Common Ground

Sunday, 11 October 2015 00:40

By Joe Romano,

Marketing Manager

talibkweli-Bio-1You gotta eat right, you gotta have healthy habits.

— Talib Kweli

Pope Francis chose to visit our nation recently, and he spoke to our president and to Congress about preserving "the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good." He spoke for the poor and the disenfranchised. The gist of his tour this year has been to address the problem of income inequality and the plight of the disenfranchised. While most people have applauded the focus of his tour, the U.S. congress did not meet his words without reservation.

You may wonder why. The idea of "the common good" seems like one we should all get behind, but that's precisely the problem, not only in our government, but in our American way of life. Life is not centered so much around the common good as it is around ourselves and our friends and families — around our needs.

We at a food co-op may not see it so much this way. We work for the common good every day, we cooperate, in fact, and we're proud of it. In that regard, we may have the jump on the average person. We treat our co-op as if it were the town commons — a place where people come to be together, to hash out the issues of the day, to make sure we all have what we need.

The commons, a place owned by no one where cattle could be grazed by all, shared by all, has disappeared from everyday life, and has been replaced by a virtual common space, the Internet, a vast common ground we all share, for better or worse.

Read more: Common Ground


Food Justice Fair Highlights Efforts in Our Community

Tuesday, 15 September 2015 19:49

By Gary Fine,
GSCP Board Member

color-of-foodGreenStar is more than a place to shop for healthy food. GreenStar Community Projects (GSCP), a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit created by GreenStar Cooperative, focuses on creating a local food system that's fair for all and good for the earth. In collaboration with like-minded groups, we are re-imagining the food system to serve all members of our community. GSCP believes that access to healthy local food is a right for everyone. To highlight the work being done in our community, we will host our fifth annual Food Justice Fair on Sunday, Sept. 20, at the corner of South Plain St. and Cleveland Ave. The Fair is planned in coordination with Streets Alive.

Natasha Bowen, author and creator of multi-media project The Color of Food, will be the Fair's keynote speaker. The Color of Food takes us into the lives of farmers of color all across the country. It depicts their triumphs and struggles, and offers testimonies of how race, gender, and access to resources play a pivotal role our country's agricultural system and how all of these things are coming together to reshape the food movement. You can explore Natasha's blog to learn more about her efforts to reshape the food system at

The Food Justice Fair offers an opportunity to meet those involved in creating our local food web. GSCP's collaborative brainchild Feeding Our Future is a network of local organizations that has been meeting regularly since 2012 to brainstorm ideas and actions to transform the food system. At the Food Justice Fair, you can meet members of the Feeding Our Future network, who will be on hand to share the work they're doing. One of this year's most important highlights is the formation, now underway, of a Local Food Policy Council. Find out more about Feeding Our Future and join upcoming sessions — they're always free and open to all!

Read more: Food Justice Fair Highlights Efforts in Our Community

Global Food Shock or 
Local Food System?

Saturday, 05 September 2015 17:12

By Joe Romano,

Marketing Manager

robin-ostfeldClimate is what we expect, weather is what we get.

— Mark Twain

As we enjoy the harvest season here at GreenStar, and as the abundance of local products come in, everyone in our stores becomes a little more connected to the seasonal rhythms of nature that give us our food.

Just recently, we've seen many gorgeous varieties of local heirloom tomatoes make their way into our store, as well as local peaches from the Good Life Farm, melons from Plowbreak Farm, and, of course, we're observing the annual countdown to the arrival of Thornbush Grapes. How long they last, how early or late they arrive, and the yields produced are all dependent upon sometimes-small fluctuations in weather.

We are lucky here in Ithaca; we have a wide range of local produce available to us. We take measures to extend our admittedly short growing seasons with hardy varieties, multiple plantings, hoop-houses, and good old-fashioned ingenuity. We even grow food indoors, so it's no surprise to see our tally of local products swell to close to 4000! We have a luxurious bounty, even though we don't depend on chemicals, pesticides, and genetically modified strains. We farm the old-fashioned way for the most part, in tune with the seasons, the crops, and the community. If there is too much or too little rain or heat or cold, it can have an impact, one we measure as a community and we can respond to as a community — canning part of a bumper crop, for example, for use in lean times.

Read more: Global Food Shock or 
Local Food System?


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Current Job Postings

  • By Alexis Alexander,
Membership Manager

    ballot-boxIn October, member-owners have the opportunity to vote on six bylaws changes being proposed by Council. GreenStar's bylaws, the rules that govern the internal management of the Co-op, were originally established when GreenStar was incorporated. According to our bylaws, one of the essential rights of member-owners is the ability to vote on the creation and changes to the bylaws and missio...



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