At the Co-opMembership Report
Our year-end reporting discovered membership growth to be stronger than ever in 2013, with over 1,140 households joining the ranks of member-ownership. This is the greatest number of household ever to join the co-op during a calendar year, and it comes in the wake of the previous record, 1,090, which occurred last year. Total membership in Bloomingfoods? Approximately 11,050 households.
Going Paperless With the Bloomingnews Newsletter
Last month we invited readers of our paper-format newsletter, The Bloomingnews, to go digital. Instead of sending you a paper edition, we'll send you an electronic notice each time a new issue has been published and uploaded to our website. You can then click on the attached link, and view the document on whatever device you happen to be using. So far, almost 500 members have selected this option, saving the environment a lot of trees and the co-op a lot of money in printing and mailing. The January-February edition is available here for you to review. If you like what you see and would like to go paperless, simply complete this form. And please be assured: we'll keep plenty of paper copies at the stores, should you desire to pick one up.
January - February Member Days & Product Specials
Member day is Tuesday in January and Wednesday in February. You can view the January product specials and member-owner specials online. You can also download your Co+op Deals flyers or find them in the stores.
All About Bird Feeding
On Sunday, January 19th, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the East Store patio room Chris Bobbitt will lead a workshop concerning the history of bird feeding as a hobby, the benefits of attracting birds to your yard, landscaping tips, styles and placement of feeders and water sources, how to attract your favorite birds (and discourage squirrels) through your selection of seed, cleanliness and safety issues, and how to turn your yard and garden into a sustainable avian habitat for the benefit of both the birds and yourself. Please come share your experiences with birding. No fee or registration required.
Board Report: Sensory Shopping
In this month's board report, Carol Bridges reflects on the sensual dimension of shopping in our stores, as well as on the manner in which the time spent in the stores allows us to remain connected to our friends and neighbors in a way that helps ensure that we are nourished in soul as well as body.
We're very pleased to be kicking off the new year with the launch of a juicing promotion. At the East, Elm Heights, and Near West Side locations, we'll be sampling a wide variety of fruit and vegetable juices, we'll have juicers and juicing books on sale, and the produce departments will carry many juicing fruits and vegetables at special sale prices. Our own experience has been that juicing is an easy and delicious way to get a major portion of the six to eight daily servings of fruit and vegetables most health professionals recommend - sometimes before you even leave the house in the morning. There are many places on the web where the benefits, and the limits, of juicing are explored, but we're partial to Mercola on this subject.
(812-336-5400; 3220 East Third St.)
Many new products have been introduced at the East store recently, including Gaia cleaning products (produced in Indianapolis), FreshPet dog and cat foods, Califia Farms almond milks, and Chia Pod, a non-dairy yogurt purported to be an excellent, high-energy breakfast food that provides 100% of your recommended daily intake of Omega 3. Conversely, Brown Cow has discontinued packaging their low fat yogurts in 32 oz. containers, so those will no longer grace our shelves. Grocery merchandiser Martha Philion offers this full report.
Please be aware, too, that the garden center is open, with the Patio Room accessible during normal business hours, and we are staffing the garden center building, itself, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The center's Chris Bobbitt offers this review of all that is available for your winter and early spring gardening activities.
Elm Heights Store
(812-822-0235; 614 E 2nd. St.)
Fresh Meat Merchandiser Josh Hermes reports this month on the Korean short ribs, exceptionally fresh seafood, and the outstanding variety of bacon currently available in the Elm Heights meat and fish cases.
Ivy Tech Store
(812-822-0143; 200 Daniels Way, Room C-33)
Bloomingfoods at Ivy Tech began the new semester on Monday, January 13th, on which date we resumed our regular hours of operation, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. We would like to remind everyone that the Ivy Tech site is open to the public and not just students at Ivy Tech. If you live or work in the area, we can be a convenient and tasty option for breakfast or lunch. You can even expedite the process by calling in your order, 812-822-0143.
Around Town7th Annual Percussive Dance Festival
The 7th annual Percussive Dance Extravaganza will take place Thursday, January 23rd at 7:30 p.m. at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center auditorium. Various styles of percussive dance will be presented in a full-length program featuring choreography by Tamara Loewenthal. Musical support will come from the Extravaganza Old Time Band, featuring Brad Leftwich and Jamie Gans (fiddles), multi-instrumentalist Sam Bartlett (banjo, mandolin), Robert Widlowski (bass), and special guest John Schwab (guitar).
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 Larry Barker, Executive Director for the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District and President of the Association of Indiana Solid Waste Management Districts, will deliver a presentation entitled "Benefits of a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) for Monroe County." Barker will explain precisely of what an MRF consists, how it operates, and the benefits it could bring to the community. The presentation will take place during the programmed portion of the evening, from 6:00 - 6:30 p.m. on January 22nd. Please join us for a snack, a drink, and a thought-provoking discussion of this topic.
Winter Wonderland Hike
Has the recent weather left you with a case of cabin fever? Break out! Sycamore Land Trust will be offering a "Winter Wonderland Hike" on Sunday, January 26, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at its Yellowwood Farm property in Brown County. Details are available here. And if events of this sort are of particular interest to you, please be aware that Sycamore is seeking an Outreach Events Coordinator. Learn more at http://sycamorelandtrust.org/jobs.
Soup Bowl Benefit
The 20th annual Soup Bowl Benefit will take place on Sunday, February 16th at 5:00 p.m. at the Monroe Co. Convention Center. This is a great opportunity to break bread with your friends and neighbors, enjoy delicious soups and bread from more than 25 local restaurants, great entertainment, a smorgasbord of beautiful handmade bowls, and it's all in the name of supporting the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.
Winter Farmers' Market and Community Supported Agriculture Fair
The 2013-14 Winter Farmers Market will be held every Saturday morning from 9:00 a.m. to noon, from December through March at the Harmony School Gym (909 E Second Street). And on February 8th the CSA Fair will be held in conjunction with the Market. Farm representatives will be there showcasing their CSA and Buying Club options for the coming seasons, offering a wide variety of produce, meat, eggs, breads, and flowers. The CSA Fair provides an opportunity for eaters of local food to talk with producers about the products they'll offer, how they are grown or raised, prices, and sign-up options. You can share contact information to learn more from farmers, or bring your checkbook to subscribe on the spot, Groups from workplaces and congregations are encouraged to attend, as some farms have delivery options.
Also at the market:
11:00 a.m. every Saturday, yoga (donations requested)
1/18 11:00 a.m. Empowered Birth with Amanda McKenzie
1/25 11:00 a.m. Children's Program: When People Had Two Sets of Clothes
2/1 11:00 a.m. Edible Landscapes: Growing Beyond the Garden Box
In the Co-op WorldBloomingfoods to Host Start-Up Conference
For the fifth consecutive year, Bloomingfoods will host a co-op start-up conference. This conference, which began as a very modest event for folks in states bordering Indiana, now brings together people from throughout the country who are interested in launching cooperatively-owned grocery stores. The Indiana Cooperative Development Center (ICDC) website offers full coverage of the event.
Food, Eating, and HealthFood Lovers' Cookbook Collection
If you've vowed in the new year to begin improving your health through better nutrition and by cooking your own meals from raw ingredients you can trust, you may wish to look over this list of some of the most beloved and influential cookbooks ever written, compliments of FoodTourist.com. They'll get you off to a great start.
In the Belly of the Beast
In the minds of many, there is no greater abomination in the modern industrial agriculture industry than Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) and the processing facilities to which the animals are ultimately sent for slaughter. For those with a stout heart and a determination to look courageously at this situation, In the Belly of the Beast, from Rolling Stone, may persuade you to think twice before you purchase meat or eggs whose provenance is unknown to you (and if it isn't advertised, the sellers probably prefer that you not know it). It may even persuade you to take a political stand.
And speaking of political action concerning CAFOs, the Indiana legislature has before it SB101, a modified version of the "ag-gag" bill that failed to pass in last year's session. "Ag-gag" is a colloquial term used to describe legislation that seeks to criminalize whistleblowing on factory farms. Supporters of such legislation maintain it is designed to protect the rights of farmers rather than limit the rights of media and whistleblowers, but some legal experts believe that laws of this sort violate First Amendment rights. Even Mary Matalin, a GOP strategist of all things, released a video last year urging Hoosiers to defeat the bill. Please watch her video to learn what "a meat-eating conservative Republican like me is doing in a PETA video."
Screw Caps vs. Corks: Don't Judge a Bottle by Its Seal
NPR recently ran this fine article exploring the growing use of screw caps on high end wines rather than the plonk with which they've been traditionally associated. "Increasingly, winemakers "prefer screw caps for white wines and reds meant to be drunk young."
The FDA announced recently that manufacturers will in the next few years be required to demonstrate that their antibacterial soaps are both safe and more effective than simply washing with conventional soap and water, or they will be forbidden to sell them. Smithsonian Magazine gives you five good reasons to not use antibacterials, as well as offers suggestions for alternatives that are just as effective and probably a lot better for you and the environment.
"Skin Deep" Mobile App
For those concerned with the purity and safety of the skin and hair care products they use, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) now offers a handy new tool, the Skin Deep mobile app. Download this app to your iPhone or Android, and you'll be able to scan as you shop, getting detailed reports on the products you're considering. According to the EWG, the device has "information and online safety assessments for more than 74,000 personal care products, 2,400 brands and 9,000 ingredients, culled from product labels and from scientific and industry literature." On a related note, here's a nice review of "the nine best" natural deodorants.
Environmental News“Canyon Forest” Now Protected by Sycamore Land Trust
The Sycamore Land Trust is pleased to announce its latest acquisition, the Dilcher-Turner Canyon Forest. Donated by David and Kathy Dilcher and Rudi Turner, this 68-acre Greene County property features deep ravines with large sandstone outcrops, several waterfalls, and a high-quality mature forest. Left untouched for over 40 years, this beautiful property will now be protected into the foreseeable future. Sycamore hopes the preserve will eventually include a trail, but at this early stage, access is limited due to lack of parking. Check out www.sycamorelandtrust.org/preserves to see the many other properties that you are welcome to visit.
Environmental Victories of 2013
Nation of Change urges us to recognize and celebrate the environmental victories of the past year, including the return of Chinook salmon to the Columbia River to spawn, a major rebound in populations of the almost extinct black-footed ferret, re-colonization of the Black Hills of South Dakota, the Badlands of North Dakota, and the Pine Ridge country of northwestern Nebraska by cougars, and recognition that the growing wolf population in Yellowstone is having a tremendous and beneficial effect on the entire ecosystem of that region.
For the Birds (and Bats)
For those following and, perhaps especially, supporting the wind energy industry, it has been disheartening to recognize that the turbines that harness this energy source are proving deadly to a wide array of bird and bat species, some of them endangered already. Here's a nice report from Grist on the various efforts now being proposed or taken to ameliorate the damage.
Closing Thoughts"If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny."
~ Thomas Jefferson