From the Publisher: With Sincere Appreciation

Food Processing Publisher Larry Bagan extends his gratitude toward the food processing industry -- and its readers.

By Larry Bagan, Publisher

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As a loyal reader of Food Processing, you may be wondering whose picture that is in the upper left hand column. Unless you have seen Diane Toops' interview with me on www.FoodProcessing.com, that face is an unknown. And for good reason. As publisher of Food Processing, I feel it best to leave editorial matters in the hands of the experts – Dave, Diane, Erin and our team of contributing editors. That being said, I felt moved to write this particular column.

So much of what we do at Food Processing, depends on you. Many of our cover stories are a direct result of original research, the input for which you provide to us on a regular basis. When we asked you to nominate and then vote for an “R&D Team of the Year” you responded with over 1,500 votes. You wrote in response to a Food Processing readership study your desire to have more ways to contact suppliers. Hence, the Supplier Source Guides, which were initiated last year. Each year, you supply us with a list of your best suppliers, a glimpse at salary structures, an overview of capital spending, etc. And you do so with incredible passion and devotion to your field. It's very refreshing!

This is Food Processing's 70th year of publication, a testament to your loyal readership. You have made foodprocessing.com the most visited web site in the food & beverage industry (according to BPA audits) and Food Processing the most read publication in the field (according to internal readership studies). All this at a time in history when there seems to be a deluge of other sources of information. Yes, you have a choice and we thank you for making the Food Processing franchise (magazine, web site, e-newsletters) your No. 1 means to receive relevant industry content.

But there is so much more to thank you for…Three months of being on the road combined with the holidays left me in a predicament. My clothes did not fit, and my cholesterol was about to require medication. Then, over a 31-day period, I shed 15 lbs. and dropped my cholesterol reading by 70 points. That came on a diet strictly consisting of processed foods. Yes, it's true, and my wife is witness. This bears repeating: A processed foods diet (while maintaining my regular degree of activity) enabled me to lose 15 lbs. More importantly my cholesterol reading dropped from a high of 265 to 195 – saving me from Lipitor - in 31 days.

We've all heard stories about mood swings, lack of concentration, etc., as a result of dramatic weight loss due to dieting. Well, the Food Processing team will vouch that none of those symptoms was present as a result of my diet. My sodium and sugar levels remained normal. You made it possible!

I can't thank you enough for the great taste, portioning and labeling of your products, which allowed me to fit in my clothes and stave off cholesterol medication in the process. I had some wonderful choices. Breakfast is an important meal, and Jimmy Dean's Delights and Turkey Sausages, along with the many varieties of Bagelfuls and Special K cereal, are hard to beat. For lunch, Hillshire Farms' lunch meats to go between 110-calorie Franciscan dinner rolls did the trick. There are so many varieties of Lean Cuisine and low-fat Michelina's to go along with 200-calorie packages of Chef Boyardee varietals. And Mrs. T's pierogies made for a nice lunch or dinner.

I wasn't deprived of dessert, either, with Skinny Cow's chocolate and vanilla ice cream sandwiches. I also ate my favorite cereal, Quaker Oats' Quisp (available by special order) as a treat. The food was good and quick to make and I knew exactly how many calories, how much fat, what quantity of cholesterol I was consuming. I didn't need to pay for a personal trainer or a weight-loss plan. Balance Bars kept me from consuming vitamin pills, which give me a stomach ache. Packaged salads made for a quick and easy snack.

I had no idea I was going to be writing this column when I went on my diet. But the results compelled me to write you. First, a sincere and deserved thank-you for your loyal and passionate devotion and contributions to Food Processing over the years. But in the process, I couldn't help but divulge a pleasant personal experience that leaves me with an even greater appreciation for you and what you do.

The October issue will mark Food Processing's official 70th anniversary. We're going to make it retrospective and fun – it's the least we can do to honor you for all the great work you do!
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