New! Supplement Spotlight: Astaxanthin


As we head into the summer swelter that is the Tucson summer all of us are concerned about getting too much sun and all that is associated with it (cancer, sunburns, heat exhaustion, etc…).  Some of us slather ourselves with sunscreen, while others just get out of town altogether.  What if there was magical little pill that prevented the need for sunblock, and also helped prevent heat exhaustion?  Oh wait, there is!  A super potent antioxidant called “astaxanthin.”

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Mark, Food Conspiracy Co-op’s Wellness Buyer


I can tell you from personal experience from taking this antioxidant daily it definitely seemed to mitigate some of the ill effects of sun exposure. In fact, when I’m taking it daily, I don’t get sunburnt at all.  I just get a nice tan and a daily dose of vitamin d.  Which is a vitamin (or more correctly a hormone) that is getting a lot more attention and a vitamin we won’t be getting any of while covering ourselves with sunblock and long clothing.

So what exactly is “astaxanthin”? “Astaxanthin is a powerful, naturally occurring carotenoid pigment that’s found in certain marine plants and animals. Often called “the king of the carotenoids,” astaxanthin is recognized as being one of the most powerful antioxidants found in nature. It is of particular significance, because unlike some other types of antioxidants, astaxanthin never becomes a pro-oxidant in the body so it can never cause harmful oxidation.”  This is according to Nutrex-Hawaii, a manufacturer of natural astaxanthin.  And how does it work? (Again, an excerpt from Nutrex-Hawaii) “The body is reliant on antioxidants to deliver healthful balance, and healing power to damaged cellular structures. Simply defined, antioxidants fight the process of oxidation, which leads to cellular breakdown over time.  Antioxidants sacrifice their structure to repair free radical development, slowing and potentially healing the process of oxidation, thus allowing for stabilized health at the cellular level. Healthy cellular function equates to better overall health, and is a prerequisite for reaching optimal health and peak physical performance.

Astaxanthin is a unique antioxidant, as it is bioavailable throughout the body. The skin, muscles, ligaments, tendons, eyes, cardiovascular system, nervous system, and internal organs are all receptive of Astaxanthin. These soft tissues appreciate, and are able to perform better, due to the presence of the active antioxidant power of Astaxanthin.”

So, from this buildup of astaxanthin in the body it seems to work as an “internal sunscreen” in addition to a myriad of other health benefits.

Co-op Election Results are in!

Sunday, March 1st was the last day to vote in Co-op Elections. That evening, Board of Directors president Rob McLane announced the winners of this year’s elections at the co-op’s Annual Meeting.  All three people running for the Board of Directors were elected.   Of the eight Cooperative Community Fund candidates, three were elected to receive Cooperative Community Fund grants.  Thank you to all of the owners that voted and to the people who volunteered at the Annual Meeting.

Here are the detailed election results:

Total valid ballots cast: 169

Board Candidates: 

Shefali Milczarek-Desai: 112

Guru Das Bock:  96

David Miller:  91

Cooperative Community Fund Grant Winners:

Farm Resource Education Network (FERN): 74

Youth Outdoor Experience dba Ironwood Tree Experience: 63

Sonoran Permaculture Guild: 61


Conspiracy IPA Just in time for April BikeFest!

Coming this April! When you’re out celebrating the beautiful spring weather and Bikefest month, pedal on down and get your growler filled at the Food Conspiracy Co-op with our latest batch of Conspiracy Beer.   Conspiracy IPA is brewed by local brewery 1055 Brewing.  According to co-owner and general manager Chris Squires, Conspiracy IPA description is as follows: “hop heads, this beer is your jam. Brewed with Simcoe and Amarillo hops, we also used fresh citrus zest from various citrus from Desert Treasures available at the Food Conspiracy Co-op.”  ABV: 7.2% IBUs: 70

What is Conspiracy Beer? It’s a special brew made locally at a Tucson microbrewery for the Food Conspiracy Co-op.  The style of beer changes every two months.  Profits from the beer is donated to a local nonprofit.  This year the proceeds are benefiting El Grupo Youth Cycling club empowering youth through bicycles.

We celebrated Arizona Beer Week with the brewing of Conspiracy IPA. Photos of the brew date by Mamta Popat at Ten 55 Brewery, 3810 East 44th Street.  John Paul Vyborny, head brewer and co-owner of Ten 55 brews Conspiracy IPA for the Food Conspiracy Co-op with Grocery Manager Eric Lauterbach-Colby.

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Vote in Co-op Elections!

Co-op owners can vote for Board of Directors and Cooperative Community Fund Candidates beginning February 1st and through February 28th, 2015.

You’ll also be able to vote by paper ballot at the computer kiosk available in the store or during the voting period and lastly by paper ballot at this year’s Annual Meeting on Sunday, March 1 at Maker House.  Election results will be announced at the Annual Meeting and published in the May/June edition of the Community News as well as on the Food Conspiracy Co-op website.

On Sunday, February 1st voting starts online at the following address: Online voting will close at midnight on Saturday, February 28th.

Birthday Sale!

The Food Conspiracy Co-op is celebrating our 44th Birthday on Saturday, February 21st.  All owners receive 10% off purchases up to $74.99, 15% off purchases of $75-$149.99 and 20% off $150 and up.

All owners who made purchases between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014 will receive patronage rebate this year.  The primary on the account can pick up patronage rebate during the Birthday Sale from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the following Saturday, February 28th from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. or at the Annual Meeting check in table on Sunday, March 1st from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Conspiracy Beer is a collaboration of Tucson's brewers and bikers

The lastest batch of Conspiracy beer was brewed especially for BICAS (Bicycle Inter-Community Art & Salvage) by Dragoon Brewing Co.  An English-style Brown Ale, BICAS Bent Axle Brown is pale brown in color with a nutty bread-like flavor.  It has a hint of English hop aroma, and subtle caramel and fruit flavors.  Proceeds from Bent Axle Brown Ale will benefit BICAS.

BICAS Brown is a great way to replenish your depleted body after a long ride, and pairs perfectly with comforty foods like chicken pot pie, or an open-faced turkey sandwich with gravy. Or anything with gravy.

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About BICAS:

BICAS is celebrating 25 years of serving the Tucson with community education and a bicycle recycling center for bicycles that welcomes people of all ages and walks of life! BICAS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, located in the heart of downtown Tucson.  Through advocacy and salvaging bicycles, the BICAS mission is to promote education, art, and a healthy environment while providing service and opportunity for those in need.  BICAS is an education center, not a traditional bike shop.  At the center one can find classes on how to build and maintain your bicycle to bike camping, refurbished bicycles for sale, community tools for rent at an hourly and used parts, art gallery, earn a bike program, bike scrap parts for art and a metalworks program.

About Dragoon Brewing Company:

Origins of Dragoon Brewing Co. go back to the mid- 1990’s of In 2009, when company founder Bruce Greene brewed his first batch of beer in his kitchen. Right then he decided to start saving to open his own brewery.  Within a few years, his son Eric had been bitten by the brewing bug, helped found a homebrew club (Northern Arizona Homebrewers), become a BJCP certified beer judge, and wandered off to Vermont to study at the American Brewer’s Guild. After an internship in Boston at Mass Bay Brewing Co (a.k.a. Harpoon), he returned to Tucson to brew professionally.  The Tucson Homebrew Club brought father & son together with Tristan White–a like-minded home brewer and craft beer evangelist who’d been entertaining similar fantasies. After working together on a few creative brew sessions, the beginnings of a brewery began to percolate.  Just recently, Dragoon Brewing Co. expanded their Tap Room at 1859 W. Grant Road, Suite 111.


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Water Harvesting and Native Tree Workshop

As part of the co-op’s partnership with Desert Harvesters we hosted a workshop on November 1st in which local rainwater harvesting expert, Brad Lancaster, taught us how to harvest rainwater, air-conditioning condensate, and stormwater to irrigate native perennial food plants. 

We learned how to use bunyips-simple water levels, and how to shape earthworks-landscaping features that direct and capture the flow of water. We also learned where to place trees to maximize summer shade and winter sun. Finally, we applied our knowledge by constructing the earthworks for and planting eight native trees at the entrance to our garden, alongside our kitchen’s walk in cooler, and between the staff parking lot and Hoff building.  They may be tiny now, but one day they will grow to provide glorious shade as well as edible pods. 

We are grateful to Trees for Tucson whose team worked against a tight deadline and came through with eight great quality trees for us, 3 Velvet Mesquites, 2 Desert Ironwoods, 2 Foothills Palo Verde and 1 Blue Palo Verde.  When you are ready to plant in your own yard, Trees for Tucson is a great resource for low cost shade trees!

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Today we got our first rain since the planting.  Look how the earthworks are directing and holding the rain right where the trees can use it!  It’s hard to see in the photos, but the basins are full of rainwater!IMG_0498IMG_0499IMG_0501IMG_0500

Fresh and Frozen Turkeys available!

We have fresh organic, and frozen antibiotic-free, and local heritage turkeys

Coastal Range Organics $2.99/lb (fresh)

Coastal Range Organics chickens and turkeys are raised on a fully-organic diet with all-natural, 100% vegetarian grain feed, free of any animal by-products and synthetic additives. That’s why they are naturally great tasting.

Coastal Range Organics chickens and turkeys are free-range. They are raised on pesticide-free land with plenty of room to grow.

Each package of Coastal Range Organics carries the USDA Organic seal and is certified organic by Quality Assurance International, a third party certifying agency. You can be assured that our facilities handling Coastal Range Organics fresh chicken products adhere to stringent organic production requirements.

Mary’s Turkeys $1.99/lb (frozen)

Mary’s turkeys are raised on healthful grains and allowed to roam in areas four times the size of the average turkey ranch.  Their high protein diets provides the optimum amount of nutrients.

ReZoNation Farm Turkeys $8.59/lb (frozen)

ReZoNation Farm turkeys are hatched and raised in the White Mountains of Arizona. They are fed grasses, insects, natural turkey grower feed, and locally grown vegetables and greens.  They will have a higher percentage of dark meat and leaner portions of breast meat.

Conspiracy Kitchen Thanksgiving Menu for Special Orders

all sides $8.99/lb

(Thanksgiving Order Form)

Let Conspiracy Kitchen make delicious Thanksgiving sides for your table this year.

raw cranberry relish, sweet potato casserole, rustic sourdough stuffing, classic and vegan mashed potatoes, vegan and classic gravy, roasted veggies and fresh herbs and pumpkin pie with whole wheat crust.


Thanksgiving Sale for owners

All day November, 15th owners get:
10% off purchases up to $74.99,
20% off purchases $75-$149.99 and
20% off purchases $150 and up.

Save your lists! The more you shop, the more you save!download

We’ll have sampling of f Thanksgiving sides and organic pumpkin pie from Conspiracy Kitchen, Sana Raw will be sampling new raw offerings now available in the deli case, and sampling of a variety of cheeses. 20% off on Heavyweight wines. Fun activities for the kids.

Get your Thanksgiving turkeys here!

Mary’s Antibiotic-Free $1.99/lb and

Mary’s Organic (organic turkeys are not gluten free this season) $2.99/lb

Mary’s turkeys are raised on healthful grains and allowed to roam in areas four times the size of the average turkey ranch.  Their high protein diets provides the optimum amount of nutrients.


ReZoNation Farm $8.59/lb

ReZoNation Farm turkeys are hatched and raised in the White Mountains of Arizona. They are fed grasses, insects, natural turkey grower feed, and locally grown vegetables and greens.  They will have a higher percentage of dark meat and leaner portions of breast meat.

Special Orders from Conspiracy Kitchen (Thanksgiving Order Form)

Let Conspiracy Kitchen make delicious Thanksgiving sides for your table this year.

All sides are $8.99/lb and 9-inch Organic Pumpkin pies with whole what crust $9.99





Conspiracy Classes this Spring

This Spring we have a series on Mind-Body Connection with Jawana Cox on Saturdays from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.  Participants are welcome to come to all or any in the series.  Back by popular demand is a class to  prepare us for summer–Hydration with Robin Schuett-Hames, NTP.  Lastly, learn how to make your own Sourdough Starter at Home for Baking Sourdough Bread with Dan Dorsey.

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Hydration with Robin Schuett-Hames

Do you often feel tired and over-heated with head or other body aches?  You may be drying up!  Most of us are walking around with varying levels chronic dehydration, affecting us from skin to bone.  Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as simple as just drinking more water.   Come learn how to re-hydrate by balancing water with mineral intake, and sourcing non-contaminated drinking water. We will make a healthy alternative to sugary sports drinks.

Sourdough Starter with Dan Dorsey


In this class we will demonstrate how to create a sourdough starter and use it in place of store bought yeast for home baking. We’ll discuss the many advantages of this ancient method over packaged yeast in making bread, such as reduced gluten, greatly increased availability of Lysine and other nutrients, better and more complex taste, increased length of storage, and other benefits. First time bread bakers are welcome