Stems and Leaves on My Plate

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There is a scene in The Jerk where Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters are eating at a “fancy French restaurant.” After they splurge on “fresh” wine (“This year! No more of this old stuff!”), Martin looks down in horror at his wife’s plate. “Don’t look down, don’t look down!” he says. “Look up! Just keep your eyes up and keep them that way, OK!” He then says to the waiter, “Waiter, there are snails on her plate! Now get them out of here before she sees them...Take those away and bring us those melted cheese sandwich appetizers you talked me out of.” I still crack up when I hear this.

While escargot may have been a shock to Martin’s character, sometimes stems and leaves can be scary as well. Every time around Chinese New Year, we get some questions about stems and leaves that have been left on certain citrus. (“You’d think the farmer could have had taken the time to at least remove the stems and leaves, for gosh sake!”) Stems and leaves left on mandarins at this time of year are a sign of good things. Bright orange citrus fruits are a sign of prosperity, and if the stems and leaves are still attached, it is an added sign of fertility—all in all, a good omen. Sometimes it’s easy to forget in our modern world that fruit still comes from a plant that is natural and not always uniform.

So Gung Hay Fat Choy (best wishes and congratulations)! It’s the Year of the Rabbit, so make a commitment to nibble great fruits and veggies like a bunny, and have a hoppy year!

Remember to visit our  mix page or go to our  home page and click the ladybug icon to find your fruit mix this week.

Enjoy & Be Fruitful!

—Chris Mittelstaedt,


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Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.