Dear Co-Op community, thank you for all your input.
At February’s First Friday, our team of Antioch University New England students asked you what factors are most important to you when making food purchasing decisions. Through surveys and a ‘voting board’ display, you told us what you value most when it comes to your food.
It turns out that the majority of you who took our survey or cast a vote identified organic and your number one priority. Locally made or grown products also seem to be important to many Co-op shoppers and when it comes to Health and Body Care, many of you are loyal to your trusted brands. GMO-free products are important to many of you.
Our team also asked you to weigh in on how you want the Co-op to communicate with you about products in the store. The vast majority of you say you want the Co-op to inform you about what is in the products you buy and most of you feel the Co-op is doing a good job providing you the information to make informed decisions. Your responses indicate that the Co-op community envisions the Co-op playing an active role in informing you about products on its shelves and keeping you up to date on food issues.
What does all this mean to us? We perceive that you are well educated about what you are eating, want to remain so, and look to the Co-op to be your partner in that effort. We understand that you, the Co-op community, trust the Co-op and want it to provide you with materials that supplement food labels to create a more complete picture of store products. Our intention is to use this information to begin to create materials to help people navigate the store and fulfill the Co-op’s role as you partner.
New to our gifts section is Emerlye Arts Coloring, greeting cards and adult coloring pages made by Vermont resident Cynthia Emerlye. Her Quotations Card Collection offers warm words and gentle colors to put a smile on anyone’s face, a perfect remedy for these winter months. Her adult coloring pages are books full of mandalas waiting for your pen to help them bloom. These pages are a perfect activity for calming and focusing your mind, an escape back to the simpler days when your only decisions were whether or not you were going to color inside the lines.
We have a new addition in baby food! Earth’s Best, a company focused on organic food for kids, now offers Puree Pouches for infants 6 months & older. The options range from sweet fruit purees such as Orange Banana to savory purees such as Carrots & Broccoli or Squash & Sweet Peas. The purees are certified organic and packaged in non-BPA pouches.
We have two new Bragg salad dressings on our shelves! Pick up the Hawaiian Dressing & Marinade to add a tropical flair to any meal, or take home the exciting Braggberry Dressing & Marinade to give an extra kick to your salad. Bragg dressings are all certified organic, fat-free, salt-free, and gluten-free.
Tofu options are growing! We now have Nasoya Black Soybean Tofu Plus, a firm tofu that’s made from a mix of black and yellow soybeans and is rich in antioxidants. This product is certified organic and non-GMO project verified.
If you’re a fan of our grab-n-go fridge you’ll be happy to know our selection is expanding! We now have Niman Ranch cooked meals available; choose between Beef Tips, Beef Meatloaf, and Beef Pot Roast. Niman Ranch cares about their animals, serving only beef that is vegetarian fed and hormone-free.
The Co-op was excited to welcome back Nutty Steph’s founder Jaquelyn Rieke for a talk on relationships in business. The event was held in the seating area downstairs and the casual atmosphere allowed for a fluid discussion of each attendee’s experiences in the business world. Jaquelyn shared her own experiences as a business owner and the obstacles she faces turning her business into a worker cooperative, while also sharing tasty samples of her chocolate. Check our calendar for upcoming events!
Last Wednesday Robert Rockwood, of Replenish Plus skin care, stopped by the Co-op to give an informative talk on commercial beauty products. He shared his experiences with the processing side of the skin care industry, most especially the lack of regulations in the industry and how companies are able to skirt around the few regulations that do exist, easily including hundreds of toxic ingredients in every bottle and jar.
He explained why lipsticks are allowed to get away with 65 times the amount of lead that is legal for paint, and why sunscreen actually increases your chance of getting skin cancer. I’m sure you’re dying to know the logic behind that, so I’ll tell you. In order to be effective at all you would have to apply half a bottle of sunscreen every half an hour. Otherwise the heat from the sun breaks down the chemicals in the lotion turning them into free radicals, you know, the things that cause cancer. When you apply just a thin layer, the UV rays aren’t being blocked, plus the chemicals turn into free radicals more quickly!
If you’re bummed you missed the talk and you’d like to be notified the next time we offer a similar one just leave a comment at the bottom. Robert is also working on a book about all the dirty secrets of the skin care industry, so keep an eye out for that!
Our SuperWorker Appreciation Day was a success! Thank you to everyone who came, and especially to the staff and SuperWorkers who brought food for nibbling on. The Co-op lives on the shoulders of the community; staff, SuperWorkers, and patrons alike. Thank you to everyone who contributes to holding up the Co-op, you are truly appreciated.
Last Friday, the Co-op’s own Charlotte Hultquist stopped by to share her knowledge, experiences, and tasty samples of cultured foods from her own kitchen. The gathering room was full, even with kids sitting on laps, eager to snack and listen. Charlotte brought sourdough starters, water kefir, and yogurt to pass around as she described her processes for making them. Attendees were full of questions and stories of their own experiences with cultured foods. The discussion had so much momentum that everyone stayed late, even the kids. It was a fun night, and we’re hoping to have her back for another discussion soon!