By Joe Romano,
GreenStar's Grocery Department is proud to announce that, starting in March, they will be carrying a robust line of products from The Piggery. After a bit of work on both sides to ensure that our standards were being followed to the letter, the local producers at The Piggery worked out an arrangement with Interbrook Farms, one of The Piggery's family of farms, to work with our product guidelines and Meat Referendum standards to create products specifically for GreenStar. Products that we are likely to see in the store include pork chops, an assortment of ribs and bacons, sausages, and ham, to start with, but the list could expand with more local products.
Grocery Manager, Adam Morris, says that "customers who are shopping for the evening's dinner prefer fresh meat over frozen," which was why we worked so hard to be able to carry the Piggery's products. He said the staff of The Piggery "went above and beyond" what we could normally expect a vendor to do to comply with our standards. "They are extremely nice people to work with, and now they have a total understanding of how GreenStar functions, and how we are different from other stores," said Morris. "Ultimately, we are both part of the same local food system."
Not only are The Piggery and GreenStar part of the same local food system, we both see our part in it in much the same way. GreenStar and The Piggery share the distinction of being the only Food Justice Certified retail businesses in the world.
By Kristie Snyder,
During October, GreenStar member-owners have the opportunity to vote on a referendum concerning conditions on the sale of meat products at the Co-op. The referendum, if approved, would change conditions put into effect by a member referendum vote in April 2003. That vote allowed the sale of red meat at the Co-op under the conditions that meat producers be located within 40 miles of Ithaca and agree to inspections by a team of GreenStar volunteers.
The referendum will ask members to vote on three questions. Currently, meat farms that sell to GreenStar must be inspected in twice-yearly unannounced visits by Co-op volunteers to monitor animals' living conditions, water sources, and methods of slaughter. The first question, if approved, would instead require that farms obtain qualified third-party certifications to verify our current standards of humane treatment of animals. The second question, if approved, would give farms that currently supply meat to GreenStar a one-year grace period to acquire such a certification in the event that the first question is approved. The third question, if approved, would change the radius within which meat farms must be located from 40 miles to 100 miles of the City of Ithaca.
A summary of arguments for and against the changes that the referendum questions propose is presented below. Complete statements of support and opposition are available at the stores, in the Fall Member Mailing that is sent to all members. You can also download the mailing here. To learn more about the arguments in favor or against, please take the time to read these statements, and then cast your vote! Voting takes place from Oct. 1 to 31.
By Kristie Snyder,
Try this sometime: Come into the West-End store on a Tuesday or Friday afternoon, when Wide Awake Bakery has just made a delivery. There will be four freshly baked varieties to choose from. Buy a loaf of their bread. It will cost you six and-a-half bucks for the loaf. It will be worth it. Unless you are very lucky, the bread will be the best you've ever eaten. That might be all you care about, but there's a lot more to your loaf than meets the eye. It was made with grain grown a few miles away in one direction, and milled a few miles away in another. It was baked with heat from wood grown next door to the bakery. And to say it was crafted with love might be an understatement.
Like many of the world's great ideas, Wide Awake Bakery was conceived over a great meal shared among friends. Three people — Stefan Senders, who began baking bread at home as a release from the stress of his academic career, his wife, Liz Brown, and their friend Thor Oeschner, a local organic grain grower — were enjoying a meal together, with one of Stefan's loaves at its center. He had baked it with flour from Farmer Ground, at that time a new project of Thor, miller Greg Mol, and Erick Smith of Cayuga Pure Organics. "This is the best bread I've ever eaten," Thor told Stefan. "You should start a bakery and bake with our flour."
Stefan's response? "I thought, 'That's a really stupid idea.' But I was kind of intrigued." He stayed awake all night thinking about how to make it work. He talked to his wife the next day, and told her, "This could actually work!" Putting his anthropology background to work, he started calling bakers — all over the world. "They were incredibly generous. And what's really amazing is I never heard a negative story. They were all incredibly positive," he said. "There was tremendous satisfaction and belief that they were doing the right thing."
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New in Grocery
New pork products from The Piggery are now in our fresh meat case. Vegetarian? Try some new vegan Benevolent Bacon.
It's finally here (again)! We've dotted the I's and crossed the T's and finished our rigorous farm-inspection procedure for the Piggery family of farms. That's right, we're finally selling those local cuts right here at the Co-op! The Piggery has teamed up with Interbrook Farms to raise pigs that adhere to our bylaws, producing these cuts exclusively for GreenStar. Heather, owner of the Piggery, has created a wonderful, thriving business and farm whose impeccable reputation is spreading far and wide all across New York state. We're very excited to join the grocery stores, cafes, and markets selling their goods throughout the area, all the way down through the Hudson Valley and into New York City. Support your local farmer and try some fresh Piggery cuts today! For those of you who aren't celebrating this new addition, there's a new vegan alternative in the cooler — Hickory & Sage Benevolent Bacon from Sweet Earth! It's GMO-free and 100-percent vegan.