Beet Read: Defending Beef


Written by Rachel Clark

There is a key and emerging debate in global food systems thinking about meat production. One side of the argument goes something like this: Raising meat for human food is inhumane, is a key cause of climate change, drives pollution and ecosystem destruction, is unhealthy for the human diet, and is totally unsustainable as it is currently practiced by industrial agriculture standards (see for instance, the new documentary “Cowspiracy”, which is available to stream online).
Meanwhile, the other side of the argument sounds more like this: Raising meat for human food can be done in a highly sustainable, humane way that is regenerative and restorative for ecosystems and biodiversity, can help to curb and solve the climate crisis, is healthy for the human diet, and brings people much closer to the land, animals, and nature because it is an intrinsic part of who we are and what makes us human.
Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production by Nicolette Hahn Niman (former vegetarian and environmental lawyer), shines the spotlight on the crucial discussion about sustainability. The two sides of this argument sound so wildly different that it is hard to imagine they are discussing the same suite of meat production practices. In truth, they aren’t. Many current industrial agriculture practices are incompatible with sustainable meat production, and are examples of the first argument. In the meantime, quietly, on local small farms around the world, the second way — or rather, the old way, combined with new, emergent permaculture practices that help livestock and the ecosystems that support them to thrive (and thus, really, a third way) — is arising.
Come find out why important voices in the food systems literature are calling Niman’s new book “critical thinking at its finest,” a book “that every chef in America should read” and a “brave, clear-headed and necessary addition to the discussion about sustainable food systems.”
Please join us to discuss Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production by Nicolette Hahn Niman (Chelsea Green Publishing) on Sunday, December 28, from 6-7:30 pm. Email for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Defending Beef is available through your local library. If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used bookstores or visit BookPeople of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, including a follow-up of last month’s Food and the City, check out the Outreach section of the Co-op website at

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Local Lover

Thanksgiving has come and gone and it’s time to start thinking about holiday gift-giving. While we believe in shopping locally year-round, we push for it even more during the holiday season. We’ll be bringing you our gift guides for all the special folks in your life, so be sure to stop back and see what we think they’ll love. To kick things off we’re featuring gift ideas for the person in your life who loves to shop from local artisans and appreciates items made by hand.


Red Cedar Studio: Pick up a handmade wooden cutting board, serving board or wine stopper, made by Daleen Boe. She’s taught herself everything she knows and she uses materials from Specialty Hardwoods here in Moscow.

Orchard Farm Soap: Made by hand in small batches by Kate Jaeckel, Orchard Farm Soaps are made with organic, fair trade and unrefined ingredients– and they smell good too! According to Kate using her soap is easy as 1, 2, 3. Step 1: Get Soap. Step 2: Get Naked. Step 3: Get clean. Pick up individual bars or products that she’s thoughtfully packaged together for gifts.

Mountain Blue Eye Jewelry: Stacy Boe Miller (sister to Daleen from Red Cedar Studio… so much talent in that family!) has been making jewelry for about ten years and her style suits a variety of tastes. She uses metals, that she hammers and solders by hand, and beads in blues and greens, which represent her love of the outdoors. Have an outdoorsy person in your life who also loves fun jewelry? Mountain Blue Eye is for you.

Jewelry by Kimberly Vincent: You might recognize Kimberly by her long, flowing white locks, but you’ll recognize her thoughtfully made jewelry by the stones she uses (lots of turquoise) and hand-hammered silver and copper. Her earrings and necklaces are now available in the Wellness Department.

Meadowlark Heritage Farm Goat’s Milk Soap: Gather ’round, kids. We couldn’t resist a little goat humor… If you’ve never felt how luxurious goat’s milk soap is, prepared to be pampered. Made from the milk of their Oberhasli goats, Meadowlark’s soap comes in fun varieties like Camper Soap and Pumpkin Spice.

Nutritive Body Care: Made in small batches by Kristy Bonner, Nutritive Body Care makes products for the most sensitive of skin. Her products are all natural and free of harsh chemicals, so they’re good for the planet too. Combating wrinkles has never felt better.

Woodland Apiaries: A jar of local honey (especially with the honeycomb in it) makes a wonderful holiday gift. Harvested from local bees, the honey from Woodland Apiaries is delicious and when paired with a custom tea blend made from our bulk teas and beautiful mug, nothing is lovelier.

Beet Read: The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry

Written by Rachel Clark
In the best tradition of cozy, armchair cooking memoir, The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn taps culinary gold. Part diary, part travelogue, part love story—all marinating in the thick, heady fumes of the Cordon Bleu cooking school — this book might send you off to Paris. Or at least off to pour another cup of steaming hot cider as you nestle down under your blanket, all cozied up with this wonderful memoir.
Now that the gardens are put to bed, and the days are shortening, it’s the perfect time for the kind of book that tempts you with dreams. Flinn was a corporate workhouse for many years…she was, that is, until she lost her job. When a new friend asked her, “What do you really want to do with your life?” her answer was almost immediate: “Move to Paris and attend the Cordon Bleu cooking school.” Except she knew almost no French, and she’d hardly cooked in her life. But she allowed the possibility of the dream, inquired into how one applies to the school, and before she knew it, she was slaving under a fierce French chef — “The Gray Chef” she nicknamed him, for his  tempestuous moods — attempting to endure his anger when he shouts her down after tasting her overly sweet sauce: “You’re wasting your time!”
A popular and delightful memoir that some have compared to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love — but more mature, wise, and well-crafted — The Sharper Your Knife is the perfect book to cozy up with this November. Please join us to discuss The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry (Viking Books 2006) by Kathleen Flinn on Sunday, November 30 from 6:00-7:30 pm. Remember to email for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. The Sharper Your Knife by Kathleen Flinn is available through your local library.  If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the MFC website at

The Beet Box is One!


A year ago we set out on this journey to create a blog for our Co-op. We wanted to share recipes, tips for living a greener life, recommend books and teach you about our local producers- the lifeline of our community. Whether you’ve followed along from the beginning or are just finding us now, thank you! We appreciate the feedback we’ve gotten, we love hearing when you make something from our blog and we hope to continue doing so. Please let us know what things you’d like to see featured here as this project belongs just as much our community as it does our store. And now on to stuff our mouths with (organic) cupcakes…

Here are a few favorites from the past year:


Clockwise from the top left:
Heirloom Tomato Flatbread
Coconut Flour Pancakes
Meet the Makers: Orchard Farm Soaps
Easy Fridge Pickles

What’s been your favorite post from the Beet Box?

Meet the Makers: Julene Ewert


“You’re pretty much all whimsical,” Ian (9) says to his mom, Julene, when she’s asked to describe her work in a few words. Her brightly colored paintings line the mantle in her studio and it’s clear to see that Ian is correct. A circus themed mixed-media creation is one of Julene’s favorites. She uses vintage ephemera collected  from thrift shops and books from the recycling center as a background for a lot of her work, taking nostalgic pieces and reviving them in collages. This particular piece of work uses maps and pages from an old accounting ledger.


With roots in Troy, ID, Julene thinks the Palouse is a great place to run her business. “There is great energy here and it’s a really supportive place for artists.” Julene has been in the design field for over 20 years. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at University of Idaho with a dream to work for Hallmark.  She began her design and advertising career in Colorado where she created ads, billboards and book covers. And when she eventually made her way back to the Palouse in 1998, she began working with local clients who she still designs for today. Locally she works with the Palouse Choral Society and the Hemingway Review, among others and lends her talents to teaching classes at Rendezvous for Kids, the Troy Public Library and Moscow Day school for kids and adults, alike.


When it comes to her process for creating, Julene is dedicated to sketching (almost) every morning. It’s during this time that she can create characters, flesh out ideas and clear her head. She said she sometimes has a plan for what she’s going to create, but other times lets the colors and vintage paper items lead the way. Julene says that she’s inspired by “the things that make you happy as a kid” and that her son, Ian is the biggest inspiration.


She’s been making greeting cards since 1993 with materials like ribbons, paint, paper and metal and translated that into bigger paintings and drawings. She now has a representative who takes her cards across the globe, which has given her access to sell in places like Nieman Marcus and Harrod’s department store in London. Her brightly colored designs have remained true to her heart over the years she has most recently been picked up commercially by Pier One, Home Goods and World Market and will hopefully have items available for purchase this holiday season. Julene has been guided by the quote, “She believed she could, so she did,” and clearly the belief in herself has lead to all her success.


Julene is also an inspiration herself. Her son, Ian is following in his mom’s footsteps and has begun an art business of his own called Tiny Treehouse Art. He makes collages and abstract paintings, as well and shares a booth with Julene at the Moscow Farmers Market. You can find Julene’s cards here at the Co-op, as well as other shops and departments stores around the country, and she let us know that one of her next big projects is creating a children’s book with an author from Troy. To learn more about Julene and he work click here.

Food for Thought Film: Blackfish

This month the Co-op is partnering with the University of Idaho Department of Fish & Wildlife Sciences to present the award winning film Blackfish. Blackfish is a 2013 documentary directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite. The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in January 2013, and was later picked up by Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films. The documentary focuses on the captivity of Tilikum, an orca involved in the deaths of three individuals, and the consequences of keeping orcas in captivity. The film includes shocking footage and emotional interviews that examine orcas’ unique personalities and behaviors, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the impacts of sea parks that capitalize on training marine wildlife to perform for audiences.

We are pleased to announce that several former SeaWorld trainers from the film will be attending our screening and hosting a question and answer session immediately following the movie. Although this will be an open forum, there will be a focus on the impacts of the film and how viewers can get involved if they’re interested. Discussion will continue the following day with events taking place on the University of Idaho campus.

Blackfish will be shown on Thursday October 16th at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Center with doors opening at 6:30 PM. Screening is FREE!

UI Events open to the public Friday, October 17th:

• Panel Discussion & Workshop w/ former SeaWorld Trainers 9:30 – 11:30 AM in the UI Law School Courtroom

• Research seminar “Emerging Science on the Effects of Captivity on Orcas” with Dr.s Jeff Ventre and John Jett, at Fish & Wildlife Sciences from 12:30 – 1:30 PM

5 Spot: What Makes a Co-op A Co-op?

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By Sarah Quallen, Co-op Volunteer Writer

Since, according to my five-year-old son, the Moscow Food Co-op is my favorite place to go and my favorite thing to do is to go to the Moscow Food Co-op (they’re two different things, I swear), I frequently get asked: What, exactly, is a co-op? Well…

1. A co-op is a business. It sells foods and goods, and it is not a not-for-profit (did you notice that double negative?) So. A co-op is usually incorporated, and does make a profit.

2. But a co-op exists for the benefit of its members, and many co-ops are community driven and support local charitable and social organizations. A good example at the Moscow Food Co-op is “A Dime in Time,” which donates your bag refund money, should you choose to give, to a new organization every month.

3. Co-op owners are co-op members. If you belong to a co-op, then you are an owner who has the right to vote for board members, who then vote on policies and business decisions like hiring management.

4. Unlike business investors who invest to make a profit, people who invest in or begin a co-op do so through a shared need to get services or products they were unable to get elsewhere. And, since members are owners, there are financial rewards as well. At Moscow Food Co-op, members get a 10 percent discount on case purchases and receive discounts on items throughout the store during regularly-scheduled “member days.” At the end of the year members often earn dividends.

5. Most co-ops choose to comply with seven basic principles as a guideline for structure, according to Co-op, Stronger Together’s website. These principles are: voluntary and open membership; democratic member control; economic member participation; autonomy and independence; education, training, and information; cooperation among cooperatives; and concern for community. One can see with ease that the Moscow Food Co-op successfully follows all of these principles.

The next time someone asks me, “What is a co-op?” I can answer them with aplomb! Now, so can you.

5-Spot: Things That Make the Co-op Unique


Written by Sarah Quallen, Co-op Volunteer Writer

 Moscow’s a pretty special place: it has a low crime rate, there are a ton of activities to do in the area, Moscow-ites are bound to run into a familiar face – or four – wherever they go, and, of course, there is the Moscow Food Co-op. The Co-op has its own appeal, and much of it has to do with what it does differently than other grocery stores and co-ops.

 1. Compost. Yup, the Moscow Food Co-op composts. While a lot of businesses recycle, composting has yet to take off in the business world.

 2. The size of our co-op is impressive, especially relative to the size of the town. Because of its considerable available space, the Moscow Food Co-op is a full-service grocer, deli, and bakery. It has a selection that’s difficult to beat, which is particularly useful if one has special dietary needs.

 3. Yes, the Farmer’s Market is fab, but our local farmers can use every opportunity to make their produce available to consumers, which is why the Tuesday’s Grower’s Market is such a wonderful component to the Moscow Food Co-ops offerings. This is not competition, it is what a co-op is all about: working together to bring local business to local businesses.

4. Co-op Kids. Mama’s and Papa’s. Wine Tasting. Cooking Classes. The Moscow Food Co-op’s “clubs” or activities contribute to its uniqueness. It is not merely a place to shop, but a place to meet people, a place to socialize, and a place to learn. Which brings me to the best “unique” part of the Moscow Food Co-op:

 5. Its Community. We are what makes the co-op unique. We contribute our voices, our personalities, our desires, and our education to a community of people that help others, that respect differences, and that just plain ol’ enjoy life in a small town – and we tend to do it all at the Moscow Food Co-op.