Category Archives: Uncategorized

April is IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Awareness Month

Put-Your-Gut-on-a-Healthy-Diet-722x406.jpgIrritable bowel syndrome or IBS is one of the most common health conditions in the US affecting at least 10% of the US population.  It is often classified as a chronic condition because it often recurs after it is treated, but this doesn’t have to be the case.

The symptoms of IBS include one or more of the following: abdominal pain, cramping, flatulence, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation.

It is often possible to minimize the symptoms of IBS by cutting out high FODMAP foods.  While this is helpful in enabling the person to carry on a normal life, it is not a good long-term solution.  High fiber foods are food for the good bacteria in our large intestines. Limiting high fiber foods, such as while on a low FODMAP diet, for an extended period of time, decreases the total quantity of bacteria in the gut. A decrease in good gut bacteria leaves room for pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria to colonize, should we happen to ingest some of them. This puts us at increased risk of an infection.

The Food Co-op carries peppermint oil and peppermint tea, both of which can be helpful for the cramping pain that may occur before and during treatment of IBS.

In one study of people with IBS symptoms, 80% of them tested positive for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).  This is a condition in which there is a greater than normal amount of non-pathogenic (non-disease-causing) bacteria in the small intestine.  It is associated with the same symptoms as those associated with IBS.  While there has not been a cause and effect relationship established between IBS and SIBO, the IBS symptoms usually resolve when the SIBO is treated.  Natural medicine involves treating the cause of IBS so that it won’t recur.

For more information, contact Dr Joan Waters at Practical Health Solutions, LLC at 970-482-2010.

PractticalHealthSolutions

A Soil’s Co-operative: A Guide to Building and Maintaining Healthy Soil

As Winter’s brisk air starts to warm and March winds blow Spring in, the time to sow our seeds begin.

Here at the Food Co-op we are feeling the affects of the new season as local greens and radishes start to decorate our produce cooler. Though we mostly offer food in it’s harvested form, we find it important to share knowledge pertaining it all things food, including how and where food is produced, with our valued Co-operators. With that said and in light of the season, today we wish to share with you, especially those beginner gardeners out there, a guide to building and maintaining healthy soils

Nourishing a Living Soil Community
Soil is a living ecosystem that is home to earthworms, insects, bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. A balanced and healthy soil life produces soil nutrients, aids in controlling disease, improves soil structure, retains soil moisture and helps to reduce workload.
Should I get a soil test?
At first, soil tests can be confusing to read and may over complicate gardening. On first season beds, focus more on strengthening soil ecology.

-Soil testing is recommended after a bed’s first growing season or thereafter.

-Fertilizer needs are best determined by a soil test.

-Add fertilizer only if a nutrient is deficient and only add what is need-ed, not more.

-Support independent labs such as Logan Labs. A standard test is currently $25 dollars

Understanding Garden Happy Soil
A healthy balance of air (25%) water (25%), organic matter (3-4%) and minerals (47%) is needed for the ideal structural and functional environment for plant roots in gardens.
Soil Types
-Clay- Small particles, sticky when wet, holds water and nutrients well, poor drainage and low oxygen.
-*Loam- Dark color, soft and crumbles easily. Ideal soil type for gardening!
-Sand– Large particles, gritty, doesn’t hold water and nutrients well.
Soil pH
pH is a measure of acidity or alkalinity of a material. The pH scale ranges from 0-14, with 7 being neutral. A pH of 6.0 to 7.2 is optimal for the growth of most garden and landscape plants. How-ever, soil pH in the range of 7 to 8 is adequate for many plants, as what is commonly seen in Colorado.
The major problem created by alkaline (high pH) soils is the reduction of nutrient availability to plants.
Soil Compaction is a reduction in large pore space, which leads to…
-Decreased drainage
– Decreased oxygen levels
-Decreased rooting volume
-Limits water and nutrient uptake

Building and Maintaining Healthy Soil
Prevent Compaction
-Create walking pathways
– Stay off wet soil
– Apply organic amendment (compost)
– Avoid excess tilling, destroys soil structure
To Till or not to Till
-Tilling destroys soil community and soil structure.
– Not recommended unless starting a new bed, if necessary, only first few inches.
– Creates a bacteria dominate community, more ideal for weeds than vegetables.
The Magic of Mulch
-Maintains soil moisture/ cuts irrigation needs
-Creates and nourishes ecological environment by feeding microbes
-Blocks weeds
-Prevents erosion
Blanket the top of soil with a thick (3-4in) layer of leaves, grass clippings, wood chips, or straw.
Do not till in non-composted mulch materials.
Try using a “green manure” as a cover crop. Broad-cast seeds of clover, rye, barely, or wheat grass over your soil for nourishment and protection.

Adding Organic Matter
An organic amendment, such as compost, is an important energy source for the living soil community such as bacteria, fungi and earthworms.
Organic matter improves soil structure in both sandy and clayey soils. It improves water infiltration, drainage, air infiltration and improves rooting volume.
Be aware of over-amending!
When adding organic matter, in any given year, use no more than:
1” animal-based compost or manure
2” plant-based compost
Over amending can result in
-High salts
– Excessive nitrogen
– Low nitrogen
– Micro-nutrient imbalance
Though adding an organic amendment such as compost can work wonders on building soil health, too much of a good thing can have a negative impact.

Adding Minerals
Mineral rich solutions may be added to soil periodically to give plants an extra boost.
Some examples include…
– Liquid Kelp: Good source of micro-nutrients for immunity boost
– Compost Tea: Good source of nitrogen and living microbes
– Vermi-compost Tea: Enhances plant defenses against disease and improves crop yield

Don’t forget to stop by and pick up some organic seeds!

Happy growing Co-op friends!

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Not All Sugars are Created Equal

Sugar-Types
Dietary carbohydrates, or sugars, play a critical role in our health because they provide us with our primary source of energy we need for proper bodily function. Though crucial to our health, most of us are aware that too much sugar can cause detrimental effects to our bodies, leading to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. What many of us may not be aware of is how different types of carbohydrates, or sugars, affect our body differently. The fact is, not all sugars are created equal.

Carbohydrates are classified into three basic groups: dietary fiber, simple sugars, and complex sugars. Dietary fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes. Dietary fiber does not exist in animal products such as meat, eggs and milk. This type of carbohydrate is great for digestive health. It slows the digestion process which makes you feel full for longer, aids in blood sugar regulation, as well as increases bowl bulk due to its indigestible nature, promoting regularity. Whole grains, vegetables, nuts and legumes are the ideal sources for fiber intake verses supplement forms.

Complex sugars are named so because they are larger compounds that take our bodies longer to break down or digest. One of the most important health benefits complex sugars provide is that it aids in blood sugar control. By breaking down more slowly, sugar is released into our blood more gradually which helps maintain balanced and healthy vascular and central nervous systems. If sugar is released into our blood too quickly, or at too high of a volume, this can increase fat production as well as can cause sometimes irreversible damage to our bodies.

There are common misconceptions in our culture concerning simple carbohydrates. Simple sugars breakdown easily in our bodies because they are only either one or two sugar molecule compounds. One sugar molecule compounds are usually our refined sugars, which include sucrose (table sugar) and the infamous high-fructose corn syrup, which are both found in most processed foods. Two sugar compounds are found in fruits, root vegetables, honey, and milk. These types of sugars are considered advantageous over refined sugar. They are usually in combination with other vitamins, minerals and fiber, which aid its utilization and overall health benefits verses something like table sugar, because of the intense refining process, other nutrients that it could have possessed are removed.

Though evidence shows that there is not a direct link in disease due to a certain type of sugar, it is recognized that because as a nation we have almost doubled our sugar intake in general over the past 30 years, mostly due to an increase in our refined sugar intake, is why we are seeing increases of such diseases as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. These sugars are stripped of any sort of nutrient content and usually eaten in large quantities.  By decreasing our refined sugar intake and increasing our intake of fiber, complex sugars and non-refined simple sugars such as fruit and root vegetables, we are simultaneously increasing our overall intake of essential vitamins, minerals and other amazing health-protecting nutrients and thus making great contributions to our overall health.

The Fort Collins Food Co-op is an excellent place to help you eat a more nutrition and balanced diet.  We carry a full line of all organic fresh produce, are fully stocked with bulk whole grains, ancient grains, rice, nuts, seeds and legumes and amazing supply of over a hundred different dried herbs and spices.

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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.

Enjoy!

radishes

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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!

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

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!

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