DIY Idea: Brown Paper Packages…

Make more of a visual impact with less environmental impact this holiday season by wrapping your gifts in brown paper Co-op bags. We’re sure you have a few of those grocery bags laying around your house, so why not give them a new use? We removed the handles, cut the bottoms out of a few bags and wrapped our gifts with a variety of adornments. Here’s five ideas to help you step up your gift-giving game:

… tied up with string.
You can use cotton twine, sometimes referred to as baker’s twine, to tie up your pretty packages

EcoWrapTwine

… with foraged adornments.
Snip a few leaves, twigs and berries to give your gifts a naturally festive feeling

EcoWrapForage

… scented with herbs.
Place a few sprigs of fresh herbs on top of your packages to add greenery and savory scent.
EcoWrapHerbs
… with stamped polka dots.
Jazz up your holiday gifts by taking the eraser on a new pencil, pressing it into an ink pad and stamping your paper. Tip: Stamp paper before your wrap your gift for ease.
EcoWrapPolkaDots
… wrapped up with raffia.
Take a few strands of raffia and tie a big bow around your box. Separate the strands with your fingers to make your bows fuller.
EcoWrapRaffia

 

Warm Your Head, Hands and Heart

It’s time to start thinking about how you’ll bundle up this fall and winter and we want to make sure you’re stylish while you do it. We offer not only beautiful, high quality knits, but fair-trade and sustainably produced knits, to boot.

WellnessDepKnits

Top Row, Ganesh Himal Trading Co.: Founded in 1984 in Nepal, Ganesh Himal Trading Co. set out to create a business that empowered marginalized populations, like women and refugees. 30 years later, they are a part of the Fair Trade Federation, an organization dedicated to promoting respect and fair interaction, at all levels, between producers and consumers. Why will this line of knits make you feel extra cozy? Ric and Denise, the founders of Ganesh Himal Trading Co. say,”We have always felt that for profit businesses can be as good at modeling “fair trade” as non-profit businesses and so have tried to incorporate that diversity in our own model of who we partner with.” Be sure to bundle up with their hats mittens and scarves this season. To learn more about Ganesh Himal Trading Co. click here.
Middle Row, PACT: PACT has set out to not only provide people with beautiful socks, tights and clothing, they are also on an educational mission to inform consumers about the hardworking farmers behind the garments they wear. PACT wants to remind us that just as food doesn’t come from a grocery store, clothing doesn’t come from a department store- the cotton used to make clothing begins in a farmer’s field. They use strictly Non-GMO cotton seed, wind energy and non-toxic water-based dyes that aren’t harmful to the environment. And on top of all the good they do for the planet, the folks who work for them are treated and paid fairly. Slip into their organic cotton socks. Your feet will thank you. For more PACT and their efforts to create sustainable goods click here.
Bottom Row, AndesGifts: AndesGifts has set out to prove that affordable, high quality, handmade products don’t have to come at the price of sacrificing ethically and sustainably sourced goods. They work closely with the women of Bolivia and Peru to create models that are most beneficial to their communities. They abide by the principles of fair trade, giving their hundreds of knitters opportunities for education, better diet and the pride of providing for their families. AndesGifts makes a variety of hats, scarves and legwarmers for both kids and adults. Go ahead and wrap your little monster up in the monster hats and mittens from AndesGifts. To learn more about AndesGifts and their work in South America click here.

5-Spot: Reasons to Support Hemp Farming in the US

5SpotHemp
Written by Sarah Quallen

While hemp holds a special place in some of our hearts—mine included—from the bracelets and necklaces that were staple accessories in the 90s, the growing and harvesting of hemp has actually been a very controversial topic over the years. Here are a few reasons to support hemp farming in America:
1. Hemp grows like a weed. For farmers, this means a high rate of production. Hemp grows quickly, and it does not require a lot of space to do so, meaning more product grows on smaller plots of land in less time. In fact, according to the Hemp History Week campaign, while American farmers often net less than $50 per acre for soy and corn, Canadian farmers just across the border net an average of $200-400 per acre for hemp. And, even better—Yes! It gets better!—it grows well in a wide range of soil types and climates.
2. Hemp is a super food. Blueberries, shmooberries! Toss some hemp hearts on your salad, put hemp seeds in your energy bar, or use hemp seed oil for cooking. It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids and it’s a complete protein to boot. (Just kidding about the blueberries, of course. Eat those, too!)
3. Hemp is good for the soil. Because of its weed-like qualities, growing hemp does not require pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. It also does not require a lot of water to grow, and its resiliency can actually help to clean polluted soil. It’s so good at cleaning soil that it was among the plants used to clean the soil and groundwater after Chernobyl. Plus, hemp absorbs CO2 through photosynthesis, which could reduce greenhouse gases.
4. Hemp can be made into plastic. According to Hemp.com, hemp plastic is so durable it can be used to make cars! It’s stronger, lighter, and less expensive than fiberglass. Plus, it’s recyclable. With just a small portion of our farmland, we can replace production of billions of oil-based plastic water bottles with compostable hemp bottles.
5. Hemp can be made into fabric. Durable and comfortable, hemp fabric can be added to the list of excellent natural fibers next to cotton and linen. And twine—for necklaces, of course!
To date, 23 states have passed pro-industrial hemp legislation, which means the United States will soon be producing more hemp products, thereby creating jobs built around the hemp industry. Since Americans import as much as $11.5 million worth of hemp from China and Canada each year, it’s a good bet that hemp farming will be a sustainable and profitable industry for our country.
To find out more about hemp, including its history and uses, check out Hemp History Week at hemphistoryweek.com.

From the Market: Radish Dip

RadishDip
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.

Beet Read: The Omnivore’s Dilemma

omnivores_dilemma_by_michael_pollan1

Written By Rachel Clark, Good Food Book Club Volunteer Coordinator
Join us in reading the June Co-op Good Food Book Club book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan. The Book Club will meet Sunday, June 29, from 7-8:30 p.m. at a member’s private residence to discuss The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions. Already a signature, key contribution not just to food writing, but to the now central platform of sustainable resilience, Michael Pollan’s groundbreaking The Omnivore’s Dilemma (2006) is as important today as it was almost a decade ago when it was released.

At the time it went to print, Publishers Weekly said, “Pollan examines what he calls ‘our national eating disorder’ (the Atkins craze, the precipitous rise in obesity) in this remarkably clearheaded book. It’s a fascinating journey up and down the food chain, one that might change the way you read the label on a frozen dinner, dig into a steak or decide whether to buy organic eggs. You’ll certainly never look at a Chicken McNugget the same way again. Pollan approaches his mission not as an activist but as a naturalist: ‘The way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world.’” These days, it’s easy to imagine that Pollan’s work, particularly with The Omnivore’s Dilemma, has profoundly shifted (and continues to shift) many Americans’ relationship with food. And with food justice. Because as his writings spotlighted in The Omnivore’s Dilemma and beyond, the way we grow, choose, and eat our food is profoundly, inextricably linked to human, non-human, and environmental justice across all facets of the system: from loss or growth of soil, to pollution or healing of waterways, to unspeakable animal brutalities or thriving, healthy, animals, to dire climate change or halting carbon pollution. They all hinge on our food. And each is a choice.

Come join us to discuss what’s happened since the book first came out, and how it remains relevant today. We’ll meet to talk about The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Penguin, 2006) by Michael Pollan Sunday, June 29 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.
GOOD NEWS! A generous donor, who knows the importance of Pollan’s book, bestowed us with free copies of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Please email bookclub@moscowfood.coop to reserve your copy. Limited copies available: first come, first served. The Omnivore’s Dilemma is also available through your local library. If you need to buy the book, check out the area’s local used bookstores 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 Community section of the Co-op website at www.moscowfood.coop.

5-Spot: Fair Trade Coffee

FairTradeCoffee2The 5 Spot: Reasons to Choose Fair Trade Coffee
written by Sarah Quallen, Volunteer Writer

Coffee is the one of the world’s most heavily traded commodities, which means world production is huge. It also means that in order to keep up with increasing demand for coffee, farmers were (and still are) growing coffee at a rate that is not sustainable. Yet, sustainability is imperative if we are to continue producing enough coffee to satisfy demands. Fortunately, coffee is also the most rapidly growing fair trade commodity.

Why should you choose fair trade coffee? Here’s five reasons:
1. Buying fair trade coffee supports small farms: Fair trade coffee tends to be grown on smaller farms regardless of whether or not the farm is officially organic. Smaller farms mean that the farmers are usually also the landowners and that more money is going directly to them rather than to corporations. Which leads us to…

2. More of your money goes to the farmers: Fair trade coffee farmers get paid more money per pound of coffee they sell than do conventional coffee farmers. Many fair trade cooperatives use the money gained through fair trade to enrich, support and empower their communities. For example, the Alto Occidente Coffee Cooperative of Caldas (CCAOC) in Columbia—from whom Equal Exchange purchased their first container of coffee in 1995—includes a five cent per pound premium which the cooperative allocates for social programs directed toward women and children, education, environmental preservation and organic farming projects.

3. Fair trade coffee is sustainable: An additional goal of the fair trade movement beyond paying farmers more is to promote sustainable farming. Farmers who belong to a fair trade coffee cooperative are required to use less chemical fertilizer, to prevent erosion, and to protect forests.

4. Purchasing fair trade coffee means “buying into the system”: While most people feel positively about fair treatment, many are not willing to spend the extra money on fair trade products, which means corporations are not promoting fair trade coffee. When more fair trade coffee is purchased, more will be produced.

5. Fair trade standards support human rights: By restricting the number of hours a person can work, ensuring a safe working environment and guaranteeing fair compensation for coffee and labor, fair trade workers are granted a higher quality of life. 

*Information for this article was gleaned from Brewing Justice: Fair Trade Coffee, Sustainability, and Survival by Daniel Jaffee and from Making the Food Trade Work for All by Daniel Gonzales, and from Equal Exchange (equalexchange.coop).

5 Uses for Coffee Grounds

UsesForCoffeeGrounds

After you’ve enjoyed your coffee for the day, put the grounds to good use. Here’s 5 ways how:
1. Add the grounds to your compost for a healthy dose of acidity.
2. Mix coffee grounds with olive, vitamin E or mineral oil and exfoliate dry skin.
3. Has your home been invaded by an army of ants? Sprinkle coffee grounds around doors and porches to repel them.
4. If your hands seem to perpetually smell like onions or garlic from cooking, wash hands and scrub with coffee grounds. They’re great for neutralizing odors.
5. If neighborhood cats think your garden is the best litter box ever, mix coffee grounds with orange peels and sprinkle into soil. The pungent odor will keep cats looking elsewhere.

Celebrate World Fair Trade Day With Us!

FairTradeCollage

World Fair Trade Day, an initiative of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), is a worldwide festival of events celebrating fair trade as a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty, climate change and the economic crisis that has the greatest impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations. This year’s theme is “Fair Trade People”, meaning there is a strong emphasis on the farmers and producers of fair trade, as well as on us, the consumers.

Today we’re celebrating World Fair Trade Day with Alaffia, Alter Eco, Divine Chocolate, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Equal Exchange, Guayaki Yerba Mate and Maggie’s Organics. All these brands are committed to fair trade through their entire supply chains supporting small family farmers and trade justice policies. 

Look for great deals on fair trade products at the Co-op today through May 20, when the manufacturers have agreed to donate 1 percent of purchases made at our Co-op to Root Capital. Root Capital is a nonprofit social investment fund that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America by lending capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses. The National Cooperative Grocers Association will be matching the manufacturers’ donations as well. Learn more about Root Capital at www.rootcapital.org.

The WFTO is asking us, the consumers, to spread the word by making a poster using their online poster generating app and sharing it on social media. It’s simple! Visit www.wfto.com/wftday/people and upload a photo of yourself. Add your role in the fair trade movement—even if you don’t have a professional role, you’re still a “supporter” or a “campaigner”—and a message that you want to share with your friends. Click submit, and your poster will appear. Share your photo with the Moscow Food Co-op’s Facebook page for the chance to win a fair trade prize!

Celebrate Fair Trade: Alaffia

AlaffiaThe Co-op prides itself on sourcing items which utilize fair trade practices whenever possible. This means that we can ensure workers are paid a fair wage, that they work in clean and safe conditions and that the environment is treated with care. Founded in 2003, Alaffia is a US-based company that focuses on women’s empowerment, community development and the cooperative model. They utilize traditional methods for harvesting shea nuts and turning them into shea butter which is used in a variety of skincare products. To learn more about Alaffia, their practices and empowerment projects visit www.alaffia.com.