At the Co-opThanksgiving Pre-Order Deadline is Tomorrow
You have only until the end of the day tomorrow, the 15th, to pre-order a turkey, ham, duck, or vegetarian centerpiece dish. You can place your order here, online, or at any of our stores. After that date we expect to have a few extras, but we'll be moving them on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Sunday, November 24th. Our Elm Heights and Near West Side locations will have a few items, but the greatest selection and quantity will be at the East location. And as they always do, our delis and bakeries will be offering a nice selection of side dishes to round out your Thanksgiving meal.
Thanksgiving Volunteers Needed
I'm told that we could use a few more volunteers at the East store, Sunday through Wednesday of Thanksgiving week. Contact East Store location manager Tom Zeta if you're interested in being part of the fun during this wild and exciting week. As always, volunteers will earn a week of 10% off shopping for each two-hour shift they work.
Please be aware of these special hours of operation at our various locations during this holiday season.
In addition to this electronically distributed newsletter, most Bloomingfoods members also receive our paper-format publication. We're pleased to report that major changes are in the works for the latter document. The full details are available here, but, in brief, beginning in 2014 the newsletter:
- will be released on a bi-monthly schedule rather than monthly;
- it will feature a magazine format;
- will be much more eco-friendly in terms of paper and ink;
- will offer subscribers the option of digital delivery. Instead of a paper copy, you will be sent an electronic version which you can read on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Member day is Monday in November (plus Tuesday and Wednesday the week of Thanksgiving) and in December. You can view the November product specials and member-owner specials online. You can also download your Co+op Deals flyers or find them in the stores.
Bloomingfoods Education Series
The Bloomingfoods Education Series is a great way to spend a few pleasant hours with your friends and neighbors acquiring useful knowledge and skills. The Series will feature these classes in November, and these in December.
Mother Hubbard's Cupboard Food Drive
We're now in the midst of our 10th annual "Share the Harvest" campaign in support of Mother Hubbard's Cupboard (MHC). During the campaign, Bloomingfoods customers can add a donation to their total when purchasing groceries by giving spare change or writing a check at the register. All the funds raised through the campaign will help to provide healthy, nutritious food for folks in need. We have a goal this year of $6,000, so please help as your pocketbook and conscience suggest.
Our cheese departments will be offering some especially nice items this holiday season. Beginning on November 19th, you'll find the freshly made cheese balls that are perennial favorites of our shoppers. This year we are also creating holiday cheese collections that feature selections from our local and Midwestern cheese producers. Each collection will include a variety of styles ranging from Capriole and Caprini goat cheeses, to Mimi's smoked cheeses, to Ludwig's and Kenny's raw milk cheeses. These will be available beginning November 22nd. Also, with the holiday entertaining season gearing up, the cheese department is running a special promotion to encourage you to assemble your own exciting cheese collections (see the November 13 Co-op Deals flyer for ideas). From November 22nd through January 11th we'll offer $5 off any cheese purchase of $25 or more.
Holiday Beer & Wine News
In this interesting and amusing essay, wine and beer buyer Jason Hill reflects on the puzzles and pleasures of pairing wines with your Thanksgiving meal, he highlights a few choice items now in our stores (some of which are on sale), and he reports on our December 7th Holiday Beer and Wine Tasting event.
From the Board: Past & Present
In this month's board report, Carol Bridges welcomes our two new board members, Kristina Wiltsee-Meeker and Dedamia Whitney, and she offers a review of the business covered at the most recent board meeting. Throughout her essay, Carol reflects on the manner in which awareness of and respect for the guiding principles on which our co-op was founded, together with a consciousness of societal trends, will allow our board and membership to encourage the evolution of our co-op and our community in ways that will benefit us all.
Elm Heights Store
(812-822-0235; 614 E 2nd. St.)
The Elm Heights staff would like to take this opportunity to extend a very special thank-you to fabric artist, feng shui expert, essayist, and member-owner Carol Bridges for her gift of the magnificent quilt that now adorns the mezzanine of our new store. Over time our building will surely feature the art of many of our members, but we think it particularly fitting that the tradition begins with the hanging of Carol's "The Gathering Place."
In the fresh meat counter, please note the products from Dewig Meats. This meat processing business was launched in 1916 by three Dewig brothers, and it remains family-owned and operated by the third generation of the family. Our personal favorites are their brats and Italian sausages, but everything they offer is first rate. And while we currently have in stock only a pretty narrow selection of their products, we're happy to place special orders on your behalf from the absolutely incredible range of products advertised here on their product list (we've already brought in a whole hog head and a beef tongue). We're proud to include Dewig in the small and highly select group of meat processors whose products we offer to our customers.
Lastly, in support of National Novel Writer's Month, the Elm Heights Coffee Bar will be offering ANY SIZE drip-brewed coffee after 5:00 p.m. for the price of a refill.
Near West Side Store
(812-333-7312; 316 W 6th St.)
The Near West Side is very happy to be Indiana's exclusive retailer of two wonderful beverages. Turmeric Alive, called by some, "Yoga in a Bottle," is billed as "utilizing ancient organic turmeric remedies combined with vibrant herbal formulations to create a healing sports recovery beverage." Our second Indiana exclusive is Stumptown Cold Brewed Coffee, which comes from the iconic Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Portland, Oregon. These delicious little coffee bombs come in stubby glass bottles and are slowly brewed without heat to produce an especially smooth, rich, sweet full-bodied brew. We're also delighted to offer Columbia Gorge Organic juices, produced on a family-owned orchard in Hood River, Oregon. These juices are not from concentrate like most others on the market, and their "green" drinks are produced exclusively from greens rather than from a fruit-juice heavy blend containing only a trace of greens. Consequently, these green juices contain but 1 gram of sugar per serving versus the 30 or so grams of sugar found in other "green" juice offerings. We're delighted to report that our customers have given us universally positive feedback on all these drinks.
Elsewhere in the store, we have American-made wooden toys from Channel Craft, Noggin Bopos wind-up toys, a nice selection of winter hats and scarves (many made locally), "Blue Q" paper lanterns (pictured, left), Thai Fishermen clothing, some great new single-serving ice creams, and 8" "take and bake pizzas, the latter of which are located in front of the deli counter, below the meat case.
(812-336-5400; 3220 East Third St.)
First, we'd like to make everyone aware that we have a new probiotic cooler that functions as an end cap. The cooler will keep the products fresher, longer, and it should enhance the ease with which you can find them. Wonder about the importance of probiotics? The Washington Post recently had this to say about them.
Although it may seem counter-intuitive as we transition into winter, the garden center is booming with activity. We have seeds for your spring 2014 plantings, some very effective frost blankets to help your plants through winter, and a nice supply of hydroponic and seed-sprouting gear. Christmas trees are due to arrive early in the week of Thanksgiving, and we'll have them available for sale at the East, Near West Side, and Elm Heights locations within a day or two thereafter. Chris Bobbitt offers a full report on these matters and he reviews the many products we have that would make great holiday gifts.
Center store coordinator Martha Philion offers this description of three new items she's recently introduced: HUSK Indiana grown and processed sweet corn and green beans; Fermenti Artisan’s traditionally crafted, cultured vegetables and beverages; and, just in time for the holidays, Hartzler brand egg nog. Also in grocery, we now carry fresh, refrigerated pet food in a cooler adjacent to the other pet food. To create space for this, we moved our Specialty Meat case to the Deli area, which will allow our customers to conveniently choose delicious cured meats to pair with the cheeses.
Our store meat buyer, Justin See, would like to bring to your attention the fact that we will have Cook's Bison Ranch stew meat in our "coffin" freezer throughout the winter season. Also in our freezer, we now carry certified "halal" lamb, provided to us by Greg Duke of Springville, Indiana.
A perennial favorite, the cranberry bog is back, not only here but at the Near West Side and the Elm Heights locations as well. These locations also have an abundant supply of organic butternut squash from Stranger's Hill.
It's a Wonderful Life
Bloomingfoods is delighted to sponsor a screening of this 1946 classic on Sunday, December 8th at 3:30 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. The Theater nicely describes this wonderful movie: "Named one of the "100 Best American Films Ever Made" by the American Film Institute, It's A Wonderful Life stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a caring and compassionate businessman struggling to find purpose and satisfaction in his life. An angel comes into his life to bring him perspective and show him how meaningful his presence can be."
Don't miss the 11th annual Holiday Market, Saturday, November 30 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Showers Plaza and Showers Common! It's a great place to shop for your favorite locally grown farm products, arts and fine crafts created by local artisans, all while listening to the music of the season.
Bloomington Food Policy Council Survey
The Bloomington Food Policy Council is surveying local residents to learn who is growing what, and what obstacles people might be experiencing in their gardening activity. The survey has categories for gardeners growing vegetables, flowers, or both, and for people who could use help to begin gardening. The Council invites your participation.
Harmony School Visitor Day
Food, Eating, and HealthThanksgiving Recipes
Whether you're looking for traditional standards or innovative ideas for your holiday dinner, you'll find them in Epicurious' collection of top-rated Thanksgiving recipes. Epicurious offers a great array of turkey recipes, as well as a wonderful selection of side dishes. And if you'd specifically like to skip the meat course at this year's dinner, you'll never miss it with these vegetarian and vegan dishes from the Daily Green, including cream of pumpkin soup topped with curried pecans, butternut squash-chestnut soup with caramelized pears, Chesapeake tempeh cakes, and Moroccan couscous with saffron. Finally, if you find you're still in possession of Halloween pumpkins, you may appreciate these eight recipes from the DailyGreen.
What's In That Chicken Nugget?
A University of Mississippi analysis of two chicken nuggets, bought locally from "national fast food chains," found that "half or more of each was made up of fat, cartilage, pieces of bone, blood vessels and nerves." One researcher noted, "It is really a chicken by-product high in calories, salt, sugar and fat that is a very unhealthy choice. Even worse, it tastes great and kids love it and it is marketed to them." Reuters has the story, if you can stomach it.
In London, To-Your-Desk Local Beer on Friday
Ah, the civilized Brits! Desk Beers, a new London startup, is now in operation, delivering "good, local beer to offices on Fridays." Desk Beers promises:
“We only bring you proper beers.”
“Everyone gets the same beer.”
“We will aim to get it to you no later than 5 p.m. No one should have to wait that late for a beer.”
Initiative 522: Washington State GMO Labeling Initiative Defeated
Voters in Washington have apparently rejected that state's Initiative 522, which would have required the labeling of genetically modified foods. Opponents of the bill - mostly food industry giants - outspent supporters by about three to one. Great praise, though, to Dr. Bronner's for its fierce and generous support of 522. Grist's Nathanael Johnson offers this summary of the debate and outcome.
Another Federal Website SNAFU
Healthcare.gov isn't the only website of the federal government experiencing serious problems. The Cornucopia Institute reports here that similar issues bedevil the FDA Food Safety Rule website, just as consumers and farmers are being encouraged to visit the site and provide comments concerning the FDA's new proposed food safety rules. “We are experiencing temporary technical difficulties..." and "planned system maintenance" seem to be the orders of the day.
Environmental NewsSycamore Land Trust Report
Just about this time last year we acquainted you with the fine work being done by the Sycamore Land Trust in protecting important natural areas and family farms in southern Indiana: 8,000 acres and counting! Last year, the organization acquired the Columbia Mine Preserve, a 1,043-acre property adjacent to the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge, an area that now harbors an exceptional array of wildlife, including rare bird species, river otters, and bobcats. Sycamore also recently published its first-ever Preserve Guide, which is available to the over 900 Sycamore members to enhance their enjoyment of the properties they have helped protect. Sycamore invites you to view this splendid video recorded by photographer Steve Gifford of the bobcat pictured at left apparently hoboing up the tracks through the Patoka Refuge. It is a great testament to the resilience of nature and the hard work of groups such as Sycamore that such creatures again grace our state.
The Smart Wheel from FlyKly
Do you love technology and the general notion of riding a bicycle but just hate all the peddling, sweating, grunting, and groaning that goes with it? Then you're going to love this. The Smart Wheel by FlyKly Bikes is a motorized rear wheel that will fit on almost any bike. The Smart Wheel has a self-contained, battery-powered motor that can propel a bike at speeds as high as 20 miles per hour for as far as 30 miles on one charge. The wheel recharges itself when coasting downhill, and the device earns its “Smart” moniker by being operated completely through one’s smartphone, which stays put on a handlebar mount (that also serves as a bike light and a phone charger) and connects to the wheel through Bluetooth. The FlyKly app monitors speed, distance, time traveled, location and route. The wheel can be locked via the app, and if the bike starts to move when the phone is not nearby, the app sends a message alerting its owner to a possible theft. The Smart Wheel is yet another wonderful Kickstarter Project in which you can get involved.
Johns Hopkins Black Lung Exposé
For over forty years, coal companies seeking to defeat miners’ claims have paid doctors at prestigious Johns Hopkins University Hospital up to 10 times the normal fee to read and opine on the chest x-rays of coal miners complaining of lung ailments. Investigative journalists from ABC, working in concert with the Center for Public Integrity, reported recently that "in the more than 1,500 cases decided since 2000 in which [senior university scientist Paul] Wheeler read at least one X-ray, not once did he find the severe form of the disease. Other doctors reading the same X-rays found the severe stage of the disease in 390 of these cases. The university has suspended the screening program, pending full investigation. The news is all over the web, but the Center for Public Integrity and Grist have especially nice articles.
Time To Winterize
Bloomington received its first snowfall and sub-20° temperatures of the season this week, reminding us that it is once again time to attend to our annual winterization duties. The DailyGreen offers these nineteen ideas to easily and inexpensively make your home a warmer, cozier, and more energy-efficient place this season.
Closing Thoughts"In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress."
~ John Adams, attorney, diplomat, statesman, and 2nd president of the United States, reminding us that our own legislative body is probably not all that remarkable in its disfunction.