Big News for GMO Labeling Efforts!

Headlines related to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food consistently have been in the news the past several weeks. Recently, the Senate narrowly defeated legislation that would have preempted state GMO labeling laws, including Vermont’s mandatory GMO labeling law that is set to take effect on July 1st of this year.   On March 16, 2016, the U.S. Senate voted to reject the Denying Americans the Right to Know, or DARK, Act, demonstrating that they are hearing the voices of the majority of Americans who want GMO foods to be labeled. Following this news ConAgra, Mars, and Kellogg’s joined Campbell’s and General Mills as major food companies that have announced they will label products containing GMOs nationwide to comply with Vermont’s upcoming law.

These headlines are welcome news for the nine out of ten Americans who consistently say they want GMOs labeled. But many citizens don’t yet fully understand the serious health, environmental, and farmers’ rights issues surrounding GMOs and how to avoid the laboratory-created substances in the food they purchase right now. You may find yourself struggling to identify GMO ingredients while food shopping and restaurants that consciously choose to label or avoid GMOs. These issues will be the focus of a Non-GMO Information & Food Fair at 6 p.m. and a screening of the GMO-related dramatic thriller Consumed at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12th at the Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

The food and film community event is co-presented by Food Conspiracy Co-op, Going Against GMOs author Melissa Diane Smith, High Energy Agriculture, and The Loft Cinema. Regular admission prices are for the film and the food fair is free.  A panel discussion with local experts will immediately follow the film.

Panelists include Going Against GMOs author Melissa Diane Smith, small farmer Anne Loftfield of High Energy Agriculture, and Renee Kreager, owner of Renee’s Organic Oven.  A statement from Congressman Raul Grijalva (D) also will be read.

Non GMO Food Fair & Film at the Loft, Tuesday April, 12th  read more

Additional resources to help you choose what you are eating:

10 Apps to help you Eat GMO Free read more

The DARK Act read more

Going Against GMOs book and Shopping Guide by local author Melissa Diane Smith read more

Living Nono GMO, a Lifestyle Site by NonGMO Project read more

Organic & Non GMO Report, the only magazine that provides information  to respond to the challenges of genetically modified (GM) foods. read more

Organizations working on GMO issues:

Environmental Working Group

Non GMO Project, a non profit organization whose mission is preserving and building the non-GMO food supply, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices

Organic Consumers, grassroots public interest organization

Just Label It, industry leaders who support mandatory labeling

 

2016 Co-op Election Results

This year’s Annual Meeting featured delicious Korean BBQ catered by Conspiracy Kitchen and music by DJ Butta Fly.  Thank you to Borderlands for hosting the Co-op’s meeting and to all of the local vendors Yellow Brick Coffee, Sky Island Brand/47 Ranch, and ReZoNation Farm for coming to talk with owners.

Sunday, March 6th also voting closed and the 2016 results are in.   This year four people ran for four seats on the Board of Directors and five local non profits were nominated for three Cooperative Community Fund grants.  Here are the winners:

Fiore Iannacone (105 votes); receives a three-year term

Michael DeSantis (98 votes); receives a three-year term

Rob McLane (93 votes); receives a three-year term

Gontran Zepeda (86 votes); receives a one-year term

Meet the Newly Elected  Board Members

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Rob McLane

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Fiore Iannacone

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Gontran Zepeda

 

 

 

 

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Michael DeSantis

Cooperative Community Fund Grant Recipients

Clinica Amistad (69)

Iskashitaa Refugee Harvesting Network (64)

Community Home Repair Projects of Arizona (64)

Thank you to all who ran in the Co-op’s elections and to all who took the time to vote!

 

Vote in 2016 Co-op Elections February 1 – March 5th

Food Conspiracy owners can begin voting in 2016 Co-op Elections on Monday, February 1st through March 5th at midnight.  Last chance for voting will be at the Annual Meeting on Sunday, March 6th at Borderlands.  In addition from voting online, you can vote on the computer provided in the store for voting or with a paper ballot in the store.  What ever is most convenient for you–just vote!

Remember, one vote per household.  You will need your member number in order to vote.  To read about Cooperative Community Fund candidate organizations click here, and Board of Director candidates personal statements and questions click here.

Food Conspiracy Co-op online voting is over. Election results will be announced at the Annual Meeting Sunday, March 6th at Borderlands and will be published in the March/April edition of Conspiracy News.

Start the New Year Fresh at the Co-op

The New Year is a chance for a fresh start getting back into balance and taking care yourself after what can be a stressful and overindulging holiday season.  All week long there are opportunities to get back into balance at the co-op.  We’ve also put all probiotics on sale for at least 10% off!

Holistic Happy Hours – Mondays

Starting in January come and hear different topics weekly on Monday afternoons from Tucson’s wellness community of practitioners and educators.  This is a free weekly “Happy Hour” with time for socializing and visiting as well as learning about a specific topic.  Come at 4:00 p.m. to meet like minded people.  All presentations will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Monday, January 5th – Native Diets and Vibrant Health with Jeanne Bjorn, MS

Monday, January 12th – Sugar-What’s So Bad About It? with Kariman Pierce, NTP

Monday, January 18th – Digestion and Digestive Health with Robin Schuett-Hames, NTP

Monday, January 25th – The Benefits of Womb Massage with Traci Hamilton Faith

Yoga with Neutopia – Tuesdays 

Doctress Neutopia leads weekly yoga session every Tuesday 5:30 – 6:30 p.m (with the exception of Tuesday, January 11th).  Participants will engage in Kripalu Yoga, a yoga of compassion.  Experimenting with visualizations for ecological awareness, chakra cleansing techniques (subtle energy centers of the body), come to a place of inner sanctuary during our meditation.

Garden Fresh Fridays will feature Conspiracy Grown greens in the produce department.  Dino kale, green curly kale, curly roja, asian greens (han tsai tai) and red chard.

‘Tis the Season for Turkeys!

Mary’s Turkeys (antibiotic-free) $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. (These birds are currently frozen and will be thawed and sold fresh as thanksgiving approaches.) First come-first served.

Mary’s Turkeys (organic) $3.49/lb (frozen)

Mary’s Free-Range Organic Turkeys are an additional step up the ladder in humane farming practices; with freedom to move about and a premium diet void of any chemical stimulators. Certified Organic feeds must be Certified by the USDA and everything that goes in them must be certified as well. Mary’s Organic Turkey feed does not contain any of the following:

NO Animal By-Products
•   NO Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
•   NO Antibiotics Ever
•   NO Pesticide Treated Grains
•   NO Grains Grown with Chemical Fertilizers
•   NO Synthetic Amino Acids

See Mary’s website for thawing instructions and more

Local ReZoNation Heritage Turkeys ($8.99/lb) (frozen)

ReZoNation Farm turkeys are hatched and raised in Avra Valley 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.  Sign up for email notification on price and arrival of local heritage birds.  Email outreach@foodconspiracy.coop

Special Order from the Conspiracy Kitchen

Don’t have time to make sides or pie for your Thanksgiving dinner?  Let us help! Conspiracy Kitchen features healthy options, organic,  and local ingredients whenever possible.  Fill out this special order form with the amount of each a la carte side you want, bring it in to the co-op to a cashier or call it in to the kitchen.  Be sure to give us your number. You will be called to confirm your order.  Conspiracy Kitchen Special Order Form

Special Order Thanksgiving Menu

Buy One, Get One FREE this Weekend Only!

Buy One, Get One FREE* this weekend on these and other great deals!

Saturday & Sunday only.  No other discounts apply*

Cathedral Cellars Wine………………..$4.99

Field Day Cereals (select)…………….$2.99

Organic Field Day Peanut Butter….$4.99

Field Day Italian Sparkling Water…$1.39

Field Day Organic Maple Syrup……$4.99

Local Bushido Whole Chickens

 

 

October 11- 17th is National Bulk Week

Celebrate National Bulk Week! Bring in your jars and bags for a bulk sale Friday and Saturday October 16th & 17th.  20% off bulk foods, teas, spices and herbs for everyone.  Enjoy classes and in store demos throughout the week!

–Tuesday October 13th 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.- Great Grains presented by UA Garden Kitchen

–Thursday, October 15th 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Make Your Own Soft Drinks or Alcoholic Wines and Ciders with Dan Dorsey (Demo) $8.  Click here for information about the class.

–Friday October 16th & Saturday October 17th – 20% off bulk foods, teas, herbs and spices.

–Saturday, October 17th 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Sprouting: the Art of Gardening in A Jar with Wanda Poindexter (Hands-on) $7.  Click here for more information about the class.

Read about how bulk can turn a culture of waste into a culture of awareness in our Community  Newsletter Sept/Oct edition.

BULK FOOD FACTS

Bulk is Green Council (BIG) is an organization dedicated to helping consumers, food makers and grocers learn about the many environmental and economic benefits of bulk food source: wwwbulkisgreen.org FACT: Organic bulk foods on average cost 89% less than their packaged counterparts. Bulk foods also prevent a significant amount of packaging from entering landfills.  Visit www.facebook.com/lovethebulk for a chance to win a bulk starter kit.

FACT: Bulk goods require less overall transportation to deliver to consumers. Bulk foods do not require the packaging components that must be produced and transported prior to being filled. And the transportation of bulk product to retailers is efficient because it can be packed more densely on a truck.

FACT: The manufacture of paper and cardboard pulls trees from our forests, dumps contaminated water into our streams and uses enormous amounts of energy resulting in grotesque levels of CO2 emissions pumped into our atmosphere.

FACT: Food packaging may limit a consumer’s ability to buy in quantities desired which can result in food surplus and ultimately waste.

FACT: Although most natural food companies sell their food products in recyclable packaging, there are still some food companies that use non-recyclable materials. And some consumers choose not to recycle which creates additional burden in our country’s landfills.

FACT: Packaging often limits a consumer’s ability to actually see the product they are buying.

FACT: With bulk, product density at the store level can be significantly higher. So stores can provide a wider variety of foods in the same space.

More Ways to Save with Co+op Basics!

Looking to stretch your grocery budget? So are we! That’s why we’re pleased to introduce our new Co+op Basics program. Co+op Basics offer everyday low prices on many popular grocery and household items. From milk to beef to cereal, you’ll find (both new value-priced brands as well as) new low prices on some old favorites.

Don’t worry, we aren’t paying our farmers or employees any less. We’re simply committed to improving our selection so that everyone can find more value when shopping the co-op.

Just look for this sign:

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In addition to the new Co+op Basics program, we will be simplifying sales programs to make shopping at the Food Conspiracy fun, easy, and accessible for all.  Instead of having Member Sales and Basic Buys we will be rolling two programs into one called Owner Extras.  From the name it will be clear to everyone, one hopes, that Owner Extras are for owners of the co-op!

Owner Extras will essentially replace Basic Buys and Member Sales.  Owner Extras will feature items throughout the store that are on sale for members-owners only.  Items that will be featured will include new, seasonal, local, and/or staple products.  This cycle ending September 29th will be the last Basic Buys and Member Sales and introduction of Owner Extras.

Don’t forget to take advantage of these other great ways to save:

Weekly Produce Specials

Co+op Deals – our biweekly flyer focused on great national and regional brands on packaged grocery:

149

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of National Independents Week 6/27 – 7/5

Repost from Local First Arizona

Get ready for the 10th Annual Local First Arizona Independents Week celebration June 27th – July 5th, because this year’s will be the best yet! During Independents Week we want all Arizona residents to declare their independence by supporting our independent businesses!  When we choose locally owned businesses we keep more jobs and dollars right here in our community, and during those hot summer months, our local businesses need our support!  Add your name to our online pledge to show your support.  On June 27th, you can download the Golden Coupon, good for 20% off at participating local businesses.

During this week, we encourage you to “go local” by supporting as many locally owned businesses as possible. Join the thousands of consumers and hundreds of businesses who participate in this statewide celebration of the local and independent businesses that are the backbone of the Arizona economy.

Download as many Golden Coupons as you like and Buy Local all week long! The Golden Coupons can also be found in the Arizona Jewish Post and at any one of 20 Passport stops around Southern Arizona. passportPassport stops include Yikes Toys, Antigone BooksThe Running Shop, Deco Proper and many more! Pick up your free Passport to Local Success on June 27th and tour 20 of Southern Arizona’s favorite Indies. Get at least 5 stamps from passport businesses just for stopping by and be entered to win lots of great prizes including gift certificates for local restaurants, breweries and the grand prize – a VIP Summer Staycation package from Hotel Congress. The staycation package includes a room for the night, admission for two for a show at Club Congress and breakfast for two at The Cup Cafe (home of the award winning Cast Iron Baked Eggs).

 Read more about Tucson’s Independents Week celebration of Passports to Local Success

Download your golden coupon for 20% off at participating businesses

Eat, Drink and Be Local with the Eat Local Challenge

Each July, Food Conspiracy Co-op showcases local with an Eat Local Challenge. The Challenge is in July because it is the time when local farmers grow an abundance of tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, basil, okra, garlic, chilies, onions and more.  It is the season we celebrate our local farmers and what they grow.  For the first two weeks of July, all local produce, grocery, prepared foods, beer and wine, and wellness items are 10% off for everyone.  Last year, $1,883.14 in Eat Local Challenge discounts was subsidized by the Co-op. We want to support more this year and we need your participation! Come enjoy and celebrate the abundance of the season.

Eating local at the Co-op not only includes locally grown vegetables from Forever Yong Farm, Sleeping Frog Farm and Sonoran Hydroponics, citrus from Desert Treasures, but locally roasted coffees and cold brew by Exo Roast. Co., Yellow Brick Coffee, and Presta Coffee Roasters.  Food Conspiracy Co-op carries products from as many as 65 different local businesses.   Local beers on tap from Borderlands Brewing Co., Dragoon Brewing Co. and local wines from Dos Cabezas and Lawrence Dunham Vineyard.  Ice cream made locally by Isabella’s Ice Cream. Local grains and bans from San Xavier Co-op Farm mesquite and Pima wheat flours and BKW Farms Sonoran White wheat berries. Oh!Ganics OhBars and R Bars. Local beef Sky Island beef, ReZoNation pork and eggs, and of course many brands of local honey, salsas, and corn and flour tortillas and bread.  Discounts apply to locally made wellness items from Kuumba Made, Kate’s Magik, and Desert Tortoise Botanicals. Additionally, each day one menu item from Conspiracy Kitchen will be 10% off.

Get an Eat Local shopping list at the co-op to discover new items.  After purchasing any three products, get entered to win a $50 gift card and new Co-op t-shirt.   Or, you can participate virtually by sharing your purchases, local finds and creations on Instagram tagging the Co-op @Foodconspiracy using the hashtag #TusonEatsLocal.  At the end of two weeks, two winners will be randomly chosen from the Shopping List drawing and from the Instagram photo entries.  Enjoy and challenge yourself to eat and drink local, have fun!

When is the Eat Local Challenge?

July 1-14th 10% off all local for everyone! Additionally First Friday Summer Sale is Friday, July 3rd is 10% off for everyone! First Friday Summer Sale is a fun festive sale event with wine and food tastings, live music and community. Friday July 3rd live music is by Leila Lopez.