James Parker

Blog Posts By Author

November 23, 2010 @ Whole Story
Our produce expert shares his favorite Thanksgiving sides, which showcase some of the extra special bounty of the fall.
November 9, 2010 @ Whole Story
Every Thanksgiving we brace for the inevitable “my stuffing is better than yours” debate. Cornbread or sourdough? Pecans or chestnuts? Oysters or turkey? Whether you go for traditional or a new twist, let your voice be heard!
September 28, 2010 @ Whole Story
September is an overlap month in the world of vegetables. Tomatoes, squash, corn and other summer vegetables are still available in abundance and while most of these are still quite good, the cool fall evenings and crisp mornings bring with them that familiar tug in my tummy to the hardier greens and roots of fall.
August 31, 2010 @ Whole Story
For most of us, September means back to school, changing leaves on trees and the gradual cooling (thankfully!) that marks the beginning of fall. For produce, September also marks a rare overlap of two distinctive seasons where the remaining bounty of summer is joined by the first of fall's apples and pears.
August 3, 2010 @ Whole Story
August is a month of change in the produce business when many of the fruits we have been enjoying all summer start to wane and others (that have been growing in the warm summer sun) really start to hit their stride. For peaches and nectarines, August also brings a change in the characteristics of the varieties harvested. These changes affect how you should select, store and eat these fruits. The differences are small but important.
May 11, 2010 @ Whole Story
Early “Apache” variety apricots
April 30, 2010 @ Whole Story
Second bloom sweet peas on my desk
April 13, 2010 @ Whole Story
There are lots of things to love about spring but it can be a period of dread in the produce business as we transition from the winter to the summer fruit harvest season. A lot can happen all at once: citrus starts to fade, we start losing variety in hard fruit (apples and pears), and the weather can play havoc on new crop domestic fruit (like berries).
March 2, 2010 @ Whole Story
Around the first of March I start thinking about my spring vegetable garden. This is the time when I feel the closest connection to the growers throughout the U.S. as we emerge from another winter (in some places) and contemplate the start of a new growing season.
February 2, 2010 @ Whole Story
One of my favorite fall/winter/spring soups is minestrone.



Born in Mississippi and raised in the South (mainly Texas), James Parker’s first produce job was at 16 in a supermarket in Dallas where he trimmed corn, made orange juice, and put strawberries in plastic containers for 4 hours every day after school. James joined Whole Foods Market in 1986 where he initially focused on retail department design and merchandising- helping open more than 60 stores throughout the US. He has since expanded his interests to include the production and purchasing side of the business for fresh produce and floral. For James, produce is “still life- a physical manifestation of our seasonal cycles. Fresh fruits and vegetables connect us to our world in a way that is dynamic and ever changing. It is a way for us to celebrate the changing seasons and our changing world in a positive way every day.” James is also a painter, fresh food chef and advocate, sometimes successful gardener, avid sand castle builder and pumpkin carver. He lives in Aptos, California with his wife Erin, son Aidan, daughter Delilah, and cat Harry.