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"?
Sunday, 11 October 2015 00:40
By Joe Romano,
You 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.
Tuesday, 15 September 2015 19:49
By Gary Fine,
GSCP Board Member
GreenStar 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 http://thecolorofood.com/bgf.
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!
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By Dan Hoffman,
12th Moon, Kristen Kaplan, Eric Banford, Susan Beckley, Jessica Rossi and Mark Darling finished the counting in just under four hours.
412 Total valid envelopes
21 total invalid = 19- no ID, 1- first of two ballots, 1- no ballot in envelope
Also = 1- name tag, 5- 2 cent slips, 1- Member Labor Request and two wooden nickles.
Two thirds vote required to pass.
Q#1 = PASS
Q#2 = FAIL
Q#3 = PASS
Q#4 = PASS
Q#5 = PASS
Q#6 = PASS
member-owners are the only ones who have the power to change the Co-op's bylaws, the organization's most basic and important document. There is an opportunity to do so (or not) during this month — at the Fall Member Meeting, at the stores, or by mail.
GreenStar's Council has established an ad hoc Bylaws Review Committee, which started meeting again earlier this year, after being inactive for at least two years. Council had referred a couple of issues to the committee, which identified several more on its own. In August, Council voted (unanimously, except in the case of #2, below) to send the committee's six recommended bylaws amendments to the membership for a YES or NO vote on each of the following questions:
1. Should the Co-op be allowed to use a withdrawing member's refundable equity contribution [which could be up to $90] to pay off any outstanding debt the member has to the Co-op (such as for bad checks)?
2. Should all Council candidates and members be required to satisfy any requirements associated with operational licenses maintained or sought by the Co-op (such as to sell or serve alcohol)?
3. Should Council be allowed to conduct closed executive sessions for two additional topics — possible litigation or contract negotiations?
4. Should the composition of Council's Immediacies Committee be changed to match that described in Council policy, and that of the Executive Planning Committee?
5. Should the use of gender-specific pronouns (such as "he" or "she") be eliminated in the bylaws?
6. Should three "clerical errors" made when the bylaws were amended in 2010 be officially corrected?
Much more information on the proposed amendments, including detailed explanations, pro and con statements and voting instructions, are available in the Fall Member Mailing, which all current members should receive in the mail by October 6. Members can vote up until close of business on Oct. 31 at either store, by mailing in the ballot from the Mailing, or in person at the Fall Member Meeting, on Friday, Oct. 16, at the Space.
By Alexis Alexander,
I have woken to a new day, a day when GreenStar's annual Member Meetings and pancakes are defined as pure elegance and inspiration. Surprised?
The morning after our Fall Member Meeting, I'm entranced by the experience of last night. I realize how far GreenStar has come over the years, and how integral and essential a partner we are in the wider regional food movement before us. Our roots as a buying club and grain store have matured into a multimillion-dollar community-ba...