket.
So as I was working in my hoophouse this morning, I noticed that the Bountiful Baskets box I had used to transport tomato plants to our farmstand yesterday was “packed by Kodiak Fresh Produce, Phoenix, AZ.”
Well, well, I think now I know what happened.   Kodiak Fresh Produce packs for Bountiful Baskets and that’s how they get rid of old produce  for CASH instead of giving it to the food bank.
I never heard of Kodiak Fresh Produce before, but according to their website they sell wholesale produce and apparently even deliver to various locations.  I’d want to talk to them about getting some produce for our co-op if it wasn’t for this lettuce incident.
I’m learning that purchasing high quality FRESH produce is VERY difficult and likely impossible unless we purchase directly from farms.
We’re looking primarily for FRESH produce and nobody provides a “date harvested.”  Now that I had this at least one month old lettuce, I can see why.
You probably heard Budweiser commercials about their date born.   From http://www.budweiser.com/en/us/content/king-of-beers/article/fresh-133-years-later

Born On Date

With a standard pull date, you never know when a beer was made – only that it’s no longer drinkable. Our “Born On” date tells you exactly when your Budweiser was brewed.  It’s our way of ensuring that each time you pick up a cold one, it’s as fresh as it can possibly be.
Track Your Bud with a Born on Date to see the path a Budweiser takes, from farm to fridge.

Growing up in Germany, I definitely appreciate good beer.    But I also appreciate good produce and if Budweiser can put the date on beer, why can’t we have dates on produce?  The Earthbound Farm “best used” date is a step in the right direction, but I’d really like to know when my lettuce was picked.  After all, the vitamins and nutrients don’t last forever.
So I requested comments about my lettuce investigation from Kodiak Fresh Produce in Phoenix at http://www.kodiakproduce.com/contact/:

REQUEST FOR COMMENTS RE PUBLICATION at http://highdesertpermaculture.org/blog/2013/05/19/kodiak-fresh-produce-packs-garbage-food-for-bountiful-basket/
Thank you,
Christine Baker

I’ll update with their response.
SHAME ON BOUNTIFUL BASKETS for not not caring at all!

I’ve heard that the Bountiful Baskets coordinators get paid per basket, so that may have to do with their unwillingness to acknowledge quality issues, although it obviously backfired when they defrauded me.  And I don’t believe for a second that the Bountiful Baskets organizers don’t profit as they would have organized as a non profit or co-op if they did not profit from the sales.  They would be a TRANSPARENT organization and CARE about the food they sell.