Sunday, March 20, 2005


Oranges. The temple orange crop is finished for the year. Temple oranges have a lot going against them--hard to peel, full of seeds, but all that is overruled by the delicious, slightly tart flavor that makes them a staff favorite. Tangelos and blood oranges remain in good supply.

Apples. Allen thought Mutsu apples were no longer available, but Amy Hepworth, our upstate apple grower, just opened another storage room and they'll be back this week. Allen also recommends trying Pink Lady--crisp like a Fuji but a little tart. Fuji is our most popular minimally treated apple and Gala #1 of the organic apples.

Vegetables. Lacinata kale is the hands down winner of the greens available. It is easy to prepare and cooks quickly. I strip and discard the main vein, chop greens and put in a pan with a crushed dried hot pepper, a little olive oil, salt & a little water. It remains a rich, deep green unless seriously overcooked.

Beets with tops have been beautiful, organic cauliflower and fennel are available but pricey. Lady Moon organic grape tomatoes are so delicious--should be at $3.93 (and the price may continue to rise).

Redwood Hill never has enough goat milk during the winter months to meet the demand for their yogurt. It is the birthing season & the (goat) kids come first.

Organic Valley is not always able supply enough milk for their products--most notably butter and lactaid milk.

Knudsen juice packs I received notice weeks ago that juice for some of Knudsen's popular lunch packs was in short supply. Smucker owns Knudsen, After the Fall and Santa Cruz. Earlier in the year, Smucker discontinued the After the Fall lines of juice packs and spritzers. We still have the Santa Cruz, Apple & Eve, and Vruit juice packs. Horizon has recently introduced some organic juice packs, which we will substitute for Knudsen. I anticipate that the Knudsen juices will return--not sure how far in the future.

There isn’t enough organic meat available, especially in the winter, to meet our members’ needs.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Discontinued Products

Glaceau is changing their fruit-flavored water by adding fructose. Glaceau water is no longer available from our major health food distributor--Glaceau wants to deliver it via local soda distributors. We won't be carrying Glaceau because a) they added sweeteners (and calories) to the fruit flavored drinks and b) it is too difficult for us to have many small delivery trucks jockeying for space & blocking Union Street.

Horizon organic puddings Horizon will no longer be making them. Horizon is now owned by a large corporation, Dean Foods, and the spokesperson was unable to tell me why or if this was a permanent or temporary decision. Unfortunately there are no other organic puddings currently available from our distributors. Natural by Nature used to make organic puddings, but they cut the product from their line several years ago.

Grade B Maple syrup For some craazy reason it is apparently against the law to sell Grade B maple syrup in New York State. I was told by the owner of Coombs maple syrup that this law has been on the books for many years, but that recently some bureaucrat decided to enforce the law when he happened to see it on sale in a store in upstate New York. Our distributors are not allowed to sell Grade B syrup to me, but they can sell it in Pennsylvania, Vermont, etc. This is not a health issue. Apparently there is some "protectionist" element to the law--wanting to protect the price of NY maple syrup from Vermont or Canadian syrup producers flooding the market. However, NY producers aren't allowed to sell syrup labeled B either, so it sounds like a no win situation for everyone. I was sent some incomprehensible info on spectrographic grading of maple syrup--it included no reason why syrup labeled Grade B could not be sold as such. My limited understanding is that NY state only recognizes two grades, Grade A and Cooking Grade, which is considered to be inferior to Grade B.

Soken products are imported from Japan by our health food distributor, United Natural Foods (UNFI). Frequently the products have not been available--probably due to the constraints of importing, including longer delays in ports for container inspections since 9/11. About 2 months ago UNFI informed me that they will no longer be importing the ramens from Soken because of low sales, but that they would continue to carry Soken chips. I asked them to reconsider the ramens as they were popular at the coop, but to no avail. And UNFI still has not had the chips available.

Pacific beef broth has been discontinued because it does not meet with the coop's standards for beef products. The coop sells only organic beef and grass fed beef.