Fruits and vegetables are probably the most visible products in a restaurant when it comes to sustainability because people in general are, at the very least, aware that there are pesticides on their apples. After all, isn’t that the primary reason we wash them before we eat them?
When I was a child, the elementary school I went to was adjacent to a tomato farm. I remember the crop-dusters flying over the field applying pesticides while we were outside running during Physical Education. I was ten years old and did not even consider that this could have an effect on me. My mother, God bless her, had no idea either.
People, like me, who are slightly more aware of pesticides and GMOs than just to know they exist strive to make changes within their industry, their home and the world. That starts with supporting businesses who, as we say, “do the right thing” and ends with providing our customers their products. We are the trendsetters and we have a responsibility as such to inform our customers. Buy it. Put it on your menu. Talk to people about it. And tell them you found it at realEats.org.
The distributors, vendors and suppliers on realEats.org can supply you with fresh, local and/or organic fruits and vegetables. Please visit their webpages to find more information on sourcing their products and contacting them:
Albert’s Organics: Albert’s Organics was founded in 1982. They have since grown into an organic foods distributor which has the largest “effective” distribution area of any organic produce distributor in the United States. Their distribution area covers all major metropolitan areas and most regions in the United States. Product is also available in many parts of Canada.
Bianca International Organic: Bianca International Organics was established in Montreal, Canada with the plan of brining a range of organic produce to the market at affordable prices.
B&B Organics: B&B Organics is a distributor of organic fresh produce. Its mission is to deliver organically grown food to its customers because the organization believes in supplying nutritious and healthy produce every day.
Cal-Organic Farms: Cal-Organic produce consists of roughly 60 different seasonal and year-round vegetable and fruit items. Located in California’s San Joaquin Valley, they are committed to maintaining an organic heritage.
Cascade Crest Organics: Cascade Crest Organics are producers of fruit from the hills of the Cascade Mountain in Washington.
Del Cabo Organic: Del Cabo is committed to growing in an environmentally friendly way, using organic farming methods. Their products range from tomatoes of different kinds, basil, and other seasonally available fruits and vegetables.
Earl’s Organic: Earl’s Organic is dedicated to support organic agriculture and sustainable practices in order to produce flavorful food. Earl’s Organic collaborates with growers and customers to supply and distribute organic food across the United States.
Earthbound Farms: Earthbound Farms is a supplier of a wide range of organic fruits and vegetables. They are committed not only to benefiting the Earth through their environmental initiatives, but also to giving back to the social causes of their communities through such initiatives as scholarships for students pursuing careers in environmental stewardship.
Farm Fresh to You: Farm Fresh to You is a wholesaler and it supplies organic produce. The organization is passionately committed to growing organic food. The production system adopted by this farm reflects sustainable practices and adopts environmentally sensitive practices.
Fruit d’Or: Fruit d’Or is a company based in Quebec, Canada that provides organic cranberries and blueberries made in different ways including fresh, dried and made into juice.
Glaser Organic Farms: Glaser is an organic produce farm which also provides gourmet raw and vegan food. In business for over 30 years, they specialize in growing exotic fruits such as mangos, papayas, avocados and lychees with no herbicides, chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
Global Organics: Global Organics started its operations as a small organic farm in Sarasota and it is now serving as organic produce distributor in the Southeastern US. The organization supplies not only organic vegetables and fruits but it provides support and resources to help organic growers organic find success.
Goodness Greeness: Goodness Greeness is the largest, privately held distributor of organic produce in the United States. They provide organic fruit and organic vegetables to the midwest region and source their product from regional family farms in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Homegrown Organic Farms: Homegrown organic farm began to grow and produce organic produce in 1998. They provide fresh organic food across North America, shipped from Kingsburg, California.
Melissa’s Produce: Melissa’s produce, in business since 1984, is the largest distributor of specialty produce in the United States. Their wide range of organic products are available nationally and internationally through regional distributors and direct to your restaurant in the Southern California and Las Vegas regions.
Nature’s Produce: Nature’s Produce supplies the Southern California region with fresh fruits and vegetables. 95% of their produce sold during the summer months is grown in California (40% during the winter). In addition to their local selection, they also purvey a wide selection of organics.
Oasis Organics: Oasis Organics is a family owned farm located in Brawley, California. Their focus is to develop and implement organic and sustainable farming techniques. One of the most important things to their company is prioritizing quality food and food safety.
Organic Girl: Organic Girl is a grower of organic greens. All their greens are triple-washed and packaged in 100% recycled containers. They also have a growing line of fresh organic veggies.
Organically Grown: Organically Grown Company is a wholesaler of organic vegetables, fruits and herbs in the Pacific Northwest. The company is committed to sustainable agriculture in a sustainable organization. It also supports the community with a school program “Farm to School” in order to spread awareness of benefits of organic food.
Pacific Organic Produce: Pacific Organic Produce has growers around the United States and Latin America that provide organic fruits and vegetables to retailers and wholesalers in North America.
Paradise Farms: Paradise Farms is a five acre farm in Homestead, FL which supplies select local restaurants with with fresh, local, sustainable and organic produce. Their products range from micro greens, herbs and edible flowers to assorted greens, heirloom tomatoes, root vegetables and a wide range of tropical fruits (including jackfruit and monstera, among others).
Savory Sensations: Grower of a wide variety of organic herbs, local to the midwest region of the United States.
Sid Wainer & Son: Sid Wainer & Son has been supplying fresh, local produce to the Northeast for nearly 100 years. Their specialty produce and exclusive prepared foods are available across the United States. They are committed to sustainability through a number of energy use reduction and recycling programs.
Sunripe Organic: Sunripe Organic is dedicated to growing and shipping organic grape tomatoes and other vegetables.
Sun World: Over the years Sun World has evolved to be growers, marketers and breeders of premium fruits and vegetables. Sun World produces seedless grapes, sweet peppers, stone fruits and other fruits and vegetables.
Stehly Farms Organics: Stehly Farms Organics is located in Valley Center, California. They offer farm-fresh organic fruits and vegetables.
Swanks Specialty Produce: Swank Specialty Produce grows a wide variety of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers hyrdoponically in Loxahatchee, FL. Their products are available to be purchased direct in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in Florida. All their products are grown naturally without the use of pesticides, fungicides or herbicides.
Sweet Water Organic: Sweet Water Organic Farm operates in Tampa, Florida. This community farm supplies organic vegetables and herbs the Tampa Bay area using sustainable agriculture techniques.
Tuttle Ridge Farm: Tuttle Ridge Farm has a unique technique they use on their crops. This technique is a compost tea treatment. The treatment is used on their crops three times a week.
Upper Meadows Farms: Upper Meadows Farms is a USDA Certified Organic farm. This farm was certified in 1991 and has been certified ever since. Upper Meadows farms are a fully functional farm. They grow produce, perennials and have livestock.
Veritable Vegetable: Veritable Vegetable is an organization dedicated to supply organic fresh produce with a sustainable approach in every aspect of its operations. Veritable Vegetable is committed to a healthy community starting with the support of healthy eaters’ daily choices.
Vida Fresh: Vida Fresh provides an assortment of fresh herbs to grocers, restaurants and distributors across the states. They are certified organic and family owned.
Viva Tierra Organic: Viva Tierra produces various organic fruits across North America. Their items consist of apples, pears and onions year-round along with other fruits available seasonally.
White Gate Farm: The mission of White Gate Farms is to provide good food to their consumers. They focus on providing fresh produce, poultry, eggs, and flowers year round.
Zespri: Zespri produces organic kiwi in New Zealand, their growers are committed to quality and sustainability.