At the Co-opElm Heights Project Update
We're almost there! Most exterior brick and stone work is complete; inside, the wiring and plumbing are in; the interior insulation and drywall have been put up; some refrigeration units have been installed; much of the framework for the north-side awning has been erected; north end sidewalks and diagonal parking are just around the corner. See our Elm Heights page for the latest pictures and news.
Establishing this store isn't just about a new building. It also creates twenty to thirty new positions and makes us sufficiently large as an organization to do more centralized buying than heretofore. Consequently, your co-op's organizational chart has a bit of a chessboard quality about it these days, as several of our staff are being promoted into higher positions, others are taking lateral moves that will give them experience they need to evolve in their careers, and new folks are being hired to fill new and newly vacant positions. So don't be surprised when you bump into a familiar staff member working in a different location. The excitement running through the ranks is just palpable these days!
Bloomingfoods Creates Green Team
In an effort to up the ante on our commitment to sustainability, Bloomingfoods has assembled a "Green Team" of staff members which will meet monthly to monitor and improve our environmental and economic sustainability. The group will track utility data and strive to increase energy efficiency as well as address the issue of the best handling of the compostable materials coming out of our kitchens and produce areas. We'll keep you posted on our efforts and share with you possible ways you can get involved.
Bloomingfoods Board Report: Eat, Dance, Eat, Dance
In this month's board report, Carol Bridges discusses the work being done by cooperatives to ensure that all members of society enjoy true security.
June - July Member Days & Product Specials
Member day is Thursday in June and Monday in July. These are the June product specials, and these are the member-owner specials. Your Co+op Deals flyers are available here.
(812-336-5400; 3220 East Third St.)
The produce department says this year is shaping up to be a major rebound from the heat and drought-blighted summer of 2012. Local producers are reporting splendid crops, especially fruits. Already the strawberries have been fantastic; it appears the blackberry crop will be splendid; a bumper crop of peaches is ripening in the Indiana sun (the ones we have already received from South Carolina are luscious); and even at this early stage of summer, the apples are setting in huge numbers. And if you're in the midst of growing some of your own food, stop into the garden center patio at 2:00 on Sunday, June 16th to hear Ferrol Johnson of Abundant Harvest Farms talk about how to improve soil fertility and structure. Finally, the meat departments in both our East and Near West Side locations would like to remind you that we now have certified organic boneless chicken thighs and breasts from Miller Farms.
(812-336-5300; 419 E Kirkwood Ave.)
And speaking of wonderful summer fruits, the Kirkwood store has them: sweet and juicy peaches, nectarines, and plums! Planning a picnic? The Kirkwood store is a great place to get some sliced meat and cheeses as well as delicious salads. If you're feeling a little out of whack (and hungry), come in and try our Zen Party Mix in the bulk section. It's sure to calm your nerves and fill your belly. As always, follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter for our daily soups and sandwich specials.
Around TownChile Woman Wins!
Bloomington's own Susan Welsand (aka The Chile Woman) was recently named the winner of a Green America's People and Planet Award "for an Overall Green Way of Doing Business and a Commitment to a Sustainable Food System." Congratulations to Susan, and thanks to everyone who cast a vote in support of her well-deserved award (and prize).
Green Drinks Bloomington
Here's our regular reminder that Green Drinks Bloomington meets the 4th Wednesday of every month from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Banquet Facility at Upland Brewing. A $5 donation is requested; some food is provided. This month, Jeff White, SPEA Professor and Director of Integrated Program in the Environment will deliver a presentation entitled "Climate Change in the Arctic: More than Melting Ice." The presentation will take place during the programmed portion of the evening, from 6 - 6:30 p.m. on June 26th. Please join us for a snack, a drink, and a thought-provoking discussion of this topic.
Bug Fest Happening at Hilltop Garden & Nature Center
Bug Fest 2013, a new community event, will be held on Saturday, June 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Hilltop. The mission of Bug Fest is to educate the public about a wide array of insect and spider species. Speakers will share their knowledge of butterflies, spiders, pest management, and other topics, and there will be information tables on a variety of subjects, including pollinators, garden insects, forest pests, public health, and live insect displays. Activities will include insect safaris, insect crafts for kids and adults, Madagascar Hissing cockroach races, a cricket spitting contest, and insect games.
Songs for Susan
Enjoy an evening of sweet and rousing music to help the equally sweet and rousing Susan Coleman Morse take a bite out of Lyme disease. Songs for Susan is a concert to help Susan and her family cope with the staggering costs associated with her illness. The event will take place Saturday, June 22nd at 8:00 p.m. at Max's Place.
Tuesday Farmers' Market is On
The Tuesday Farmers' Market will run from June 7 through September from about 4 - 7 p.m. at 6th and Madison Streets next to Bloomingfoods Near West Side location. It's a great way to get your mid-week produce while meeting with friends and neighbors and enjoying the music provided by local artists.
In the Co-op WorldCo+op Kitchen iPad® App
The very fine Co+op Kitchen website is now offering a free Co+op Kitchen iPad® app for step-by-step video instructions and recipe cards, compatible with iPad2 and higher running iOs6® software. It's both beautiful and very useful.
Food, Eating, and Health
Connecticut Makes History
The Constitution State earned the distinction recently of becoming the first state in the union to pass a law requiring genetically-engineered foods to be labeled. EatDrinkPolitics has the full story, which focuses heavily on the critical role played by grassroots-level advocates who were ultimately able to overcome the opposition - and wealth - of the biotech and food lobbies. According to this article from the Organic Consumers Association, Maine and several other states are also in the process of drafting similar legislation.
Mr. Zee's Apple Factory: A Children's Story about Processed Food
Each year the food industry spends in the neighborhood of two billion dollars marketing mostly unhealthy, highly processed foods to naive young children. In an effort to do something to counter this industry message, Bettina Elias Siegel, who blogs daily about children and food on The Lunch Tray, produced this charming educational video to help children - and adults - better understand the difference between highly processed food and that which you find fresh and whole in your produce department.
Buying in Bulk
NPR's Uri Berliner reported recently on his experience buying in bulk as a means of saving time and money.* Bloomingfoods most commonly reminds our shoppers of the financial advantages of bulk buying during our truckload sales, at which we offer as many case discounts as possible to make it especially easy and convenient. But let us mention here that you can place case-orders with us for most products, any time, and we'll give you a 10% discount on the purchase.
Vegetarians Live Longer
At least they do if they're Seventh Day Adventists, according to this study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. The six-year study of 70,000 members of the church found that vegetarians were twelve percent less likely to die during the study than the meat eaters. The researchers don't know why this is so, but do note that vegetarian diets tend to be higher in fiber and lower in saturated fats than meat-heavy diets, and vegetarians in general are thinner than meat eaters. Interesting side-notes to the study are that men seem to benefit more than women from avoiding meat, and the vegetarians suffered approximately the same incidence of cancer as did their meat-eating counterparts.
Farm Bill Passes Senate
"Late and lame" declares Grist's Nathanael Johnson of the version of the Farm Bill (S. 954, Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act) that passed the U.S. Senate last week. He explains why in this review, and discusses the political benefits members of Congress on both side of the aisle enjoy from supporting a bill they all criticize. The Sacramento Bee published a particularly thoughtful editorial by Kari Hamershlag of the Environmental Working Group concerning the Bill, declaring it a disaster for California in particular and conservation in general.
The evidence continues to mount that sugar contributes tremendously to a whole array of human illnesses. The Green America Blog offers this look at the evidence, including tips on kicking the habit and a review of the best alternative sweeteners. For still more on alternative sweeteners, see pastry chef Philip Speer's video on the Co+op Stronger Together website, in which he reviews the various alternatives to refined white sugar, and gives suggestions on when to use and how to store some of the most common types.
Iodine Deficiency in Pregnant Mothers Found to Lower the Child's IQ
A study reported on last month by the BBC found that children whose mothers were even mildly deficient in iodine during their pregnancy tested three points lower on IQ tests and were poorer readers than children whose mothers were not deficient. This study was the first to reveal that even mild deficiencies can be detrimental to brain health. This is a particularly important finding in Britain, where iodine is not normally added to salt as it is in the U.S. and many other Western countries.
U.S. Food Waste Challenge
In a world in which almost a billion people are considered malnourished (malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all deaths in children under five according to a series of reports published recently in the Lancet), food waste remains a tremendous problem, with as much as forty percent of food produced in America being thrown away. Not only is this a terrible waste of the food itself and the human and natural resources used to produce it, it also contributes significantly to environmental pollution as the food decaying in landfills emits enormous quantities of methane gas. Here is a report on a new USDA/EPA program to address this problem.
Environmental NewsStates Imposing New Fees on Electric and Hybrid Cars
Indiana is among the set of states that have either passed or are considering legislation permitting the assessment of special fees on electric and hybrid cars. With the number of such vehicles rising, gas tax revenues are failing to provide the revenues states need to maintain bridges and roads. The Gristmill explores the pros and cons associated with such fees.
Closing Thoughts“President Lincoln’s biggest blunder was — no, not Gen. George McClellan — creating the Agriculture Department. Since 1995, 75 percent of all agriculture subsidies have gone to the largest and wealthiest 10 percent of farms.”
~ Columnist George Will, in a recently published essay concerning subsidies for the American sugar industry. George has nothing against sugar subsidies on the grounds that sugar may be dangerous to the human metabolism, but rather because "The costs are dispersed to hundreds of millions. The benefits accrue primarily to 4,700 sugar beet and sugar cane farms."
*"The money you save by investing in bulk will provide a better return on investment than any investment vehicle on the planet."
~ Billionaire, Mark Cuban