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Perishable Pundit
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Letters to the “Pundit”

An important part of the content of Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit is provided by industry members and observers who engage with the “Pundit” by contributing information, analysis, commentary and photography on a multitude of issues of industry concern.

The engagement is immense, sustained and consistent. Jim Prevor personally selects letters to run and comment upon from far more input than could possibly be used.

Many contributions are published with full attribution, including name, position and affiliation. In other cases, Jim Prevor protects the identity of letter-writers. In all cases, the identity of each and every contributor is known to Jim Prevor. No anonymous contributions are ever published. Typically Jim Prevor will characterize the position of writers whose identity he is protecting by explaining what role he or she plays in the industry or what connection he or she may have to the topic.

Pieces containing these letters are included in the archives of Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, which you can access here.

In addition, many are included by topic area under our various “Hot Topic” buttons and you can access these here.

However the value of this engagement is so vast and the contributors so prominent — including industry members from every business sector and every continent, save Antarctica, plus a roster of writers including university professors, government officials, lawyers, association leaders, on and on — that we thought it useful to offer a compendium of these contributions in one place. Please note this archive only includes letters we have elected to publish.

We’ve actually divided the letters into two parts.

If you wish to see articles that include letters that are signed and identified, please click here.

If you wish to see articles that include letters in which we have protected the identity of the writer, please click here.

Pundit Letters (Identity Disclosed)


Pundit’s Mailbag – Tim York Speaks Out: PMA Hires Chief Marketing Officer Lauren Scott But Is The Industry Willing To Test And Reject Sub-Par Fruit? sees that Tim York, President of Markon Cooperative, has been paying close attention to recent Pundit pieces, such as Industry Challenge To Lauren Scott, PMA’s New Marketing Officer: Can The Industry Produce Consistent Quality To Enable Effective Marketing? Tim weighed in on the debate with this note. It is all too easy to assume that the great variable that separates produce from Pepsi is marketing dollars. It may be that the reason the produce industry has so few marketing dollars is because, as an industry, the product is too variable to make the marketing pay off.  11/14/2016


Fred Stein, CFSP
Safe Food Connection
Delray Beach, FL

TAGS: Safe Food Connection, Stein, food safety, Chipotle, Marsden, meat, Samadpour, Kansas State University, Perishable Pundit, Jim Prevor

Pundit's Mailbag — Staying Up-to-date On Chipotle: Does Marsden Appointment Mean It Was Meat? Will Chipotle Back Off Testing? Complete Information vs Continuous Change mentions how we have featured many pieces from Fred Stein, a food safety consultant with Safe Food Connection out of Florida. So it was nice to hear from him again after we ran our piece, Spinach Crisis Déjà vu: Dr. Mansour Samadpour Retained By Chipotle To Boost Food Safety Efforts. We appreciate the kind words though, alas, “completeness” of knowledge is not something we suspect we will ever obtain. 4/14/2016


Robert F. Stovicek, PhD.
Primus Group
Santa Maria, CA

TAGS: Stovicek, fallacy, outbreak, food safety, Chipotle, Marler, mean, odds, Perishable Pundit, Jim Prevor

Pundit’s Mailbag — A Closer Look At Food Safety Probabilities: Regression Toward The Mean, Gambler’s Fallacy, The Law Of Large Numbers And The Fallacy Of The Calendar explains that if one listens to sports commentators speak, one will often hear the expectation for a regression toward the mean — “Joe is overdue for a hit!” With food safety, the issue is somewhat different. We have no basis to expect food safety outbreaks over any period of time. So to say that one shipper is “overdue” for an outbreak is as silly as saying that one producer is “overdue” for a year without outbreaks. 4/14/2016


Doug Stoiber
Recruiting Consultant
Hesston, KS

Deidre Smyrnos
Viva Tierra Organic Inc.
Rye, NH

TAGS: Stoiber, Ag1Source, Smyrnos, Viva Tierra Organic, terrorism, wealth, climate change, global warming, weather, Perishable Pundit, Jim Prevor

Pundit's Mailbag — Thoughts On Global Warming And Wealth finds the issue of climate change and terrorism or, more broadly, the threat to our society from climate change and how we ought to react to it is an important topic. When it comes to the idea that climate change has something to do with terrorism, it is important to remember that correlation is not causation. There may have been a drought in Syria, but there was also a more severe drought in Australia — and Australians didn’t decide to become terrorists. 4/14/2016

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