Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's So Delicious

New in the Coop: So Delicious Coconut Milk. Half-gallons. Original and Vanilla. Refrigerated. Delicious.

Made by Turtle Mountain (the same company that brings us those amazing non-dairy frozen desserts), their website claims that this is "The world's first coconut milk beverage." Certainly an interesting newcomer to the non-dairy milk scene, only time will tell whether coconut becomes a regular in the line-up that currently includes soy, rice, hemp, and nut milks. Look for it in the Milk/Juice Case next to the Almond Breeze.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Biscotti di Vecchio

We haven't had a great (locally-made) Biscotti since Fanciulla went out of business a few years ago. Enter Biscotti di Vecchio.

Danielle came to us through a mutual friend who is a coop member. Jerri said that Danielle made amazing biscotti and, well, to make a long story short. We now have five flavors of her delicious biscotti on the end-cap facing the express checkout.

Cayenne Cherry Chocolate Chunk.
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut.
Cranberry Orange Zest
Toasted Almond.
Pistachio Chocolate Chunk.

Read all about these flavors on her website (and see how much cheaper they are being sold here: $6.03 for a bag of 8).

Soy-onara, Silk!

The Silk line of products is manufactured by Dean Foods, the "largest dairy agribusiness corporation in the country." As we've learned more about the practices of this company, especially relating to their soy products, we think it's in the Coop's interest to find alternatives.

Please see Gillian's fabulous post concerning the discontinuation of Silk soy products and the Cornucopia Institute for more information.

Here in Yogurtland, you'll discover some exciting new developments: We've got 24oz. sizes of Wholesoy Vanilla and Plain to replace the Silk quarts. In the 6oz. size, we have Wholesoy in Blueberry, Peach, Vanilla, Strawberry, Raspberry - the same flavors we had in Silk - along with Lemon and *new flavors* of Banana Strawberry and Apricot Mango. We also carry Wildwood soy yogurt in 24oz Plain along with Blueberry, Strawberry, and Raspberry.

All you Coop soy yogurt eaters had already started this trend away from Silk towards Wholesoy with your purchasing power. Every flavor of Wholesoy has been outselling it's Silk counterpart.

The price in cents for Wholesoy is a tad higher - but when considering the price of continuing to support Silk, it's worth it. And Wildwood is cheaper! Learn more about Wholesoy and Wildwood at the Cornucopia Institute's website.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Awesome Foods

New to the Coop this week are some raw and crispy snacks from a local company called Awesome Foods. Fans of the much-loved but hard-to-come-by Kale Chips will appreciate the variety which includes: Kale Tempuraw, Zuchinni Tempuraw, Vegetable Tempuraw, Root Veggie Crackers and Vegetable Almond Crackers. All dehydrated at less than 118 degrees, all vegan, and all gluten-free. Look for them in Aisle 7A, hanging across from the other small chips.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sprout Creek Farm

The local cheese of the month (I know I'm a little off on the month, timing-wise - but anyhoo) is Sprout Creek Farm I picked up five great cheeses from them and they'll be on the shelf later today.


A Robustly flavored cheese with a distinctive Alpine flavor.
Toussaint becomes more complex and peppery with age, and rounds out with a smooth, tight texture. Natural edible rind.


An earthy buttery cheese with a sweet floral flavor, Ouray has a firm creamy paste with a crisp edible natural rind.

Batch 35

A crisp coppery rind sheaths a straw colored interior of this smear-ripened cheese. Smooth, with an open texture and a scattering of eyes, this cheese is meaty, pungent, and earthy.


Smear-ripened with an elastic texture and a golden interior, Eden has a pungent nose but a sweet apple butterscotch finish.


Beneath the rind of this soft-ripened goats’ milk cheese is a white pearly paste with a balanced herbaceous flavor.

(Sorry that there's no pictures for all the cheeses - trust me, they're great!)

Bela is back! (Sardines not Lugosi)

Please welcome back Bela Sardines after the long absence and reported rumors of bankruptcy and insolvency. We're currently stocking all the flavors pictured: Olive Oil, Tomato, Lemon, Cayenne, and Boneless/Skinless. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another bulk update plus, plus

TVP, or Texturized Vegetable Protein, is being discontinued in the bulk bins. TVP was a very slow seller. We are adding packaged Bob Red Mills organic TVP in Aisle 2A. Bob's TVP is a different texture but it is organic. Vegetarians may rely on TVP as a meat substitute, but it is hard to equate a highly processed product made with non-organic soybeans as health food. I had to resort to Wikipedia to jog my memory as to exactly what TVP is, but I read no further than "fibrous lamination of thermoplastic soy flour.."

The good news is that organic red quinoa is once again available in bulk. And if that isn't enough quinoa diversity, there is now Alter Eco black quinoa in Aisle 6A.

Alter Eco is a company specializing in Fair Trade products from cooperatives around the world.
We have just added two olive oils, "Planted, picked, and processed by fair trade cooperatives in Palestine, Jenin, West Bank," re Alter Eco's website.

Field Day for beans...

Our major health food distributor, UNFI, is developing a line of foods that is "private label," under the name Field Day. This is similar to Whole Foods 365 label. The goal is to develop high quality and less expensive items. They are starting with canned beans. The Field Day beans are guaranteed to be grown in the U.S. Westbrae does not reveal where their beans are grown, probably China. Eden beans are grown in the U.S. Field Day beans are less expensive than both Westbrae & Eden organic beans. We are replacing the Westbrae black, garbanzo, pinto and kidney in the small cans with Field Day beans. Replacing Bearito baked beans is also being considered. (Bearito is part of the Hain-Westbrae, etc. corporation.)

Bulk going local...

As changes keep happening around us, the world of bulk is no exception. Recently we switched three of our dry beans (black, navy and pinto) to locally grown. They are now coming from Cayuga Pure Organics in the Ithaca area upstate N.Y., as opposed to China for the blacks beans and Canada for the navy and pintos. You may have noticed a price increase for these local beans. We feel that it is in keeping with the Coop mission and important to support local growers whenever we can. Cayuga also has other locally grown products that we carry-Spelt Berries-and look forward to their Farro, Vinton Soy Beans, small Red Beans, Barley, Oats, steel cut and groats.

Most of our flours are now local too. Whole Wheat Bread flour is grown and milled in Ithaca at Farmer Ground, near Cayuga Pure. The Whole Wheat Pastry is milled at Daisy in Lancaster, Pa. The Spelt is also from Lancaster grown there and milled at Small Valley Milling. The exciting thing about these new flours is that not only are they local, but they are very fresh. They are usually milled a week or two before being delivered to us.

In a world where availability of products is uncertain, I will continue to bring in more local bulk when I can. Just a footnote: the price of Red Lentils will be coming down soon due to the fact our supplier International Harvest has them available again. They also will be selling us organic Chia (Mexico) and Black Sesame (India) Seeds at a lower price. These products are not grown locally.

Cheers till next time I see you in the bulk aisle


In the News.....

Who is controlling Organic Standards? Washington Post published a rather dismaying account of how the federal government is--or maybe, isn't--regulating the Organic Standards.

The Brooklyn Paper queried Whole Foods about the status of their proposed new home on 3rd St and 3rd Ave. Last week the Paper concluded that Whole Foods was abandoning the site, this week there is a slightly different story.

NYTimes reported fungal attack on Northeastern tomatoes. Allen & Julie say that so far Amy Hepworth, our major supplier of local tomatoes, has not been hit by this fungus.

Make your own granola

The Coop offers a lot of granola choices, but it is easy to make your own custom granola. You are able to control the amount and type of oil and sugars, plus easily add favorite nuts, seeds , dried fruit and spices. Actually, a good reason to make your own granola this time of the year is to not add dried fruit when there are so many fresh fruits and berries available. You can increase variety by using one or more of the organic Eden flakes now sold in Aisle 7B instead of just using rolled oats. Eden offers barley, spelt, kamut, rye and rice flakes.

Basic Granola (low fat, low sugar)

5 cups of organic rolled oats or a combination of other flakes, including spelt, rye, etc.

1/4 cup of oil. (My current favorite is Rapunzel sesame oil, Aisle 3B)
1/4 maple syrup (or agave syrup, honey, barley malt, molasses, rice syrup--your choice)
1/2 cup boiling water.
optional: 1 tsp of a spice such as cinnamon, or a tsp of vanilla.

4 cups of nuts, seeds, coconut flakes.

Preheat oven to 325.
Put the oil and sweetener in a large mixing bowl, pour in the boiling water and mix. Add the oats/flakes and stir until all are coated. Spread the flakes on a large baking sheet with sides. It takes about 30 min to toast the flakes, but check and stir the flakes to make sure that the edges don't burn.

I reduce the oven heat to 300 to lightly toast the nuts separately from the flakes to prevent burnng. I like a crisp granola, but you can skip this step if you prefer your nuts raw or if you purchased roasted nuts. Spread each type of nut, seed, etc on its own baking pan. Watch the oven like a hawk while roasting nuts. Coconut toasts in a flash. If using seeds, sesame and pepitas are ok to roast, but do not roast flax or chia seeds. Chop the nuts as coarsely or finely as your prefer. For almonds, it is easy to buy the sliced ones, which crumble easily when toasted.

Mix nuts with flake mixture, add dried fruit if you want, and store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator once it has cooled.

Last week Melissa Clark had a granola recipe in the NYT's Magazine using olive oil and salt. It looks delicious but it has 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar and 3/4 c maple syrup per 3 cups oats. So you can see there are lots of variation in granola recipes. At the Coop, the nutritional content of the granola is on the bulk containers. But if you make it yourself, you know exactly how much sugar you are getting.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Right Stuff: KBBK

Meet the NKOTB: KBBK - KOMBUCHA BROOKLYN! Coming to your belly "Straight Up" from BK!

We all love local stuff. And most of us love kombucha (I think unless everyone is just pouring it down the drain (which would be an expensive habit considering the thousands of bottles we sell every week)). I figured members of the Coop would LOVE local kombucha. But it's been impossible to bring it to you...until now!

Welcome our newest resident to Kombuchaland: Kombucha Brooklyn. The Brewmaster is Kombuchman. He's been brewing the 'buch for years and now is excited to help you to "drink the revolution" on a large scale starting right here in the Coop. To launch, the flavor is called "Straight Up" - cool like Paula Abdul, tasty like "Original" from the other companies on the block. "Note the taste of the whole stone fruit family," says Kombuchman. The blend of 3 teas is delicate and delicious.

Give it a try. There's more to come where that came from. Look for it in the weeks ahead...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One Crazy Summer (in the freezer)

First of all I want to talk about ice cream sandwiches. I think they're great. You can probably imagine how happy I was when some nice lady from Norwich N.Y. sent us some that she made. We have a vanilla ice cream and chocolate cookie sandwich made with milk from Evans Creamery (way to be local) and a vegan sandwich made with bananas and coconut milk.

So, remember the first time you heard about sweet potato fries and you thought "OMG! The people that came up with this awesome thing must be from the future or something!" And remember the first time you tried chipotle whatever and were like "chipotles are kinda like bacon in that you can put it in or on almost anything and make it taste way better!" Well, I found something that combines these two things and the first time you try them you're gonna scream "The future's gonna be awesome!" and your gonna hi-five the closest hand you can find. Buy the way, the new product is chipotle sweet potato fries from Alexia.

I want to apologize to those of you who thought this post would have something to do with that movie from the eighties with John Cusack and Demi Moore called "One Crazy Summer."

Monday, July 13, 2009

No More Silk Soymilk

The Coop will no longer be selling the half-gallon cartons of Silk Organic Soymilk. We will continue to sell Organic Valley Soymilk in the same four flavors that shoppers are used to seeing from Silk: original (plain), vanilla, unsweetened, and chocolate. This decision was prompted by recent actions taken by the Silk company (described below), and their integrity as a producer of organic soy products continues to be called into question. The major factors influencing our decision not to sell Silk are as follows:

In January 2009, Silk – whose soy products were formerly 100% organic -- reformulated their product line by converting almost all their products to conventional soybeans. They did this quietly, without telling retailers or changing the UPC code numbers on the products. Many retailers, including the Coop, didn’t find out about the change until consumers noticed and complained. The non-organic soymilks are labeled “Natural.” When we questioned Silk representatives about the change, we were told “there is a shortage of organic soybeans in North America.” However, it has been argued that Dean Foods (which owns Silk) “helped create these shortages by opting for cheaper organic imports instead of supporting domestic farmers with sustainable prices.1” (For the full report, please read the Cornucopia Institute's Soy Report & Scorecard)

2. Silk does not guarantee that all of their soybeans are free from GMO contamination. Organic Valley’s organic soybeans are 'Identity Preserved' - meaning each batch is tested to ensure there is no GMO contamination.

3. Silk is unwilling to share their sourcing information with consumers. Dean Foods “refused to transparently participate in the [Cornucopia Institute’s] study—depriving their customers of an independently verified review of their practices.” This stands in contrast to many other prominent soy food brands around the country that are fully transparent In their sourcing and production practices.

4. Silk brand is owned by Dean Foods - an agribusiness giant that owns over 50 milk labels around the country including Horizon Organic, a brand that heavily depends on factory farms each milking thousands of cows. Organic Valley is owned by
CROPP Cooperative, a cooperative of organic family farmers. The Coop supports other cooperatives, wherever possible, and we try also to avoid companies that source from factory farms.

We will also replace the Silk soy creamers (made from non-organic soybeans) with
Wildwood soymilk creamers (made from U.S. organic soybeans).

The Coop will continue to sell the quarts of Silk soymilk because this size is currently unavailable from any other company. Shoppers should beware, however, that these quarts are not organic. The quart sizes of Silk soymilk in plain, vanilla and chocolate flavors are all made from non-organic soybeans. Silk no longer sells their organic soymilk in a quart size carton.

1. Cornucopia Institute. (2009). Behind the Bean: The Heroes and Charlatans of the Natural and Organic Soy Foods Industry (1st ed.) [Report]. Cornucopia, WI: Charlotte Vallaeys.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Rawson Brook Farm Goat Cheeses

From the Great Farming for Justice website:
Every goat has a name. Susan tells me the stories behind each one as she places the milking machine on their udders. I was able to learn the technique very quick, as it takes a few days for some people.

There is quite the rhythm to the whole process.

Please look for the three flavors of Rawson Brook Monterey Chevre: Plain, Thyme & Olive Oil and Garlic & Chive.