Tag Archives: non-GMO

On Being Cooperative

unity

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.

 empowerfool

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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

PractticalHealthSolutions

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!

BlogWriterFooter_Jordan

Ask the Doc: June is Men’s Health Month

PractticalHealthSolutions

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   www.practicalhealthsolutions.com