The Curious Kohlrabi


With a name as strange and unfamiliar as its appearance, this surprisingly light and versatile vegetable has its roots in the cruciferous vegetable family, the same family as some of our household favorites such as broccoli and cabbage. Kohlrabi is a large bulbous steam vegetable with a mild and delicate mustard flavor and crisp texture similar to that of an apple.

Kohlrabi has made most of its claim to fame in Germany and other Eastern European cuisine but has a long culinary history in Asia as well. Here in America, this mysterious and mostly unknown vegetable has yet to make its mark on our dinner plates unlike a lot of its cousins such as kale and cauliflower.

Though unfamiliar, kohlrabi has many known benefits to make it a worthy component to anyone’s diet. Known as a cool season crop, this fast growing vegetable can tolerate light frosts in the garden as well as can withstand temperatures up to 85 degrees making it suitable for most temperaments and ready for harvest in the spring and fall. Not only is kohlrabi a great addition to the garden, it also supplies amazing nutritional and health benefits packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Just like other cruciferous vegetables, kohlrabi is high in dietary fiber which aides in digestive health and helps regulate blood sugar. It is also high in minerals such as potassium, copper and iron that are essential for proper nerve and muscle function, as well as contains anti-oxidant components that are protective against cancer.

At first this vegetable may look intimidating and hard to use, but when it’s outer covering is peeled off, it can be used in most cooking methods, as well as eaten raw. It can be baked, sautéed, broiled, used in stuffing, roasted and even grilled on a kabob. The leaves can be eaten too, used similarly to or in place of kale.

Here at the Fort Collins Food Co-op we offer green and purple kohlrabi varieties sold by the pound from some of our favorite local farms, such as Native Hill Farm.

3 simple ways to enjoy kohlrabi:

  1. Eat raw with either shredded in a salad or alone chopped in big chucks lightly sprinkled in salt.
  1. Throw into a chunky vegetable soup, or pureed with potatoes, spices and cream.
  1. Enjoy as a hash patter or as a fitter shredded and mixed with an egg and flour and fried in a pan.



Are you a Member-Owner? Yes, I am!

Whether you are fully financially invested in the Food Co–op, currently well on your way with quarterly payments, or simply a casual convenience shopper, chances are you’ve been asked at the register: “Are you a member–owner of the Food Co-op?”

No matter the answer, it’s *always* okay, because anyone and everyone is welcome to shop at the Food Co-op.

I’ve contemplated, this seemingly innocent question, and upon my reflection I have come to some conclusions.

The common replies I hear from nonmember–owners range from the straightforward “No, I’m not” to the guilt–tinged “No…but I should be” to the indecisive optimist “Not yet…I’m thinking about it”.

Still, I’ve noticed Member–Owners respond with positive affirmation: “Yes, I am.”

I may as well be asking: Are you a supporter a locally engaged business? Who possess global principles that emphasize independent, voluntary, democratic participation? And are you a concerned, educated, trained, and well-informed community leader?

I could very well be asking: Are you a citizen of this earth, who is on some subtle level, aware that each one of us play an important role and possess a higher responsibility to a healthy mind and health conscious society?

I would like to be asking: Are you doing your personal best each day and night to become the person you know exists in your heart and at your very core?

As marvelous human beings, not merely human doings, we must respond to the wake–up calls of negativity with persistent positivity. Even if and especially when that response involves a repetitive question: Are you a Member–Owner of the Food Co-op?

Yes, I am!

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Jordan is a Food Co–op Chronicle staff writer who sometimes simply offers hearty slices of New York–style sass, including this fine–print follow–up to the asterisks above: *forgot your wallet? fuhgeddabowdit!*

Maintaining Gut Health while Traveling Abroad

When traveling abroad, your immune system encounters exotic pathogens for which it is unprepared, increasing your risk of infection.

When our immune system recognizes a new pathogen (potentially harmful microorganism), it makes memory B cells so that the next time we encounter that organism, the body rapidly makes antibodies to it. As we grow, we develop memory B cells for all the pathogens that we have been exposed to, allowing our body to react rapidly to them, often without us knowing it is occurring. When abroad, we don’t have this protection because we are encountering some pathogens for the first time. For this reason, we need to be more careful about what we eat and drink and the water we swim in while we are abroad.

Stomach acid kills most pathogens that we ingest. If you are taking a proton pump inhibitor or other acid-blocking agent, you are more susceptible to infection. You may want to consider suggesting to your doctor that you begin taking it between meals instead of before you eat. Taking an apple cider vinegar tablet (available at Fort Collins Food Coop) before each meal has been shown to stimulate the production of stomach acid, which, in turn, stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes. The body needs to be in a relaxed state to enable the stomach to produce enough acid to kill pathogens and digest food. Prayer, deep breathing or meditation may help you relax.

Taking a probiotic (available at Fort Collins Food Coop) will help prevent colonization of a pathogen in the intestines. The probiotic bacteria will fill the spaces vacated by bacteria that die, crowding out pathogens, preventing their attachment, and allowing them to pass right through you.

By Joan D Waters, naturopathic doctor


There’s a New Sale in Town

Greetings Food Cooperative shoppers,

There’s a new sale in town this month, so mosey on down to the Food Co-op for savings on your favorite products, from your favorite Food Cooperative.

Bulk is blowing up with savings on large cashew pieces only $7.99/lb, Millet is just .99 cents/lb, and Members – Owners save on freshly ground, organic peanut butter only $3.99/lb.

Grocery sales are heating up with Garden of Eatin’ Red Hot Blues corn chips on sale for 2/$5, Blue Sky Cherry Vanilla Crème soda is on sale for $3.49 a savings of $2.80, and Organic Spectrum Extra Virgin Olive Oil is on sale for just $10.99 a savings of $11.00.

Frozen is staying cool with sea salt caramel and mediterranean mint, Talenti Gelato ice cream, being on sale for just $4.80, a savings of $1.60.

Click the image below for additional sales information on Body Care, Supplements, and Local products on sale. For even more additional sales information on all sales products, come on down to the Food Co-opMonthlyHotDeals_BannerJuly_sales

The Radical Radish

by Isabella Sisseros

The origin of the radish is quite vague, but it’s speculated that the notorious bulbous red root we know today, as well as the varieties that are less common to us, has its beginnings spread across the ancient worlds of Greece, Egypt and China.

Radish skin color ranges from white, pink, red, and purple to green to black, but all contain white flesh. The size of a radish can also range. Some radish have been known to be anywhere from one inch in diameter or longer for round roots, to three inches or more for long slender roots. Some daikon radishes can even grow as long as a foot or more in length.

Today, most of us recognize the iconic small circular variety, with its deep red skin, white flesh and spicy bite. Though this may be the most common to us, other regions of the world, such as China and Spain, enjoy other varieties. Spaniards favor the black radish, where daikon radishes are more commonly eaten in China.

Apart from the radish’s aesthetic appeal, crunchy texture and fresh spicy flavor, they provide great nutritional benefits. The radish is packed with essential nutrients such as vitamin C, which has anti-oxidant properties as well as vitamin B6. Other essential nutrients include: fiber, folate, potassium, calcium and magnesium, which help keep our bodies well supported and strong.

The Fort Collins Food Cooperative carries multiple types of radishes throughout the growing season. Look for local red radishes from farms such as Native Hill, or beautiful purple, white and pink radish bundles from Ol’ Dern, as well as, organic black radish and daikon to incorporate a more ethnic feel to your cuisine.

Try these Radical Radish recipes:

Try radishes grated fresh over salads or slice thinly and add to the top of sandwiches.

Eat them raw or pickled for a light snack.

Use daikon radishes in homemade kimchi.

Cut black radishes into match sticks and fry to make radish fries.

Slice or chop radishes to steam, sauté or grill then spice with rosemary, pepper and garlic for a side dish.



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Isabella Sisneros is a Fort Collins Food Cooperative employee who holds a bachelor’s of science degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Colorado State University. She has spent the past six years studying food systems and has acquired knowledgeable experience in local sustainable agriculture, food justice and community nutrition outreach.

Jordan’s left~write brain: You were born ready, are you brain ready?

Hello Food Cooperative blog reader,

My name is Jordan and I am a Fort Collins Food Co-op staff member, who is deeply committed to being a long–term, integral part of the Food Co-op’s staff, member-owner, and family. As one of the handful of ‘lefties’ aspiring to do the ‘right’ thing at the co–op, I try to bring creative, refreshening energy and multi–cultural awareness to the eco–centric Food Co-op crew.

In this series of posts I will integrate both left–brain exposés & right–brain explorations into all things cooperative.

On a daily basis, the Fort Collins Food Co-op contributes locally to the higher function of Fort Collins, as well as, globally to the international cooperative model. The cooperative standard, that grows greater within the predominantly broken business system, is what inspires me to continue seeking parts to play in any and all solutions that focus on shifting from an obsolete, industrialized paradigm of “many separated me’s” toward a critically thinking mass of “one interdependent we” that I call a ‘whole~food/soul~full’ movement of the people, for the planet, with the profit.

This weekend, we northern–hemisphere folks celebrate the summer solstice, which not only is considered the longest day of the year, due to the extensive hours of sunlight, but it also coincides with Father’s Day. What’s more, June is Men’s Health Month.

For sure, masculine energy is in full schwing…er, i mean, swing.

Now, when I think of men’s health, I think of photoshopped images of hyper-masculine figures on the cover of Men’s Health Magazine. The featured stories promoting distorted diets and unrealistic body image trends are indeed, underlying misogynistic tones of what it means to be an ideal man in our society.

This month is dedicated to men’s health and yet how can we be fully aware of men’s health without exploring mental health? And, how can we fully encompass mental health without also including women, as well?

What seems to affect many men and women alike have their root cause in the mind’s misperceptions.

When masculine and feminine energy is inherently intertwined with-in the human spectrum of expression, the question is: How well do these forces of nature cooperate within you?

Jordan is a mixed–media lover of learning, a whimsical wordsmith who mindfully crafts meanings, facilitates “aha moments” & enjoys writing in first–person about his subjective life, although sometimes the objective, universal experience of the third–person (omniscient) perspective prefers to make an appearance, such as it likes to do. Jordan feels most alive & interconnected when authentically sharing our human experience(s)…whatever that means!

Ask the Doc: June is Men’s Health Month


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common concern for men that is not limited to the elderly. The Massachusetts Male Aging study revealed that 52% of men experience ED, including 40% of 40-year old men. ED is sometimes an early warning sign of diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension or hormonal imbalance. This article will focus on strategies you can take to prevent ED and possibly overcome it without the use of drugs.

Substances that may cause or contribute to ED include certain prescription drugs, excessive consumption of alcohol, cigarette smoking, amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana and BPA. Prolonged pressure on the perineum from long bike rides may contribute as well. Unresolved anger, anxiety, stress and depression can also contribute to ED. Stress management techniques and/or psychotherapy, with or without your partner, may help in these situations.

Dietary considerations for ED: Eat a diet of whole foods, avoiding all refined sugars, and refined foods in general. Consider a Mediterranean diet. Eat a small amount of protein with each meal and snack to minimize blood sugar peaks and troughs.

Use organic, non-GMO oils in a 2:1 ratio of omega-6 to 3 oils. For most of us, this means increasing our omega-3s and decreasing our omega-6 oils. Examples of healthy sources of omega-3 oils are flaxseed oil, walnut oil and fatty fish. Use only high smoke-point oils (grape seed, macadamia nut and sesame seed, etc) for stir-frying and other high-heat cooking. The Fort Collins Food Co-operative has a wide selection of these healthy oils.

Eating 100 grams of pistachio nuts per day for 3 weeks has been shown to improve ED ( Aldemir, etal. 2011). A great selection of bulk pistachios can also be found at the Food Co-operative as well.

The take-home message is that ED is often a symptom of a more serious condition, so a thorough work up is essential.

By Joan D Waters, ND

Celebrate Earth Day, Every Day!

giftbasket7th localsaleWe have had a lot of fun celebrating Earth Day this week.  We got to meet a lot of new faces at the Sustainable Living Association’s Earth Day Fort Collins event last Saturday and Colorado State University’s Earth Day Celebration on Wednesday.   Highlighting how to shop sustainable and reduce packaging waste in our affordable bulk departments always brings a smile to my face.  My new personal favorite bulk item is Horsetooth Hot Sauce! Come and fill up and chose from four of their top sellers.

In honor of Earth Day, we hosted a 10% Off Member-Owner Sale all week!  Don’t miss your chance to save, sale ends Saturday, April 25th. (Sale excludes already discounted items) Take advantage of hundreds of local items on sale this month.

Let us help you keep your house “green” with a chance to win a Seventh Generation gift basket, valued at $100!  No purchase necessary, just fill out a form at our registers! Drawing ends on Thursday, April 30th and the winner will be announced via email on May 1st.

If you are wondering why we didn’t host our Earth Day on East Mountain event this year…have no fear! We will be honoring the Earth with our Summer Solstice Celebration on Saturday, June 20th, 2015 from 11am-5pm.  Save the date! We will have live music, kid zone activities, vendors, food trucks, veggie races, live dancers and more!  Looking forward to celebrating Earth Day, every day with you!

Caroline W. Tracz

Outreach Director

Ask the Doc: Why is Grass-fed important?

Why is Grass-fed important?

By: Joan D Waters, Naturopathic Doctor

More and more people are eating and talking about grass-fed meat and poultry…is it just a fad?

Grass-fed meat and poultry and the eggs from pastured chickens provide a natural source of Vitamin K2. The intestinal flora in animals converts chlorophyll, the green pigment in forage, to Vitamin K2. Vitamin K2, not to be confused with Vitamin K1, which is needed for clotting, removes calcium from soft tissues and deposits it into bones and teeth by activating osteocalcin, a protein found in those tissues. When activated by Vitamin K2, Osteocalcin binds to calcium and draws that calcium into the bones and teeth. Vitamins A and D are needed to cause the osteoblasts, or bone-building cells, to secrete osteocalcin. Some people believe that the increased prevalence of atherosclerosis may be associated with the buildup of calcium in soft tissues brought about by the practice of feeding cattle grain, rather than grass. More research is needed to determine whether this is true.

Vitamin K2 can be obtained naturally by eating grass fed meats and poultry, the eggs from pastured chickens, and milk, butter and cheeses from cows that are grass fed. Natto, a fermented Asian food, is also a potent source of vitamin K2. Those who can’t consume dairy may make ghee from butter made from the milk of pastured cows. It is the presence of Vitamin K2 in fatty foods that gives them their deep yellow or orange color. The Vitamin K2 content of grass-fed but grain-finished beef is much lower than in grass fed beef. When buying ‘grass-fed’ meat in a store, you may have to ask whether they were grain-finished.

We need to support our local farmers and CSAs who fill this important niche in our ecosystem – by providing meat, poultry and eggs that contain adequate amounts of Vitamin K2. Conventionally raised and processed meats cost less to produce. The government subsidizes farmers who grow certain grains so this brings the cost of grain feed down. Farmers and ranchers can raise cattle up to butchering age much more quickly if they feed them grain rather than grass, so are able to minimize the labor costs of raising each individual head of cattle. Conventionally raised cattle are often given low doses of antibiotics, which can cause antibiotic resistant bacteria to grow in these cattle. Poultry are sometimes sprayed with chlorine to kill bacteria on them. We can usually avoid these perils in our food supply when we purchase local meat, poultry and eggs from our local farmer. More on these subjects in later posts.

If you choose to supplement with Vitamin K2, 45 mg of menaquinone-4 (MK-4) three times daily or 120 mcgs of menaquinone 7 (MK-7) once daily are the recommended doses. MK-7 has a longer half-life so needs to be taken only once per day. More is not necessarily better. Since calcium is utilized for clotting and for muscle contractility, including cardiac contractility, we need to release it from the soft tissues very gradually to avoid causing other health problems. For the body to utilize Vitamin K2, we also need Vitamins A, D and E. These vitamins are all fat-soluble so they will be absorbed better when taken with food, especially with oils.

For more information on this subject, you may want to read the book entitled Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox by Kate Rheaume-Bleue.

By Joan D Waters, naturopathic doctor Practical Health Solutions 1304 S College Ave #4 Ft Collins, CO 80524


Come One. Come All!

All Member-Owners are welcome to come to the Fort Collins Old Town Library for the Board of Directors meeting this Monday February 16th from 6-8pm on the main level community room 2. This Board meeting will consist of Staff or Member Owner time, a consent agenda, a GM report, vision session, and final topics. Co-op snacks will be offered and a invigorating discussion will be had. We look forward to seeing you there!