We Believe

Fresh fruits and vegetables at their peak season taste better, cost less, and can help pave the way towards an improved lifestyle. – Jonathan Steffy & Justin Reber

Fresh fruits and vegetables can help us live and feel better. Americans need more fresh, whole foods in their diets and less processed foods. But will it taste good? Will my kids like it? How do I choose a good one? When is it ripe? How do I prepare it? With some simple answers to these questions you can enjoy more good, healthy food. There is so much wonderful variety and so many flavors to explore!

Fresh fruits and vegetables are picked and distributed on short timelines, and are subject to many disruptive factors like weather, pest and plant issues, not to mention global supply and demand factors. What was inexpensive, delicious and plentiful last February might be costly, poor in quality and hard to find this February. TV Cooking shows, food magazines and celebrity doctors or dietitians often will recommend a particular produce item without much regard to whether it’s actually available in stores or tasting its best at the time. Canned peas are canned peas. But to find the best, sweetest, juiciest Rainer Cherries, for example – that happens in a specific time period which can shift from year to year. Seasonal conditions can change quickly in the highly perishable world of fresh produce. That’s why we put a “Best if used by date” on our posts. Fresh fruits and vegetables can help us live and feel better.

What about Organic Produce?

While the seasons can be similar to conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, Organic Produce has its own supply and demand plus other unique factors that drive weekly seasonality. In fact, those forces can make price and quality peaks and valleys even more extreme. That’s exactly why we include a selection of Organic Produce picks. You’ll get insights for shopping the organic produce department at natural foods stores, food co-ops and other organic markets like a boss.

The “geek” answers a simple question.

For years friends and family who know I work in fresh produce wholesaling have asked me, “Hey, Jon, what’s good right now?” I always loved answering that question and trying to help whomever is listening with some insider tips about what to look for at their local produce department. These tips were derived from talking to growers, produce buyers, supermarket chains and produce inspectors, not to mention seeing truckloads of produce arrive from all of the world. And sampling – lots of sampling! What started as a quick email to friends has grown into a weekly e-newsletter, website and more thanks to the web and design talents of my longtime friend, Justin Reber. And by the way, the photographs are as fresh as the content, often shot in the kitchen, at a market, or on the produce receiving dock just days or even hours before getting posted to the site. Enjoy!

These tips were derived from talking to growers, produce buyers, supermarket chains and produce inspectors, not to mention seeing truckloads of produce arrive from all of the world. And sampling – lots of sampling!

The Geeks

Longtime friends; born and raised in Lancaster, PA.

Jonathan K. Steffy

The fact that Jonathan listed Green Beans as his favorite food in kindergarten was the first clue that Produce would become a lifelong passion. Growing up, Jonathan helped his Dad in the big family garden, worked summers on a farm that grew produce, and cooked his way through college. These days Jonathan leads a group of produce professionals at Four Seasons Produce, Inc. who sell organic, local and conventional produce to Supermarkets, Natural Food Stores, Coops, Chain stores, Juicers and other Wholesalers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. He also authors the content on Produce Geek. Jonathan loves to cook with seasonal ingredients, is a novice organic gardener and has been doing some juicing. He and his family live in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Justin H. Reber

Justin is a longtime designer of pretty much anything you can imagine, and makes sure all of Jon’s great content reaches everyone’s eyeballs. He loves to cook and takes pride in using the advice on Produce Geek to educate his friends and family about what’s best and why. Justin and his family have called Lancaster County home all their lives. He doesn’t see that changing anytime soon unless his wife convinces him to move to Bend, OR.

Additional Information

The Produce Geek, Jonathan K. Steffy, is employed by Four Seasons Produce, Inc. as the General Manager, where he gets much of his “industry insider” information. In April of 2011 Produce Geek partnered with Four Seasons Produce to make the content of this website more available to stores that Four Seasons Produce supplies produce to so that those stores can get helpful information about What’s Best Right Now to their shoppers. That said, Four Seasons Produce is a really cool company, and if you’re in the fresh produce, Organics or retail industry you should definitely consider doing business with them.

Wondering where to find the items described on this site? Email us and we’ll do our best to recommend a store or market. Oh, and readers: conditions of products in a produce department greatly vary from store to store and from day to day, so you may not find produce as fresh as sometimes described on this site. But we trust you’ll still find our content helpful.

The opinions here-in are only those of the owners of Produce Geek Enterprises and it’s content contributors. Forward our links and e-newsletters all you want, but the content of this website may not be reproduced without the consent of Produce Geek Enterprises.