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Rob Aguilar 

Produce Manager at Natural Foods Co-Op

AGUILAR No. Produce isn't. But feeding people and teaching them how to eat is. And growing food. It was ingrained in me by my father. The produce department allows me the launching pad to be able to grow my own food.

NEW TIMES Describe your morals behind eating organic and local.

AGUILAR I feel strongly about eating organic and local or at least pesticide free. I keep a high standard mainly for health. Food is medicine. Burdock, Spanish black radishes...these help a lot of people. If you can't trace back what you're eating, you shouldn't be eating it. That's why it's important to buy local. My friend Tom, when he packages his beef, he puts the name of the cow on it. You're eating Harold. His cows are friendly, too.

NEW TIMES What, in your opinion, is the fruit or vegetable that contains the most nutrition? (I.e. superfood)?

AGUILAR Definitely kale. It has many medicinal properties against cancers.

NEW TIMES What do you do in your free time?

AGUILAR I don't know, do I have free time? My garden and my art. My garden is my art. I did a lot of editorial stuff in the past. Illustration. My claim to fame was a piece I did for Mother Jones magazine of a farmer listening to the Earth.

NEW TIMES Would you call yourself a jack-of-all-trades?

AGUILAR I have to be. I think it's important to barter your skills. The other day I got a call from someone saying, "We heard you prune trees!"

NEW TIMES What is the strangest fruit or vegetable you've ever come across in the produce department?

AGUILAR Runner beans are pretty interesting...Passion Fruit...Finger limes, for sure. They don't look like a lime, they're long. You open it up and there's a group of really tiny, round, clear balls. They're really exotic.

 

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