bulk news P E A should vfc S O U P BAN the BOTTLE? by Charlene Elderkin, Marketing Manager Every year, the average US citizen spends over $400 on...

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bulk news


should vfc


BAN the BOTTLE? by Charlene Elderkin, Marketing Manager

Every year, the average US citizen spends over $400 on bottled water. This is 1,900 times the price of tap water, yet Americans still use an average of 28 billion bottles of water yearly. Of those 28 billion bottles, 22 billion end up in landfills (where it then takes 300 years for the plastic to biodegrade). The production of bottled water, according to the What’s Tappening website, uses as much as 17 million barrels of oil—enough to fuel a million cars for an entire year. In a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council, 47% of respondents said they drank bottled water because of what they saw as health and safety problems with tap water. But the idea that all bottled water is pure is a marketing myth. Bottled water generally is no cleaner, safer, or healthier than tap water. In fact, the federal government requires far more rigorous and frequent safety testing and monitoring of municipal drinking water. • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates only the 30 or 40 percent of bottled water sold across state lines. • According to a Natural Resources Defense Council study of 103 bottled water brands, about one-quarter of the brands tested contained bacterial or chemical contamination in some samples at levels that violated “enforceable state standards or warning levels.” • The same study found one-fifth of the tested brands “exceeded state bottled water microbial guidelines in at least some samples.” • When combined with bromide, ozonation—a process increasingly used to disinfect bottled water—can produce bromate, a possible human

M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 0

carcinogen. In 2006, FDA ordered a recall of several brands of bottled water with bromate levels that exceeded the standard of 10 parts per billion. • The FDA has less than one full-time employee devoted to bottled water oversight. The rules apply only to bottled water packaged and sold across state lines, which leaves out about 60 to 70 percent of water bottled and sold within a single state. FDA regulations also exempt carbonated bottled water. • The FDA requires that companies test for bacterial contamination in water only once per week, and they must test only four empty bottles once every three

this issue cover article • banning the bottle • pg1-pg2 deep discounts • what’s NEW in the aisles • pg3 plants & seeds • Spring Gardening • pg4 living our mission • How green is VFC? • pg5 what’s happening • Store news & events • pg6-7 organic food • your food choices • pg8 board’s eye view • Sustainablility • pg9 co-op products • wellness news • pg10 classifieds • new owners/We Respond • pg11 pea soup information • Deadlines/Info • pg12 1

bottled water months for bacterial contamination. When it comes to chemical, physical, or radiological contaminants, a sample of water must be checked only once a year. • The FDA, charged with overseeing the health and safety of bottled water, does not test bottled water for phthalates like DEP—a chemical that is used to produce plastic water bottles and which is also a potential cancer agent in humans. • The EPA requires that water systems serving more than one million residents test 300 water samples per month, while utilities serving three million people or more must collect and test 480 samples monthly, far more than the once–a–week test for bottled water. Another reason to stop buying bottled water is the release of independent studies regarding bisphenol-A (BPA) and how this chemical may be adversely affecting our health. First synthesized in 1891, BPA is used in the production of epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics worldwide. It is used to make plastic bottles of all kinds and is often used as a coating inside canned goods to protect the contents from exposure to the metal. However, as these plastic bottles and canned goods age, BPA has a tendency to leach into the contents where, according to several studies, they adversely affect our health in many different ways. The plastics industry says that BPAs are benign and that there is no cause for alarm, but there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. According to its critics, BPA mimics naturally occurring estrogen, a hormone that is part of the endocrine system. “These hormones control the development of the brain, the reproductive system and many other systems in the developing fetus,” says Frederick vom Saal, Ph.D., a developmental biologist at the University of Missouri. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals can duplicate, block or exaggerate hormonal responses which lead to a wide range of developmental difficulties. In recent years, scientists have moved from studying BPA’s damaging effects in laboratory animals to linking it to heart disease, sterility and altered


childhood development in humans. Many questions still remain about dosage effects and the full nature of those links, but this January the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that “recent studies provide reason for some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.” We are just in the beginning stages of understanding how BPA affects our health but given the preliminary findings, the outlook is not rosy. As Science continues to search for a culprit in the rising rates of cancers, tumors, miscarriages, Down’s syndrome, birth defects, autism, and a wide range of other maladies, BPA figures to be at

Bring in any clean, stainless, glass or BPA-free plastic container that’s under 64 oz. and fill it at VFC’s Reverse Osmosis station for a mere 25¢ least a contributing factor. And if the impact on human health weren’t bad enough, a survey of 200 sites in 20 countries around the world has found that bisphenol-A is ubiquitous in Earth’s oceans. The oceanic BPA survey, presented March 23 2010 at an American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco, was conducted by Nihon University chemists Katsuhiko Saido and Hideto Sato. At an ACS meeting last year, they described how soft plastic in seawater doesn’t just float or sink intact, but can break down rapidly, releasing toxins. In their new findings, they showed that BPA-containing hard plastics can break down too, and found BPA in ocean water and sand at concentrations ranging from .01 to .50 parts per million. As for what those numbers mean for public and environmental health, it’s hard to say. BPA can cause reproductive disorders in shellfish and crustaceans,

and doses below a single part per trillion can have cell-level effects, but the path from water and sand to ocean animals needs to be studied. About three million tons of BPAcontaining plastics are produced each year. The United Nations estimates that the average square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of plastic trash. “Marine debris plastic in the ocean will certainly constitute a new global ocean contamination for long into the future,” wrote Saido and Sato in their presentation. A number of states have already banned BPA in baby bottles. Other U.S. Co-ops, including Linden Hills of St. Paul, MN and the Ashland, OR Food Co-op no longer sell water in plastic bottles smaller than a gallon. Pioneering restaurants in San Francisco have pledged to kick their bottled water habits and only serve tap water to their customers as part of Food & Water Watch’s Take Back the Tap Campaign. What should VFC do? As a mission-driven cooperative with close to 80% of our sales purchased by owners, you vote with your dollar. VFC staff does not want to be the food police, but we will provide you with information so you can make an informed choice. Sales of small plastic bottles of water are strong in our store; does that mean our owners are voting for them, or they just don’t know the issues? Until enough of our owners stop buying single serve bottled water, we’ll continue to offer it. But we’re offering an irresistible deal to entice you to switch over to reusable water bottles. Bring in any clean, stainless, glass or BPA free plastic container that’s under 64 oz. and fill it at VFC’s Reverse Osmosis station for a mere 25¢. (No soft plastic containers please, this is what we want to reduce!) The next time that you reach for a plastic bottle of water to quench your thirst, think about the possible costs that have nothing to do with the price on the bottle. Sources:

takebackthetap.org/ www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/bottled/take-backthe-tap/ www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/03/ocean-bpa/ www.waterfiltering.com/bottled-water/bpa-bottledwater.html

Deep discounts

. . . o n s elected items for VFC owners on l y du rin g t h e m o nth o f Ma y

lakewood organic LEMONADE



32 oz. Reg. $3.89





32 oz. Reg. $2.79 LATE JULY

deep discounts





Reg. $1.59


Sustainably caught




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5 oz. Reg. $3.99 XOCHILT WHITE CORN




16 oz. Reg. $5.59

CRACKERS Classic Rich or Saltines $




Spud Puppies or Shoestring Potatoes $

6 oz. Reg. $3.19


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8 lb. Reg. $13.49





Thoroughly Clean FACE WASH



truckload compost sale Saturday, May 22 10am-2pm

One truckload of compost will be available on May 22 for delivery to your place, call ahead to reserve. Or buy bags on sale all day for $8.99 (regularly $10.49)!

FLOWER ESSENCE WORKSHOP Sunday, June 27th 3-5 p.m.

Robb Doser of Flower Essence Service will present a workshop at VFC, on flower essence blending for personal use. The workshop is scheduled for 3-5 p.m.

8 oz. Reg $8.49



8 lb. Reg. $17.89




50 pads Reg. $6.39


plants & seeds

Spring Gardening If you are growing some of your own food this year, you probably want to do your best to nurture your plants to create high quality produce. Your crops store longer, give you greater natural nutrition, and are more resistant to insects and diseases if the soil they grow in is alive with micronutrients and soil flora. We want to make it easier for you; that’s why we offer various agricultural amendments such as azomite, greensand, rock phosphate, kelp, compost, as well as various mixes to supplement your soil. A soil test points out glaring inadequacies, and we have entry form copies available for you to send in to the WI labs. And new this year here you’ll find biodynamic compost starter and soil conditioner, too! Although this area has a reputation for having a short growing season, many vegetables have a wide range of growth and harvest. For example, potatoes traditionally could be planted very early, growing slowly while the soil is still cold and be harvested in July; but could also be planted anytime up to late June for a late storage crop as well. More well known examples are spring and fall crops of broccoli, cabbage, and lettuces. You can think this way about carrots, beets, radishes, kohlrabi, cilantro and dill, too. Beans, summer squash, and cucumbers you’ll want to plant every 3 weeks to assure a longer harvest season. Don’t forget long standing crops like chard, kale, parsley, leeks and collards, which can be harvested from your garden until Thanksgiving! We carry seeds for you all season in case you need more. Have you noticed our bulk seed selections of staples such as peas, beans, corn, and now spinach too? For starts or repotting we have supplies of organically acceptable potting soil. And we carry hard-to-find high quality tools to help you make it all easier. If you’ve been to the Co-op recently you’ll have noticed our seasonal greenhouse is up! Here you’ll find a full range of locally grown plant materials. Nathan Elderkin is back in action, Harriet Behar brings her biodynamic beauties, Morning Star Farm has a new generation of herb and flower growers, Shining Hills shares their perennials, and local farmers Dave Miles and the Glick family spare some of their certified


organic seedlings. This year we’ve added some more growers to assure a wide selection. You’ll find flowers from The Flower Barn near Rising Sun, and bedding plants and more from Bluff View Greenhouse in DeSoto & Victory. While those two aren’t technically organic, they’re local and work hard to assure high quality products. But you may also see some certified organic selections from West Star Farm in Madison, too! We’re so lucky to be blessed with bounty, beauty, and convenience! What’s a Refractometer? Don’t you love how spring brings new things? One thing we have new here at the Viroqua Food Co-op is a tool called a refractometer, which is a hand held device that uses natural light to refract a drop of liquid put on its lens. Now we can measure the Brix of various produce. Brix is a measurement of the fraction of sugar per hundred parts aqueous solution, by mass. Refractometers have been in use for several years now to measure the percent dissolved sugar during the brewing process, and the grape industry uses them to decide when to harvest their naturally sweet product. In fact, refractometers have given validation to Biodynamics by showing that vineyards treated with biodynamic sprays give grapes with a higher Brix register. Some agriculturalists using refractometers have proven that if a plant has the proper nutrition, then it will be able to fully build complex sugars and proteins and thus have higher Brix. The higher the nutrients in the soil, the healthier the plant, the more for us to digest and assimilate. Now, just because a drop of liquid has a high Brix doesn’t mean it’s of higher nutrient value; a soda will have a high Brix. But when comparing apples to apples, or oranges to oranges, the higher Brix will show higher overall nutrition. Look for our new purple tags on items we have had a chance to test. We’ll be comparing the Brix from our organic selections with some conventional produce purchased at other local grocery stores - check our website or facebook for dates. Thank you for your support as we co-create an enlightened, lifeloving reality.

A r w y n W i l d i n g w a y, A s s i s t a n t Pr o d u c e M a n a g e r

Truckload Compost Sale Saturday, May 22, 10am-2pm

One truckload of compost will be available for delivery to your place Mayy 22 only, call ahead to reserve. Or buy bags on sale all day for $8.99 (regularly $10.49)

it’s not easy BEING GREEN I am fortunate to attend national and regional meetings where leading economists speak about the state of our economy and trends for grocery retailers. Despite the overall belt tightening in recessionary times, products and companies representing ethical business practices did not experience the anticipated declining sales. In fact, many economists predicted sales to drop substantially for this category but it’s the opposite of what happened. The price of organic and ‘green’ products did not stop consumers from purchasing; instead they kept or added organic and green products to their shopping lists! This means many consumers, with less to spend, select high quality organic foods and decide to support companies that give back to their communities. Why, we might ask? Well… I leave this for the economists to spin; they too need a job. But we get a bird’s eye view here at the Viroqua Food Co-op. We experience firsthand the commitment folks have to the health and wellbeing of their families, community and the environment. They choose organic foods, cook from scratch, and clean their homes with non-toxic products. They recycle, compost and grow their own veggies. When we tell the story of a company who donates a percentage of their profits to charity, certifies for Fair Trade or follows environmentally sound practices, we see shoppers making a choice to support those companies. When we mark a product as local or regional, we know we’re helping folks recognize the importance of building a strong local food economy. Beware American consumer! These days’ being green is a marketable idea that doesn’t require the proof of good intentions or actual practices. Green-washing and Local-washing are attempts to jump on the bandwagon to gain increased sales! Green and local products are attractive to retailers because of their growth trends, but calling it local doesn’t make so. Big box stores are advertising themselves as ‘your local outlet.’ Garden products

labeled as ‘green’ and organic were recently discovered to contain not one certified organic ingredient. At VFC, our local tags signify a product as grown or produced within a 100 mile radius of Viroqua. Regional tags are for products from the 4 states around us and greater Wisconsin. As for green; the VFC used many green building materials and practices when we built our current store, but we’re not stopping there! Here are a few of our recent projects along with a few coming up: • We have plans for photo voltaic or solar thermal panels on our south roof to heat water and collect energy. We are eligible for grant money and incentives but also need to add our own funding to complete the project. Watch for details and opportunities to help us achieve supplemental solar power at the Co-op! • Jeff, VFC’s facilities manager, is using 6 watt LEDs (light emitting diode) to replace the 20 watt spotlights. They carry a 15 year warranty and cut energy usage by over 66%. • 2 woven aluminum night curtains were installed on open air coolers, with more coming this year. The curtains reduce energy consumption by around 30%, extend compressor life. • An air curtain was installed over the front door to reduce hot/cold energy intrusion into the building. • We’re beginning to replace our 4' full spectrum fluorescent lighting tubes throughout the store with LEDs that use 15 watts, cutting energy usage by over 50% in those fixtures. • Improved recycling containers in the seating area and the patio are coming soon. We make a positive impact on our community by choosing local, organic and truly green products and practices. Go Co-op!

Jan Rasikas, General Manager

living our mission

living our


OUR MISSION: The Viroqua Food Cooperative combines a commitment to natural foods, superior customer service and the building of a cooperatively run business. We emphasize selling organic and local foods and products to promote the long-term health of individuals and the environment. As member-owners and as a center for community, we offer the opportunity to create together a work of enduring value.

Feb 27: VFC’s annual Staff Party was held at the Viking Inn. We shared a meal and door prizes, and watched a performance by Raw Milk Improv. Thanks for letting us close the Co-op a bit early to celebrate our work together. March 7: Staff member Robert Lambert participated in the POLAR PLUNGE for the 9th time! March 6: Our fifth annual Meet your CSA Farmer event. Five local CSA’s were represented. March 17: Reality Daze - Charlene Elderkin amd Jackie Rebman represented VFC at this regional activity for high school students. March 18: Charlene Elderkin attended the second meeting of The Driftless Valley Food and Farm Project, a collection of farmers, consumers and organizations working to expand the local food system in the four-state Driftless Region. April 12-16: GM Jan Rasikas to NCGA Central Corridor Meeting in Fayetteville, AR. April 29: Jan Rasikas & Charlene Elderkin gave a presentation about VFC & the history of Co-ops to the Board of Directors of Accelerated Genetics, a Vernon County Co-op since 1941!


store news and events

what’s new in the FREEZER? If you haven’t visited our freezer department in a while, make sure and take a gander over there the next time you’re shopping at the Co-op. In April we spruced up all the freezer doors and added many new products. I’m sure there is something there to please everyone. Below is a list of the new items you’ll find in the freezer department. So swing on over and have a look at our new offerings – during the month of May you’ll find special sales throughout the freezer department. Desserts & Sweet Treats Almond Dream: Almond Milk Frozen Desert in pints, Bites, bite size nuggets of frozen Almond Dream covered in chocolate, Lil Dreamer ice cream sandwiches. Rice Dream Bites, same as the Almond Dream Bites only made with Rice Dream Organic Nectar RAW Pistachio Gelato, yes this is a raw product!

Julies GF* Ice Cream sandwiches Just Pik’t fresh squeezed frozen Orange Juice and Grapefruit Juice Amy’s Organic Cake, 11 oz. vegan dessert size cakes in Chocolate or Orange flavors Wholly Wholesome Butter Pound Cake, great for strawberry shortcake. Amy’s OG Toaster Pops in Strawberry and Apple. Entrees & Quick Meals 3 Styles of Blake’s OG* Mac & Cheese: Farmhouse, with Chicken or with Veggies Michael Angelo’s Pocket Calzones Tandoor Chef Chicken Curry Tandoor Chef Naan Bread Caeser’s Gluten Free entrees, Veggie Lasagna and Manacotti Amy’s Frozen Entrees: Tamale with Roasted Vegetables G/F, Tamale Verde with Black Beans G/F, Tortilla Casserole with Black Beans G/F,

BULK HERBS, SPICES & TEAS We strive to supply high-quality natural and organic ingredients. The Viroqua Food Co-op is working to answer your questions about the contributing role culinary herbs, spices and teas have in a healthy life style. The majority of VFC bulk herbs, seasonings, spices and teas come from Frontier Natural Producer Co-op which was founded in 1976 in Southeastern Iowa. Frontier Co-op is committed to ethically grown and harvested herbs and in 2006 they developed a proactive certification program called Well Earth; promoting social and environmental practices for producers and growers. Buying in bulk is an effective way to reduce waste. Bringing in your own container to reuse also saves you money and supplies your basic needs at home. VFC is committed to carrying only non-irradiated culinary herbs, teas and spices.


Brown Rice Veggie Bowl G/F Amy’s Indian Meals: Paneer Tikka G/F, Mattar Paneer, and Palak Paneer Amy’s Samosa Wraps Annie Chun’s Mini Pork Wontons Alexia Onion Rings, Mozzarella Stix and Mushroom Bite Snacks Glutenfreeda’s GF Burritos Home Run Pizza in Cheese and Cheese and Sausage Dominex Eggplant Cutlets, Italian style Breaded Bahama GF Rice Burgers Sunshine Veggie Burgers, made with brown rice and sunflower seeds and Locally made in Fort Atkinson, WI Breads Udi’s GF White Sandwich Bread and Whole Grain G/F Bread Udi’s Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins Kinnikinnick GF Vanilla Glazed Donuts Alexia Garlic French Loaves GF* = Gluten Free OG*= Organic

by Sally Colacino, Pu r c h a s i n g M a n a g e r

b y M a r y K e h o e , H e r b s & S p i c e s B u ye r

Rosy Mint Iced Tea Ingredients: 2 tablespoons peppermint leaves 1 tablespoon spearmint leaves 1 tablespoon rosehips 1 quart boiling water 1 teaspoon honey, or to taste Directions: Pour boiling water over herbs. Steep 5 minutes, or until desired strength (or make a sun tea by leaving your jar in the sun for 4 hours). Strain and sweeten, if desired. Cool to room temperature and serve over ice. Refrigerate leftover tea. More recipes are available from Frontier Natural Products Co-op website: www.frontiercoop.com

store news and events


donations ballot coming your way In June you will receive a new ballot in the mail for VFC’s donations program. If you would like to place your favorite NPO on the ballot, email Charlene at [email protected] by May 14. One vote per membership, ballots will be mailed in early June.

MOTHER’S DAY MAY 9 Looking for a special gift for Mom? The VFC has many fun and interesting gift ideas: • Organic Truffles and Chocolates • Cut Flowers and Plants • Local Pottery

• • • •

Iron tea pots Candles and Cards Bubble bath and body oils And a wonderful Sunday Brunch


one percent

WEDNESDAYS On the second Wednesday of every

month we donate 1% of the Co-op’s gross sales to one of the top nonprofit organizations selected by our owners. We also place donation jars at each cash register to accept donations from shoppers throughout the month for that same organization. Here are the totals for the last few months of our program:

McIntosh Library $170

Driftless Jazz Festival Swingin’ at the Viroqua Food Co-op VFC Deli will be cooking brats on the patio from noon to 3pm

Saturday May 29th 12:30-3PM Don’t Quit Your Day Job Bob Ockenden, guitar David Edminster, tenor sax Bjorn Villesvek, bass We are pleased to feature regional artist Bob Ockenden and his recently formed trio at the opening concert of the Driftless Jazz Fest on the VFC Patio, May 29th at 12:30pm. Bob studied jazz guitar at the Southwest Guitar Conservatory in San Antonio. Texas and at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee. He recorded two CD’s “Bob and Jack: What We do” with the nationally known and respected Jack Grassel and “The Dextet, Perchance to Dream”, a Twin Cities based Sextet performing original music.

YIHS - $225

MAY 12 Humane Society

JUNE 9 Kickapoo Valley Reserve May 19th & June 16th are



Every third Wednesday of the month, all supplements, homeopathic & herbal formulas

10% off!


why organic?

10 WAYS your daily food choices can help our planet When you purchase organic food, you are . . .

Building living soils

Organic farmers don’t treat the soil like dirt. Healthy soils are complex fragile communities, teeming with life. Natural nourishment to the growing plants, and protection from disease and erosion result from well-tended soils. These living soils feed crops more completely than chemical fertilizers, and provide a broad spectrum of micronutrients and trace minerals. Healthy soils are the foundations of life for all of the worlds’ inhabitants. Growing clean, healthy food Grown and processed without chemicals, irradiation or biotechnology, organic foods set the standards for safe, pure, delicious food. Recent studies in North America and abroad show that organic foods can be nutritionally superior to their commercial counterparts. Purifying water Organic farmers value the life-giving qualities of pure water. Agrichemicals can (and do) contaminate our drinking water, rivers, lakes, and streams. When we don’t use synthetic chemicals, we eliminate the danger of contamination and illness that exists everywhere they are used, manufactured, transported, sold, or dumped. Protecting clean air Particles of synthetic pesticides have been found in rain, fog, and smog miles from the application site. The burning of crop residues (the parts of plants remaining in a field after the harvest of a crop, which include stalks, stems, leaves, roots, and weeds), which could be composted, causes further air pollution. Recycling wastes Composting biologically recycles plant and animal wastes into an ideal soil fertilizer and conditioner, naturally! More than half of the garbage overloading our landfills could be composted and returned to farmlands. Successful composting businesses affirm the efficiency and viability of this technique. Our wastes will be our assets if we change our agricultural practices. Even toxic waste may be neutralized by bioremediation—the action of special soil microorganisms to decompose toxins in pesticides, industrial sludge, and oil spills. Reversing climate change Yes, climate change is natural, but the addition of greenhouse gases that are factored in due to industrial agriculture and factory farming are not. For example, synthetic nitrogen fertilizers release nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. Organic farming techniques, including building living soils, planting trees and cover crops, and managing waste by composting will actually reduce global warming gases in the atmosphere by binding carbon into the soils and plants.


Provide wildlife habitat Organic farms coexist peacefully with wildlife, and many farmers plant trees and other perennials for wild creatures. Organic crop gleanings provide a safe and necessary food source. From the pollywog to the bald eagle, the wildlife food chain is not broken by contaminating lingering toxins. Encouraging diversity Raising a wide variety of plants and animals is at the heart of organic agriculture. Rotating crops and growing cover crops prevent pest infestations and plant diseases. Organic farmers propagate herbage and unusual varieties for taste and nutrition. This diversity helps ensure our future food and seed supply Honoring rural life and work A legacy of healthy farms is essential for our children’s future. Sustainable agriculture revitalizes country communities, providing education and recreational resources for us all. Organic farms are safe environments for farm families and farm workers. Inspiring better farming The success of organic farmers encourages our neighbors, and farmers around the world, to reduce reliance on agrichemicals. With sound, sensible stewardship, even depleted lands regain productivity. Organic agriculture is a vibrant demonstration of the earth’s regenerative strength, a hopeful sign for all environmental problems. (Courtesy of the Committee for Sustainable Agriculture and the Organic Foods Production Association of North America)

b o a r d ’s e y e v i e w

BOARD’S EYE VIEW Sustainability This year marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. So much has changed and there is so much more to do. The phrase reduce, reuse, recycle has a nice ring to it and really hits home for many people. The concept of sustainability has become a major concern for people as well as businesses. How do we keep our Co-op sustainable? Yes, the wonderful staff does their best to provide local, organic products that have limited impact on the world, reduce our carbon footprint, and make us smile. As Co-op shoppers we support this type of sustainability with our dollars. We buy what we like and what we think is important. So, if we think that organic blueberries are good for us and the world we buy them. We may not buy the canned soup made from tortured baby seals and the waste products from nuclear warfare. These choices seem simple to many of us. However, sustainability affects the Co-op in another way. All of the owners of the Co-op have a say in what happens at the Co-op. We all get to vote for those running for a seat on the board, approve by-law changes, and attend meetings. While many of us are too busy to serve on the board or go to meetings, there is something that we can do. In the near future the Co-op will send out a survey to all owners about the Co-op. You can throw the survey away, or better yet recycle it, and let the 300 or so owners who usually respond provide the feedback that the board and staff will use to move into the

future. That is the easy thing to do. Or, you can take a few minutes and tell us what you think. The VFC is at a critical point in its life. We made the move to the new store five years ago and from all reports it looks like it was a good idea. Last year the Co-op made a small profit and this year it looks like there will be enough of a profit to begin to consider patronage dividends. On another front the VFC has developed into a leader in our region and in the co-op world. We have a very strong staff and the most loyal group of owners; with these strengths come responsibilities. While sales at the Co-op continue to grow, that is not true everywhere else. With this survey you have the opportunity to tell the board and the staff what you think our future might look like. You can tell us what works well and what needs tweaking. But don’t stop there. The members of the board work hard but we represent you. Tell us what you think the future should look like. I challenge you to dream, think big. When they were rebuilding Chicago after the cow/fire thing Daniel Burnham said “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood…” Let’s do the same thing for the Driftless region. Who knows where we might end up? So, let’s all go out and pick up some litter, ride our bikes, plant a tree, and return the owner surveys.

S t e ve Ti p p i n s , VFC Board Member

Gift certificates available!

Board of directors Sue Kastensen, President phone: 608.634.6363 [email protected]

Diana Forkash, Vice President 608.627.1979 [email protected]

Curt Brye, Treasurer phone: 608.452.3125 [email protected]

Frank Kroncke, Secretary phone: 608.632.4706 [email protected]

Tim Hundt phone: 608.637.3628 [email protected]

Steve Tippins

phone: 608.637.2674 [email protected]

Bonnie Wideman phone: 608.624.5714 [email protected]

The Board meets every third Thursday in the MOSA conference room at 6:30 pm. This meeting is subject to change on occasion. Changes are posted at the Owner/ Member services desk.

Watch for your Co-op Owner Survey: Let your Board Members know how you envision the future of VFC 9



Its spring in Wisconsin and the color of flowers and green grass seem to feed our very souls. Flower essences are a form of soul food too, they work with our emotions, spirit and mental state. Our Co-op carries all 38 of Dr. Edward Bach’s English flower essences, and 13 of the 104 North American flower essences produced by Flower Essence Services (FES): Angelica, Black Cohosh, Bleeding Heart, Chamomile, Corn, Dandelion, Echinacea, Lavender, Pink Yarrow, Pretty Face, Self Heal, Yarrow, and Yarrow Environmental Solution (YES). The remaining North American flower Essences are available by special order; see Carol or Peg in the Wellness department. A copy of the Flower Essence Repertory is available in our reference books to help you choose. On Sunday, June 27th, Robb Doser of Flower Essence Service will present a workshop at the Co-op, on flower essence blending for personal use. The workshop is scheduled for 3-5 p.m. We hope to see you there. Come in and browse the multivitamin shelf. We have several new products to choose from. In our VFC brand a food rich Teen Multi Once Daily and for fully grown adults we have

Pure Essence brand of Men’s One n’ Only and Women’s One n’ Only. Shop around and read the labels, there is quite a variety of ingredients in the multivitamin/mineral supplements that are targeted to particular age groups and/or gender. Herbal first aid supplies: Handy tick pullers are in stock and many other first aid supplies: homeopathic ledum palustre and apis mellifica for bug bites and stings, aloe vera gel or calendula salve for sun burn and other minor burns, topical treatments for poison ivy/oak, arnica for bumps and bruises, and electrolyte mix for those times when a person has had too much exercise and sweating out in the hot sun. We have a new salve, Wild Woman Salve by Spirits of the Prairie of Winona, MN that includes bee balm (wild bergamot) known to be helpful when suffering from wild parsnip rash.

Carol Willis, We l l n e s s M a n a g e r

VFC COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD The VFC bulletin board is a great place to find out what’s happening in the community. Because so many people utilize the board, we have a process for postings. You may have seen the blue signs on the bulletin board stating:

please do not self post!

“This community bulletin board is to be used for events, for sale items or info on farming & education for no longer than 30 days. Real estate limited to Open House events or For Sale by Owner. Political or religious posts allowed only when advertising an event - no campaigning or proselytizng please!” Most people honor this request, and give their postings to a cashier or to me in the front office. I rearrange the board twice a week, dating and intialing each item before posting. To make sure your poster gets on the board in time for your event, bring it in a week before you want it posted. When postings come in a day or two before an event, I may not be working or putting up postings that day. It makes my job more enjoyable if I can get your postings up in time for your event, so remember to bring them in ahead of time. Please use letter-sized paper. It is hard to find room for the large posters, and that could delay getting your posting up. Remember to make the print large enough to read from a distance. And don’t forget to put the place, date, and time on


event postings in large legible letters. Some very organized people bring postings in several months in advance! But since the limit is 30 days, I will wait until the event is closer before putting it up.


Over the summer we will remove the shelves in the vestibule that now sit under the bulletin board and replace them with an actual literature rack. This will be much nicer, less dustly, but will also have limited space. At that time we will only put out literature that is farming, education, or tourism related. Please do not put business cards on the vestibule board - there is a board by the restrooms for that purpose. If you are an owner-member and want to let the community know about your business, be sure to get listed in our Member-Business directory, which is updated six times a year and available in the owner-services area just as you come in the front doors to your left. Email your business name and contact info to me at [email protected] with “Member Directory” in the subject line. In cooperation, Charlene Elderkin Marketing & Membership Manager

We Respond Dear Co-op, Please bring back French Meadows bread if you can. Frenchy

Dear Frenchy We carry French Meadow Sunflower Flax bread on the bread rack on Mondays & Thursdays. We also have 16 grain and cinnamon French Meadows in the freezer section. Sally, Grocery Mgr. Dear Co-op, Please consider stocking buttermilk powder. Also Anderson Maple Syrup (B grade) is great and Willy St. Co-op in Madison sells it in bulk. Thanks. Sappy

Dear Sappy, We will be adding a new table and quite a few small bins to our bulk department soon. We will look into stocking bulk buttermilk & soy protein powder at that time. We carry bulk local organic grade B Maple Syrup in the bulk cooler and pints and quarts in aisle 2. It’s not Anderson, but it is local and very tasty. Sally, Grocery Mgr.

Dear Co-op, I really think you should lower the prices on the Qbel bars at least down to 50¢ Sweet Tooth

Dear Sweet, Qbel might cost a bit more than a conventional candy bar, but it has no

artificial color or flavors, no preservatives, high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. And even though the regular price is $ 1.49, it is often on sale for 99¢. Sally, Grocery Mgr. Dear Co-op, It would be awesome to have organic superfoods like Inca Berries, Cacao, camu-camu, acai, goji berries, and 20 lb. bags of carrots. Super-foodie

Dear Super, We have 25# bags of juice carrots year round, 20# bags of local ones when they’re available. Goji berries are with the other re-packed dried fruits in random weight bags at the end of aisle one facing the bulk area. Acai is available in capsules in aisle 6 as well as juice in aisle 3. You can special order cacao nibs from Frontier - talk to Mary or Carol. They are also in products such as the “go raw” Sweet Riot and in 88% & 79% chocolate bars. Ask any staff person to help find these great products. dani, Produce Mgr. Dear Co-op, Could the Co-op start a program to recycle/reuse egg cartons? Empty

Dear Empty, We already do recycle egg cartons! Just bring them to the cashiers and we’ll pass them on to the local farmers. Jan, General Mgr.

Owner Classifieds Lake Superior getaway:

Rent a two bedroom house on a sandy beach on Lake Superior near the Porcupine Mountains; year-round; sleeps six; sauna; Finnhouse-on-Superior; call 608-624-5613 or e-mail [email protected]

Stone Light Retreat Center

has cozy, furnished private rooms @ $300 monthly. Rooms include access to kitchen, bath & laundry. Charming cabins also available @ $195 monthly. See www.stone-light.net 608 606 4951”

MOVING SALE: DRESSER, Oak, Solid Wood, 5 Dovetailed Drawers, 37”x18”x47”, $450.00; DESK & CHAIR, Oak, Solid Wood, Dovetailed Drawers on both sides w/middle pencil drawer, 34”x59”, $500.00; CROCK, 8 gallon, 13” diameter 16 1/2” tall, $50.00; All in EXCELLENT CONDITION! 608-4892812.

we respond

moved ? married? changed PHONE or EMAIL?

Please notify VFC so we have accurate records & mailing information for you. Fill out the form at the owner services counter or email Charlene at [email protected]

New owners

welcome We want to welcome the following new owners who joined the Co-op between Feb. 10 and April 15, 2010: Martha Miller Melissa Kampling Jane Torok Megan Marquardt Mark Michel Micaila O’Herlihy Constance Franks Kathryn Kreinz Jen McKittrick Peter Lueptow Mark Anerson Carole Anerson David Smith Deborah Smith Daniel Kumlin Catherine Kumlin Nicole Penick

Wendy Garrity Katherine Vopelak Stacey Noel Carol Swift Leah Grosse Margaret Berg Robert McAnulty Jane Donaldson Mary Miler David Fauske Susan Thicke Roger Thicke Susan Jacobson Jennifer Mielke Angela Pennington Densie Rundhaugen

Celebrating the following

staff anniversaries: * Peg LaMartina - 5 yrs. * Cole Meredith - 5 yrs. * Jackie Rebman - 5 yrs. * Christine Violet - 4 yrs. * Barbara Karwoski - 4 yrs. * Zeba Due - 3 yr. * Jonah Curley - 3 yr. * Jennifer Nundahl - 2 yr.


bulk news P R E S O RT E D S TA N D A R D U . S . P O S TA G E

60 9 N . Main St ., Viroqua , WI 54665

hours: Mon-Sat. 7am-9pm, Sunday 9am-8pm voice: 608.637.7511 fax: 6 08.637.8894 web: http://viroquafood.coop email: [email protected]

HOURS: Mon-Sat. 7am-9pm, Sunday 9am-8pm For real-time VFC news & info, follow us on TWITTER! or fan us on FACEBOOK Recycled paper: This newsletter is printed on recycled paper.


If April showers bring may flowers, what do Dr. Paul’s adjustments bring?


To place an ad in Pea Soup, contact Charlene Elderkin at Viroqua Food Co-op (VFC). Ad sizes and prices are as follows: 3.5” wide by 2” high $30 1/8 page 3.5” wide by 5” high $65 1/4 page Please supply your ad for the July/Aug 2010 Pea Soup by Tuesday June 8. Email to [email protected]

Good Health and Vitality!

Owner Classifieds: free for owner-members

If you would like to place a classified in the next Pea Soup, (July/ Aug) contact Charlene Elderkin at VFC. Information for classifieds is due by June 8. Please limit each ad to 30 words.

Download the newsletter from the internet:

Download Pea Soup, CAP sales flyer & the Member Business Directory from the internet at http://viroquafood.coop. To receive an email reminder when each new download is available, contact Charlene Elderkin at [email protected] Email reminders are sent without revealing your email address.

Call and make an appointment today!

Quality of Life Chiropractic Dr. Paul Grenier • 729 N. Main St., Viroqua•