Fresh Ideas: New ways to solve old problems

Futurists, progressives and other forward thinkers like to dream of an entirely new (and better) world that is coming. This is a world that we can help bring to reality if only we would adopt the proper practices and policies.

Conservatives and traditionalists agree with the man who authored the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, and his realistic view that “truly, there is nothing new under the sun.”

I think both of these views have merit. In fact, we’d be best served if we combined the two. The future will consist of finding new ways to solve the same old problems. This is true in our daily lives. We used to accumulate a pile of stuff called “trash” and haul it to a place called “the dump.” Now we recycle a lot of it for somebody else to pick up, while the rest is taken to a place called a “landfill.”

New solutions to perennial problems are a hallmark of the produce processing industry, and this issue of Fresh Cut magazine includes a few prime examples.

Old challenge: How can we cut raw product?

New solution: Our cover story on page 8 describes waterjet cutting of produce, how one company specializes in it and a recent research project that examines how well it performs on romaine lettuce.

Old challenge: How can we deploy the staff to ensure food safety and adjust to changing government regulations?

New solution: The Food Safety Modernization Act will change the landscape for produce companies, and our story on Page 6 outlines how the industry is responding with new training and ways of staffing.

Old challenge: How can a business manage growth and maintain quality?

New solution: See how a Michigan pickle company fine-tuned its production and quality control to satisfy its customers and sustain growth (Page 12).

What’s true for produce processing companies is also true for media companies. We’re always examining new ways to inform the industry about developments and best practices. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months.

Lee Dean, editorial director


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