|Goodness Baked from Scratch in Co-op's Kitchen|
By Kristie Snyder,
When I stopped into GreenStar's Bakery recently to talk with Bakery Manager Jillian Brazel about new products, she and her staff were huddled around a stand mixer that was running full tilt. Inside was a frothy vegan meringue of aquafaba (an amazing egg replacement) and sugar, miraculously transforming as the bakers watched in wonder.
Friday, 13 November 2015 03:28
By Jennifer Wholey
On a Friday afternoon, I was scheduled to chat with Brent Maynard, one of the two founders of FingerLakes Farms. FLF is a distributor of New York State local foods from approximately 30 different farms, including Oink and Gobble Farm, the source of GreenStar's local turkey option this time of year. I'd been trying to catch Maynard on the phone for a week and a half, hoping that he could put me in touch with the turkey farmers themselves, who are Amish. When our second attempt at an appointment rolled around, my call went to voice mail again.
Maynard apologized when we finally connected the following day. "One of my customers from New York City walked in the door," he explained. "He was like, 'Hey, I'm in town.' So I gave him a tour. I can be a really hard guy to get a hold of."
As a small business owner, Maynard finds himself holding the position of operations, sales, and purchasing. From his facility in Seneca Falls, he's constantly fielding phone calls from growers, customers, and employees, in the warehouse and on the road, or from his crew in NYC, so I don't fault him one bit. Covering farmers for GreenLeaf, I quickly realized that unpredictability is part of the game — it can even lead you on a wild turkey chase.
According to Lucienne Binkerd-Dale, Grocery Assistant Manager at GreenStar, the Co-op has been working with FingerLakes Farms since its inception in 2009. "They supply us with many great local products, like Ithaca Milk yogurt and milk, Meadow Creek eggs, Hawthorne Valley Farm sauerkrauts, and Red Jacket juice. They've been supplying us with turkeys since 2010."
According to Binkerd-Dale, the local turkeys at GreenStar are very popular. "In the last few years, we've sold nearly twice the number of local vs. non-local," she said. She likes working with local suppliers like Oink and Gobble in particular, because they provide the freshest turkeys you can get.
Oink and Gobble Farm comprises a multigenerational family of Amish farmers dotted around Interlaken and Ovid. A group of brothers has sold both pigs and turkeys wholesale, and they also produce eggs and flowers. They process all FingerLakes Farms poultry in their own processing plant. These days, the "oink" in Oink and Gobble is only processed for the family's own consumption.
Friday, 13 November 2015 03:12
The juice of a carrot, the smile of a parrot,
A little drop of claret, anything that rocks...
— Ian Dury, from Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3
By Joe Romano,
According to the Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero, "gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others." Since GreenStar is sprung from the virtues we call cooperative principles, and with the holiday we call Thanksgiving only a few weeks away, there seems to be no better time than the present to dwell on all the things that our GreenStar community has to be thankful, or even grateful, for.
Studies show that we can actually cultivate gratitude, and that we can improve our health, happiness, and well-being by doing so. Science has even proven that gratitude provides concrete benefits. For example, according to a 2014 study in the journal Emotion, grateful people are more likely to create new friendships and new opportunities. A study published in Personality and Individual Differences reports that gratitude improves physical health. Psychological health, empathy, self-esteem, and mental fortitude all have been scientifically shown to benefit from a healthy dose of gratitude. It can even help to provide a good night's sleep. According to a study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Wellbeing, writing in a gratitude journal improved the quality of one's slumber. Participants simply jotted down things they were grateful for before bed, and those who did so increased the quantity and quality of their sleep as compared to a control group. Oprah keeps a gratitude diary. Even notable nihilist, Frederick Nietzsche, believed that "the essence of all great art is gratitude."
But really, what do we have to be grateful for? We're all aware of the news; every day we hear of a multiverse of wrongdoing, erosion, and transgression. Every news cycle brings a fresh atrocity. In our modern world, instead of the simple and manageable dose of local tragedy people got in the past, we now get a world-sized cup of woe every morning. It's just too much. In the past, a single murder might have occurred once in a while in a small community. Now, thanks to the 24-hour World Wide Web, television, and other technologies, what would have been a contextual anomaly is gathered and delivered to us all as the news of the day. We all hear of every tragic event in every community, no matter how small or far away. It's the opposite of a gratitude journal, and if we immerse ourselves in it, we can't embrace thankfulness. Is it no wonder that, immersed in his world-view, Joseph Stalin thought that gratitude was "a sickness suffered by dogs"?
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Bulk Department Manager
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