At the Co-opElm Heights Project Update
The building is now fully enclosed: the rubber roof has been installed; the interior walls, underground plumbing and electrical fixtures are in place; we've poured the colored concrete floors at both the ground and mezzanine levels; and the exterior sheath of block is being laid and will be followed immediately thereafter with very handsome brick. We've recently uploaded a large number of the latest pictures on our Elm Heights page.
Spring Truckload Sale this Weekend
Our spring truckload sale will take place this weekend, May 18th and 19th, so plan to stock up on all your favorite items at the best prices we can offer. Plenty of volunteers are needed for the sale, so please email Tom Zeta to get a slot helping out. As always, volunteers will receive a week of 10% discounts for each two hours of service.
Board Report: Not Just a Grocery Store
In this month's board report, Carol Bridges invites us to consider all the facets of our co-op which renders it far more than a mere grocery store.
Bloomingfoods Wins Herald-Times Readers Choice Awards
Bloomingfoods was delighted to have been voted by H-T readers the #1 health food store and the #1 salad bar in Bloomington. We were voted the #2 place in town to buy fresh produce (we don't mind losing out to the winner, the Bloomington farmers' market).
Sage Valley Chips Sale Benefits Riley
Bloomingfoods has joined our friends at Tree of Life in a promotion that benefits both our customers and Riley Children's Hospital. From now until the first week in June, we're offering Sage Valley Multi-Grain Chips for only 99¢ per bag (that's about half price), and if you buy two bags the third bag is free. All proceeds from this sale go directly to Riley Children's Hospital. These chips are great with hummus or artichoke dip, so stock up now.
May - June Member Days & Product Specials
Member day is Wednesday In May and Thursday in June. These are the May product specials, and these are the member-owner specials. Your Co+op Deals flyers are available here.
(812-336-5400; 3220 East Third St.)
Local greens, radishes and green onions are in full swing even with the late spring. We also have local grower Theresa Birtles' sunflower sprouts: they're unusual, healthy, and delicious. Also, although we no longer have local morels, we hope to have them coming in from Michigan soon. In the meats area, Josh Hermes offers this report on newly organic Miller Farms chicken, the Pig & Fig Terrine from Smoking Goose, lots of new smoked fish selections, plus a little essay on the process of smoking meats. The grocery department, too, is offering a host of new items, including chips and crackers from Shagbark Seed & Mill Co., paleo bread, and canned goods from Urban Chefs, a "Certified Minority Business Enterprise." Finally, spring is here, and our garden center is a hotbed of activity and new products. See Chris Bobbitt's report for all the details. See, too, the report on the new and improved Fiskars reel type mower we're offering.
Near West Side Store
(812-333-7312; 316 W 6th St.)
The Near West Side now has fantastic new summer dresses, fun comfy pants, and cool breezy tops. We also have some "crazy neat African woven baskets and sun hats along with huge laundry baskets" from Oversees Connections. The garden center is now in full swing, and our mushroom logs look fantastic, most of them loaded with 'shrooms. We also have a very large selection of birdbaths from Clay City Pottery.
(812-336-5300; 419 E Kirkwood Ave.)
Things are mellowing out down at the Kirkwood store as spring rolls into summer. Which is good news for those of you still in town and hungry for lunch. Shorter lines and faster service will get you back outside to enjoy the sun (or play in the rain)! We have some new Bolthouse Farms flavors for you to try. A few of the most popular ones are Daily Greens, Mango Coconut Splash, and Salted Caramel. Yep. I said Salted Caramel! Rudi's has released several new breads, of which we're carrying a Honey Wheat Sprouted bread as well as a Super Seeded. As always, follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter for our daily soups and sandwich specials.
(812-822-0143; 200 Daniels Way)
Our Ivy Tech location has gotten off to a booming start, with lots of customers and many, many expressions of gratitude for the delicious and nutritious food we're providing. We're having a wonderful time introducing ourselves to folks on the far west side, many of whom have never before ventured into one of our stores. We will be open to the public year-round at this location. Please stop in and check out our newest location the next time you're in the neighborhood.
Around TownVote for the Chile Woman
Bloomington's own, Susan Welsand (aka The Chile Woman) is one of ten finalists for Green America's People and Planet Award. Finalists for this award are expected to represent an overall green way of doing business, and also to "shine in their commitment to a sustainable food system." We urge you to take a moment to read her story and cast your vote for this very worthy recipient. Deadline is May 31st. Please share with family, friends, and your Facebook and web page.
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 the topic under discussion will be the City of Bloomington Commission on Sustainability's recent initiatives and proposed plans to start a new program to recognize and promote sustainable businesses and organizations in our community. This will take place during the programmed portion of the evening, from 6 - 6:30 p.m. on May 22nd. Please join us for a snack, a drink, and a thought-provoking discussion.
Bike to Work Day
Bike to Work Day this year will be celebrated on Madison Street outside the West store from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday May 17th. The event will feature music, games, arts & crafts, bike related booths and, of course, beer! Bloomington Transit will be there, too, to demonstrate how to use the bike racks on their buses. We'll be raffling a bike to the public, and we've entered all Bloomingfoods employees into a drawing for a brand new bike to encourage environmentally friendly commuting, staff health and wellness, and to support our bike enthusiasts and those interested in taking up biking to work.
Clips Beer and Film Festival
The Clips Beer and Film Festival is a series of short films highlighting bicycling and sustainability around the world, sponsored by New Belgium Brewing Company as a fundraiser for the Center for Sustainable Living. All ages are welcome. Food, beverage, and merchandise are available for purchase (cash only), and there will be games and a raffle for a Fat Tire bicycle. It will all take place on Friday, May 31st in Bryan Park from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. The event is free, and no registration is needed.
Ag-Gag Legislation Chokes in Indiana
We reported last month that Indiana Senate Bill 373, the so-called Ag-Gag Bill, was rolling through the legislative process and seemed destined to pass. In the waning hours of the legislative session, however, House Speaker Brian Bosma pulled the bill, intending to try to persuade the Senate to agree to the House version of the bill, but instead killing it. The bill enjoyed the support of the Indiana Farm Bureau, the Indiana Manufacturers Association, and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, but was roundly condemned by others on the grounds that it was constitutionally questionable, would deny consumers information they need in order to make informed decisions, and would deny animals protection from abusive practices.
Going Solar Presentation with SIREN
Thinking about renewable energy? Learn about the costs, financial incentives, carbon savings, and other considerations for installing solar and geothermal systems; have your questions answered by local green energy experts; sign up for a free pre-assessment of the solar potential of your home' and join the growing community of solar adopters. The presentation to tell you how will be held at the Monroe County Public Library, Room 1B on May 22nd, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Entry is free.
Fair Trade Town Resolution
A fair trade town resolution will be read and discussed at city council chambers on May 22nd at 7:30 p.m., with the objective of naming Bloomington Indiana's first "fair trade town." Everyone with an interest in the fair trade concept and with seeing it promoted in our community is invited to attend.
In the Co-op WorldTransforming a Food Desert through Cooperation
Our friends (and valued consultants) at the Cooperative Development Services Co-op recently published this splendid account of how the simple desire for fresh fruit led the citizens of downtown Athens, GA to create a cooperative grocery story. The co-op is now thriving as a result of an aggressive educational system, the replacement of a discount pricing system with a patronage rebate model, a similar replacement of an annual fees model of membership for one based on a single equity purchase, and the gradual revitalization of Athens, itself.
Food, Eating, and HealthSoda Found to Dramatically Increase Risk of Prostate Cancer
Last month it was milk, this month it is soda. The poor prostate is just taking it on the chin from the modern diet. The study in question was conducted at Lund University in Sweden and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Its findings included the fact that men who drank as little as 300ml of soda each day (slightly less than one can) were more likely to develop aggressive forms of prostate cancer than men who drank none. Lead researcher Dr. Isabel Drake observed that "among the men who drank a lot of soft drinks or other drinks with added sugar, we saw an increased risk of prostate cancer of around 40 percent."
Apps for Foodies
Now that we've officially entered the 21st century by purchasing a smart phone, we're all into apps. And few are more useful and amusing than those designed for foodies. Whether you want to scan a grocery item for the skinny on its nutritional merits and faults (Fooducate), find a restaurant that offers food that matches your personal profile (Nes and Alfred), find a farmers' market (Harvest to Hand), find recipes, or simply gawk at beautifully presented dishes ("food porn" in the vernacular of our times), you'll find something of interest at Apps for Foodies.
Dude, You're Eating That Apple All Wrong
The folks at FoodBeast show you here how to quit wasting up to 30% of your apple. And don't worry about the seeds; Snopes says you have nothing to fear.
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
Michael Pollan is one of the world's foremost writers and thinkers on food and food policy, and we reference his opinions and thoughts often in this newsletter. In his latest book, "Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation," Pollan argues that "taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make our food system healthier and more sustainable." He discusses these and other matters here, with Amy Goodman on NPR's "Democracy Now."
Will U.S. - E.U. Trade Deal Put the Brakes to GMOs?
Industrial agriculture in the U.S. has thus far been able to pretty much call the shots where genetically modified seeds -- and just about everything else, for that matter -- are concerned. Now, however, the U.S. is engaged in trade talks with the E.U., where food safety standards are generally much more stringent than here, and where the likes of Monsanto and its ilk are viewed less favorably. The Guardian wonders if America's desire to export more to Europe will persuade it to tighten its own standards.
Environmental NewsPotty Sidewalk
Bellingham, WA recently unveiled a pedestrian walkway incorporating ground porcelain from more than 400 toilets diverted from a local landfill, thereby saving money and resources, and earning the project Greenroads Certification. You can find the story here, on Earth 911: More Ideas, Less Waste, a provocative little website dedicated to exploring all things recycling.
It's 10¢ per Bag in Santa Cruz
I've been vacationing the last few days in Santa Cruz, CA, a lovely and progressive community very reminiscent of our own sweet Bloomington (except, of course, for the beach, redwoods, and mountains), and one in which a recently passed ordinance bans the distribution of plastic carry-out bags and places a 10¢ per bag charge on paper carry-out bags. At each shop I've visited I've made it a point to inquire of staff how their customers are taking this policy. Almost without exception, they've said it's been generally well received. Most have noted, too, that whereas in the past people have almost demanded a bag for even the smallest purchase, they now eschew it unless they can't possibly manage to carry their purchases in hands and pockets. Anecdotal observation, of course, and hardly a scientific survey, but an interesting peek at human nature.
Closing Thoughts“From the limbs of ancient live oaks moccasins hung like fat black sausages — which are sometimes called boudin noir, black pudding or blood pudding, though why anyone would refer to a sausage as pudding is hard to understand and it is even more difficult to divine why a person would knowingly eat something made from dried blood in the first place — but be that as it may, our tale is of voodoo and foul murder, not disgusting food.”
~ Jack Barry, winner of the Adventure category of the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Bad Writing Contest