April 2013

Volume 29, Issue 4

The FireStarter

Highway Clean-Up Saturday, April 13th

Co-op Members are invited to join in the Adopt-A-Highway clean- up program on Saturday, April 13.

Volunteers will meet at the Co-op at 9:30 AM to sign in and pick up their reflective gear and hardhats. The Co-op’s responsibility is for two miles up Highway 20, beginning at our sign across from The Junction (gas and convenience store).

The store has participated in the Adopt-A-Highway program for many years, however last year we did not manage to make it happen. But this year we are committed to it anew.

Please call Marion Shaub at 486-1350 to let her know you are coming. Only 16-years and older may be out on the Highway to pick up trash, due to safety regulations.

After the dirty work is done, usually around the noon-hour, we will enjoy a fine lunch, provided by the Co-op Deli.

Co-op Improvement Fund – Every Penny Adds Up!

What is the Improvement Fund and why do we encourage shoppers contribute? It is, in essence, a savings account that the Co-op maintains which helps us to make large improvements or purchases.

Money that has been granted from the Okanogan Family Faire, donations from members, money we raise at fundraising events such as auctions, and the store contribution (which is a half percent of net sales each month) all become part of the Improvement Fund.

Many shoppers donate right at the till, either by dropping some change into the Improvement Fund jar or tell the cashier to include the donation in their total purchase. “Every penny adds up!” says Co-op Assistant Manager, Julie Greenwood.

In recent years the Improvement Fund has been instrumental in purchasing a new roof, a new kitchen stove, an ice cream freezer, various refrigeration units and freezers, a beautiful new produce case and most recently a heating and cooling system. Store manager, Alice Simon explains, “All of these improvements have made the store a far better place to shop and work – generous member support is the key to our growth and success.”

Member Appreciation Day is the 3rd Tuesday of each month.
Members may bulk-order from the UNFI Catalog at 15% above wholesale.

Why Buy Organic Foods?

We all know that organic foods tend to cost more than conventional. Especially those that we purchase from sources that have to resell their goods. Why do we buy organic foods when they cost more than their conventional counterparts?

Below are eight very good reasons to eat organic:

1. Organic products have to comply with stringent standards.
Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs. When you see that a product has been Certified Organic by QAI (Quality Assurance International), you can be assured that the product, its ingredients and the manufacturer have gone through a thorough investigation.

2. Organic food tastes delicious!
It’s common sense — well-balanced soils grow strong healthy plants that taste great. Try an organic banana or vine-ripened tomato for a sweet and juicy flavor treat.

3. Organic production reduces health risks.
Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Now, the EPA considers 60% of all herbicides (weed killers), 90% of all fungicides (mold killers), and 30% of all insecticides (insect killers) as potentially cancer causing. Organic farming keeps harmful chemicals and pesticides out of the food we eat and beverages we drink. It also prohibits the use of antibiotics in animal feed, which are routinely used in conventional farming. Organic farms are also much safer for the farm workers who have high exposure to chemicals and synthetic pesticides on conventional farms.

4. Organic farms respect our water sources.
The elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen leaching, in combination with soil building, protects and conserves water resources. Organic farming reduces toxic farming runoff and pollutants that contaminate our water, soil and air.

5. Organic farmers build soil.
Part of the organic farming standard is to replenish the soil with nutrients in before, during and after growing. It has been said that, “soil is the foundation of the food chain and the primary focus of organic farming.”

6. Organic farmers work in harmony with nature.
Organic agriculture respects the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem; wildlife is an essential part of a total farm and is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fence rows, wetlands, and other natural areas.

7. Organic producers are leaders in innovative research.
Organic farmers have led the way, largely at their own expense, with innovative on-farm research aimed at reducing pesticide use and minimizing agriculture’s impact on the environment. Organic farming is better for the environment, better for business, more energy efficient and makes better tasting fruit than conventional methods and most integrated production systems, according to the research conducted at Washington State University. (Natural Foods Merchandiser, June 2001)

8. Organic producers strive to preserve diversity.
The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of our most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties for decades.

It’s common sense– well-balanced soils grow strong healthy plants that taste great!

Submit an article to the Firestarter Newsletter.
Email your article to Firestarter@TonasketCoop.com
Editors and store management will review all submissions to determine suitability for publication.

Monsanto's History Peddling Chemicals for Food, Agriculture, War

from the Organic Consumer's Association

From its beginnings as a small chemical company in 1901, Monsanto has grown into the largest biotechnology seed company in the world with net sales of $11.8 billion, 404 facilities in 66 countries across six continents and products grown on over 282 million acres worldwide. Today, the consumer advocacy nonprofit Food & Water Watch released its report, Monsanto: A Corporate Profile.

"There is a growing movement of people around the country who want to take on Monsanto's undue influence over lawmakers, regulators and the food supply," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch and author of the book Foodopoly. "People need to know about Monsanto's history as a heavy industrial chemical manufacturer; a reality at odds with the environmentally friendly, feed-the-world image that the company spends millions trying to convey."

"At the end of March, the American public saw first hand the unjustifiable power that Monsanto holds over our elected officials when an unprecedented rider, dubbed the 'Monsanto Protection Act,' was tacked onto the spending bill to fund the federal government," said Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now! "This is an outrageous interference with our courts and separation of powers and we cannot sit back and allow our elected officials to continue to take orders from Monsanto at the expense of family farmers and consumers."

The report offers a timeline of milestones in the company's history including chemical disasters, mergers and acquisitions, and the first genetically modified plant cell.

"Despite its various marketing incarnations over the years, Monsanto is a chemical company that got its start selling saccharin to Coca-Cola, then Agent Orange to the U.S. military, and, in recent years, seeds genetically engineered to contain and withstand massive amounts of Monsanto herbicides and pesticides," said Ronnie Cummins, executive director of Organic Consumers Association. "Monsanto has become synonymous with the corporatization and industrialization of our food supply."

The report concludes with recommended actions for the federal government to take to temper Monsanto's anti-competitive practices and control over agricultural research and government policies. It also suggests steps that regulators should take to better protect consumers and the environment from the potentially harmful effects of GE crops.

"Even though you won't find the Monsanto brand on a food or beverage container at your local grocery store, the company holds vast power over our food supply," said Rebecca Spector, West Coast Director, Center for Food Safety. "This power is largely responsible for something else we cannot find on our grocery store shelves - labels on genetically engineered food. Not only has Monsanto's and other agribusinesses' efforts prevented the labeling of GE foods, but they spend millions to block grassroots efforts like California's Prop 37 in order to keep consumers in the dark." 

Remember to look for the SALES throughout the Co-op, displayed with white shelf tags below the items.

Members receive special discounts on these products.

Some are one-time deals, some are monthly sales, and others are introductory promotions.
Price tags show member prices and non-member prices, with the sales being for our Co-op Members only.

A Word From Our Deli

The Co-op Deli Special for the month of April will be a free 12oz coffee or 12oz Blue Sky soft drink, or a small Crystal Geyser water with your purchase of a whole Panini sandwich.

We will have a new “Deli Special” each month. Stop in and try our soups, entrees, salads and sandwiches!

And, if you have a suggestion for our new Deli cook, Val, please be sure to let her know – she’s always open to suggestions!

A quick FYI for anyone wondering: There is no date set for the Annual Membership Meeting yet, but it will NOT be in April this year.

Co-op Staff “Picks”

Co-op Board of Directors meets at the Community Cultural Center on the first Tuesday of each month, beginning at 5:30pm (subject to change)

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The Co-op News is edited by Claire Jeffko and River Jones,
and published as a service to the members of the Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op.

Letters and articles are welcome from members.
Please email your submission for consideration to us at .

Views expressed in The FireStarter are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Co-op management, directors, or membership. Acceptance of advertising does not indicate endorsement by the Co-op of the produce/ service offered.
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