Tag Archives: Fort Collins Co-operative

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.

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On Being Cooperative

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In my previous post, I recounted my evolutionary steps through varying grocery store aisles. Today let’s continue on the black-cobra road (you know, reality’s version of the yellow-brick road) and if you’ll lend me your attention for a moment, I’ll tell you how the Fort Collins Food Co-op feeds me, with plenty to share.

I remember being virtually introduced to the Food Co-op through its seemingly simple, yet dense website. The signature blue-green, earthly hues of this vibrant brand immediately registered and resonated with me, which compelled me to dig in and read through the embedded pages.

“The Co-op is a place where people can reconnect with their food. This is a place built on understanding what we are consuming and why. These ideas grew out of a buying club started by CSU students and community members in the early 1970’s.”

Upon visiting the historic store front on 250 East Mountain Avenue (est. 1978) for the first time, I experienced a subtle inner knowing that this was an authentic place I genuinely wanted to be a part of, a local business I would happily support with my personal— admittedly limited, albeit significant—buying power.

That day I left handsomely, with a backpack full of provisions for a week and a heartfelt, longer-lasting impression, as if a tiny seed of a mighty tree had been planted within the food desert of my mind, body, and soul.

Frequent, returning visits to this shop for staples and splurges allowed me to not only begin to recognize friendly, familiar faces, but also to further develop the intrinsic kinship that interweaves each of us as singular, scrappy threads into a more reliable, more resilient fabric that is part-and-parcel of any co-operative true to its roots, true to its word.

“The Co-op seeks to serve all those in our community who want to support their local circle of profit through buying locally sourced grocery items. Anyone can shop at the Co-op, the member-owner structure simply exists to reinforce a local circle of profit by sharing the profits of the Co-op amongst its member-owners.”

I became informed of its not-for-profit business model—guided by the internationally recognized Seven Cooperative Principles—supported for 44+ years, sourcing primarily from the well-spring of the “community, volunteers, the people who shop once to those who are in every day, farmers and producers, local businesses and restaurants who buy from us, and from the greater need to create a more positive connection between people and their local community.”

So one day I decided to jump into the deep end of the community pool by becoming a fully invested member-owner because in doing so I acknowledged and honored the privilege of having an “alternative, eco-centric” business that exists to balance the triple bottom line, with potential for kick-backs for the ‘pillar’ people it caters to, consists of.

And while profit-sharing is indeed a welcomed, beneficial boost to anyone’s budget in theory, I soon realized for myself that this rare fruit can only be fully enjoyed through considerate cultivation of the crop, which honestly requires the kind of hard work and dedication that is not always convenient and seldom expedient, although I strongly believe in my experience thus far: It is well-worth the time, money, and energy invested.

One of the most common remarks our attentive ears receive is about expensive prices.

Trust me, we understand because we feel the pinch as much as you do.

Consider this: You are getting what you pay for. You are also giving when you pay for it.

When you shop our Co-op, you are helping contribute to 12 individual’s livelihoods—your fellow friends, neighbors, community member-owners, who are in the laborious service industry not simply because of its decent pay and modest benefits, but more truly because it is a labor of love.

When you select our Co-op, you are voting with your dollar—with each purchase—every time you choose local, chemical-free, certified organic, non GMO, humanely raised, and so forth.

When you support our Co-op, you are joining a global movement that engages each other’s awareness of the undeniable impact we are all having on our only inhabitable planet, on our fellow human people, all-too-often at the expense of profit.

The Co-op is one small part of a much greater whole, where those “some day…” ideas are put into practice every day, one day at a time.

Because to be a member-owner of our food co-operative is to be a catalyst of world change.

Inquire within.

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March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

fiber-foodsMost of us know to eat plenty of fiber to keep our guts healthy and to maintain gut motility. Staying well hydrated is also important, especially in dry climates.  You should be having at least one bowel movement each day. Eat real food.  Many packaged foods contain non-food ingredients that we don’t know enough about to know how they will react within the body.

There was a study done on rats in which one group was fed a grain meal containing only 30% GMO grains and 70% organic grains.  The control group was fed only organic grains.  The rats that ate the GMO food had significantly greater risk of intestinal tumors than the control group.  There isn’t much research on humans regarding the effect of GMOs on the body, but
it makes sense to me that we would be our healthiest if we only ate real food.

The Fort Collins food coop carries a wide variety of organic and local foods, as well as nutritional supplements. Consider getting yourself tested for the MTHFR gene SNP.  Sixty percent of the population has at least one ‘defective’ copy.  This mutation makes it difficult for the body to activate B12 and folate, and correlates with a significant increase in the risk of colon cancer in those who have two ‘defective’ copies of the MTHFR gene.  The good news is that with proper diet and supplementation, you can significantly decrease your health risk.  You may ask your doctor to test you for MTHFR or do a saliva test through www.23andme.com ($199).  You may obtain a plan to minimize your risk from a doctor who is trained in nutrigenomics.  This plan will likely include dietary suggestions, lifestyle modifications and sometimes nutrient supplementation.

By Joan D Waters, ND Practical Health Solutions, LLC Fort Collins
www.practicalhealthsolutions.com

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March Coffee Madness with Peritus Coffee Roasters

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Hello Co-op Friends! Come check out what we have in store this Spring Season!

This month is the inception of a new vendor appreciation promo! We will be featuring a different Fort Collins coffee roaster each month to showcase their amazing handcrafted coffees.

Member Owners will receive 10% off each bag!

This month we have the pleasure of offering 12oz bags of Peritus Coffee Roasters .

“Peritus Coffee Roasters was founded in Fort Collins from a deep-rooted love of home roasting and a lifetime of conscious sourcing. After nearly a decade of home-roasting, we knew we had to share our love of craft coffee with others to bring you a delightful cup of coffee each and every day.

We love to celebrate the nuances of each region we source from, celebrate the methods used for farming and processing there, and, even more, thank the farmers who grew the beautiful beans through proper and fair sourcing methods and, of course, roasting the beans to highlight the beautiful features they bring to the table.

What does “peritus” mean? In Latin, it  is defined as skillful and practicedthe skill and practice to bring you an excellent cup goes through many hands from the farmer, to the processor, distributor, roaster and coffee preparerwe celebrate all those clever hands!”

Try their “Rwanda Karongi Gitesi”, “Sumatra Toba Batak Perry” or “Espresso Blend” in store for just $14.00 for a 12oz or $12.49 with Member Owner’s 10% savings!

Don’t forget to check back in April for our next featured roaster!

Happy sipping!

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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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In the Defense of Beets

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It seems as though today the familiar velvety red and earthy beet has lost its glamor. Have many of us just had too many of these roots forced down our throats as children by our parents that the thought of them make us cringe? Perhaps we’ve allowed our fear of beets linger too long into our adults lives and it’s time to rediscover the bright and BEETiful nature of the beet.

Before the beet had its claim as a root vegetable, it was long consumed only for its leaves. It wasn’t until the late 1500s that it was starting to be cultivated for its root, and even then, it wasn’t for another couple centuries that it had positive global recognition. Northeastern Europe was the first area in the world to start cultivating the beet as a stable, seeing its value as being one of the only vegetables to grow through the winter.

Though an incredible value to grow throughout the winter, the beet also has outstandingly positive health effects. Beet root has long been used for its ability to stimulate the liver’s detoxification processes. The compound that gives beets their rich dark color called betacyanin, a pigment, has been thought to suppress the development of some types of cancer. Beet root has been shown to increase the level of antioxidants in our bodies, which also aid in preventing cancer. The beet root is one of the greatest sources of the amino acid glutamine, an essential nutrient to positive intestinal health. Beet roots also aids in the production of nitric oxide, a powerful molecule that increases blood flow and has heart protective properties. The leafy greens that grow on the surface are also chalk full of vitamins, minerals and fiber to keep our bodies happy and strong.

It’s no doubt that these familiar vegetables are good medicine, for our mothers always told us that, but do they stand up as worthy and palatable for consumption? Yes they do! Beet root is as versatile as our beloved potatoes. Roasted with herbs and spices; chopped and thrown into a vegetable soup or stew; shredded raw on salads and sandwiches. How about for a sweet treat in a smooth with bananas, berries and seeds?

At the Fort Collins Food Co-op we know the importance of beets. For much of the year, due to our longer cool vegetable growing season, we carry local, organic beets from our friends at Native Hill Farm. If you’re interested in trying something with a zest, try MM Local’s pickled beets, a Boulder company committed to quality pickled products using local and organic ingredients. Or support the local growing business of Turtle Mountain Tea by trying their vegan beet kim-chi.

In the words of Tom Robbins, “The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.” (Jitterbug Perfume)

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Thanks is for Giving

BLogIMageHappy Sweet Potato Awareness Month (did you know they are different than yams?);Happy National Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month (did you know you can freshly grind your own at the Fort Collins Food Cooperative’s bulk section for just $5.99/lb?); Happy Movember furry–faced fellows!

Much there is to be happy about this time of year (like Yoda speak), and even more to be grateful about (like The Force Awakens). As earth tones catch your eye, with spiced cider/tea to warm your bones and abundant squash/root vegetables fill your belly with some slices of apple/pumpkin pies to delight your taste buds; indeed it is a timely celebration of our hard–earned harvest of 2015.

Like the Ancient Greek Hippocrates, the western pioneering physician, once stated, “Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”

I have since consciously adopted a diet that works for me, without attaching any rigid labels to myself because I know that just as certain ailments require certain remedies, so also do I feel the need for different foods, based on their symbiotic effects on my overall health.

It’s important for people to be in tune with their own individual needs, as the eastern Ayurvedic tradition notes will differ based on body constitution.

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November Sales, Turkey Time, and Board of Directors Applications

Sales_Turkeys_BODNovember Sales begin Monday November 1st, but here’s a little sneak peak of your favorite sales items happening in every department:

Once again, the Bulk department is offering a bounty of savings! Save a $1.00 off peanut butter pretzels and Fair Trade, Vegan Dark Chocolate Chips.

Also, save $2.00 dollars off whole raw cashews and roasted salted pistachios.

 Not to be out done by Bulk’s bounty, the Grocery department is offering quiet the selection of savings, especially when it comes to holiday baking. Save $2.40 on parchment paper and don’t forget to use spectrum naturals extra virgin olive oil now $7 dollars off the regular price.

The Refrigerated section is offering limited edition Silk Almond Nog with a dash of Pumpkin Spice; a tasty holiday treat and a $1.00 off the retail price.

Amy’s Burritos are also on sale in the Frozen food department in November. They can indeed be a wonderful day or nighttime snack, 50 cents off!

Lets not forget about the full color spectrum of Dr. Bronners 32 oz castile soap! It’s $4 dollars off its regular price in the Body Care section for the entire month of November!

For more sales offers visit our website or stop by the Food Co-op for more store wide saving offers.

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Gobble! Gobble! Its that turkey time of year again at the Food Co-op!

Pre-order your Thanksgiving turkey now with your cashier or over the phone [970]484-7448 .   All of the turkeys offered have never been caged or given hormones or antibiotics.

We offer a wide variety of size selections ranging from 8-12, 12-16, 16-20, and 20-24/per pound. Only $3.35/per pound!

All turkeys are delivered Monday, November 23rd and pre-ordering is based on a first come, first serve basis. There is a limited supply so order yours now!

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Only a few days remain for Member-Owners to turn in their Board of Directors applications. There are 3 seats available in this upcoming B.O.D election. Applications are due this coming Saturday and voting will begin on November 4th through November 24th. Applications are at the front register of the Food Co-op or on our website.

Your completed application, your picture, and your ballot statement will all be posted in the store by the ballot box during the voting period.

Three B.O.D positions are available and a single B.O.D term is three years.

2015 Election Timeline:

  • November 4 – Voting begins at 8:30am
  • November 24   –   Voting closes by 8pm
  • November 25  – Votes counted
  • November 27  –  Election results announced
  • January 1, 2016  – Term begins

For more information regarding the Food Co-op Board of Directors and the upcoming election please visit the Fort Collins Food Cooperative website.

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Home Storage Guide for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

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There are many reasons as to why properly and safely storing fresh fruits and vegetables is important. Not only does proper storage help to maintain the integrity of the product, but by doing so it increases the value of your dollar by decreasing the rate of spoilage, which also minimizes food-borne illnesses, and food waste.

Here at the Fort Collins Food Cooperative, we understand the challenge of keeping fruits and vegetables fresh for as long as possible. With society’s high standards for pristine looking produce as well as the high cost of organic goods, we’ve learned over the years how to keep products fresh and we’d like to share some of that knowledge with you!

Here are some basic guidelines you can follow to help maintain produce freshness longer and minimize food and dollar waste.

Produce storage location

  • Most vegetables do best if stored under refrigeration.

With the exception of lettuce, most fresh produce does better if washed just before consumption due to a natural covering that slows spoilage.

 

These fruits and vegetables do well on counter-tops:

  • apples, bananas, citrus, basil, cucumbers, peppers
  • pineapples, pomegranates, mangoes, eggplant, garlic, ginger
  • Place squash family, onions and potatoes in a cool, dry place.

 

Store fruits and vegetables separately

Fruits produce high levels of ethylene (a ripening agent) and can prematurely ripening and spoil surrounding vegetables.

Stone fruits (such as peaches and apricots), avocados, tomatoes, apples, bananas and melons will continue to ripen if left out on a counter-top.

Grapes, cherries and berries will deteriorate if left on a counter-top and should be refrigerated.

To slow the ripening process, place fruit in refrigerator and eat within 2-3 days.

To speed the ripening of fruit, place in a paper bag. Be sure to check every day to prevent over-ripening.

 

 

Refrigerate fresh produce that has been cut

Once fruits and vegetables have been cut, they should be used promptly or covered tightly and refrigerated for no more than two or three days. If cut produce is left at room temperature for longer than 2 hours it should be discarded.

 

Leafy greens

Leafy greens as romaine, green & red leaf lettuce and spinach will keep fresher if washed before storage.

  1. Wash with clean, cool running water.
  2. Discard wilted, discolored or blemished leaves.
  3. Carefully dry in salad spinner or on clean paper towels.
  4. Store in salad spinner or wrap lettuce loosely in clean paper towels and store in sealed plastic bag or container.
  5. Use within 1 week.

Happy Storing!

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The Bulkier The Better

Jordan's_blog_PictureHot–air balloons, birthday cakes, and Big Bird. What do these three have in common?

Not only do they ignite the interest of children and adults alike, but they also share this simple trait: they are all bulky.

Five years ago, the Bulk is Green Council, or fittingly referred to as BIG, initiated the National Bulk Week, in celebration, praise, and raised awareness of the sheer diverse amount of both staple (grains, beans, salts, sugars, flours) and specialty (coffee, granola, nuts, trail mixes) available for purchase in macro and micro quantities.

Well dear friendly folks & folky friends, we at the Fort Collins Food Co­–op are currently in the belly of the Fifth Annual Bulk Week!

We are joining 1,400 other participating stores around this supersized nation—one that paradoxically seems infatuated with people, places, and things (also called nouns) being ever–so sleek and skinnier still.

Fat (pronounced with a ‘ph’) fact: Portland State University’s Food Industry Leadership Center compiled a 2011 study, finding that people save an average of 89% when purchasing the same foods in bulk, compared to their (over)packaged counterparts.

Rather than preach at/to you about the bulk benefits that burst at the seams, or try to singularly address commonly shared questions, I choose instead to highlight some of our featured (and my favorite) bulk items you may be currently getting (extra) prepackaged:

Lest we forget, it is with sincere appreciation that I give a very honorable mention to the produce(rs) and what I consider to be the freshershest bulk section that considerably provides us with fine fruits, roots, lively leafy greens, prime peppers, potatoes, divine tomatoes, squash and rare heirloom pumpkins throughout the abundant growing season here in Colorado.

Yes, bulk is beautiful, and we’re bringing it back to the max (ever wonder why we keep it all in the back of the store?)

For those of you who skim articles, here’s the skinny: Help us make a difference in the world by supporting our co–op as generously as you can, by bringing your own bags/containers, and by continuing to create quality conversations with one another, i.e. share a recipe, suggest an herbal tea, select a different spice.

You just might find you not only get what you need, but also your savings will bulk up!

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