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."
By Joe Romano,
Mr. Natural! What does it all mean?
Mr. Natural: Don't mean sheeit...
Back in the sixties, when underground comics were in their heyday, a mystical guru named Mr. Natural was created by the counterculture comix artist R. Crumb. "Stick with me folks, I've got all the answers" ... "Heaven? Well, it's a little corny, if you ask me" ... "If you don't know by now, don't mess wit' it" — these were just a few of the stabs at insight made by the little bearded huckster. Chock-full of empty aphorisms, Mr. Natural was more hype than substance, more con man than wise man, exhorting his disciples to eat only his line of "Mr. Natural Brand Foods."
It seems he was onto something. When applied to food, the term natural is the perfect scam. It is wholly unregulated and devoid of meaning. The average consumer is not aware of the term's insignificance, equating it with organic, at least on some level.
And now, because the term natural is as dubious a guide to nutritional enlightenment as Mr. Natural himself, some courts have seen fit to protect the consumer.
According to CBS News, Kellogg's will stop using the labels "All Natural" or "Nothing Artificial" on Kashi products. The company will pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit in which it was charged with misleading people with those phrases on products that contained a variety of synthetic and artificial ingredients.
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New in Grocery
|The Turkeys (and Field Roasts) Are Coming|
Whether vegan or omnivore, you'll find everything you need for a terrific Thanksgiving feast right here at GreenStar.
Thanksgiving time has rolled around again, and we've got you covered again with all the good products you've come to know and love for your holiday feasting. For meat eaters, we offer organic, natural, local, frozen, and fresh turkeys. For vegans, options abound: check out Tofurky, Field Roast, and a number of Gardein vegan main courses. Scout around our aisles to locate whatever you may need: pumpkin, squash, baking products, stuffing, pie shells, gravies, sweeteners, sparkling beverages, vegan nogs and spiced drinks, and organic cranberry sauce. Looking toward December, we're rolling out the sweets and goodies a bit early this year. Be sure to check out the Alter Eco organic assorted truffle boxes! These Fair Trade goodies, a Co-op exclusive, provide a delicious way to satisfy your ethics and sweet tooth all at once.