Preserve Our Food, Preserve Our Planet


As summer winds slowly die down and our sunlight begins to dwindle so does our beloved growing season here in Colorado. Though modern conveniences such as refrigerators, freezers, supermarkets and mass food distribution companies create a world of food accessibility and the illusion of a year-round growing season, there use to be a time when we didn’t have such luxuries and surviving through the winter relied heavily on food preservation and storage.

Much to our dismay, we are literally living in a time where we are seeing and feeling the effects of our consumption and watching our world’s finite resources, such as oil reserves, water-tables and land, decline and degrade, while simultaneously seeing costs increase.

Fortunately for us, the art of food preservation has not been lost. Preserving foods through methods such as canning, smoking, salting, drying and fermenting, not only provide us with delicious and nutritious foods with long shelf lives and no need for chemical-based food preservatives, but also helps us lower our overall carbon footprint. Preserving food at home lowers gas use of refrigeration storage and transportation of food from long distances, as well as lowers food waste and minimizes packaging waste that ends up in landfills.

How does one do such food preservation? One very simple and delicious method is by lacto-fermentation. This form of fermentation pickles vegetables in an oxygen-free environment in which “good” bacteria release lactic acid to produce the tangy flavor we desire. Fermented foods not only maintain high levels of nutrients already in vegetables but also increases the absorption of these nutrients and aids in the digestion of foods.

Please note that any vegetable you desire may be used in this process. At the Fort Collins Food Cooperative, we have over 30 locally sources fruits and vegetables available this time of year. We have local green beans and carrots from Native Hill Farm, garlic, cucumbers, and green peppers from Sunspot Urban Farm, cabbage and hot peppers from Ole Dern Farm, onions from Fossil Creek Farms and much, much more for your fermenting pleasure. We also carry over a hundred different spices in our bulk department, as well as a variety of iodine-free salts such as sea salt and Himalayan pink salt that are packed with essential minerals that keep our bodies strong.

Here is a recipe published by the web-resource, The Kitchn, written by Emily Han.


Lacto-Fermented Mixed Pickles

Serves 8

3 tablespoons sea salt, pickling salt, or kosher salt (see Recipe Notes)
1 quart water (see Recipe Notes)
1 cup small cauliflower florets
1 cup carrot chunks or slices
1 cup red bell pepper chunks or slices
1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1-2 grape leaves (optional, to help keep pickles crisp)

Combine salt and water in a measuring cup and stir until the salt is dissolved. (You can heat the water first to make the salt easier to dissolve, but it’s not necessary. Let it come to room temperature before making the pickles.)

Place the remaining ingredients in a very clean, large jar (a half-gallon mason jar works well). Pour the salt water over the vegetables, leaving at least 1 inch of headspace at the top of the jar. If necessary, add more water to cover the vegetables. (Optionally, place a small bowl or jar on top of the vegetables to hold them under the brine.)

Cover the jar tightly and let it stand at room temperature. About once a day, open the jar to taste the pickles and release gases produced during fermentation. If any mold or scum has formed on the top, simply skim it off. (If using a jar fitted with an airlock, you don’t need to “burp” it; just open occasionally to taste.)

When pickles taste to your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator. They will continue to ferment very slowly, but cold storage will largely halt fermentation. As a fermented food, these pickles will last for quite some time, at least a month or longer.

Recipe Notes:

  • Salt: Use salt that is free of iodine and/or anti-caking agents, which can inhibit fermentation.
  • Water: Chlorinated water can inhibit fermentation, so use spring, distilled, or filtered water if you can. It is also recommended to rinse the vegetables in un-chlorinated water rather than tap water.

Happy food preserving!


For the Love of All That Is ‘Whole–y’: Food


Next Wednesday the 23rd signifies the Autumnal Equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere, as we harvest and celebrate the fruits (veggies and whole grains) of our labor.

With a healthy heaping of satire and a (whole) grain of salt, this week I ponder: What is the difference between Whole Foods and ‘whole–y’ foods?

To this I respond: How much of your (soul’s) paycheck is spent after shopping!

At the Fort Collins Food Co–op, your favorite, friendly, natural grocery store, since 1972, we do our best to emphasize the local, hometown heroes who provide wholesome foods, liquid life elixirs, and other healing products we sell (as distinguished by the various blue ‘L’/product cards in bulk and produce). A fun Food Co-op fact: all this “local business” consists of more than 20% of our overall sales and upwards of 40% of what we as a Food Co–op purchase directly from the farmer/vendor.

When you choose to purchase Wisdom’s eggs and/or poultry, you are supporting a local family–owned and operated farm from Huxton, CO where chickens live in a “stress-free environment with full access to water that comes directly from our deep well [and are] given full access to the fresh air and sunshine of the great outdoors.”

When you select produce from Native Hill Farm, located in Laporte, you are supporting not only this fantastic farm that continues to offer the highest quality veggies, but you are also investing in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, which allows increased accessibility and affordability for individuals/families to obtain nutritious food.

When you decide to try Turtle Mountain kombucha/tea/kimchi, you are literally supporting your life with these probiotic products (from its Greek origins, bios meaning life and pro– meaning in support of). What’s more, you are supporting a woman–owned, Fort Collins startup that recycles beer bottles for all of its kombucha creations. Backing bacteria has never been more beneficial.

We, the foodies of the Food Co–op, exist as individuals with a mind of our own, choosing to share the profits and the losses in this cooperative investment in the heartfelt whole.

For the love of all that is ‘whole–y’, the next time you are fixin’ to go to Whole Foods, consider supporting our community’s organically homegrown shop and see for yourself what’s in store with our envisioned relocation (r)evolution!


Savings! Sales! And a New Fall Deli Menu!

Did you know? Have you heard? Food Co-op Member-Owners are now receiving 10% off all day, everyday. This offers excludes Produce, Deli, already discounted items and other sale offers. Last August, Member-Owners received a total of $82.50 dollars worth of savings for the entire month. Thanks to our new 10% savings Member-Owners received a total of $3805 dollars worth of savings in August of 2015. Member-Ownership is always encouraged and are all welcome to shop Co-op.

Hey guess what? It’s September and that means new sales! Bulk is still beautiful with over 20 different items on sale including; Golden Temple Low Fat Granola, Roasted and Salted Pistachios, and Penne Pasta.

Grocery sales are getting sassy with $1.60 off Blue Sky Organic Cola, $2.00 dollars off Garden of Eatin’ Blue Corn Chips, and $2.30 off Barbara’s Bakery Shredded Wheat Cereal.

Refrigerated has $1.30 off on Straus Family Creamery yogurt and Body Care has Tom’s Of Maine Mouthwash on sale for a $1.40 off its retail price.

Our Fall Deli menu is in full swing with some new sandwich choices. Also, it’s cloudy with a chance of soup will take affect when our Colorado weather becomes more brisk.

Swing into the Food Co-op for more additional in-store savings, more information on Member-Ownership, and a hand out of our Fall deli menu. All of these are also available online at


Ain’t No Ordinary Onion

Facebook_Picture_OnionOf all the vegetables on this planet, the onion may be the most widely acclaimed of them all, being of precious dietary significance as far back as 5000 BC to being just as important to this day. Belonging to the allium family, a cousin to other household favorites such as garlic and shallots, it is estimated that over 9,000,000 acres of onions are grown annually, far exceeding any of its relatives.

Onions are denoted by their pungent flavor, dry papery outer skin, and their indistinguishable layered and bulbous body. Though a variety of wild and domesticated types of onions exist, yellow onions are the most commonly produced today, followed by red and white onions, each maintaining their own unique taste profile and culinary use.

While the vast and flavorful culinary uses for onions are undeniable, being used raw, sautéed, pickled or baked, they provide outstanding health benefits as well. Onions are high in vitamin C and an excellent source of dietary fiber and folic acid. They also contain a unique antioxidant compound called, quercetin. Quercetin has been shown to help eliminate free radicals that cause cell damage which can lead to cancer, as well as serve as protection from heart disease.

At the Fort Collins Food Co-op we carry yellow and red onions year-round, as well as do our best to provide local onions from neighboring farms such as Fossil Creek Farms and Native Hill Farm during the later summer months and into the autumn season. Don’t forget to try the infamous onions’ cousins too, such the mild and beautiful shallot or hard-neck purple garlic from Sunspot Urban Farm grown just a mile away.

Want to try something new? How about making your own caramelized onions to add a little gourmet to your home-cooked meals.

Prep time: 10 mins                            Cook time: 45 mins

Yields about 1 cup of caramelized onions


2 medium onions (yellow, white or red based on preference)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Cut onions in half and slice thinly
  2. Melt butter in medium frying pan over low-medium heat until foaming
  3. Add onions evenly over pan and allow to cook slowly, stirring occasionally until golden brown. (about 45 minutes) If sticking or burning starts to occur, lower the heat.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool
  5. Enjoy on top of sandwiches, meats or pizza, topped on soups, or on its own!

The trick is to let them cook slowly, allowing the sugars to come out naturally.


Sincerely, Isabella


Natural Immunization Awareness Month


August is now the month of National Immunization Awareness here in the United States, where conventional immunization often entails making a (rather dreadful, although seemingly necessary) trip to the doctor’s office. Where waiting longer than expected to receive a painfully arm–/leg–numbing needle injection of some vaccine that will most likely cost you an arm and a leg is quite common.

What I suggest, as the title of this post subtly alludes to, is to consider the natural healing process of sustaining ourselves (the kind that doesn’t require being poked with pointy, micro–poisonous objects), with a focus on the interpersonal relationships we each have with one another.

As we know, the body (and the mind) constantly seeks equilibrium, some semblance of balance in a world of designated duality, polar opposites and temporal extremes.

Vaccines introduce into the biochemical equation an ‘agent’, which “stimulates the body’s immune system to recognize the agent as a threat, destroy it, and keep a record of it, so that the immune system can more easily recognize and destroy any of these microorganisms that it later encounters.”

Now, I invite you to think about a time when someone (including yourself) harmed you (un)intentionally in some way, whether it was verbally, (non)verbally, physically, or emotionally.

Did you not need some time to allow the toxic dosage of that interaction to seep and circulate throughout your body, to experience it deeply and fully, however much it may have hurt, in order for your healing mechanisms to perform nothing short of a miracle?

There is so much emphasis in our modernized society to do things to be happy, which oftentimes comes at the expense of being happy while doing things.

While we may think we are separate individuals, we are never completely immune from the ills of our society, from the ilk that is our humanity, from the ink that shares our story.

We are interconnected reflections, boosting our collective immune system with simple smiles and sincere acts of kindness (suggested daily, repeat as necessary.)

Jordan encourages you to be happy and healthy by acknowledging your body’s intuitive healing process, with the help of a cornucopia of local, organic food, medicinal herbs, essential/body oils, locally made tinctures, and other organic remedies you will most excellently find at the Fort Collins Food Co–op. BlogWriterFooter_Jordan

Ask the Doc: The effects of breastfeeding on the intestinal flora of infants

The effects of breastfeeding on the intestinal flora of infants

At birth, the gut of an infant it filled with sterile amniotic fluid. If the baby is born vaginally, they acquire flora from their mom. The baby also acquires some from the air, nursing staff, equipment and from other babies, as well as through breast milk. The gut flora of breastfed newborns are more stable and more uniformed than that of formula-fed babies (Bezirtzoglou et al.,2011). Introducing formula or solid food to breastfed infant causes their flora to become more like that of a formula-fed baby.

Breastfed infants have a lower incidence of diarrhea, infant necrotizing enterocolitis, allergies (but not asthma) and autoimmune diseases in childhood than formula-fed infants. Adults who were breastfed as infants have a reduced risk of inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. For those moms who don’t breastfeed, adding probiotics and prebiotics (the food for the micro flora) to their baby’s formula causes their flora to become more like that of a breast-fed infant.

As babies grow, they go through growth spurts, causing them to need to suckle for long periods of time. Conscientious moms often discontinue breastfeeding when this occurs, thinking that something must be wrong and that their baby will starve if they continue. The action of the baby suckling stimulates the production of more milk. If the mother is drinking plenty of water, isn’t under excessive stress and has the time to allow the baby suckle as needed, her milk supply will increase and then the baby won’t need to nurse as often (until the next growth spurt). Many new moms find it helpful to attend La Leche league meetings, hire a lactation consultant or see a naturopathic doctor (see

Submitted by Joan D Waters, ND


Changing of the Sales Tag guard, Monthly Sales, and Member-Owner savings

Can you believe it? It’s August already! August is indeed here and that means new monthly sales. Stop in and…

Save $5.00 on bulk cashews, only $7.99 per pound

Save $3.00 on Izzes’ soda, only $3.99 for a 4 pack

Save $9.20 on organic olive oil, only $10.99 for 25.4 fl oz container.

Save $10.26 on Seventh Generation laundry detergent, only $10.99 for a 2.95 Liter container and many more items throughout the entire store.

Not only did August bring new monthly sales, but it also introduced two new Co-op features.

We’ve replaced our red monthly sales tags with neon orange shelf tags. Keep your eyes peeled for the orange, traffic cone like, rectangle sales sign throughout the store and save big your favorite items.

Our other Co-op improvement features up to date Member-Owners receiving 10% off everyday, all day, on every full priced item, throughout the entire store. This offer does exclude monthly sales and already discounted items. We do ask our wonderful Co-op Member-Owners to be up to date on their monthly Member-Owner dues beginning  in September 2015.

Everyone is welcome to shop at the Food Co-op and Member-Ownership is always encouraged. It only takes a few minutes to join the Food Co-op and the investment in your community is priceless.


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