Q and A Series: People, Products and the Health of Our Planet – Interview with Pete Overgagg, CEO Hollandia Produce – Hydroponic, Greenhouse Grown Vegetables

For the twelfth interview, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Pete Overgagg, CEO of Hollandia Produce: Hydroponic, Greenhouse Grown Vegetables

My Comments:

I have known about the “Grower Pete’s” Hydroponic Butter Lettuce, as I have seen it in health food stores in California and Florida. I loved to buy it because it lasts a lot longer then other lettuce, since the roots are still attached, which means, it is “living” as it is connected to its roots. It has a mild and delicious flavor. I had the pleasure to meet Pete and his lovely wife, Shelley at The Natural Product Expo/Expo West 2014 in Anaheim. I also did a live interview with him at the Expo, which you can check out on my youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

Question #1 Tell me briefly about yourself and why you decided to get involved in the “health” industry?

Initially, I didn’t choose to be a greenhouse grower; I was born into it!! Both my grandparents were greenhouse growers. In the late 1960s, my parents moved us and the family business from Holland to California. We started as greenhouse flower growers, but in the ‘80s, we rebranded ourselves as Hollandia Produce, growing hydroponic, greenhouse grown vegetables. Today, I serve as CEO, and although I spend much of my day in the office, my greatest satisfaction comes from being among the plants and growing healthy, natural food for a living.

Question #2 If you were stranded on a desert island and were allowed to bring only 5 health-related items with you, what would you bring and why?

Well, to survive on a desert island, I’d need tools that that would enable me to create healthy sustenance. That’s why I’d bring: 1) a large bag of assorted vegetable seed, to grow my own food; 2) a survival/utility knife; 3) a solar still, to ensure safe drinking water; 4) a bucket, to store and distribute water and other things; and 5) a water proof tarp, to shelter me from the elements. I think these items would definitely increase my chances for long-term survival!!

Question #3 What message do you want to share with people of this world that is crucial for their ultimate well-being and longevity?

I would recommend that people focus on eating more vegetables, cut out as many grains as possible, stay away from processed foods, especially soda and, of course, don’t smoke.

Question #4 If someone could afford to purchase only one product at this moment to start their journey towards better health (food or health related), what would you recommend and why?

I would recommend he or she go out and buy the book Primal Blueprint, by Mark Sisson. They should read it, take it to heart, and I think they’ll find themselves quickly on their way to better health.

Question #5 Tell me more about your company and your products and how they help achieve optimal health and well-being?

We help our customers achieve optimal health and well-being through the products we offer and the methods we use to grow them. Our Live Gourmet® and certified organic Grower Pete’s brands of leafy greens and lettuce are hydroponically greenhouse grown in protected growing environments and one of the cleanest in agriculture. Our hydroponic methods use far less water than field grown crops, and we practice sustainability throughout our production process, including using recycled packaging. Because our vegetables are sold with their roots intact, our customers also enjoy maximum freshness because the plants are still alive.

Question #6 What are your hopes/dreams/aspirations for the future health of our people and the planet?

My hope for our planet and its people is that we continue moving toward eating more vegetables and naturally raised food rather than processed. This is how it used to be, but we evolved away, now it seems like awareness is growing and we are cycling back towards healthier eating.

Question #7 Who is your greatest hero and why?

My parents, both of them. They took a huge risk in moving our business and family to the United States, at a time when they didn’t even speak the language. Their determination has inspired and encouraged me to take more risks and to have the confidence, as they did, in my ability to continue to grow and succeed.

"Wall" of  Hydroponic Butter Lettuce at Expo West in Anaheim, March 9, 2014

“Wall” of Hydroponic Butter Lettuce at Expo West in Anaheim, March 9, 2014

Display of Grower Pete's at Expo West in Anaheim 3/9/2014

Display of Grower Pete’s at Expo West in Anaheim 3/9/2014

Pete and Shelley Overgagg at Expo West in Anaheim 3/9/2014 in front of "The Wall" of Butter Lettuce and other displayed hydroponic greens.

Pete and Shelley Overgagg at Expo West in Anaheim 3/9/2014 in front of “The Wall” of Butter Lettuce and other displayed hydroponic greens.

Certified Organic Living Watercress from Grower Pete's

Certified Organic Living Watercress from Grower Pete’s

Back of package of Watercress with "Our Story" from Pete and Family

Back of package of Watercress with “Our Story” from Pete and Family

Also check out my youtube channel for a video review of all their produce that I do a tasting of: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

To find out more about all the great products from Hollandia Produce, go to: http://www.livegourmet.com or http://www.growerpetes.com


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