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chinese-herbal-medicine-to-treat-autoimmune-disordersBoy, do I feel silly. I left a trail of Tweets about how I was going into the freeze dried fruit business. Hey, I’ve done lots of things over the years, and managed to make a lot of money along the way. Nothing was going to keep me away from my latest brainstorm.

So, I loaded my van up down by the river six or eight times with boxes of ‘cots and prunes, after having five humongous freezers delivered to my home — it’s a 900 square foot condo on the ground floor. Man, I had all those box freezers all up to maximum temperature by the time I rolled in at midnight.

Well, I was up ‘till about 3 a.m. working on all those prunes and apricots…pitting, cleaning…pitting…cle…OK, it was a lot of work and I kept all of my social media friends updated on my progress.

Well, for some reason, being a city boy and all, I didn’t get the memo or part about what the “freeze” was in “freeze dried,” or anything about the whole darn process.

Needless to say, the next morning, when I proudly opened up my first freezer to check on my newly “freeze dried fruit,” I was stricken with one big stomach ache — I was looking at a 350-pound chunk of frozen prunes. Man, I thought a damn alien hopped in my freezer and expired or something.

And that wasn’t the only problem. You see, I had contacted hundreds of outlets like Big Lots and grammar and high schools and even the warden who ran our unfenced prison across town to tell them how I could bring them the best darn freeze-dried fruit they’d ever come across.

OMG! You don’t want to have a power outage when you’ve got a half ton of fruit all froze up in freezers encircling yours and three other condos. Whew. It was a veritable river of apricot and prune juice flowing through our nice campus — the dogs and cats loved it, but the owners told me they were up all night with their pets just keeping them comfortable…if you know what I mean.

OK, so this was one of those “hyperboles” to make a point about where to go if you need to stock up on inventory surplus items like Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ…is not a NASDAQ symbol to chase), and excess inventories that are sure to make your purchasing department.

Contact us for the straight-away way to benefit with surplus stock.

“This is Houston to the Space Shuttle crew.  Do you read me?  How’s it going out there.”

“Houston, we read you.  The view is amazing.  We’ve never seen anything more beautiful.  Seeing the earth from space is just incredible.  But, Houston, we do have a problem.  We never want to eat another piece of freeze dried fruit ever again.  Do you read me?

“Well, crew, we read you loud and clear and that is indeed a problem.  What on earth are we going to do with all that freeze-dried fruit?”

Hmmmm….  What do you think NASA should do?  Should they throw away every bag of freeze-dried fruit that they own?  Should they force all the new astronaut trainees to eat through 50 bags each as part of a new “Space Shuttle Induction Program?”  Should they do science experiments on lab rats to find out why the astronauts will no longer eat the freeze-dried fruits?  No, they shouldn’t do any of those things.

“Houston, we read you, and we think you should call Lakeside Foods.”

That’s it!  NASA won’t have to waste their precious bounty of freeze-dried fruits, nor will they have to feel any guilt about these leftover products, because Lakeside Foods will know exactly what to do with them.

At Lakeside Foods, if you have an excess of bulk items, whether it’s raw materials, food ingredients, or finished goods, we will gladly take it off your hands and put it into someone else’s.

We partner with companies like Family Dollar, Meijer, and Big Lots to provide them with the surplus goods that you no longer need.  Not only do you get rid of the items that you no longer need, as well as gaining some extra cash since we buy those items from you, we place these items in stores at prices that most people can afford.

We take perishable and non-perishable items.  We take surplus, returns, closeouts, irregulars and salvage Whatever it is don’t throw it away — we will take it!

Our largest inventories come from a variety of products like: tomato products  tomato paste, tomato puree and diced tomatoes; fruit and vegetable juice concentrates; and fresh, frozen, processed or canned fruits and canned  vegetables.

And, if you do happen to have an excess of freeze-dried fruit, we’ll take that, too.
For more information, contact us today at Lakeside Foods.

How often have you found a really good deal on canned goods but because of can dents you passed on the bargain because you believe foods from dented cans are unsafe?  While we have been led to believe this for years the truth is that the majority of foods in dented cans are safe to eat.

Buying dented canned goods can save you money and provide your family with safe, nutritional food.  But how do you know if a dented can is safe?  Use the following tips as a guide to help ensure their safety.

Dented Cans You Shouldn’t Buy:

  • Don’t buy cans that are dented on the top or bottom.  This is where the main seams are located and the can is the weakest.
  • Don’t buy cans with deep, sharp dents.  These can compromise the can and shouldn’t be purchased.
  • Don’t buy a can if it’s bulging.  These are definitely unsafe and contain harmful bacteria.
  • Don’t buy cans that have rust on them.  These can have tiny holes in them that will allow bacteria to get in the food.

How to Choose Dented Cans That Are Safe To Buy:

  • Push on the top, bottom and sides of the can.  If the can moves or pops the seal has been broken and it’s not safe to buy.  If the can is stable and doesn’t move or make any noise the food is safe to use.
  • Make sure the dents are smooth and not too deep.  Cans with dents on the side are most likely safe to eat.

The final check on the integrity of the food in the can will be when you open the can.  If the can sprays or explodes, don’t use it as the food could be contaminated.

It is definitely safe to purchase cans with dents if you follow these guidelines and use them in a reasonable time period; however, that’s what we’re here for so make sure to contact us.

Have you ever wanted to learn how to dry food? Drying your foods is a great way to preserve them but you should know that the quality of the foods will not be made better. For this reason, you should select high-quality foods which are ripe. Sort the produce and separate the low- quality foods from the high- quality ones. Here are some tips to help you to dry food at home.

Do you like raisins or dried apricots? Many people like to eat dried fruits because they are delicious, and quite different from the fresh versions. Start by selecting the best-quality ripe fruits to be dried. Before you try drying your favorite fruits, you should know that some fruits, like oranges and grapefruits, are not ideal for the purpose because they have high water content.

If you are drying fruits for the first time, you should work with a lower quantity because it can be time consuming. The first step is to clean the fruits thoroughly, under cold running water. If you spot any soft spots or bruises, use a fruit knife to trim away the affected parts. The pits, cores, and stems of the fruits should be removed. You might have to remove the skins from some types of fruits because the skins will turn brittle or tough after drying. For high quality, more nutritious fruits, it’s best to slice the fruits about a quarter or half inch thick.

Drying turns some fruits brown so you have to use sulfur treatments on apricots, nectarines, peaches, apples, and so on. Other than locking in vitamins A and C during drying, sulfur treatments also help to prolong the fruit’s shelf life and retain the fresh fruit flavor. Sulfuring and sulfite dips are the treatments that are used.

The color of the fruit can be retained with syrup blanching or steam blanching. In syrup blanching, the result is almost like candied fruit. Some of the fruits which are great for this process are prunes, plums, pears, peaches, figs, apricots, and apples. In steam blanching, the fruit’s texture and flavor are altered but the color is retained. Steam blanching is very easy to do but you should see that the fruits are evenly blanched.

Another method of pretreatment is known as checking. This procedure is recommended for fruits like small, dark plums, grapes, and cherries and it’s done to crack the skins. First, you should bring a pot of water to a boil into which you should immerse the fruit for about 30 to 60 seconds. Next, the fruit is to be quickly put in cold water and you should use paper towels to drain the fruit.

In the past, people dried their foods in the sun or the oven. Nowadays, many people opt to use food dehydrators because they are very easy to use, and faster. It takes different times to dry different foods. For instance, apples can be dried in about 6 to 12 hours but the drying time for peaches is 35 to 48 hours.

 

 

In these belt-tightening times, online grocery shopping has its pros and cons. Deals, savings and two-for-one offers abound in the online world and the grocery shopping sector is no exception. So, what are the best bits about online food shopping and are there any downsides?

Taking the Good with the Bad

Convenience is one of the greatest points about online food shopping. Not many of us enjoy the weekly or monthly raid on a crowded supermarket and most of us can think of better things to do than locating veg boxes in-store. Saturday morning “Big Shops” can be fraught experiences and include hidden petrol costs, along with the surprises that turn up in the trolley if you are accompanied by partners or kids. Sticking to the list is easy with the online version and it has the advantage of being a task that can be completed in the comfort of your own home, when you have time, and can even be accompanied by a nice cuppa or glass of wine.

The two most inconvenient things about online grocery shopping are basically the cost of delivery and the timing of delivery slots. Nearly all the main providers will offer money off discounts if you are signing up for their services. When it comes to big shops you’ll be able to meet the free delivery threshold quite easily. All good, until you have to combine the demands of family life, work and leisure, all of which will have to be organized around a delivery slot that can be up to two hours long.

If you want a small order you also face the cost of delivery, which can negate any savings on gasoline. Small shops tend to be the ones that we squeeze into our so-called lunch hours or commutes home. This is where some of the unexpected online grocery shopping providers can come in. Traditional businesses, such as your local milkman or woman, do offer grocery delivery services. They’ve probably had to expand into this area to survive, but they bring with them some traditional perks.

Old Perks

Dairies operate on “rounds” and they don’t actually charge delivery for small orders — or large ones. This can be really useful if you just need a few items and it allows you to take advantage of another great perk; early, next day delivery. Usually delivery is before you’re up — and this really gets the food shopping out of the way before the day has started. Busy mums, in particular, should love this aspect. Like all the best online grocery shopping services, this type of shopping is done in the comfort of your own home and as with the supermarket services it allows you to build regular orders or add one-off items. Normally, because of the way the dairies operate, their cut-off times are also late in the evening — so annoying oversights such as lack of breakfast cereal can be dealt with quickly.

While the majority of supermarket online grocery shopping services are increasingly adaptable and offer great service for the “big shop,” the “little shops” in between have not, until now, been easy to remove from our to-do lists. As the online services are developed by additional providers it seems that even these last-minute trips to the shops could become a thing of the past.

Despite the much proclaimed death of the High Street, the major supermarkets haven’t, as yet, cornered the market completely when it comes to our fruit and veg shopping. Not only do plenty of retailers continue to offer smaller independent services, some of them have shown that they can play the larger providers at their own game when it comes to online retailing.

While many stores are only just going “mobile” in internet terms, some of the oldest traders on the streets have shown that, to them, this is just business as usual. In London, one trend that has become increasingly popular is that of fruit delivery.

Traditional ‘costermongers’ — fruit and veg barrow boys to you and me — have taken to the fast lane of the Internet superhighway by offering online ordering and delivery of fruit and snacks to offices around the city. Most other major cities have followed suit and fruit delivery services are now available to health conscious admin assistants across the land.

Proper customer service

While many supermarkets have great offers when it comes to their online grocery delivery services, the smaller suppliers can often offer a better service. Fresh produce needs to be moved quickly and although the supermarkets are able to offer good quality and competitive prices, fruit and veg is still one area that consumers are wary of buying in this manner.

The office delivery services offered by the traditional “barrow boys” has found increasing popularity because it not only offers excellent quality and flexible delivery, but it has one feature that consumers have never fallen out of love with: good old-fashioned customer service. In this case we’re not talking about the kind that you get after half an hour of listening to a tinny sounding version of Vivaldi’s four seasons.

Home deliveries

For those who don’t live busy lives filing stuff, home delivery versions of very traditional fruit or online groceries are proving equally popular. There aren’t many grocers who offer a full home delivery, though many have taken up on the idea of the veg box delivery service. Those that have done this have found increasing success and popularity — although the recession has proven hard for some to weather. Between the biggest of suppliers and the small online groceries providers there has been something of a gulf and the recession has called for someone to bridge that gap.

Suburban heroes

Thankfully an old suburban hero has stepped up to the mark. Many milkmen — and women, of course — now also deliver full ranges of fruit, groceries and everyday essentials to their customers. For the first time since the 1980s this has seen a growth in take-up of their services as they have adapted to survive. The advantages to the service on offer are very similar to those on offer from the re-booted costermongers of London. Apart from a familiar, friendly face, they offer online groceries ordering and early morning delivery.

This has always been a standard part of their service — milk being one of the more perishable of perishable products — and it’s something they’re proud to continue to offer. In addition the dairies don’t have hefty delivery charges — in fact many don’t charge at all as they operate on established rounds. It might be an old-fashioned solution, but it has stood the test of time!

So I was minding my own business driving down the highway and my uncle Vito’s dispatcher calls and tells me that we’ve just bought four semi-trailers at a wholesale liquidators auction — surplus grocery items in 3 of them, the fourth is full of FCOJ – Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice and the auction house has certification the refrigeration has never been turned off. What am I supposed to do with about 50,000 gallons of stiff orange juice!  So I call my cousin Vinny and we go check out the trailers.

Turns out the three trailers with grocery items have surplus snack stuff,  like about 2,000 cases of bagged pretzels in one trailer, along with 40 pallets full of cases of big jars of pickled eggs, all nicely boxed and ready to go. We found what looks like 20 pallets of cases of beef jerky, and behind them was about the same amount of bagged healthy snacks like trail-mix and the like. We found enough Beer Nuts to feed a small army in the very front of the last trailer.  Oh yeah, and two pallets of toothpaste, too! The good news is that we only have one pallet with about 30 small boxes w/24 in each of toothbrushes!  And of course, in the last one was indeed a whole bunch of containers with FCOJ.  Where, oh where, are we gonna get rid of all this stuff?

We start making phone calls. Vinny finds a wholesale liquidator who wants all of it!  Not only does this guy want the FCOJ, he’s got a use for the rest of the surplus stuff as well!  Momma Mia can this be for real? And he’s working with Vinny to come out and pick it all up. I can’t tell you how pleased I am right now, but I can tell you that the folks coming for the FCOJ have promised us cash.  Life is good.

When they arrive for the pickup, Vinny, always the entrepreneurial type, starts asking the drivers probing questions.  Talkative lot they were. They wouldn’t tell us exactly where they were going with all of the surplus stuff. But all four tractors had contact us stenciled on the side and they assured us that they could handle these four trailers and another 40 if we could find them!  They kept saying “They turn excess inventory into cash!  No job too big or too small.”  They are always looking for surplus foods that includes fruit commodities, vegetable commodities, meats, poultry, bulk products and dairy stuff, too, like cheese, eggs. The more they can find, the better.  They’ll take anything that’s already packaged, or if you need it, they can help with packaging too. They do the pickup, packaging and will handle the retail marketing as a distribution wholesalers would.

What a triumphant day this has been and watching that stiff FCOJ head down the road WITHOUT me is awesome. What a country! OMG — Vinny’s on the phone with some farmer trying to buy his field of watermelons!

Anyway, remember to contact us for all frozen concentrated orange juice commodity and fresh fruit and veg needs.