Co-op Connection June 2014

Co-op Connection


Food and Community News
Bloomingfoods Market & Deli

June 15, 2014


At the Co-op

"Snap It, Tag It, Upload It"
Bloomingfoods and Edible Indy are pleased to co-host a celebration of local foods by way of an Instagram photo contest.  From now until July 15th, simply take any food-related picture, tag it with the hashtag #hoosierfood @edibleindy, set your Instagram profile to public, and upload. The top five photos will earn their photographers a Bloomingfoods gift bag worth $75, and their photos will be enlarged and displayed in Bloomingfoods and will appear in the fall issue of Edible Indy. See Edible Indy's website for details.

Btown Summer
And just for the sheer fun of it, we invite all our social media fans to share their images of their Bloomington summer using the #btownsummer hashtag.

June - July Member Days & Product Specials
Member day is Monday in June and Tuesday in July. You can view the June product specials and member-owner specials online. You can also download your Co+op Deals flyers or find them in the stores.

Elm Heights Store 
(812-822-0235; 614 E 2nd. St.)
Upstairs in the mezzanine, there is much to report from the Third Place Coffee Bar, including an updated menu featuring three flavors of frozen blended drinks. There is also a new Bloomingfoods Chai flavor made from our special blend of tea and spice, a mocha made with Ghirardelli dark chocolate sauce, an espresso from Brown County Coffee Roasters, and a simple coffee flavor made with espresso and a touch of simple syrup made from cane sugar. And to accompany your beverage, try a tart from Pie First Bakery, made in Bloomington from local and regional ingredients. Please be aware that the coffee bar's summer hours are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday - Saturday, and 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Downstairs, the meat counter is ready to meet your summer grilling needs. We recommend in particular Dewig ribeye and sirloin steaks, specially cut for the grill with a nice trim of fat to ensure flavor and moisture.  See, too, our lamb chop from Gunthorp Farms, hand-cut in-house. Want something simple for the kids? Try the Dewig franks: they're all beef, with no fillers, preservative, or hormones. And we have a fine selection of seafood, including tilapia, and Arctic char. Meat buyer Josh Hermes offers these details.

East Store 
(812-336-5400; 3220 East Third St.)
The East store would like to take this opportunity to publicly recognize and thank long-time customer Laura Lynn Leffers for the beautiful painting she recently presented to us. The painting depicts the Saturday farmers' market that is held in our parking lot, and at which Laura once sold her wares.  Laura dubbed the painting "Gladiola Bob and the Bloomingfoods Farmers' Market," and it features Bob Wise, Jeff Padgett, Chester Lehman, and Marcia Veldman. You can see it displayed next to our Customer Service counter.  We find it to be just one more wonderful example of the caring and sharing that typify our Bloomingfoods community.

The bulk department would like to alert our coffee lovers to the new line we're carrying from Noble Coffees, out of Noblesville, IN. Current offerings include the Black Majic Blend, Jamaican Me Crazy, Guatemala Huehuetenango, and Highlander Grog.  (The Near West Side bulk department offers Noble's Black Magic and Brazil Mogiana.)  

Near West Side Store 
(812-333-7312; 316 W 6th St.)
Hot calzones, rich with melted cheese and fresh vegetables, are now available in the Near West Side deli Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Here are your daily options.

Around Town

Bug Fest 2014 at Hilltop Garden & Nature Center
The second annual Bug Fest will take place on Saturday, June 28th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Hilltop. The mission of Bug Fest is to educate the public about a wide array of insect and spider species. This is a free day of learning, games, music, and fun for all ages. Come learn about dragonflies, bees, spiders, edible insects, and more! Donations of canned fruits or vegetables to go to Hoosier Hills Food Bank and Mother Hubbard's Cupboard are greatly appreciated

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 Lisa Sideris, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at IU and Director of the IU Consortium for Study of Religion, Ethics and Society, will deliver a presentation entitled “Children’s Nature Study, Empathy, and Wonder: 1900-Present." She will explore the scientific (evolutionary) and religious rationales that have been put forward (often in tandem) in support of children’s nature education and the cultivation of empathy through connection with the natural world.  The presentation will take place during the programmed portion of the evening, from 6:00 - 6:30 p.m. on June 25th.  Please join us for a snack, a drink, and a thought-provoking discussion of this topic.

Weekday Walkers at Brown County State Park
Celebrate the beginning of summer with a hike through the forests of Indiana’s largest state park. On Wednesday, June 25, from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Sycamore Land Trust's David Rupp will lead you on a rugged 2.2-mile hike on the Fire Tower Trail. During breaks, discussion will focus on the history of the park and the resident songbirds. The Sycamore website has all the details.

Hoosier Hills Food Bank (HHFB) Garden & Gleaning Program
The HHFB Garden & Gleaning program provides locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables for free distribution to those in need of emergency food assistance in our area. HHFB uses such practices as crop rotation, cover cropping, and making compost out of food the food bank cannot distribute. Volunteer assistance is critical to the success of the program: in 2013 more than 200 volunteers helped grow and harvest 10,806 pounds of produce from the gardens. HHFB is actively seeking volunteers for this growing season, so if getting practical gardening experience while helping those in need is something you'd enjoy, please get additional information from the HHFB website, and join the ranks of volunteers.

Citizens' Climate Lobby (CLL)
Are you worried about the climate? Local members of the Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) will host a brown bag lunch and call party at the Westside Bloomingfoods annex (enter through parking lot on the North side of store) from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Monday, June 23rd.  CLL invites you to stop by during your lunch hour, have lunch with friends, learn about CCL, and make a few calls to your representatives and senators in D.C.  CLL reps will provide the call information and answer any questions you might have. 

In the Co-op World

50 New Food Co-ops in 5 Years
The headline says it all. Interest in the co-op business model continues to grow apace, and perhaps nowhere more than in the food industry. Here is a nice summary of recent developments, and here is a link to the Food Co-op Initiative, the program dedicated to assisting new retail grocery co-ops get off to a fast, efficient, and successful start.

Food, Eating, and Health

Time Magazine Declares "Eat Butter!"
This may be the best culinary news we've heard since the USDA declared a few years ago that pork really doesn't need to be cooked to a dry, tough, tasteless 160 degrees in order to be safe.  The latest edition of Time Magazine is urging us to end the war on butter and other foods rich in saturated fats. Time says there is a growing body of research indicating that it is carbs, sugar, and processed foods that are largely to blame for the various ailments attributed for the last fifty years or so to butter and other saturated fats. Today Health offers a nice discussion of the matter. Or we can simply recall the jubilant pronouncement of legendary French chef Fernand Point, "Du beurre! Donnez-moi du beurre! Toujours du beurre!" And just in time for sweet corn season!

It's Official: Big Food Sues Vermont Over GMO Labeling Law
They said they'd do it, and by golly they were as good as their word.  Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to overturn Vermont's GMO labeling law, passed just over thirty days ago. The Organic Consumers Association intends to support the labeling law with all the resources it can muster, even as it has pledged $500K to help Oregon pass a GMO labeling initiative in November. The plaintiffs, for their part argue that: "The State is compelling manufacturers to convey messages they do not want to convey, and prohibiting manufacturers from describing their products in terms of their choosing, without anything close to a sufficient justification...The State is forcing the costs of this experiment on out-of-state companies and citizens to which it is not politically accountable, and is undermining and impeding the federal government’s interest in uniform, nationwide standards for food labeling."

And this just in: Nation of Change reports that Kyrgyzstan just banned all GMO crops as well as the sale and importation of genetically modified organisms.

Bugs Take Center Stage at "Pestaurant"
Interest in entomophagy - the consumption of insects as food - continues to grow in the U.S.  Recently, the swanky Occidental Grill & Seafood, located just up the street from the White House, hosted a "pestaurant" event, featuring such delicacies as grasshopper burgers, roasted crickets, Mexican spice mealworms, and ant lollipops.  Grist, too, is getting into the act. It recently invited the Bug Chef - science writer and edible-insect pioneer David George Gordon - to its test kitchen to prepare a meal for brave volunteers. The verdict?  "Not slimy, and definitely satisfying! It’s true that some eaters, while cleaning out their bowls with gusto, still seemed to be avoiding eye contact with their food."

Dandelions: A Sweet Solution
Are the dandelions in your yard annoying you? Well, don't just poison or cut them: eat them!  And not just the greens. The flowers, too, are both delicious and nutritious asserts Darina Allen, founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School.

The Human Ecosystem
Kathryn Reid, a Ph.D. in biochemistry, discusses in this TEDx talk how the health of the 100 trillion microorganisms supported by our individual human bodies is intrinsically linked to the 50 tons of food most of us consume in a lifetime. She notes that just as imbalances can occur in other natural systems, so too can they develop in us, leading to a wide variety of disorders, and our food choices are a primary way in which this can occur. Reid focuses particular attention on highly processed foods, with the high concentrations of glutamate they typically contain, and she shares the personal experience she had controlling her own daughter's autism through a carefully monitored diet. Her conclusions can be summed up in these assertions: "The amount of free glutamate in the western diet is causing an ecosystem imbalance...Restoring ecosystem balance does not come in a pill...We have the power to control over 99% of our human ecosystem genomics through our food choices...Empower transitioning to a diet based on whole foods, and getting rid of the processed food."

Environmental News

Henslow's Sparrows and a New Bobcat Identified at the Columbia Mine Preserve
The Columbia Mine Preserve, a 1,043-acre property adjacent to the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge, is rapidly living up to expectations that it will prove a critical haven for an exceptional array of wildlife. The Sycamore Land Trust, which acquired the property in 2012, reports that assistant manager Heath Hamilton recently detected the faint "prairie hiccup" vocalizations of at least two Henslow's Sparrow, an endangered species in our state. Hamilton notes: "In my mind it was always the bird that would epitomize a successful grassland restoration on the site, so I couldn't have been happier that they have already shown up after only 1.5 years of restoration."

Bobcats, too, are residents of the preserve, and are a subject of particular study by photographer Steve Gifford. On a recent visit to the area, Gifford was able to capture these images of a previously unseen bobcat moving along the railroad tracks that traverse the preserve.

Endangered Species: the Good and the Bad
Even as National Geographic presents the doleful news that the endangered species list continues to grow, the Environmental News Network informs usthat the population of Indian Rhinos in Assam state is up to 2,544, up 27% since 2006 (there were only about 200 in the early 1900s), in spite of the significant pressure the species receives from poachers interested in harvesting their horns.

Closing Thoughts

"You shouldn't be buying garlic shipped in the holds of ships from thousands of miles away between sex toys and flip-flops."
~ Our favorite line from Ingredients, a documentary on the local food movement.


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