B the Change with B-Corps

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The Moscow Food Co-op is very excited to be part of the B Lab’s “B the Change” campaign. Certified B Corporations are leading a global movement to redefine success in business as not only being the best in the world, but the best for the world. B Corps are new and existing businesses that are certified by the nonprofit B Lab as meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. B Lab is a nonprofit that conducts third party evaluations of business practices. They use a customizable platform for benchmarking, measuring and reporting on business impacts and host the world’s largest database of verified social and environmental performance data for private companies. An analogy that has been used actively during the campaign is that B Corp certification is to sustainable businesses as LEED certification is to green buildings or Fair Trade certification is to coffee.
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Today, there is a growing community of more than 900 Certified B Corporations from 32 countries and 60 industries that have signed the B Corp “Declaration of Interdependence” which states:

“We envision a new sector of the economy which harnesses the power of private enterprise to create public benefit. This sector is comprised of a new type of corporation—the B Corporation—which is purpose-driven, and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders. As members of this emerging sector and as entrepreneurs and investors in B Corporations, we hold these truths to be self-evident: That we must be the change we seek in the world. That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered. That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all. To do so, requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.”

In addition to providing a certification that labels businesses as socially and environmentally responsible (B Corp certification), the B the Change campaign has helped pass legislation in 19 states and Washington D.C. that creates a new form of corporation, the “benefit corporation.” These entities operate in the same way as traditional corporations but with legal protection to pursue purposes other than profit. According to the B Lab founders, marketers use terms like green, responsible, sustainable and even local, yet there are no standards to back up the claims. Although there exists an increasing number of narrow product or practice specific standards (e.g. “Organic”, “Fair Trade,” “Energy Star”, “LEED”, etc.), there are fewer standards outside of the B Corporation certification that provide a comprehensive understanding of a company’s performance as a whole. This makes it difficult for a consumer to tell the difference between a ‘good company’ and just good marketing.
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The B the Change campaign aims to make it easier for consumers and investors to support businesses that truly align with their personal beliefs by providing a reliable certification logo to look for as well as a searchable database of all existing certified B Corp businesses.

You will soon find posters around the store with the certified B Corp logo and the campaign slogans. In order to help our customers identify brands we carry that are currently B Corp certified, you will also find tags with the logo next to certified products. If you are interested in learning more or joining the campaign on a personal or business level, please visit www.bthechange.com.

This article was written by Misty Amarena, Outreach + Education Coordinator, and was originally featured in the April issue of Community News.

Vegan Coconut Oil Truffles

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While we love Valentine’s Day because it’s a chance to spread some love around, we also love that it’s one of the only acceptable times to gorge yourself on chocolate… all in the name of love! This recipe for vegan coconut oil truffles will enable you to celebrate this holiday with the best of them. And while you’re at it, pour yourself a big ol’ glass of red wine. To make the truffles you’ll need:
1/2 cup high quality cocoa powder (plus 2 tablespoons set aside for rolling the finished truffles)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons of coconut (for rolling finished truffles)

In the bowl of a food processor combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. If you do not have a food processor you can mix by hand, but make sure the mixture is very smooth. Place mixture in the freezer for 20 minutes or until firm. With a small scoop or melon baller, scoop mixture into balls and roll in either cocoa powder or coconut.

Fungus Among Us: Mushrooms, Part 1

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featured from left to right: cremini, maitake, grey dove oyster, shiitake

There are an unbelievable amount of mushrooms available in the store right now. And while you might be frightened by the looks of some of them, rest assured, they’re all delicious and filled with phytonutrients. Here’s some basic information about them and some ideas for how to use them. Be sure to stop in to the store this evening to try the Gray Dove Oyster Mushroom and Goat Cheese crostini (recipe below).

Cremini: Most table mushrooms are part of the same variety and that includes white button, cremini, and portebello mushrooms. Cremini mushrooms are in the in between stage of growth of a white button mushroom and a portabello mushroom. Creminis are thought of as little immune boosting powerhouses and can help in regulating white blood cell activity. They provide excellent amounts of selenium, manganese and zinc, which are all important antioxidants that aid in healthy cell production. They are closely related to white button mushrooms, but have a slightly deeper, earthier flavor. Use them in pasta dishes.

Maitake: Commonly called “Hen of the Woods”, but are known in Japan as “the dancing mushroom”. They are a soft mushroom and are particularly fond of oak and elm trees. Maitake are also full of immune boosters and also have the ability to lower the risk of hypertension and diabetes. They have a notable woodsy flavor and are an excellent addition to soups and stews.

Grey Dove Oyster: The Grey Dove mushroom is a member of the oyster mushroom family which are great for preventing cardiovascular disease due to their high fiber, mineral content and low caloric value. They also aid in lowering cholesterol and have been used for joint health and muscle relaxation.  Oyster mushrooms are also renowned for their ability to degrade environmental toxins. They are delicate in texture and flavor and cook rather quickly. Here’s an easy and delicious recipe for using Grey Oyster Mushrooms which are now grown locally in Rosalia, WA.

Grey Dove Mushroom & Goat Cheese Crostini

1/2 pound Grey Dove or other Oyster mushrooms, coarsely chopped
3 cloves of garlic — 2 smashed and left whole, 1 minced
3 small or 1 large green onion, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
½ cup of fresh chives, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons butter
3 ounces goat cheese, softened by leaving at room temperature while cooking
Sliced Ciabatta bread or French baguette rounds, lightly toasted

1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onions and chives; cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, until fragrant and becoming tender.
2. Add 1 remaining tablespoon butter; add mushrooms and gently toss with spoon. Add a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
3. While mushrooms cook, toast bread. Lower heat to low after 5 minutes.
4.Once bread toasts and is still warm, spread with goat cheese.
5. Check mushrooms to ensure they are tender. Remove from heat and spoon warm mushroom mixture over goat cheese topped bread.

Shiitake: Sure the spelling makes us giggle, but shiitake mushrooms have so much more to offer. They are great for cardiovascular health and are a fantastic source of non-animal based iron. Shiitake mushrooms have a buttery flavor and are traditionally used in miso soup.  They also make a great addition to Asian noodle dishes.

Non-GMO Verified Product Spotlight: Theo Chocolate

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The Moscow Food Co-op is proud to be a participating retailer with the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit dedicated to scientifically testing products to see if they contain GMOs. Be sure to look for the Non-GMO Project Verified label around the store to be sure that the product has been tested and is free of GMOs. To learn more about GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) visit www.nongmoproject.org.

Theo Chocolate is the first organic and fair trade “bean-to-bar” chocolate factory in North America. Beginning in 2006, The Chocolate set out to revolutionize the chocolate industry.  They are dedicated to sustainable, fair practices, make small batches of their chocolate and hold themselves to the highest standards for organic and fair trade practices.  To learn more about the passion behind Theo chocolate visit their website.