Episode 813: The Produce Show : Planet Money Five reporters go to the New York Produce Show and Conference, each on a mission.
NPR logo Episode 813: The Produce Show

Episode 813: The Produce Show

Alex Goldmark/NPR
The New York Produce Show and Conference has many colorful displays.
Alex Goldmark/NPR

The New York Produce Show and Conference looks like a grocery store the size of the Javits Center, one of the biggest convention centers in the country. But it's a grocery store that's nothing but produce aisle. Fruits are carefully displayed, often accompanied by slick videos or Christmas trees. Salespeople wait at booths to extol the virtues of their pumpkins and avocados. They're eager to give away t-shirts, pens, lip balm, even bags of sweet potatoes. Their goal isn't just to network, it's to woo the power players of produce, who make decisions about the fate of fruits.

Today on the show: We send five reporters into the trade show. Each with their own randomly assigned mission. Meet the Beyoncé of produce. Get to know an unpopular fruit. Discover why people waste so much food. Find a kitchen gadget that will change the way we eat.

Along the way, we drink coffee fruit, and meet two Bobs who are on a mission to reinvent pears. Plus, can Americans find it in their hearts to embrace ugly fruit?

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