Tasti-Lee Grower Spotlight: MVP Produce

At Tasti-Lee, we care about our growers. We are continuously working with more growers to provide people with locally grown tomatoes. One of the growers we’ve been working with for a while is MVP Produce.

About MVP ProduceBurpee-Tomato-Harvest

Founder and CEO Miguel Martinez started MVP Produce in Ruskin, FL. It was 1990 and it was just a family farm. Over 23 years later, the farm is still family owned, but has grown to include fields in Wimauma, FL, Homestead, FL, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

With so many fields in different states, customers are able to get the produce they need throughout the year, especially Tasti-Lee Tomatoes.

MVP Produce was chosen to be a producer of Tasti-Lee Tomatoes because of its mission of providing quality tomatoes to its customers.

We pride ourselves on our service and ability to stand behind our products and pricing with timely deliveries. At MVP Produce we are committed to doing everything possible to service our customer’s needs and to never be without quality product.

The staff at MVP Produce are trained in HACCP principles and procedures. They also follow all of the USDA/FDA policies and procedures.

Tomatoes are grown, harvested and sold to local retail stores to preserve their freshness. This is why Tasti-Lee Tomatoes and Bejo Seeds, Inc. chose MVP Produce to grow their American Heart Association certified tomatoes containing more lycopene than other tomato varieties.

For more information about MVP Produce and to learn about how you can purchase Tasti-Lee Tomatoes from them, go to their website at http://www.mvptomatoes.com.

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Posted in History, Tasti-Lee News, Tomato Facts

Tasti-Lee Supports Local Farmers and Locavores

To improve sustainability and eco-consciousness, many people are deciding to become locavores. These individuals identify themselves locavores if they only purchase locally grown produce. Tasti-Lee Tomatoes is happy to support local farmers, and in turn, locavores.

  What Is Considered Local Produce?       organic-tomatoes-more-healthy-text01

There’s been a lot of discussion in the local farmers’   industry about what is considered “locally grown.” Some people believe that if produce is only     transported less than 100 miles, it is considered local. Others are willing to purchase produce from much farther away, as long as it’s from a farmer from the same state.

At this time, it’s a matter of opinion on what is best.  The freshness of produce does decrease the farther it needs to travel, but usually, the tomatoes are packaged in a way that prevents further ripening.

For example, with Tasti-Lee Tomatoes, the tomatoes remain on the vine during transportation. This ensures that the tomatoes ripen naturally. This is the best way to ripen them as they keep their flavor and nutrients, especially that boost of lycopene.

The Problems Locavores Face

Locavores are people from all types of lifestyles. They may  be busy as mothers, fathers, business owners, entrepreneurs, managers, and more. Daily life can make it difficult to pick up local produce unless these busy people are able to visit a farmer’s market or local produce stand.

Tasti-Lee makes it easier for people to purchase locally grown tomatoes. We have growers in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, New York, California, Baja, and Mexico. We intend to expand our local tomatoes focus to include many other states in our list in the next few months.

If you want the freshest, healthiest tomatoes that are locally grown, look for Tasti-Lee Tomatoes in your local grocery store. We make it easy for you to buy locally, despite your busy lifestyle.

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Posted in Tasti-Lee News, Tomato News

The Many Benefits of Lycopene

THE HEALTHY TOMATO

Tasti-Lee Tomatoes have more lycopene than other varieties. Actually, they have 50% more of it. What’s so great about this non-GMO benefit of our tomatoes? Keep reading to find out.

What Is Lycopene?
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that can prevent illness and disease. Your body needs this antioxidant to repair cells that may have been damaged by environmental effects.

How It Protects You
Lycopene’s main job is to attack the cells in your body and repair them. It can help you generate new, healthy cells as well. These cells are what can help you stay happy and healthy. The following are just some of the illnesses and diseases that lycopene can protect you from:

  • Asthma
  • Blood thinner
  • Brain tumors
  • Cancer prevention
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabetes
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Eye disorders
  • Gum disease
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Infertility
  • Inflammation
  • Kidney disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Menopause
  • Mouth and throat inflammation

Did you know that lycopene can protect you from the harmful effects of the sun too?
Yes, it can make your skin much more resilient to UV rays to protect you from skin cancer.

The Lycopene in Tasti-Lee Tomatoes
Lycopene is amazing. When you’re looking for something to eat that will not only fight hunger, but also give you the nutrition your body needs, Tasti-Lee Tomatoes are it. You’ll get a bigger boost of lycopene than other varieties, so you’ll get more from them.

Grab some delicious Tasti-Lee Tomatoes at your local grocery store next time you’re shopping. You’ll love the flavor and the benefit greatly from the the nutrition we provide.

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Posted in Health & Beauty, Tomato Facts

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with These Green Tomato Recipes

St. Patrick’s Day has arrived (or at least it will tomorrow) and there are two main techniques for celebrating the patron saint of Ireland. One is to celebrate the culture and heritage of the Irish, most often in food and drink. The other is to focus on anything and everything the color green. We’ve all seen or heard of green beer, but green food coloring doesn’t stop there. There are green shamrock cookies and other foods made artificially green for the occasion. The way we see it, though, you don’t have to be artificial to go green for St. Patty’s Day!

Hello Green Tomatoes!

We love tomatoes when they’re firm, juicy and bright red, especially if they’re Tasti-Lee tomatoes, but that doesn’t mean green tomatoes aren’t great too! You usually find two types of green tomatoes. The first is just an unripe tomato. The second is a green tomato variety (usually heirloom) that will keep its green color when fully ripe. Either way, there are many great recipes out there for green tomatoes that will be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. And you don’t have to use any artificial colors!

Appetizers and Salads

Which course will your green tomato dish be tomorrow? There are so many, you could probably have them for every course, but we’ll divide the recipes up so you can pick and choose.

First, we have appetizers and salads!

How about a yummy Green Tomato Salsa Verde, made with green tomatoes instead of the traditional tomatillos? Serve with yummy tortilla chips, and if you REALLY want to stick to the whole “green” theme, pick spinach tortilla chips.

2.-Green-Tomato-Salsa

Something a little more elegant, perhaps? These Green Tomato Tartines could do the trick!

12.-Green-Tomato-Tartines

If you want to have a salad for St. Patrick’s Day, try this fresh Green Tomato Southwestern Panzanella Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing.

5.-Green-Tomato-Southwestern-Panzanella-Salad-with-Cilantro-Lime-Dressing

A twist on the classic Caprese, this Oven Fried Green Tomato Caprese is a salad with attitude.

16.-Oven-Fried-Green-Tomato-Caprese

Main Dish

Here are some delicious options for your green tomato entrée:

Green Tomato and Leek Frittata

8.-Green-Tomato-and-Leek-Frittata

Grilled Green Tomato Tostadas with Black Beans, Avocado and Cilantro (this one will go well with the green tomato salsa verde appetizer!)

10.-Grilled-Green-Tomato-Tostada

You can’t go wrong with a Green Tomato Galette.

18.-Green-Tomato-Galette

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Posted in For the Holidays

5 Rules for Your Tomato Garden

It’s almost time to start thinking about that tomato garden! Just think about it, cutting warm, juicy tomatoes, right off the vine, for a yummy lunchtime BLT or tomato sandwich. We’re drooling just thinking about it! But first, we need to grow those tomatoes.

Tomatoes are actually one of the easiest fruits to grow in warm/hot climates (though if it’s too hot, you may need a shade cloth so your tomatoes don’t burn), so there isn’t much room for growing wrong, but, there are still some rules to follow, if you want your tomato garden to be the best it can be.

  1. Choose the right variety. Not all tomato varieties grow well in every climate. Decide what type of tomato you want to grow and double-check that it does well in your area. Keep in mind that heirloom tomato varieties are more prone to disease, but this doesn’t mean heirloom tomatoes wouldn’t be successful. Just be aware of the pros and cons of the types of tomato you may want for your garden.
  2. Plant two to four feet apart. Two feet in between your tomato plants is the absolute minimum. If they start crowding each other, there isn’t good air circulation and the sun exposure will be more uneven.
  3. Stake them. A tomato cage or stake that you tie your plant to, that will keep the branches and fruit off the ground, is best to ensure your fruit doesn’t rot. Plus, keeping the plant growing up improves air circulation and sun exposure.
  4. Mound the dirt. Arrange the dirt into dips and mounds, the mounds being where you will plant the tomatoes. Deep watering is best for tomatoes and planting on a mound, but watering in the dips, helps them get the water they need without adding moisture around the base of the stem, which could lead to rot/disease.
  5. Plant companion plants. There are a few insects that love going after tomatoes, but, by planting the proper companion plants, you can help keep tomato-loving pests away naturally. Our favorite companion plants are marigolds and basil.

Throw a Few Tasti-Lees into the Mix

Did you know you can grow your own Tasti-Lee tomatoes? Just because we developed them to give you that homegrown taste in the convenience of your grocery store doesn’t mean that can’t be homegrown. You can buy plants online from Burpee Gardens at http://www.burpee.com/vegetables/tomatoes/slicer/tomato-tasti-lee-hybrid-prod003158.html?omn2pd=sh&catId=&.

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Posted in Tomato Garden

Getting Your Garden Ready for Spring Planting

In many parts of the country, it’s time to get those gardens ready for spring planting and we can’t wait for homegrown fruits and veggies! Gardening takes more than just sticking a plant in a random section of dirt, however. (Although that doesn’t mean the “just sticking it in the dirt” strategy never works). Here are a few tips from the team over at Tasti-Lee tomatoes to help you set a good foundation for your spring veggie garden.

  • Designate your planting area(s). Figure out where you want to plant what and create the space. A raised planter is great, but you can also just use rocks or borders to cordon off the space. Remember to take the amount of sun in your planting area into account. Not every fruit or veggie works as well in the same spot.
  • De-weed in two rounds. You may have noticed some weeds creeping in as the weather has started getting warmer. Pull out all the weeds, even the itty bitty ones, then till the soil. Loosen it up and turn over six to 12 inches down. Then wait a week and pull out any more weeds that start to grow.
  • Add compost at least 1 week before planting. You can add compost when you plant, but it’s actually best to add the compost to the loosened soil and then mix it in. This way, the compost has time to seep its nutrients into the surrounding soil.
  • Do a final de-weeding. After adding compost, you may notice more weeds coming in. Pull out any more weeds right before planting.

Happy Planting!

Homegrown fruits and veggies don’t just taste great, they are often healthier than store bought produce. Plus, growing your own saves money and helps you lead a more sustainable lifestyle. It just take s a little work.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the space to plant a whole vegetable garden, but that doesn’t mean you have to do without homegrown flavor! Tasti-Lee tomatoes were developed to give you that backyard taste in the convenience of a grocery store tomato. When you can’t grown your own, we’re the next best thing!

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Posted in Tomato Garden

Dietary Habits and Arthritis: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Welcome back to the Tasti-Lee blog for our second post in our arthritis blog series. In the first post, we discussed the potential danger of eating tomatoes and other nightshade vegetables when you have arthritis. Today, we will discuss the good and the bad when it comes to other foods, drinks and other items.

Again, we have to emphasize that this does not constitute medical advice. We are simply relating information we have gathered ourselves online & from books such as Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford.

Now, without further ado, let’s jump right in!

Foods to Watch Out For

Even if various people have arthritis, no one is the same. We want to stress that certain foods affect individuals differently, but there are certain items that are bad for most, if not all, people with arthritic conditions. These items include:

  • Alcohol
  • Coffee (caffeine, in general, isn’t good)
  • Refined sugar (or too much of any sweet product/food)
  • Tobacco

coffee

Other “Not So Good” Foods

Dairy foods (EXCEPT fermented dairy, like yogurt, and goat’s milk products) are said to worsen arthritic conditions, but this does not necessarily apply to everyone. If you have arthritis and consume dairy, try cutting it out for at least two weeks to see if there’s improvement.

Despite what you may think, not all fruits and vegetables are good for people with arthritis. Due to a compound called oxalic acid, which affects calcium absorption, people with arthritis should limit foods like:

  • Spinach (baby spinach is said to be better than mature spinach)
  • Plum
  • Cranberry
  • Beet greens
  • Chard

Avoiding nuts (EXCEPT almonds and walnuts) and nut butters is also supposed to help improve arthritic symptoms/conditions.

Foods to Love

It may seem like you can’t eat anything, but there are fortunately a lot of foods that are said to lessen arthritic symptoms and even improve calcium absorption and/or metabolism. Some of these foods are:

  • Dark berries
  • Fatty fish
  • Seaweed
  • Alfalfa
  • Whole grains (soak before cooking)
  • Goat’s milk products
  • Asparagus
  • Cherries
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric
  • Olive oil
  • Broccoli
  • Legumes (beans/lentils – also soak before cooking)

Final Words

In the end, you’ll have to discuss with your doctor what is best for you and your specific arthritic condition, but this information can provide you with some general tips.

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Posted in Health & Beauty

Tomatoes and Arthritis: What’s the Deal?

Tomatoes are full of beneficial nutrients, but, as healthy as they are, tomatoes aren’t necessarily good for everyone. Aside from the obvious, like people with tomato allergies, tomatoes may be bad for people suffering from arthritic conditions.

In this two-part blog series, we’ll cover why tomatoes may be bad, as well as take a look at other dietary habits that can worsen or improve arthritic symptoms and/or conditions. Just to clarify, this is based on our own research and should NOT be considered medical advice.

What Do You Mean “May” Be Bad?

The truth is, no two people are the same. Tomatoes, and other vegetables in the Nightshade family (eggplant, bell pepper, potato), are generally considered bad for people with arthritis because they contain a compound that interferes with calcium metabolism, but this doesn’t necessarily hold true for everyone. Some people may see an improvement in their arthritis pain after cutting out tomatoes and other Nightshade vegetables while it makes no difference for others.

How to Determine If You Need to Cut Out Tomatoes

If you want to see if tomatoes are worsening your arthritis, there’s an easy way to check: Cut all tomatoes (and other Nightshade veggies) out of your diet for at least two weeks. If you notice a difference, then your body is reacting to those foods and you should cut them out or severely restrict them. If you don’t notice anything, then your body is probably not having an adverse reaction to them (time for tomato-lovers to cheer!).

Cutting out tomatoes and Nightshade vegetables are only one of the changes in diet that can alleviate certain symptoms of arthritis, if your body is responsive to it. Visit our blog again in a couple of weeks for part 2 of our blog series where we’ll discuss other food and drink items that may impact arthritic conditions.

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Posted in Health & Beauty, Tomato Facts
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