March 2019

Spotlight on Kimball Brook Farm

Our Co-op Spotlight is shining brightly on Kimball Brook Farm! Their full line of products is 20% off for member-owners from March 28th – April 3rd. Read on to learn more about one of Vermont’s finest family-owned organic dairy farms:

History

Kimball Brook Farm was first settled by Daniel Kimball in the late 1700s. Daniel and his sons continued running the farm until it was purchased by Edward Danyow in 1960.

The DeVos family purchased the farm in 1967 and on June 1, 1968, John De Vos Sr. and his son John De Vos Jr. moved their complete herd (50 cows), machinery and households from Monroe, New York to the Kimball Brook farm in North Ferrisburgh, Vermont.

John De Vos Jr. and his wife Sue operated the farm for over 30 years raising three sons and one daughter on the farm. The eldest son, John De Vos III (JD) and his wife Cheryl took over the business in 2001, expanding the herd from 80 cows to 200 and added a milking parlor.

In 2003, JD and Cheryl began transitioning the 220 cow farm to an organic operation and  Kimball Brook Farm became one of the largest certified organic dairy operations in the State of Vermont. The first shipment of organic milk was in September 2005. In 2010, they began the process of pursuing another dream of opening their own creamery in the former Saputo Cheese plant in Hinesburg. This would allow them to assemble, bottle, and package all of their own products. In June of 2011, they were awarded the VT Dairy Farm of the Year award and by May of 2012, they were celebrating the official opening of Green Mountain Organic Creamery.

At the Co-op, you can find a broad selection of Kimball Brook Farm’s organic products including Whole Milk, Cream, Chocolate Milk, Maple Milk, Mocha & Coffee Flavored Iced Cappuccino, Butter and Iced Teas. Also be sure to check out their newest additions to the lineup: Maple Lemonade, Strawberry Ginger Lemonade, and a line of teas and lemonades with CBD!

 

The Herd

The herd at Kimball Brook Farm consists of Holsteins, Jerseys and Jersey/Holstein crosses. During the growing season, their cows and heifers(teenagers) can be found happily grazing on the lush grasses their pastures provide. The cows that are being actively milked also get some mixed legumes and grains at the barn to provide them with the extra energy they need to produce rich, organic milk.

The Devos family believes that by maintaining the health of the land and the health of the cows, they can provide fantastic organic milk free of Growth Hormones, GMO’s, Pesticides, Herbicides and Antibiotics for consumers to enjoy.

Check out this fun video showing how Kimball Brook Farm milk gets from the cow to your kitchen table:

 

 

A polyculture of corn & sunflowers grown as food for the herd at KBF

Herbalist in the Aisle

Have you ever found yourself wandering the aisles of the Wellness Department wishing that an expert Herbalist would magically appear to help you choose the perfect remedy for what ails you? You’re in luck! Thanks to a partnership we’ve dubbed “Herbalist in the Aisle”, local Herbalist Julie Mitchell of EOS Botanicals will be on hand to answer your burning herbal wellness questions! 

Julie Mitchell is an educator, gardener, and herbalist who lives in New Haven, VT. She is the founder and owner of EOS Botanicals. The art and the science of being an herbalist has been a compelling force in her life for over 30 years. Motivation to engage in this path centers on the intention of being of service to her community.  She has been a volunteer herbalist for free clinics both here in Vermont and Nicaragua and an herbal educator for all levels and all ages. We have been lucky to have her teach workshops for the Co-op as part of our Co-op Classes at the Hannaford Career Center, including this exciting class on Topical Herbal Hydrotherapy coming up on April 17th! She is a gardener, wild-crafter, artist, editor, herbal product manufacturer, and herbal/health consultant, all with the intention to further both the health of the individual,  as well as the health of the environment.

Julie considers her scope of practice to be inclusive to many challenges to our well being. A more focal interest has been working with systemic inflammatory concerns with the emphasis on digestive health, the many aspects of healthy aging, tick-borne diseases and women’s reproductive health. She holds both a BSc, MSc degree in Herbal Medicine from the University of Wales, U.K., and is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild. 

If you’d love to chat with Julie, here are the dates that you can find her in the Wellness department:

 

Going Bagless for Earth Day!

Monday, April 22nd is Earth Day, and in honor of this fine holiday, we’re going bagless! The day will serve as a great reminder that there are many ways to bag your groceries, so why not choose the GREEN way? Please bring your baskets, reusable bags, repurposed cardboard boxes, or any grocery tote you prefer. If you forget, no problem; we’ll be giving away free reusable bags while supplies last, and we’ll also have repurposed cardboard boxes available.

Stop by the Co-op on 4/22 and enter our Raffle to win the earth friendly “Reusables Rejoice” prize pictured above!

Why bother with reusable grocery totes? Here are some interesting facts about disposable shopping bags:

While disposable paper and plastic bags seem awfully convenient, their cost to the environment can be hefty.

Plastic Bags

It is estimated that 5 trillion plastic bags are produced each year. Each plastic bag is used, on average, for about 20 minutes, though it takes a single bag over 1,000 years to completely decompose in a landfill. As it decomposes, it releases greenhouse gases into our atmosphere and releases harmful toxins into our soil and groundwater. Bags that don’t make it to the landfill litter the landscape and pose a significant threat to animal health and well-being; particularly for birds and aquatic life.

Plastic bags are quite commonly mistaken for food by animals, especially when the bags carry food residues, are brightly colored or are animated by the movement of water. A great variety of animals, land and especially marine, can choke to death on bags. If swallowed whole, animals may not be able to digest real food and die a slow death from starvation or infection. Plastic bags are responsible for the death of over a million seabirds and an estimated 100,000 whales, dolphins, turtles, and seals each year.

Americans throw away about 100 billion plastic bags annually. That is equivalent to dumping nearly 12 billion barrels of oil. But, what if you recycle them? That seems like a more environmentally-friendly way to go, right? Unfortunately, it takes 85 times more energy to recycle a plastic bag than it does to create it.

Paper Bags

Perhaps you opt for paper bags, instead of plastic. Those are better for the environment, right? Believe it or not, paper production creates 70% more pollution during production than plastic bags. One must also consider that paper bags are made from trees that could instead be absorbing carbon dioxide from our atmosphere if they weren’t busy becoming bags. The paper bag making process also results in 50 times more water pollutants than making plastic bags and uses more water during production.

While it’s true that plastic bags are made from crude oil, making a paper bag consumes four times as much energy as making a plastic bag, so the process of making paper bags consumes a good deal of oil as fuel for production, making both paper and plastic bags very oil-intensive products.

You can certainly recycle paper bags, though much like plastic bags, the process for recycling paper bags can be inefficient – often consuming more fuel than it would take to make a brand new bag.

In short, when it comes to the battle over which is greener, neither paper nor plastic has it in the bag.

Here are some great tips for remembering your reusable shopping bags:

  • Keep your bags in your car or purse so you have them every time you go out.
  • Make a note on your grocery list to grab the bags before you leave the house.
  • Get the kids in on it! Have them be the ones to get excited and bring the bags with them when you take them along shopping.
  • If you only have a couple of easy-to-carry items and are asked if you would like a bag,  say ” no, thank you”  If you are not asked if you would like a bag,  say “I don’t need a bag, thank you.” Simple.
  • If you do forget your reusable bags, check out the hallway area near the customer restroom. This area is often stocked with cardboard boxes from our deliveries, which are handy repurposed grocery totes.
  • Keep in mind, however, that to get the full greenhouse gas benefit from a reusable bag, it must be reused over 100 times. Reusable bags are energy-intensive to produce, but if you reuse them often over the years, the benefits really add up!
Bags to give away
Earth Balls Outside

Spotlight on Seventh Generation

Are you gearing up for some spring cleaning? Keep it green with Seventh Generation! They’re basking in the glow of the Co-op Spotlight this week and member-owners can enjoy 20% off their full line of products from March 21st – 27th. Read on to learn more about their energy efficient practices, socially responsible business model, and impressive efforts to bring labeling transparency to the cleaning product industry and tackle climate change:

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For over 30 years, Seventh Generation has been committed to the idea that business can be a force for good in the world—that a business can be successful and stand for what’s right. At Seventh Generation, they stand for nurturing the health of the next seven generations through the products they make and the actions they take. From their very first days as a company back in 1998, they have been creating powerful plant-based cleaning solutions for your home & family. Additionally, they aspire to:

  • nurture nature
  • transform commerce with honesty, responsibility, and radical transparency
  • enhance health through education, activism, and innovation
  • build communities advancing social justice and equality to unleash human potential.

As a mission-driven B-Corps business, Seventh Generation aims to pioneer a more mindful way of doing business. They developed a plan known as the Path to 2020  and began by examining their impacts as a business and considering the principles that matter to them as a company:  responsible sourcing; using materials from plants, not petroleum; ensuring the health of our planet and the people on it; having an engaged, motivated workforce; and caring for our community. To track their progress toward these goals and present them with total transparency, they post an annual Corporate Consciousness Report, which we invite you to check out.

Come Clean

Did you know that the law does not require ingredient disclosure on cleaning product labels? It’s time to tell the industry to come clean!  Seventh Generation firmly believes that you have the right to know what is in the products you buy, which is why they helped launch the #comeclean campaign. Through this campaign, they aim to air the cleaning industry’s dirty laundry. They support state and federal legislation to require manufacturers of both consumer household and industrial cleaning products to disclose all intentionally added ingredients, including fragrance components, on their product labels and on their websites.  Food and personal care products are currently required to have content labels, but there are no regulations in place for the ingredient labeling of household cleaning products – especially for the fragrances that scent those products. Chemicals of concern can hide behind the term “fragrance” in ingredient lists on your cleaning products – chemicals that have been linked to serious health effects including allergies, asthma, cancer, and reproductive harm. Want to take action? Click here for the latest updates on these critical pieces of legislation and find out what you can do to get involved.

#Readyfor100

At Seventh Generation, they’re #Readyfor100 not just for our planet’s health—but for human health, too. That’s why they’re shedding light on the fact that negative changes in our environment often result in negative effects on our health—especially for those least responsible: children, communities of color, and the elderly. That’s why they’ve partnered with Sierra Club, who created the #Readyfor100 Campaign as a way to grow revolutionary, grass-roots climate activism here in the U.S.

Like so many of us, Sierra Club realized that we don’t have to wait for big government intervention to stand up for our environment. Climate change may be a global challenge, but our best chance to make a difference is actually at the local level when communities and local leaders come together. Sierra Club has made it easy to take action, so you can tell your leaders that your city is ready. Many have already used their voices, and this 100-city achievement is a shining example of how powerful we can be together.

A huge milestone was recently reached in this collective journey to 100% renewable energy when Cincinnati, Ohio became the 100th city to pledge a switch to 100% renewable electricity by 2035. With your help, cities across the country continue to make the pledge, from Denton, Texas to Santa Barbara, California. With every city that Commits to Clean through 100% renewable energy, we all take another important step toward reducing the negative health effects caused by climate change and the burning of fossil fuels. The solution is here and it not only is attainable—it’s a solution being embraced across the nation because of the power in our collective voice. Learn more and get involved by clicking HERE.

 

The Bulk Section: Truths and Fun Facts

I cannot think of anything negative about choosing the bulk option when shopping at the Co-op.  We are fortunate that our member-owned market offers so many products in bulk, allowing you to buy just the amount you need, as compared to pre-packaged options that often sit around too long and are then thrown away.  When you buy in bulk, you will save money, get into some “real food” cooking, be inspired to create your own combinations from soups to snacks, and cut way down on food packaging waste. Some products sold in bulk are locally produced, and most are organic and not genetically modified.  Food sold in bulk turns over quickly, so bins are monitored and refreshed regularly.  

While most of us know about the herb and spice selection, the wide variety of flours, nuts and seeds, and various grains and legumes in bulk bins, did you know:

  • You can purchase just the right amount of safflower or canola oil, vanilla and almond extract, and two varieties of soy sauce from bulk dispensers. Containers are available for sale, but the best option is to bring your own!
  • It is possible to buy your preferred amount of shampoo or conditioner, along with dish soap from bulk dispensers.
  • If you ask a staff member, they will refill your container with honey or maple syrup at a reduced, bulk price. Also, inquire about 15% bulk discounts sometimes available on case lots.

The variety of choices for prepackaged tea and coffee at the Co-op can be staggering, but there are additional savings to be had in the bulk section. When you select and/or grind coffee from the bulk dispensers, you are charged a price per pound or 16 ounces.  While the sale price of prepackaged coffee in grocery stores is often tempting, remember that these bags typically hold 10 to 12 ounces. Also, consider re-using those lined coffee bags available under the coffee bean bins. They are expensive but rugged and can transport your coffee home multiple times.

Probably my favorite bulk buy at the Co-op is peanut butter, especially now with the new nut grinders. There are salted and unsalted peanut options, along with almonds for almond butter. Bring your own container and get a staff member to help you determine its tare weight if you are unfamiliar with this process … you only want to pay for the weight of the nut butter, not the container.

Finally, consider creating your own combinations from the array of products you can purchase in small or large quantities in bulk. For example:

  • You can combine dehydrated vegetables, herbs, and legumes to create a meal that is both economical and delicious. A couple of my favorites are Lentil Soup with Carrots and Rosemary, and Lentil Chili, which also contains bulgur for a complete protein, from Arthur Schwartz’s What to Cook When You Think There’s Nothing in the House to Eat. This book is out of print, but grab it if you spot it at a used book sale. It is organized by ingredients and I’ve never had a bad experience with these recipes.
  • Make your own snack mixes for school lunches using nuts, seeds, rice sticks, and dried fruits. This can be cheaper than buying prepackaged and you know what is in the snack.
  • I’ve discovered that making granola is a very easy process and it makes your house smell great while it is baking in the oven. If you have access to Jane Brody’s Good Food Book, it contains a great recipe that is much lower in fat and sugar than conventional granola but is still nutty and delicious.
  • When you need to get something on the table quickly for an evening meal and select some protein and vegetables from the hot bar, consider making these go further with either couscous or bulgur from the bulk bins. These are staples in many ethnic cuisines and require very minimal cooking.

I hope you have some rewarding cooking adventures with novel purchases from the array of bulk foods available at the Co-op!

Louise Vojitisek is a Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op Board Member

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spotlight on Klinger’s Bread Company

Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on Klinger’s Bread Company! From March 14th – 20th, member-owners can enjoy 20% off their full line of local fresh-baked artisan breads! Read on to learn more about this Burlington-based bakery and their time-honored baking traditions:

 

Rustic, Healthy, Hearty, Crusty, Chewy, Flavorful…
Just a few words overheard to describe the artisan breads of Klinger’s. Their hearth-baked breads were proudly brought to Vermont in 1993 by the Klingebiel families of Williston, Vermont and Salem, New York.

These flavorful, authentic European breads were developed by one of America’s premier artisan bakers. Their bakers have been thoroughly trained in the methods and subtleties of bread baking. The breads are made from starters which are allowed to develop over a thirty-hour period. Visit the bakery and watch their bread crafters at work. Amidst floured tables, you will see them mix the finest ingredients, hand shape loaves, and bake them with care in their French brick oven.

Klinger’s is proud to bring you the rustic, homemade taste of their signature artisan breads. Their goal is to produce breads with character and integrity, to make your mouth water with the aroma of loaves fresh from the oven, and to share the products of their labor with you again and again.

Spotlight on Lundberg Family Farms

This week, the Co-op Spotlight shines brightly on Lundberg Family Farms!  Member-Owners can enjoy 20% off their entire line of rice, rice chips, rice cakes, and risottos from March 7th – 13th! Read on to learn more about this family-owned company and their commitment to socially and environmentally responsible practices for more than 80 years:

Since the company was first founded by Nebraska natives Albert & Frances Lundberg in 1937, Lundberg Family Farms has remained a family-owned and operated company committed to producing the finest quality rice and rice products for your family, while respecting and sustaining the earth. Today, over 80 years later, the third and fourth generations carry on the family heritage by using eco-positive farming methods that produce wholesome, healthful rice and rice products while improving and protecting the environment for generations to come.

Founder Albert Lundberg, a survivor of the dust bowl, understood the importance of caring for the soil. He recognized that the dust bowl resulted from poor soil management and short-sighted farming techniques. With this in mind, the Lundberg’s made a choice to avoid growing typical conventional rice.  Their Certified Organic and Eco-Farmed rice is grown with a concern for the environment. They treat the soil, air, and water as important resources, respecting the delicate balances of nature. They are a proud participant of the Non-GMO Project, and positioned their company as an early leader in organic farming, energy conservation, use of renewable energy, providing safe and fair working conditions, and many other environmentally responsible and socially responsible practices.

As a member of the Sustainable Food Trade Association (SFTA), Lundberg Family Farms signed a pledge committing to reporting the company’s annual performance in 11 action categories: organic & land use, distribution & sourcing, energy, climate change & emissions, water use & quality, solid waste reduction, packaging & marketing materials, labor, animal care, sustainability education, and governance & community engagement. Each year, Lundberg Family Farms audits their performance in these areas and publishes the findings in their annual SFTA Sustainability Report. Click HERE to view the report.

Business of the Month: Middlebury Fitness

Are you looking to give your workout routine a spring makeover? We invite you to check out our Co-op Connection Business of the Month — Middlebury Fitness! Flash your Co-op member-owner card and you’ll receive 50% off the enrollment fee, 10% off a short-term membership, and your first class or workout is FREE! Better yet – during the month of March they’re completely waiving the enrollment fee for Co-op member-owners! Read on to learn more about what this community wellness center has to offer:

 

 

Middlebury Fitness is a community health and wellness center founded in 1997 that puts its members needs first. Their facility features a wide variety of the most current strength and cardio equipment by the leading brands in the industry. Is group fitness your thing? They offer a variety of programs and group fitness classes to meet the diverse and ever-changing needs of their member base, ranging from ages 13-93. Click here for their class calendar and descriptions. Other services and amenities include personal trainingfree equipment orientationsathletic performance trainingDietician consultationssaunasmassage therapy, and more!

The crew at Middlebury Fitness is incredibly proud to be so active in this great community and annually receive recognition and awards for various initiatives. For the past four consecutive years, they have received the United Way of Addison County’s “Partner Award” for an annual event that has raised $47,500 for our local friends and families in need. Wow!! They were the 2018 recipients of the prestigious BOB (Best of Business) award in the Health Club category by Vermont Business Magazine. 

At Middlebury Fitness they understand that you have options when it comes to your health and fitness needs. They aim to meet and exceed their members’ expectations every day and believe they have some of the most attentive, caring, professional and knowledgeable instructors, personal trainers and staff you will find. Their ultimate goal at Midd Fit is to ensure that each of their members achieves their personal fitness goals while experiencing exceptional customer service in a supportive atmosphere of fun and camaraderie.

If you are a current member, they’d like to extend a sincere THANK YOU for being a part of the Midd Fit family! If you are not yet a member, please visit and let Middlebury Fitness guide you through your fitness journey today! And don’t forget to mention that you’re a Co-op member-owner!

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