National Editor Tom Karst
National Editor Tom Karst

Mark Arney let me know in an email that TV chef Art Ginsburg, of Mr. Food fame, has died.

"We lost a  true friend today. Mr Food just passed away. He has been a great supporter of watermelons over the years and we will miss him," said Arney, who is executive director of the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

Here is a link to the  obit at the Washington Post.

I had a chance to travel to Chile with Art and a handful of other food editors more than ten years ago. His hard work, zest for life and "delightfully dorky" (Washington Post obit) ways made a big impression on me.

From Mr. Food's website:

We are deeply saddened to announce founder of Mr. Food, Art Ginsburg, passed away last week.Art’s commitment to anyone-can-do recipes and passion for helping others made him well-loved among his peers and among television viewers and website visitors. He was one of the first television celebrity chefs and paved a road for many who came after him.

His greatest love was for his wife, Ethel, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his daily visit into your homes via the television.

Some have asked about what they can do to pay their respects. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his memory to B'nai Aviv Congregation, Weston, FL or the Variety Club of Buffalo, the Children's Charity of Buffalo of Western New York, (716) 854-7577.

If you wish to send us any condolences, messages, or memories, please send them to Read more at


What are your memories of Mr. Food?




You've got a long way to go, baby.

As far as women have come in the produce industry, there is room for considerably more progress.

As you may know, I recently posed a question to the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group on the issue of scantily clad "booth babes" at industry trade shows.  I expressed my own views in the "Keeping it classy" Fresh Talk post.

The voting on the poll was "neck and neck" this morning, pardon the pun, with late voting putting those against the ban (but not necessarily "for" booth babes, mind you)  holding the upper hand.

Well, it will be interesting to see the balance of the comments and the discussions about this  topic. While some argue that individual attendees have the sole  responsibility to bring their objections about the appearance and attire of booth workers to the attention of those operating said booth, I think organizing associations have a key role in preserving a professional environment for all attendees. Isn't that a reasonable expectation?