Food For Thought Film Series: FED UP!

For our September screening of the Food for Thought Film Series, we will be showing the popular new film, Fed Up!

Fed Up, an official selection for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, is an eye-opening documentary that serves up some hard-to-swallow news: “In 2010, two out of every three Americans were either overweight or obese,” and it is believed that “generations of kids will now live shorter lives than their parents.”

 Filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig and TV journalist Katie Couric lead us through an examination of obesity in America. They discuss how processed food remains cheap and accessible; school nutrition budgets have been slashed while fast food is served in many U.S. schools, and the remarkable amount of sugar being added to most products including those labeled “low fat” or “fat free”. The film also personalizes the problem by introducing us to real people and the frustration and failure many of them are experiencing. University of Idaho dietician, Marissa Rudley, will be in attendance on behalf of Vandal Nutrition with some great information regarding community resources and an interactive sugar display.

The Moscow Food Co-op will also be partnering with Backyard Harvest to host a Fresh Food Drive before and after the film. Backyard Harvest is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to increase low-income families’ and seniors’ access to fresh, healthy foods and the Fresh Food Drive is just one of many ways they are doing this. Movie-goers are encouraged to bring fresh food items to donate in exchange for free entry into the movie. Join us for a night of fun Wednesday September 17th with doors opening at 6:30 PM – hope to see you there!

5 Ways to Improve Your Farmers Market Experience

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The 5 Spot: Ways to Improve Your Farmers Market Experience
By Sarah Quallen, Co-op Volunteer Writer

If I’m in town, and if it’s not too cold and rainy, I spend Saturday mornings downtown cruising the Farmers Market. My children are used to this routine and, since we have designated Saturday as “treat day,” they
have come to expect either mini-donuts or a scoop of ice cream upon our arrival. My children are three and five; prior to this year it has taken most of my husband’s and my energy just to keep them from getting lost. So
now that we can focus more on the complete Farmers Market experience, I’ve collected some ideas on how to make the shopping part as good asthe social part.
Arrive Early: But not too early. As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. Well, at the Farmer’s Market, early birds don’t get the worm, rather, they get the best possible produce and vendors still have their full
selection of products. But if they get there too early, then shoppers get vendors who aren’t completely ready to serve customers.
Arrive Late: Seems a little contradictory to my first suggestion, doesn’t it? Late arrival does limit one’s selection, but it can provide more frugal shoppers the opportunity to get lesser quality produce (usually the stuff
that’s bruised or damaged in transportation) at a lower price. Since it is the end of the farmers’ day, they may also be willing to sell at a lower price just to clear out their inventory.
Bring Cash: Often vendors accept cash only, and if everyone pays with large bills their change gets depleted quickly. Having exact change expedites the transaction and helps the line move quickly. And remember,
small bills are always appreciated!
Bring Your Own Bags/Boxes/Coolers: While vendors often have something to package your purchases in, it raises their expenses (and therefore, yours), and it’s just one more way you can participate in reducing
waste. Another helpful move is to bring your empty boxes from last week back to the vendors so they can reuse them.
Try Something New: The Farmers Market provides an excellent opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone. If you have questions about a food–like how to cook or prepare it or what to pair it with–ask
the farmer. Talking with the farmers is also an excellent way to show your appreciation for them.
While this list focuses on improving your shopping experience, remember that our Farmers Market is about so much more than shopping for produce—it’s also about community, socializing, and fun.

Beet Read | Turn Here Sweet Corn: A memoir on growing local, organic food

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By Rachel Clark, Good Food Book Club Volunteer Coordinator

Join us in reading the August Co-op Good Food Book Club selection, Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works by Atina Diffley. The Book Club will meet Sunday, August 31, from 7:00-8:30 at a member’s private residence to discuss Turn Here Sweet Corn. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions.

With all of the support for farmers’ markets and local farming movements in our area, we couldn’t pick a better book. Atina Diffley’s courageous and vivid account of her journey to successful organic farming offers an inside view of the nitty-gritty challenges and extraordinary satisfactions that come with local, organic farming. Publisher’s Weekly says, “”In addition to being a charming memoir of love and living off the land, Diffley’s debut is a timely tale of modern farming, the growing organic movement, and the problems that arise when urban development runs up against fertile fields. Equal parts anecdote and practical organic farming guide, this book is a powerful testament to the Diffleys’ passion for their work and a terrific guide to the trials and tribulations of sticking to the land…and going organic.”

If you’re itching for the pleasures and inspirations of armchair farming—the kind that just might nudge you to growing and selling your own food—this book’s for you. Plus, it’s more than just another farming tome. This book’s a page-turner, complete with a gripping opening scene:

“An explosion of light rips me out of a deep sleep. Behind the flash is a deafening boom. The sky sparks again, a fused web of tearing lines…Damn.  I look at the date on the clock. June 8, 2005. Not now.” It’s a hail storm; hitting her farm with the fury of “cold, hard water.” And she’s got to deal with it.  Right then. Right there.

Deborah Madison, author of Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets, writes, “What strikes me most about this amazing memoir is that for those of us who aren’t farmers but who are versant in such issues as organics, soil building, diversity, GMOs, certification and more—it is utterly different to hear how the farmer herself grapples with them in her daily life. Unlike reading about the same issues in an article, it’s immediate, powerful, tender, heartbreaking and above all, encouraging.

Come join us to discuss Turn Here Sweet Corn (University of Minnesota Press, 2012) by Atina Diffley, Sunday August 31 from 7:00-8:30 pm. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Turn Here Sweet Corn is also available through your local library.  Check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount.

 

Beet Read: Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition

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Join us in reading the July Co-op Good Food Book Club selection, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T. Colin Campbell. The Book Club will meet Sunday, July 27, from 7-8:30 p.m. at a member’s private residence to discuss Whole. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions.

“Dr. Colin Campbell opened our eyes with The China Study. In Whole, Dr. Campbell boldly shows exactly how our understanding of nutrition and health has gone off track and how to get it right. Beautifully and clearly written, this empowering book will forever change the way you think about health, food and science.” So says Neal Barnard, Founder and President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine about this month’s book. The landmark book, The China Study, spearheaded by Campbell, is now known as the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. With Whole, Colin offers up the next course: a fierce reminder of the interlocked nature of human nutrition, human and global health, and society. He continues to advocate that “the ideal human diet looks like this: Consumer plant-based foods in forms as close to their natural state as possible…eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and whole grains.”

But he goes on to charge our society, and the healthcare system in particular, with “reductionist thinking” when it comes to human health. Dr. Dean Ornish says he “uncovers how and why there is so much confusion about food and health and what can be done about it. His explanation is elegant, sincere, provocative, and far-reaching, including how we can solve our health care crisis. Read and enjoy; there’s something here to inspire and offend just about everyone (sometimes the truth hurts).”

Campbell is a powerful voice with a respected and important legacy. He’s the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. He has more than 70 grant-years of peer-reviewed research funding and authored more than 300 research papers and is coauthor of the bestselling the book, The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health.

Come join us to discuss Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition (BenBella Books, 2013) by T. Colin Campbell, on Sunday, July 27 from 7-8:30 p.m. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Whole is also available through your local library. 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, click here.

From the Market: Radish Dip

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Our Tuesday Growers Market is in full swing and we’ll be bringing you recipes and photos from the market each week. This is the 11th season of our market and we’re very excited to watch is grow and thrive each year. Our market is a great option for local food purchasing and is a nice alternative to the hectic market on Main Street. This is also a great opportunity to talk with the folks who are working so hard to provide our community with fresh and healthy food from within 50 miles of Moscow. The market takes place each Tuesday from 4-6:30pm in the Co-op;s parking lot and is pleased to offer music, food, games, and activities for kids this year. Come on down and join us!

This recipe for the Co-op’s Radical Radish Dip is made using locally grown, bright, and delicious radishes.
To make this dip you will need:
1 lb local radishes, trimmed
1 1/2 cups cream cheese
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons dried dill weed

Wash and trim radishes and roughly chop. Place them in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Place a layer of cheesecloth in a strainer and drain radishes by squeezing, reserving the liquid. Add remaining ingredients to food processor with half the radishes. Blend until well incorporated.  Add remaining radishes and blend until smooth. Add a little of the radish liquid if dip seems too thick. Serve with sliced baguettes or gluten free crackers.

Crop Mobbing with Deep Roots Farm

DeepRootsCollage2Crop Mobbing is the Moscow Food Co-op’s program that lets community members get a little dirty by helping our local farmers with hands-on projects. The first one this year was brought to us by Deep Roots Farm- a small farm in the city. Marci and Greg work really hard to provide our community with beautiful and delicious, sustainably raised produce, so we thought helping them out for a bit was only fair. Six dedicated volunteers joined us out at the farm to help put 300 tomato plants in the ground in under two hours!
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When asked why they farm Marci and Greg said, “To create something real. We start with soil and seeds and we end up feeding people.” Greg also mentioned that being outside everyday is a pretty big job perk.

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Marci and Greg grow vegetables using techniques that promote biodiversity on their farm. They practice an intensive planting rotation to allow plants to support and nurture each other utilizing cover crops that feed the soil and attract beneficial insects. They grow a variety of crops that are well suited to our climate and sell directly to loyal customers, at the Moscow Farmers Market, the Tuesday Growers Market at the Co-op and through a CSA.

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To learn about other Crop Mobbing opportunities be sure to sign up for the Co-op’s e-newsletter.
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Kids Craft: Felting

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This morning our Co-op Kids group had a great time making their own felt. We are blessed in Moscow to have a great yarn/thread/wool store called Yarn Underground that we purchased dyed wool roving from. This is a great activity for little ones, as it teaches them the process of turning soft wool into a small piece of fabric. It’s a colorful, tactile activity that will hold their attention!
To make felt you will need:
wool roving
liquid dish soap
water
plastic sandwich bags (if containing the mess is a concern)
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First, fill a bowl with very warm water and a squirt of liquid dish soap. To get started, pull small off pieces of roving and separate the fibers into a thin layer. Take another piece, separate it and place it over your first piece, layering the fibers in opposite directions. Make 4-5 layers. Place layers of roving into a sandwich and pour a small amount of soapy water into the bag. (If you are working outside or getting a little wet and soapy doesn’t sound so bad, omit the sandwich bag, dunk roving into soapy water and start agitating it.)
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Make sure all of the air is pressed out of the bag before you seal it up and begin agitating the bag with your hands, pushing the fibers into each other. Once the fibers are integrated and the felt has formed into a stiffer piece of fabric, rinse it with cold, clean water and let dry. You can then cut the piece into any shape you want. This method is also great for making felt beads that kids can turn into earrings and necklaces.
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Beet Read: Cows Save The Planet

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Can Cows Save the Planet?
By Rachel Caudill, Good Food Book Club Volunteer Coordinator

 Join us in reading the April Co-op Good Food Book Club book, Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth (2013) by Judith D. Schwartz. The Book Club will meet Sunday, April 27, from6:00-7:30 at a member’s private residence to discuss Cows Save the Planet. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions.

 “You might ask what dirt has to do with global warming. In reading this astounding book we will learn how to unmake deserts, rethink the causes of climate change, bring back biodiversity, and restore nutrients to our food. In other words, how to staunch and heal the great wound we have inflicted on our planet.”  So says renowned ecologist and writer Gretel Ehrlich in the Foreword to this month’s remarkable book, chosen in honor of Earth Day and this month’s theme.

 As we’ve seen with many of the books in our Good Food Book Club, our food choices are now profoundly intertwined with global planetary health. From industrial farming, to GMOs, to soil erosion, to colossal food waste and landfill excesses, to mass extinction and wholesale destruction of fisheries and ocean health, to climate chaos itself, our global human population and the way we eat has impacted every facet of the Earth’s resilience. What if there was a silver bullet… What if there already exists an overall approach with a suite of strategies that could quickly, cheaply, and massively restore Earth’s food systems (and climate!) to a thriving, healthy stable state?  Would you believe such a thing possible? Even better, could it be as simple as grazing happy cows?

 Come find out as we read this month’s ground-breaking book and learn for ourselves the pivotal role that soil health has in supporting not only healthy food for our global population, but also to curbing—and even solving—the climate crisis.  You can get a taste of the astonishing paradigm reported in this book by watching Alan Savory’s pivotal TED talk, “How to Fight Desertification and Reverse Global Warming.” Savory, of course, is featured in Schwartz’s book.

 As Ehrlich writes, “Widen your mind with a holistic approach to the extinction cliff… Judith Schwartz’s book gives us not just hope but also a sense that we humans—serial destroyers that we are—can actually turn the climate crisis around. This amazing book, wide-reaching in its research, offers nothing less than solutions for healing the planet.”

 Please join us to discuss Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth (2013) by Judith D. Schwartz Sunday, April 27 from 6:00-7:30 pm. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Cows Save the Planet by Judith D. Schwartz 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 Co-op website at www.moscowfood.coop.

How To: Throw a Co-op Birthday Party!

Our Co-op Kids program turned 8 years old last week (that’s eight years of positive programming for the kiddos in our Co-op community), so of course we had to celebrate! Here are some photos from the birthday party, along with some tips for throwing your own little ones a birthday party- Co-op style.
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We know that there are a variety of dietary issues facing our little ones nowadays, so we offered a vegan chocolate cake and gluten-free vanilla cupcakes. It’s always good to check with other parents to find out if their kids have any allergies or food sensitivities. It’s really nice for children with dietary restrictions to feel like they can participate in the fun at a birthday party. Look for the recipes we used at the bottom of this post!

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While it’s easy to spend a ton on birthday parties, we like to recycle items we already have, like newspaper to make birthday hats and colorful paper to make decorations. For these goody bags, we used sample sizes of kid-friendly snacks, little puzzles, some temporary tattoos and plantable seed paper.

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We also made sure we had a special drink station for the grown-ups with coffee, tea and hot chocolate. We used a chalk runner to write a message, but you could also run this down the middle of the kids’ table and let them draw as part of the festivities.

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Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, until well combined. Add the water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar, and mix again so that it’s really well combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides if necessary. Line the bottom of a cake pan with parchment paper and pour batter into pan. Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool on a rack completely. To make a layer cake, double the recipe and bake in two separate cake pans.

Gluten-free Vanilla Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, like Bob’s Red Mill
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup almond, soy or cow’s milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners. Combine the flour mix, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt in a medium mixing bowl and whisk. In another mixing bowl whisk together the sugars with the egg, milk, vanilla and oil. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and whisk until smooth and it starts to thicken slightly. Be careful not to over mix the batter or cupcakes will become dense. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake for 18 – 22 minutes or until they are golden brown and the tops spring back slightly. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Tasteful Thursdays Are Back

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The fall season is in full effect, with gem-toned leaves embellishing our sidewalks, brisk evening weather drawing us indoors, heartier soups gracing our salad bar and daringly dark ales ever-present on our beer cooler’s shelves. With this magical time of year comes an even more magical event at the Co-op—Tasteful Thursdays!

Tasteful Thursdays is an annual event series that showcases the sights, the sounds, and most importantly, the tastes of the season. From November 7 through December 21 (except for November 28 when the Co-op will be closed for Thanksgiving), each Thursday from 5-7 p.m. the Co-op’s aisles will transform into a festive affair full of samples, gift ideas, holiday staff picks, and more. You’ll get to sample our Co-op Kitchen’s delicious Thanksgiving sides and desserts, available for special order to simplify your Turkey Day. You’ll get to meet some of our favorite local and regional brewmasters and winemakers, and sample their seasonal libations. You’ll get to hear some wonderful tunes from local musicians, including two of our talented staff members! And, of course, you’ll get to relieve some of your holiday stress with complimentary neck and back massages from Sonya of Balance… A Wellness Spa.

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One of our featured vendors this week is Sticky Fingers Farm from Troy, ID.  This family farm makes delicious small-batch ice cream with local and organic ingredients and they’ve recently added hummus to their lineup (lucky us!). The above photo features ice cream sandwiches made with the Co-op Bakery’s Molasses Crinkle cookies and Sticky Fingers’ Salted Caramel Ice Cream.  We know, we know… it’s insane!

For the full list of Tasteful Thursday musicians and vendors check out the co-op website.