By Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN
Monsanto Vegetable Seeds
Fall is upon us and we are all getting back into the groove of school, homework, and extracurricular activities. It feels like a fresh start. But there is more freshness to this season than back-to-school. It is also a time when we have plenty of in-season produce, thanks to vegetable growers around the world.
This month, you will notice your local farmers’ markets and grocery stores have a wide selection of some of my favorite produce, like corn, peppers, melons, and cucumbers. It’s the time of year when our hardworking farmer customers in some regions are enjoying the fruits of their labor after harvest season. Through Monsanto Vegetable Seeds, we offer more than 2,000 seed varieties, which are sold in more than 160 countries worldwide. The majority of our seeds are developed through traditional breeding and represent 22 different crop families, including broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, melons, peppers and tomatoes.
As parents, we try our best to get more healthy produce in our children’s tummies. It’s not an easy task. As a mom and registered dietitian, I know the importance of serving my family a balanced meal, including lots of healthy produce. I try to make half our plates filled with fruits and vegetables. However, let’s just say that some approaches are better received than others. That’s why I’m a fan of the national trend of including fresh produce in frozen pops. In fact, Monsanto is doing its part to perpetuate this “pop”-ularity with our own frozen sweet treats.
Crop Pops, as we like to call them, are a great way to help your kids not only eat more produce, but also learn about fruits and vegetables. These custom-made pops feature produce grown from Monsanto’s own fruit and vegetable seed varieties. We’ve been taste-testing the Crop Pops all summer, and they’ve been a huge hit among many groups.
We use Crop Pops simply for sampling purposes at meetings, trade shows and special events, and have found them to be an interesting – and delicious – way to engage folks in conversation about who we are and what we do. You won’t be seeing them at your local grocer, but we’ve developed a few recipes that you might try with your kids (or without) in your own kitchen. Easy to make, they are a great way to help your family consume more healthy foods.
The combinations are endless, but here are a few varieties that have been wildly popular. You can click on the Crop Pop flavor to download the recipe. And, while we work with many farmers, we have featured a few growers here who provided the produce we are serving in Monsanto’s Crop Pops this season:
- Honeydew Avocado – Meet the honeydew grower, Fisher Ranch
- Melon Mojito – Meet the cucumber grower, Moore Farms Manor
- Hot Chocolate – Meet the jalapeño grower, Little River Produce
Just because summer is over does not mean it is the end of Crop Pop season. We’ll be hitting the road this fall – with Crop Pops in hand – to share information and to engage in “sweet” conversation. We hope you enjoy these Crop Pops as much as we have!