It's sort of like practice for the Main Event. This is the Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace, where dozens of manufacturers and allied industry companies entice attendees with everything from black rice to whipped cream. But despite the variety, all these products have two things in common: They are all USDA-certified organic, and they're under a big white tent that's been erected specifically for this purpose next to the Anaheim Convention Center.
There's lots of chocolate and cocoa-based products, a number of ancient and newer grains, dairy products of all kinds and even a smattering of fresh produce or two. A number of companies exhibit both here and in the official expo as well. There are also services and information providers, from certification agencies to non-profit publications dedicated to the cause. This is certified organic's stand-alone moment before the larger, wider and more comprehensive Expo West takes over.
This year, outside was the place to be, an afternoon with weather that can only be found this time of year in Southern California (that is, cloudless, dry and warm). Many folks sported sunglasses, short sleeves (and in some cases, flip flops), conducting business or just soaking up the sun. Of course, it's better if you have a smoothie to sip on. The Organic Marketplace didn't disappoint in that way, either. Make mine a double berry.