You can become a foodservice guru after reading Markon’s extensive list of industry terms and definitions. Wondering what cold chain management means? Need to know what qualifies as organic? Never heard of Cyclospora? Here is your cheat sheet for many topics pertinent to fresh produce.
Food security refers to the monitoring and inspection of our food supply to reduce its vulnerability to targeted attacks. Areas covered include domestic production, imports, and distribution. Additional regulation of these activities is currently under consideration.
What is Bioterrorism?
The Department of Homeland Security
What are Genetically Modified Organisms?
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is any item that has been altered at the molecular level.
In agriculture, GMOs are typically created in order to boost yields, improve quality, and repel insects.
What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?
An IPM system seeks to implement socially responsible and economically feasible methods of reducing agricultural pests and promoting sustainable agriculture for the preservation of the environment. Management options include
For information about IPM in general: National Integrated Pest Management Network
What is Irradiation?
A process in which high energy rays pass through packaged food. The process destroys dangerous microbes within and on the surface, including foodborne illnesses such as E. coli 0157:H7, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella, Cyclospora, and Listeria. The process also eliminates pests (such as fruit flies) and slows foods' natural ripening process, extending shelf-life. Nutritional changes are insignificant.
Critics claim that studies of irradiated foods are inconclusive or outdated, and that studies point to the mutation of genes in both animals and humans.
What Methods are Used in the U.S.?
Foods Currently Approved for Irradiation
Does Markon Sell Irradiated Produce?
At this time, no Markon branded products are irradiated. In general, the degree of irradiation needed to kill pathogens in produce can damage it (for example, cause lettuces to wilt).
For More Information: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Introduced in June 2011 to replace the Food Pyramid, MyPlate aims to simplify nutritional needs with a colorful plate diagram divided into four portion-size quadrants (fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins) and one side portion for dairy products. The diagram is accompanied by the United States Food & Drug Administration's advisory tips, including:
See the diagram and additional information at MyPlate.gov.
What Constitutes Organic?
The USDA's National Organic Standards went into effect on October 21, 2002. The standards, established by the National Organics Standards Board with the help of thousands of industry and public comments, were written over a period of twelve years. Only foods that meet specific standards can display the national label.
What Are the Labeling Laws? The National Organic Program (NOP) has four classifications of certification
To view the standards in detail, see The National Organic Program.
How Do The New Organic Laws Affect The Foodservice Industry?
To date most foodservice operators are excluded from these regulations, but foodservice establishments may someday be required to document organic suppliers' certifications in order to mention "organic" on menus or in advertising/promotional materials.
For more information about organics and the USDA standards, visit:
What is perchlorate?
Perchlorate is an industrial chemical. In the US it is used as primarily as an ingredient in rocket fuel, and in fireworks and flares. Perchlorate has also been found to occur naturally.
Does food contain perchlorate?
Is perchlorate regulated by the government?
What should I do?
Why Are Pesticides Used?
Farmers use pesticides to keep diseases, harmful insects, and rodents from infesting and damaging otherwise healthy crops. Without the use of pesticides, it is believed that production in every category of agricultural farming would fall and consumer prices would rise dramatically.
How Are Pesticides Regulated?
Is It Safe to Eat Produce Grown With The Use of Pesticides?