Co-op Connection October 2011


Co-op Connection

Food and Community News from Bloomington Cooperative Services

October 13, 2011

At the Co-op

Annual Meeting
This year's annual meeting will be held in the beautiful, three-story atrium of the Indiana University Fine Arts Museum on October 20th from 6 - 10 p.m. The business portion of the meeting will be held from 6 - 7 p.m; the celebratory portion will be held from 7 - 10. Tickets for the event are $5 for attendees 12 years of age and older, and they are still available at all our locations and at the Buskirk Chumley ticket office. All proceeds from ticket sales will be split between the Local Growers Guild, Community Kitchen, Middle Way House, the Bloomington Community Orchard, and Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard. Board secretary Carol Bridges extends this invitation to our membership to join us for an evening of wonderful food, music, art, and news concerning the state of your co-op.

Bloomingfoods' Lotus Festival Donations
Lotus attendees were very generous this year, stuffing over $1,000 into the tip jars of our wine and food stations. We have shared this money equally between My Sister's Closet and the Community Orchard.

Annual Survey: Last Call
The deadline for completing this year's survey is October 31st.  Please take a few minutes to use this opportunity to help guide the operation of your co-op. Your opinions are carefully considered in our decision-making.

Fall Truckload Sale and Wine Tasting This Weekend
It is now upon us: our fall truckload sale will take place October 15th and 16th. Plan to stock up on all your favorite items at the best prices we can offer. Case-level purchases will get you an additional 10% discount on products already heavily discounted. Here is a brief list of the many specials you'll enjoy at the sale. Volunteers are still needed for Saturday, so please contact Tom Zeta to get a slot and, thereby, a week of 10% discounts on your purchases for each two hours you work. 

Additionally, on Saturday the 15th, from 5 to 8 p.m., on the patio, we'll do a public tasting of over 50 wines, plus samples of cheese and specialty meats.  The $5 dollar admission fee will be donated to our local Stepping Stones program.  On both Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th you'll receive 15% off when you purchase 6 or more bottles of wine and cases of beer, along with 5% additional savings on local beers and wine

October - November. Member Days & Product Specials
Member day is Wednesday in October and Thursday in November. These are the October product specials, and these are the member-owner specials.

East Store
(812-336-5400; 3220 East Third St.)
Aside from the truckload sale and wine tasting, the East store is full of great news this month. First, we're delighted to announce the arrival in our garden center of Christopher Bobbitt (left), formerly the White River Co-op's expert in all things seed, soil, and organic. Chris's expertise will allow us to greatly expand the products and services we'll be offering in the garden center. We've already brought in grass seed, and we'll have birdseed and feeders in time for the truckload sale. Stop in, say "hi," ask questions, and share with Chris the things you'd like to see the garden center offer.

Next, in meats, we're now offering a fabulous line of products from Smoking Goose, a component of Goose the Market in Indianapolis. Goose's goal: "Our market is built around the love of phenomenal food, the people who passionately produce it, and the rest of us who can’t wait to get our hands on it."  Their passion for great food is reflected in all their products, made from local and sustainable meats.  We're currently offering beef pastrami, lamb bacon, tasso, merguez-cased sausage, and duck pear sausage. 

Also, in the meat dept., we're pleased to have delicious sockeye salmon from Wild Alaska Salmon. These fish were caught, processed, and hand filleted by East's own Josh Hermes, who spent part of this summer on hiatus from Bloomingfoods in order to participate in the Alaskan salmon fishing season. Speak with Josh to learn all about this wonderful fish.

Produce is flush with all the late season crops you'd expect. We're especially pleased by our Michigan honeycrisp apples, the local pumpkins (at the best price in town), and pomegranates and local chestnuts.

Grocery manager Martha Philion's reports on: eggs from Jared’s Farm Fresh Egg, produced locally on Green Pastures Farms by 9-year old Jared (left) and his grandparents; a new line of exquisite products from Tea Forte; and a new staff favorite, GT Dave’s Chia Kombucha, now available in 16 oz. glass bottles in flavors of raspberry, grape and cherry, all featuring chewy chia seeds.  Dillman Farm and Musgrave Orchard are both providing us with persimmon pulp.

Finally, with Halloween coming, don't forget to check out our Nature's Path Koala EnviroKids mini chocolate crispy bars, and packs of Endangered Species mini dark and milk chocolate bars. As always, this company donates 10% of net profit to help support species, habitat, and humanity.

Near West Side Store
(812-333-7312; 316 W 6th St.
Store manager Jason Hill has a raft of news, including: the hiring of Mary Roosma to run our cheese dept.; mushrooms, condiments, soup mixes, mustards, dry rubs, and truffle stuffs from Fungus AmongUs; the first rush of 2012 calendars and appointment books; and some great deals in beer and wine.

Around Town

Harvest Dinner
The 4th Annual Harvest Dinner is the major fundraising effort in support of the Local Growers Guild and its projects. This year's dinner will be Thursday, November 3 at Upland Brewery, and will consist of an elegant five-course meal featuring locally grown food prepared by Alan Simmerman (Bloomingfoods), Seth Elgar (Upland Brewery), Damian Esposito (Indiana Memorial Union, and winner of this year’s Chef’s Challenge), Corbin Morwick (One World Catering), and Eric Sjaaheim (The Happy Pig). Tickets are available at all our stores, at Upland, and on the LGG website. They've been selling fast, so don't delay.

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. This month, Bill Brown, Indiana University’s Director of Sustainability, will give a talk entitled “Applied Sustainability: Student Leadership in Campus and Community Sustainability at IU” during the programmed portion of the evening, from 6 - 6:30 p.m. on October 26th. Your input is welcome, so please stop in for a snack, a drink, and a thought-provoking discussion with friends and neighbors.

Soup Tasting at the Farmers' Market
Cooler temperatures are coming, and what better way to stay warm than with soup. Area chefs representing some of Bloomington's favorite eateries will offer samples of soup made from late fall products at the Bloomington farmers' market on Saturday November 5th, commencing at 10:30 a.m.

In the Co-op World

Food Co-op Status Report
The National Cooperative Grocers Association, of which your co-op is a member, reported recently that co-op groceries in the U.S. now employ over 80,000 people, generate in the neighborhood of $40 billion in annual sales, and count over 1.3 million in member-owners. Bloomingfoods contributes to these sums with over 240 employees, approximately $19 million in annual sales, and just shy of 9,500 member-owners. We're pleased to report, too, that membership in the new Columbus Market & Deli has now gone past the 500 mark.

National Cooperative Month - International Year of the Cooperative
Were you aware that October is National Cooperative Month? The slogan for Co-op Month 2011 is the same as that declared by the United Nations for the 2012 International Year of the Cooperative: “Cooperative enterprises build a better world.”

To what can we attribute the celebrity being enjoyed these days by co-ops? This beautiful little two-minute video nicely captures how people grown disillusioned by corporate greed, selfishness, and excess are finding the co-op business model a refreshing and wholesome alternative. Please treat yourself to a viewing. You'll feel better.

Food & Eating

One Man, One Cow, One Planet
Sincere thanks to member-owner Cynthia Bretheim for bringing to our attention this inspiring celebration of the work of NZ biodynamic pioneer Peter Proctor. The documentary explores Proctor's work in India helping farmers abandon a green revolution that has left their pockets empty and their soils dead, and to replace it with organic and biodynamic agricultural practices. You can watch it for free on YouTube or pick up a copy at the Monroe County Library.  As you might imagine, it's a manure-lover's delight.

Hungary Destroys Its Monsanto GMO Maize Fields
Hungary will have naught to do with GMO seeds, and all seeds entering the country are supposed to be checked for GMO status. In spite of this ban, unscrupulous or neglectful seed traders allowed into the country enough Pioneer and Monsanto GMO seed to plant almost 1000 acres. When this was discovered, the Ministry of Rural Development ordered that the corn in question be plowed under. Plans are afoot to make distributing gmo seeds a felony.

Bureaucrats Squelch Urban Gardener
Remember a few months ago when local officials cited a Michigan woman for her urban garden (the charges were later dropped)?  Zealous apparatchiks in Memphis must have missed the story because they reprised it in early September, issuing a citation and order to appear in court to local math teacher Adam Guerrero, who uses his garden as a teaching tool with local kids. Grist writer Claire Thompson sums it up nicely: "At a time when cities all over the country are so cash-strapped they're doing things like dismantling local fire departments, some still find it worthwhile to go after a guy who donates his time helping kids who might otherwise spend their out-of-school hours in front of the TV." As in the Michigan case, the court later ruled (again in response to the bad publicity the case was generating) that Guerrero could keep his garden if he "spruced it up."

Double Up Foods Bucks Program: Bringing the Farmers' Market to Low Income Families
Michigan has taken a major step toward making fresh, healthy foods available to low-income families through its Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program, DUFB allows food stamp recipients to receive double the value of their benefits on products purchased from farmers market, thus making it possible for them to enjoy nutritious food which might otherwise be beyond their means.

We are now in the midst of apple season, and we are blessed by a wonderful array of varieties.  But which to choose? This chart will help you sort your way through them, and to know the strengths and weaknesses of each. Epicurious, meanwhile, offers a great collection of recipes, available through an excellent search interface.  And thedailygreen suggests these seven delicious-looking recipes.

The Humble Spud
From pomme to pomme de terre, potatoes, too, are now in season. Here is a nice article discussing the basic varieties of potato, the strengths of each, and very good recipes for French fries, potato galette, rosemary-roasted potatoes, a hearty burger hash, and "accordion" potatoes.

A Cornucopia of Gluten-Free Recipes
Demand for gluten-free food continues to grow within our membership, and our delis are working hard to meet it. When you feel like doing it yourself, though, this collection of gluten-free recipes from thedailygreen should be of great help, offering ideas and inspiration for everything from breakfast to dinner's dessert.

On the Health Front

Child Mortality Rates Falling
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) recently released its annual childhood mortality report, and the decline in childhood deaths observed since 1960 continues. In 1960 twenty million childhood deaths were recorded, but in 2010 there were fewer than eight million.  As Melinda Gates of the Gates Foundation explains, this is particularly good news because not only did fewer children die, but when child mortality rates drop, women typically begin to have fewer children, each child then receives more of the family's resources, gets healthier food, better medical when sick, and are more likely to attend school.

Environmental News
Well it is the month for Halloween, and although we're not particularly concerned these days with spooks and goblins, there's plenty in the environment to evoke fear and loathing.

Closing Thought

"If you see the world sacramentally—apart from whatever religious affiliation you may have, or even if you have none at all—you find you have learned to assume things are connected."
~ Terry Thiese, from his book “Reading Between the Wines”

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