Monday, July 05, 2010

Keeping cool...

In the heat of the season, some of our most refreshing beverages have been in short supply, namely coconut water and kombucha. Most of the kombucha brands have been pulled because of their actual/potential alcohol content of up to 5%. The manufacturers are rushing to reformulate their products.

It is more difficult to determine exactly why coconut water is in such short supply. Rumor has it that a mega-beverage corporation has purchased the major coconut water repacking facility in Brazil, or maybe it is in Peru (remember, this is a rumor). And allegedly mega-beverage only wants to package its own coconut water and control its distribution. And too bad for VitaCoco and Zico. We scramble every week to try to get coconut water in some size on the shelf at the coop. We were successful at procuring and selling more than 700 containers of VitaCoca 17 oz last week.

Cool Fruits, a shelf stable fruit juice pop, has also not been available. For the past several years, the manufacturer is seemingly caught by surprise that yes, it is summer, and yes, maybe they should ramp up production. The distributor says Cool Fruits should be available this week, next week--soon.

Alternative cool downs:

We do have Smooze, a tropical juice and coconut water ice pop. It is refreshing. no fat, low calorie and cheaper than an ice cream bar. The flavors are mango, passion fruit, guava and pineapple. Smooze pops are also shelf stable, come ten to a box, and are sold on the end cap across from the eggs case. Fresh out of the freezer, they are quite satisfying. And they are not just for kids. As reported in the NY Times, a cold slushie just before exercise can enhance your performance. So grab one and go...

And then if you need a potassium boost after all that sweating, pick up a seaweed snack packaged by Annie Chun. They are also sold on the same end display with the Smooze. These toasted nori strips come in two flavors: sesame and wasabi. We're having trouble finding storage space for these wildly popular seaweed snacks--partly because the packaging is excessive. Similar products by Maine Sea Coast and Eden are sold hanging in Aisle 6B.

And what could be more refreshing that a bitter chocolate covered mint creme? A Fair Trade honey company, Heavenly Organics, is manufacturing these excellent mints. They are 35 cents, located in Aisle 7A, in a green box in the chocolate section. They taste great frozen.

And don't forget watermelon. Can't lug one of those monsters home--page out and see if another shopper would like to share one with you.

And finally, don't try to get too cool.
During a heat wave, Con Ed is incapable of powering all the air conditioners and computers and recharging all the cell phones and other electrical devices that are drawing power. This could result in a Brown Out or a total meltdown Black Out. We have already experienced a limited Brown Out at the Coop during the recent heat wave. Park Slope is apparently a huge electrical drain. A drop in electrical power is a major concern for us here at the food coop.

So please don't leave rechargers plugged in or air conditioners on when you are not home. Fewer lights feel cooler. Pull the shades. Consider using fans rather than air conditioning. Nah, too hot? But if there is a Brown Out you won't have the option to use a fan or have a refrigerator to dip into for some of those refreshing treats. Con Ed has more energy saving tips--follow them and you'll save on your monthly bill, too.

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