February 2021

Spotlight on The Bakery

Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on The Bakery this week! Member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all of their favorite baked goods from this local bakery hailing from the heart of Rutland, Vermont. Read on to learn more about the bakery and their commitment to serving up their local best:

 

If you’re cruising through historic downtown Rutland and find yourself craving fresh local baked goods and a great cup of coffee, The Bakery’s got you covered. Locals may recognize The Bakery as the latest evolution of the long-successful Baba-A-Louis Bakery — a central Vermont staple for more than 30 years. The time-tested recipes are the same, baked in the same original ovens, but the name, location, and the man at the helm have been new since 2013. 

Donald Billings, who also owns Roots The Restaurant and The Annex in Rutland, as well as Crux and Mountain Merchant in Killington, took over the bakery in 2013. Billings has been involved in the restaurant industry his entire life and was named Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce‘s 2019 Business Leader of the Year.

Owner Donald Billings behind the counter at The Bakery

The Bakery’s mission is to create delicious food from fresh, local ingredients. They’re committed to providing affordable meals from minimally processed, locally-grown food, including organic crops and humanely-raised livestock. The Bakery is proud to partner with local providers and values the relationships they’ve formed with the local farmers and producers in our region.

In addition to baking up some of the most delicious bread and baked goods around, The Bakery also offers a full menu of soups, salads, smoothies, and sandwiches to please any palate. Of course, they’ve had to be nimble in the face of the pandemic and have tailored their offerings to suit a curbside-pickup model in an effort to prioritize both the safety of their staff and the community.

Here at the Co-op, you can find a wide range of their baked offerings, including bread, bagels, English muffins, and a staff favorite lemon blueberry bread that will make you swoon! 

Wellness Wonders: Elderberry!

Our Wellness Wonders Spotlight for March shines brightly on a tiny but potent little berry with an extensive history of use and folklore in traditional western practices – the elderberry! For centuries, elderberries have been used to make culinary and medicinal preparations, including preserves, wines, cordials, teas, herbal infusions, and syrups. Ancient texts from Hippocrates (460 – 370BC), Dioscorides (40 – 90 AD), and Pliny the Elder (23 – 79 AD) include information about elder, indicating its longstanding value in herbal medicine, and elder has often been referred to as the “medicine chest of the common people.”

Elderberries are fruits of a hardy perennial shrub that can withstand less than ideal growing conditions. It grows in full or partial sun, tolerates the cold, and can withstand wet, clay soils. Here in Vermont, you may even see the native Sambucus canadensis growing in roadside drainage ditches, along rivers, or in wet fields. Its cousin, Sambucus nigra (black elderberry), is native to Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. The berries of both S. canadensis and S. nigra can be used for culinary and medicinal purposes, however, the seeds within the raw fruit contain a component called sambunigrin which can cause intestinal distress if ingested in large quantities, so it’s ideal to cook, tincture, ferment, or otherwise prepare the berries prior to consumption. It’s also important to note that the stems and leaves of the elder plant are toxic and should be removed prior to making an elderberry or elderflower preparation.

 

A bottle of homemade elderberry syrup on a wooden table, with fresh elderberries in the background

The berries, flowers, and bark of the elder (Sambucus) plant have long been prized by herbalists across the globe, and modern studies have also substantiated the berries’ ability to help maintain normal, healthy functioning of our immune system. This makes elderberry an excellent plant ally to promote resilience during times when our body’s systems are particularly stressed. While elderberry is most famous for being a cold and flu herb, its gifts extend well beyond sniffle season, promoting strong bones and healthy hair, protecting the heart and eyes, and supporting digestion, according to herbalist Emily Han of Learning Herbs.

Whole elderberries are typically prepared as teas, tinctures, syrups, wine, and cordials. They can also be used much like other berries in various recipes, including scones, pies, cakes, muffins, jellies, and vinegars. Beyond their medicinal properties, the berries pack a nutritious punch, as they are rich in flavonoids, boast a high anti-oxidant count, and are quality sources of vitamin C, vitamin A, bioflavonoids, beta-carotene, iron, and potassium, according to herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. You can find excellent tips and recipes for preparing elderberries here, here, and here. And a staff favorite fermented elderberry honey recipe can be found here

In addition to providing nutritious medicinal berries, the elder shrub produces beautiful white flowers that bees and butterflies love. According to Herbal Academy, the flowers have has been used since ancient Egyptian times for both medicinal purposes and as a beauty aid, as they were believed to help reduce wrinkles and age spots. A stronger infusion was often used to help heal skin rashes, eczema, measles, chapped skin, and sunburns; and flowers steeped in oil were often used to alleviate diaper rashes. The flowers have many wonderful culinary uses, as well. On a hot summer day, an elderflower cordial makes a most fragrant and refreshing treat. Click here for more elderflower recipes. 

Here at the Co-op, we offer an extensive lineup of elderberry products. There are local options from Eos Botanicals, McFarline Apiaries, New Chapter, and Maple Medicine, along with some of our favorites from trusted brands beyond Vermont’s borders. If you’re wondering which elderberry product is right for you, don’t hesitate to ask a member of our Wellness team! They’d be happy to help you select a product to suit your needs.

Unlearning and Re-learning – Engaging with Justice, Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity

On January 16th the Board of Directors of the Coop met for its yearly day-long retreat. Glenn Lower, General Manager of the MNFC, Greg Prescott, Operations Manager, and Victoria DeWind, Staff Liaison, also participated. We had two 3-hour sessions, facilitated by Jade Barker in the morning and Michael Healy in the afternoon. Jade and Michael are two facilitators from Columinate, a consulting cooperative. Michael has worked with us for many years and knows us well — the board, the store, and our history.

This day together is always a way for us to get to know each other a bit better and also to dive deep into a topic that we decide in the months leading up to the retreat. Last year’s outcome was a new Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI) policy. We all felt that that was the first step in ongoing, necessary, and crucial work. During the year, exceptional in so many ways, we all read more, individually and in groups, did workshops and discussed in many different settings issues of access, race, privilege, inclusion, and justice.

We decided to continue that work at the retreat, and, in the morning, Jade helped us deepen our understanding of how our society puts people of color at a great disadvantage, from every point of view. Here are two of the questions she asked us to reflect on and discuss: Why talk about race? What makes it difficult? We watched a video titled “How the Racial Wealth Gap was Created” that analyzed Redlining, difficult to watch, and important to know and digest. She then talked with us about what she has learned about race and food coops. I, personally, learned so much not only from the stories she shared but also from the way she led the session. One sentence she said keeps resurfacing in my mind and encouraging me to stay open: “Everyone has a piece of the truth.”

In the afternoon, Michael helped us reflect on the morning session, on the past year of unlearning and re-learning and to plan for what’s next. One of the outcomes of the retreat is the realization that this is, as one of the board members described it, an iterative process, it starts and it keeps going. We, therefore, decided to create a JEDI Committee (Justice, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) to do more research and continue discussions, and then advise and keep encouraging and shifting the Board towards more just practices.  The JEDI Committee had its first meeting in early February and is being chaired by new board member Esther Thomas.  As the committee un-learns and re-educates itself and brings this to the Board, the Board then supports Glenn in turning ideas into practices on the ground in the Coop.

The yearly retreat is something we all look forward to, for the space and time it provides to work “con calma,” as we say in Italian, slowly and calmly. This was our first retreat on Zoom and, despite the concerns we had and the lack of physical togetherness (and missing the Coop’s food…), it worked very well. If I can speak also for the other board members, we always come out of the retreat with a strong sense of connection and commitment, new ideas, and fresh energy.

Ilaria Brancoli Busdraghi is a Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op Board Member

Just Two Weeks Left To Submit YOUR Application for the Co-op Board!

Do YOU love your Co-op?  Why not run for the Co-op’s Board of Directors?  Board members are elected by our membership and play a very special role in steering our future.  But, don’t take our word for it, listen to what a current Board member has to say about serving on the Board:

 

Consider Being a Board Member…

Election season for the Board of Directors is upon us! I am frequently asked why I choose to be a member of the Co-op board.  We are all familiar with the refrain “voting with your dollars” as a shared value of conscious consumers.  I choose to spend my money at the Co-op because I believe in this slogan. And, I choose to be a member of the Board of Directors because I similarly believe in the concept of “voting with your time.” Being a member of the board allows me to “spend” my time committing to democracy.

Wendell Berry writes: “No matter how much one may love the world as a whole, one can live fully in it only by living responsibly in some small part of it.” In these unsettled times, participating in the democratic leadership of a cooperatively owned, local business allows me to practice living responsibly in my small part of the world. Our Co-op may seem like a small fish in the big pond of the globe—whether we buy organic, fair trade chocolate chips at the Co-op, or conventional chocolate chips from Amazon may seem dolefully inconsequential in the face of the massive social-justice issues our world faces. Participating in the democratic ownership of the Co-op, however, allows me to devote my dollars, time, and energy (the only resources I am fully in control of) to the pursuit of an alternative to our global status quo.

During our election season, I urge you to remember Wendell Berry’s concept.  Your decisions and interest matter – whether you are considering running for a spot on the board, or reading up on board candidates to vote in May.  Our Co-op may be small, but participating in the democratic process of our board elections allows us to practice living responsibly in our small part of the world, and thereby living fully in the world as a whole.

Board Recruiting Packets with details on the process of becoming and serving as a board member are available on the website here.  Applications are due March 15, 2021. If you have any questions about running for or serving on the board, please reach out to board@middleburycoop.com.  

Amanda Warren is a Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op Board Member

 

 

 

Spotlight on Dr. Bronner’s

This week’s Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on Dr. Bronner’s! Member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all Dr. Bronner’s products from February 25th – March 3rd, so it’s a perfect time to stock up and save. Read on to learn more about this mission-driven company and its deep commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

History

Dr. Bronner’s was founded in 1948 by Emanuel Bronner, a third-generation master soapmaker from a German-Jewish soapmaking family, who spent his life renouncing hate and war on a personal mission to unite mankind. He used the labels on his superb ecological soaps to spread his message that we must realize our transcendent unity across religious & ethnic divides: “We are All-One or None!” Still family-owned and run, Dr. Bronner’s honors its founder’s vision by making socially & environmentally responsible products of the highest quality—and by dedicating their profits to help make a better world.

Dr. Bronner’s founder Emanuel Bronner

Emanuel passed away in 1997 due to complications from Parkinson’s Disease, though his legacy lives on through his family who continues to run the business and carry out the social and environmental missions that Emanual held dear. The torch was initially passed to Emanuel’s sons Ralph and Jim, along with Jim’s wife Trudy, though, by 1998, Jim was battling cancer and began to train his son David (24-year-old Harvard graduate, mental health counselor, hemp advocate) to run the company. On Jim’s passing, David, along with mom Trudy and Uncle Ralph, began running the company, and in 2000, David’s brother Michael rounded out the team by joining the family business.

David, Trudy, and Michael Bronner

Advocacy

Intent to carry on Emanuel Bronner’s passion for the care of people and planet, Dr. Bronner’s has continued to dedicate themselves to using their business as a force for good. In 2003, Dr. Bronner’s became the largest personal care company certified under USDA’s National Organic Program. They pioneered the first 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, instituted progressive business practices, including the implementation of a 5-to-1 compensation cap between top salaried employees and their lowest-wage warehouse position, and provide 100% free health care coverage to their entire team, along with profit sharing. All profits not needed for the business are allocated to progressive causes and charities. Dr. Bronner’s was instrumental in funding and coordinating the hemp industry’s battle to defeat the DEA’s prohibitive hemp regulations and they’ve been outspoken advocates for the labeling of products produced using genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Click here to check out Dr. Bronner’s blog to read more about their advocacy and activism.

Certifications

Dr. Bronner’s has been Fairtrade certified since 2007, B Corps Certified since 2015, and they recently became one of the first companies to receive a Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC) from the Regenerative Organic Alliance for their coconut oil. This designation is given to products that meet the highest standards for soil health, animal welfare, and farmworker fairness and Dr. Broner’s is committed to eventually having all of their products receive this certification. The ROC and Fairtrade certified coconut oil that goes into Dr. Bronner’s products is produced by a sister company, Serendipol, located in Sri Lanka.

A coconut farmer harvesting the Fairtrade Regenerative Organic Certified coconuts for Dr. Bronner’s products

The palm oil used in Dr. Bronner’s products comes from another sister company, Serendipalm, located in Eastern Ghana. The palm oil is produced ethically from sustainably-harvested palm fruits that come directly from 500 small organic family farms. These farms were developed without the widespread clear-cutting of rainforest and the resulting devastation to local primates that are common with many of the newer, larger-scale palm oil plantations. The farmers, along with the 250+ workers in the oil mill (primarily local women) are paid a Fairtrade premium price and enjoy working conditions that are uncommon in this industry so marked by exploitation. The Fairtrade premium has been used for a range of community development projects, such as drilling wells and installing tanks to provide community-operated water systems, building public toilet facilities, rebuilding a pedestrian bridge, installing lighting, and providing school supplies.

The women of Serendipalm processing the ethically and sustainably-harvested, Fairtrade, Organic palm fruits to produce the palm oil for Dr. Bronner’s products

According to their website, “Dr. Bronner’s has always been an activist company, dating back to when Emanuel Bronner was calling on the human race to unite from street corners and auditoriums, selling his peppermint castile soap on the side. Carrying forward that same activist spirit, it is our mission to continue to use the company today to fight for and financially support causes we believe in: regenerative agriculture, fair trade, animal advocacy, industrial hemp and drug policy reform, and living wages, among others. We call ourselves the “fighting soap company,” and are committed and strategic in the causes we fight for.

Spotlight on The Manghis’ Bread

Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly this week on a family-owned bakery that’s been serving fresh-baked bread to their community for over 35 years. From February 18th – 24th, member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all products from The Manghis’ Bread! Read on to learn more about their rich history and commitment to community:

 

Elaine and Paul Manghi founded the Manghis’ Bread in their North Randolph home in the late 1970s. Their mission was to provide healthy, homestyle breads at an affordable price for local families. The business moved to Montpelier in 1980. From 1980 until 2010 Elaine and Paul were the constant faces of the bakery, arriving in the early morning and going strong until afternoon. In February 2010, Paul passed away unexpectedly. The dedicated staff rallied and kept the bakery running smoothly. For several more years, Elaine continued greeting customers and calling wholesale accounts at the bakery, her home away from home. She retired in the spring of 2014 with much appreciation from the staff and
the larger community.

Since then, Manghis’ has evolved into a real family business. Elaine’s daughter, Maria, continues to work with the retail staff and now carries Paul’s operational duties. Elaine’s son-in-law, Steve, left New England Culinary Institute in 2010. He now carries Paul’s production duties, assisting the bakers to mix and bake the goods that are so loved. Elaine’s son, Matthew, occasionally jumps in to assist in both the production and retail sales.

Maria & Steve Stoufer

The foundation of the business is still to provide wholesome breads, breakfast sweets, and seasonal holiday items at an affordable price for local families. Currently, the bakery is primarily a wholesale operation, selling anywhere from 1,800–3,000 loaves to roughly 40 small Vermont businesses each week. Over 35 + years of operation they have also found quite the following with local families and are growing a much larger retail business, which unfortunately has been put on hold due to the pandemic. 

According to Steve and Maria, the bakery strives to be an asset to their community as a solid contributor to the local economy, a sustainable business model, and a concerned community advocate. They strive to minimize their impact on the environment with their unique volunteer delivery system. They provide for all of their staff a competitive wage and a safe, caring environment in which to work. They aim to encourage and support the growth of professional development and create customer satisfaction with their products and with their service.

Whether it is the regular loaf of white bread or the extra special bourbon cakes, Manghis’ is a warm and welcoming Montpelier establishment, offering a special mix of homemade treats and good character. They all look forward to continuing to serve this community for many generations to come.

Foods To Put You In The Mood

The holiday of love is fast approaching and February is also a month dedicated to promoting heart health, so we thought it would be fun to offer up a list of foods that are famous for bringing some heat between the sheets. There are plenty of studies linking a healthy sex life to stronger immunity, lower prostate cancer risk, lower rates of depression, and a longer life span. And while there are many factors that determine whether you’re “in the mood”, choosing certain foods can provide a healthy nudge to get you on your way. 

  1. Dark Chocolate- There are several good reasons to indulge in a bit of dark chocolate, beyond its obvious deliciousness. Consuming dark chocolate releases phenylethylamine, which is responsible for boosting our feel-good endorphins. It also contains theobromine which helps boost our energy and the flavonoids present in dark chocolate have been shown to help with erectile function.  Additionally, chocolate contains the amino acid L-Arginine, which increases blood flow to erogenous zones.
  2. Bananas – These phallic-shaped fruits contain bromelain, an enzyme that triggers testosterone production, and the fruit’s potassium and vitamin B elevate energy levels.
  3. Figs- Perhaps one of the most infamous foods associated with sexual attraction, figs are loaded with magnesium, a necessary fuel that allows the body to manufacture sex hormones. D. H. Lawrence even penned a poem entitled “Figs,” dedicated entirely to what he views as the erotic powers of this delectable summer fruit.
  4. Asparagus- Asparagus is rich in folate, a B vitamin that promotes healthy nitric oxide levels, leading to healthy blood flow, and also helps increase the production of histamine. The correct levels of histamine are important for a healthy sex drive in both men and women.
  5. Celery- This ribbed veggie is loaded with pheromones androstenone & androstenol, which are helpful for jumpstarting sexual appeal.
  6. Oysters- Oysters have been associated with increased sex drive since the time of ancient Rome. This is likely due to the fact that they’re high in zinc, which is key for the proper functioning of the male reproductive system. And research also suggests that oysters and other bivalve mollusks contain amino acids—specifically one called d-aspartic acid—that may boost sexual function.
  7. Egg Yolks- They may not sound very sexy, but egg yolks are great sources of L-Arginine, which increases blood flow to erogenous zones, and B-12, which boosts libido.
  8. Hot Peppers- Capsaicin, the compound that gives peppers their kick, also fires up libido and blood flow. Even the sensory experience of eating a hot pepper—the way it triggers the release of pleasure-linked chemicals like endorphins—could also contribute to an uptick in friskiness.
  9. Beans/Lentils- B vitamins and iron present in pulses like beans and lentils promote neurotransmitter health, particularly boosting serotonin, which elevates mood and sex drive.
  10. Garlic- Organosulfur compounds present in garlic helps to improve blood flow to erogenous zones and also has a warming effect. Just don’t forget the breath mint!
  11. Organics- A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found in animal trials that exposure to Atrazine, one of the most commonly applied herbicides in the world, slashed sex drive, negatively affected hormone levels, damaged fertility, and even turned some male frogs into females. Not Sexy!
  12. Avocados – These fruits are rich in folic acid, which is helpful for increased energy production, along with healthy fats to improve mood and sense of well-being.

 

 

Spotlight on Breathing In Wellness

In honor of this month of love, we’re thrilled to shine a bright Member Deals Spotlight on a local business that infuses a bit of love into every batch of their handmade herbal wellness products. From February 11th – 17th, Co-op member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all Breathing in Wellness products. Breathing In Wellness is the lovechild of Reyna Morgan-Richer, along with her partner Louella, and they aim to bring you a line of products to gently carry you along a journey of self-care. We also happen to think that their products make perfect gifts for your Valentine. In fact, their Quiet Mind CBD Bath Soak might be just the thing for both of you to enjoy together… Read on to learn more about Breathing in Wellness and its evolution in Reyna’s own words:

 

 

Breathing in Wellness offers mindfully handcrafted products to help the user be more connected to space and time; for self-reflection and self-care as well as connection to their body. Moments of self-care are essential to our overall well-being. I believe that we come to this space having all kinds of experiences of being with our body, myself included! And Breathing in Wellness hopefully is a step in the right direction for helping the community (and myself) see and feel that.

My vision for Breathing In Wellness has always been one that encourages the PAUSE… Hand on the Heart…  Breathing In… Breathing Out… You are invited to notice the changes in your body and mind and spirit.

I desire Breathing In Wellness to be a healing space. But I didn’t always know that…

Years ago when I realized that I wanted to offer self-care products as my side gig, I just knew that the products I was making with plants were amazing! And it was fun to feel connected in a different way to the work that I was doing. Until 2018 when I left my job in the Human Services field, it was a way to destress. And I saw it as a way that I could encourage others in my field to do the same. Often times I felt overworked and under-appreciated, and working with plants in such a healing way was a real small part of why I began Breathing In Wellness; the plants and salves and salts made me happy. Learning about different plants and flowers and their medicinal properties made me happy. The other part of why Breathing In Wellness came to be, was to heal myself and those I loved when they were experiencing ailments that could be healed with herbs. As a cancer survivor and someone who deals with chronic, at times debilitating pain, I was finding ways to lessen my symptoms in a natural, safe, no side effects kind of way.

The thing that has gotten in the way of my spreading the message of and love in my products, is fear. This stems from childhood and young adult/ adult traumas that I have not fully considered, faced, or processed… But I’m working on it. And that is also a part of Breathing In Wellness.

I now see Breathing In Wellness as a space in which I can be authentically myself through and through. I think on some level that has always been the desire, but I just wasn’t there yet. I desire my brand to be an engaging and encouraging space for and of openness for growth and experiencing what may seem out of reach for whatever reason. This is actually no easy task. But nothing worthwhile is easy, is not fearful. Things can be hard and scary, there’s no issue in that, at all. It’s about moving through that space to a space of acceptance of those fears.

I welcome you to a space that accepts all of the easy and all of the hard things. And I welcome you to begin your process with Self Care.

Photo by Elisabeth Waller

Spotlight on Daily Chocolate

Looking for something sweet for your sweetie? Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with your partner, celebrating Galentine’s Day with your best gals, or simply treating yourself to some self-love this Valentine’s Day, we think that a special treat from Daily Chocolate is a perfect way to celebrate. Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on this local chocolatier and all of their decadent products are 20% off for member-owners from February 4th – 10th. Read on to learn more about this sweet little chocolate shop hailing from Vergennes, Vermont, and the people who put the love into the chocolate:

 

Daily Chocolate opened in 2006, the creation of Florey Mahoney and her partner Chris White. Three years later, after planting firm roots at 7 Green Street, the shop was purchased by Jen Roberts and Judd Markowski, an extended family of the shop’s originators.

Jen continued to operate the Daily Chocolate for the next ten years, vastly expanding the menu, and growing its reputation for creating delectable and unique confections. Under Jen’s creativity, she expanded the wholesale markets throughout Addison and Chittenden Counties. Thanks to Jen, Daily Chocolate can be found at numerous coffee shops, farms, and healthy food markets. Helping Jen along the way was Christina Caniyo, author, apothecary, and chocolatier, who was with the shop since it first opened in 2005. Also, a regular at Daily Chocolate, Vergennes artist and chocolatier Bethany Farrell.

On December 1st of 2020 Daily Chocolate changed hands once again. Leading the shop into a new decade is artist and chocolatier Dawn Wagner.

Dawn Wagner

Dawn’s first foray into chocolate was in the mid-’90s at Lake Champlain Chocolates. During her three years there she created some of the factory’s finer chocolates, produced entirely by hand, including many sculptures and other decorative pieces. After moving to NYC to pursue her theatrical career, Dawn continued to make chocolate both professionally for El Eden in the East Village, and privately through her own company cocoSNAP!

In 2016, after nearly 20 years in NYC working both Off and On-Broadway, Dawn, and her husband, actor Jeremy Holm made their triumphant return to Vergennes, Vermont. An old family friend to Jen’s husband Judd, Dawn immediately began working seasonally at Daily Chocolate beside Jen, and very happily joined the team full-time in the spring of 2019.

It is one of Dawn’s dreams-come-true to not only operate a chocolate shop but to be able to do it surrounded by friends and family in her home town.

Quality Ingredients

Daily Chocolate works hard to choose the finest ingredients for our recipes. We use natural, whole foods, free of artificial flavors and colors. Our chocolate is soy-free, and all of our recipes have been modified to remove corn syrup and white sugar. We are committed to shopping locally and organic whenever possible. We are happy to support our local farmers by using Monument Farms dairy, local Vermont maple syrup, & honey, Lincoln Peak Wine, and Cabot Creamery’s butter.

Sustainability

Daily Chocolate is committed to the wellbeing of our planet. Over the past few years, we have worked hard to reduce excessive plastics and increase recycled and biodegradable packaging and shipping materials. Please don’t forget about the luckiest chickens in Addison County, the recipients of the contents of the Daily Chocolate compost bin.

Ethical Practices

We are grateful for the equatorial farmers of West Africa and South America who grow the magical Theobroma Cacao plants that give us chocolate. We promise to source ethically and work with companies who comply with international standards, to end child and slave labor, and to pay these hard-working farm families a fair wage.

Creativity

Making Chocolate is like making theatre. It’s magical, a little mysterious, and when done correctly, it’s moving. Here at Daily Chocolate, we are committed to keeping our ideas fresh, our flavors inventive, and our look beautiful.

Wellness Wonders – Fish Oils

In honor of heart health month, our Wellness Wonder spotlight for February shines on fish oils!  While taking a fish oil supplement is no substitute for the wealth of nutrients you get from eating fish as a regular part of your diet, fish oil supplements can come in handy for those who either don’t enjoy eating fish or simply find it challenging to incorporate fish into their diet. Fish oils are lauded for their abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA, which are considered “essential” nutrients meaning that we must obtain them from the foods that we eat. Omega-3 fatty acids play important roles in brain function, normal growth and development, and inflammation. Deficiencies have been linked to a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, some cancers, mood disorders, arthritis, and more. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are also important to consume in order to achieve a healthy omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. Western diets tend to be deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and have excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids compared with the diet on which human beings evolved and their genetic patterns were established. Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today’s Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA (a low omega-6/omega-3 ratio) exert suppressive effects. In short, a lower ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids is more desirable in reducing the risk of many of the chronic diseases of high prevalence in Western societies

In addition to providing a healthy dose of Omega-3s, fish oils also supply our bodies with vitamin A and vitamin D. These vitamins are essential for growth, healthy bones, proper brain development, and a healthy nervous system. Vitamin A is critical for helping our bodies access and utilize water-soluble vitamins and they also act as an antioxidant, protecting the body from pollutants and free radicals. Vitamin A also stimulates the secretion of gastric juices needed for protein digestion, plays a vital role in building strong bones and rich blood, contributes to the production of RNA.  The body manufactures Vitamin D3 from cholesterol in the presence of sunlight and, while those living in southern climates can obtain all of the vitamin D they need from daily sun exposure, those of us in northern climes must consume diets rich in vitamin D containing foods, including marine oils and seafood.     

Here at the Co-op, we carry a wide range of sustainably harvested fish oil products from Carlson, Nordic Naturals, Wiley’s Finest, Spectrum, New Chapter, and an in-house brand.  If you have questions about fish oils, please don’t hesitate to ask a member of our Wellness team. They would love to help you select the perfect fish oil for your needs!                             

 

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