Spring savings await you at the co-op! Stop by and pick up a copy of our March-April Co+op Deals Coupon Book. You’ll save big on brands like Stonyfield, Tasty Bite, Woodstock and Mrs. Meyer’s. Coupons are valid through April 30, 2017.
This year’s annual meeting was themed “We are Better Together” at the Rialto Theatre Foundation’s new venue 191 E. Toole. Local small bites were catered by Caridad Community Kitchen and music by Cadillac Mountain. Staff of Food Conspiracy were recognized for their commitment and years of service. We thank everyone from the Co-op’s local business partners and non profit organizations as well as the Board, staff and owners who attended. Thank you to everyone who voted in this year’s election! Here are the results:
Board of Directors
Susan Silverman (71); three year term beginning March 2017
David Miller (65); three year term beginning March 2017
Cooperative Community Fund
No More Deaths (26)
Round Up at the Register
Emerge! Center Against Sexual Assault (35)
Humane Society of Southern Arizona (27)
Local First Arizona Foundation (23)
Northern Jaguar Project (20)
People for Animals in the Prevention of Cruelty & Neglect (19)
Staff Representative, elected by Food Conspiracy Staff
Your Vote Your Voice! Participate in Cooperative Economic Democracy
Food Conspiracy Co-op is governed by a nine person Board of Directors who each serves three-year terms. Each year the Co-op member-owners normally elect three members to three-year terms. This year there are two candidates for the three open positions.
Board of Directors Directors represents all of the owners of the Co-op and as such is responsible for the operation of the business through the General Manager. The Board also works to form a vision to guide the Co-op into the future.
Cooperative Community Fund Grants
Food Conspiracy Co-op’s Cooperative Fund (CCF) is one of 38 local Cooperative Community Funds in the country, all of which are sponsored by the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation. Since the CCF’s creation in 2001, Food Conspiracy Co-op has participated and has invested several thousand dollars into our CCF. In coordination with the Board election each year, the interest earned from our CCF is donated local nonprofits. Every year owners elect which nonprofit organizations will receive a Cooperative Community Fund Grant.
Round Up at the Register
This election cycle Round Up at the Register is added to the ballot for owners to choose which local non profits will benefit from our collective impact. Every other month, together shoppers round up their spare change for the selected non profit. At the end of the month, all change collected is sent to that organization.
Electronic Voting or Paper Ballots
Member owners who prefer paper ballots can vote by paper ballot in the store. You may also vote by via the website in a computer provided in the store. You will be able to vote for them online starting February 1 and go through February 26th at the Annual Meeting. Voting online will close at midnight on Saturday, February 25th. Choose the most convenient way for you to vote, just vote!
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We do not have online purchase capability for gift cards. You can contact us if you wish to purchase a gift card and we can process it over the phone.
- load any amount
- can be used again and again
- never expires
- you choose Co-op; they discover the perfect gift
- share the Food Conspiracy experience
- delight friends and family with a gift you know they’ll love
- takes stress out of gift selecting
- keeps it local
- you’ll love gifting; they’ll love receiving
- a gift for any occasion; stocking stuffer, get well, birthday
Food Conspiracy Co-op regularly conducts Shopper Surveys with the assistance of the National Cooperative Grocers. In the 2013 Shopper Survey, we heard prices were a concern for Co-op owners and shoppers. Since then we have introduced the Co+op Basics program, a selection of everyday value-priced products for everyone. In addition, we’ve offered more sales and promotions including the P7 Community Truckload Sale with deeply discounted items, several department specific sales, and the Summer in the City gift card promotion with a 10% bonus on Co-op gift card purchases.
Recently, we introduced a weekly Fresh Deals flyer to highlight great values on fresh foods including produce, cheeses, meats, and more! The Shopper Survey is live! This year’s survey, shorter than prior years, will include questions about expansion. Survey participants will automatically be entered into a drawing for one of five $50 Co-op gift cards.
The Shopper Survey will be conducted online and open until Wednesday, December 7th. Thank you in advance for your continued support and valuable input. Take the survey now. Note: If you have already completed the Food Conspiracy Co-op Satisfaction Survey via email invitation, we ask that you not submit another survey.
ReZoNation Farm heritage turkeys are hatched and raised 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. Because they raised the old fashioned way, heritage turkeys require different preparations than their modern day counterparts. See below for how to prepare a heritage turkey.
This season Food Conspiracy is offering Mary’s Natural antibiotic-free turkeys and Mary’s Organic turkeys. Read below for a description of the meaning of the labels.
Mary’s Organic Free Range: $3.49/lb
Mary’s Antibiotic Free, Free Range: $1.99/lb
Local ReZoNation Heritage Turkeys: $8.99/lb
Talking Turkey: A Poultry Primer
Nutritious and versatile, poultry is an affordable staple in many omnivore households. Poultry lends itself to a variety of cooking methods—baking, grilling and stir frying, for example—and flavorings from sweet and savory to hot and spicy.
As with other foods, knowing where and how your chicken, turkey, Cornish game hen, and other poultry have been raised can help you choose the products that are right for you (and provides information about animal welfare and environmental impact).
Understanding some commonly used poultry-producing terms can help put you in the know. However, it’s important to know that some of the terms are regulated, while others are not. When in doubt about poultry terms or what’s offered at your local grocery store, ask for more information at the meat counter.
Poultry that meets the requirements of the National Organics Program (NOP) has been raised in housing that permits natural behavior, with outdoor access, has been fed certified organic feed (including pasture), has not been given antibiotics or hormones and has been processed organically. The USDA organic label requires producers to follow production and handling practices in accordance with the national standards; certifying agents ensure compliance through annual inspections.
This USDA regulation means that the animal has been allowed access to the outside. The government doesn’t specify that poultry must go outside, for how long, or the amount or kind of space that must be provided, but the idea is that poultry is free to roam outdoors and engage in natural behaviors (this is the way most poultry was raised before high-density confinement was introduced in the 1950s). And poultry that exercises produces leaner meat.
USDA allows this label to be used when a product contains no artificial ingredients or added colors and is only minimally processed. The label must explain what “natural” means, so be sure to read on. It might say “no added colorings or artificial ingredients; minimally processed,” for example.
“No hormones added”
This means just that, but keep in mind that Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising poultry, so this term should apply to all poultry anyway. Regulations also require that if a poultry label says, “no hormones added,” it must also say, “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones.”
“No antibiotics added”
This means that the producer has provided documentation to the USDA that the animals were raised without antibiotics.
Poultry that’s cage-free is allowed to roam, but not necessarily outdoors. This allows poultry to engage in some natural behaviors, such as walking, nesting, and perching. However, this term is not regulated by USDA nor by third-party certifiers for poultry, though it is regulated for eggs.
This is a term coined for chickens raised on grass pasture all of the time after the initial brooding period. However, this term does not guarantee that poultry feeds only on pasture.
A “fresh” poultry label means that the temperature of the raw poultry has never been below 26 degrees F. (Frozen poultry, on the other hand, has a temperature of 0 degrees F or below.) A turkey could be kept at 27 degrees F for weeks or even months, though, and then sold as “fresh.” Buy from a grocer who can tell you how long the “fresh” poultry has been in storage.
To locate local poultry sources (including farms and co-ops), check out the Local Harvest website.
A little turkey tutorial
You might want to keep in mind when shopping for your Thanksgiving turkey that a plump, round shape means an abundance of tender meat. Other tidbits that might come in handy:
- Fresh turkeys and heritage or heirloom turkeys cook faster than most commercial turkeys and turkeys that have been frozen.
- A hen is a female turkey (smaller) and a tom or gobbler is a male turkey (larger). Neither is more tender than the other.
- Brining (soaking) a turkey before cooking adds flavor and moisture. Sometimes brined turkeys have artificial ingredients, but you can also find turkeys that are brined with just sea salt, spices, and water. Or you can brine your own.
- Heritage or heirloom turkeys typically have denser, moister and more flavorful meat than most commercial turkeys. That’s because they have a higher proportion of dark meat, are customarily fed more diverse diets and are more active. It’s also because they take longer to reach maturity (about 26 weeks versus 14 weeks for commercial turkeys) and turkeys add fat as they age; heritage turkeys have an additional fat layer under their skin that keeps meat moister during cooking. Individual breeds have specific flavors (chat with your grower or grocer to find out more).
- Wild turkeys have more dark meat and are more intensely flavored than domesticated turkeys. (Did you know that a wild turkey—which weighs half what a domestic turkey weighs—can actually fly?)
- An “oven-ready” turkey is ready to cook, while an “oven-prepared” turkey is fully cooked and ready to eat.
- Basted turkeys are injected or marinated with liquid (like broth or water), fat (like butter), and seasonings. Commercial turkeys often include artificial ingredients, but they must be stated on the label, along with the total quantity of the injected solution (3%, for example).
- What size turkey do you need? The rule of thumb is one to one and a half pounds of turkey per person (this also allows for some leftovers).
- Find tips on roasting your turkey in Turkey Roasting Tips.
- For vegetarians, consider purchasing a Tofurky or other “mock turkey,” made from wheat protein or tofu.
October is a great time to join the Co-op. October is Co-op Month, a time to celebrate what it means to be a cooperative. As a long-time part of the Tucson community, we at Food Conspiracy invite our community members to join in the celebration. October marks the Co-op’s annual ownership drive, during which we encourage people to become Food Conspiracy members, thereby making an investment towards food and community.
The first 35 people to join in October during the ownership drive will receive a co-op bag for FREE filled with local samples of Tucson-made and Southern Arizona grown products. First come first served.
The purpose of a cooperative is to facilitate beneficial exchanges on multiple levels—economically, socially, and ecologically. Food Conspiracy does this in a variety of ways: through our Round Up program to benefit local non-profits; by purchasing safe, high quality products from local farms and producers; by investing in local farmers through our Farmer Loan Program; by providing competitive wages and benefits to our staff; by offering educational opportunities for local students; by engaging community members in the annual Pie Party; by purchasing from other local co-ops, such as DouglaPrieta Works; and by hiring local businesses for day-to-day operations in the co-op. We also do this by joining together with other food co-ops in the National Cooperative Grocers. This allows us to make purchases collectively and to receive the best prices and savings to pass onto you. We do this by purchasing from co-ops globally and bringing co-op exclusive items to Food Conspiracy, such as La Riojana wine produced in Argentina.
Learn more about becoming an owner.
Attention all Conspiracy News readers! You will not be receiving a September issue of the newsletter in the mail. We are transitioning from a bimonthly to a quarterly newsletter. This will allow for more substantive seasonally focused content.
The next issue will be out October 1st is all about cooperation and will feature: Tucson Meet Yourself, Connect Coworking, the challenges and opportunities of organic animal feed in local agriculture with San Xavier Co-Op Farm, inspiring work of YWCA of Southern Arizona and Community Life Director Liane Hernandez, Food Conspiracy as a space for community-based instruction and mutual learning, seasonal recipes and so much more!
In the meantime, if you receive the Conspiracy News in the mail check your mailbox for some awesome savings in the fall coupon books! Readers who pick up print news in the store, you will find coupon books in the store now and Conspiracy News beginning October 1st. We are excited about these changes and think you will be too!
Questions or more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
Food Conspiracy’s Eat Local Challenge is from July 1-14th, all local produce and locally produced grocery items are 10% off for everyone. Gather your friends and family for a barbecue, try brewing your own pale ale, make a batch of pickles–declare independence this 4th of July!
Food Conspiracy invites you to revel in local during the Eat Local Challenge July 1-14. Now is the time for real tasting tomatoes, Conspiracy Grown basil & sunflowers, Forever Yong Farm Korean melon, Exo’s mesquite syrup sweetened and chiltipin chile spiked cold brews, Curly Wolf kombucha in your mixed drinks, San Xavier Co-op Farm traditional teparies, and Conspiracy Kitchen made salads and sandwiches. If it’s grown, brewed, fermented, baked or produced within 200 miles of downtown Tucson—it’s local and we’re celebrating it and it’s all 10% off during the Challenge.
Next, Food Conspiracy is handing over our Instagram account during the Challenge to showcase the people and places behind the food and to give followers a behind-the-scenes look at daily life on local farms, wild harvested desert food walks and preparations, to cold brewed coffee and regionally inspired drinks at a local coffee shop.
Instagram Takeover Guest Line Up
Alexandra @alexandraskyee July 2 -4th
Not yet on her own land, Alex is here in the desert working under and learning from some of Tucson’s most creative farmers. Alex is living and learning at Bean Tree Farm focusing on water conservation, permaculture design and native foods while also working as a farm hand at ReZoNation Farm.
@LocalFirstAZ July 5-7th
LFA will be wrapping up Independents Week with us by telling the stories behind the food at Food Conspiracy. Local First Arizona empowers individuals to build the life they want in their local community. Together we can create a stronger economy, a more vibrant community, and better job opportunities for Arizonans.
@JohnjSlatteryherbalist July 8 – 10
John Slattery is a bioregional herbalist, forager, educator, clinical herbalist, founder of Sonoran Herbalist Apprenticeship, and owner of Desert Tortoise Botanicals. Desert Tortoise Botanicals mission is to provide the finest quality handcrafted herbal products while nurturing active stewardship of local plants and supporting the dynamic heritage of traditional herbal practice in the Sonoran desert region.
@ExoRoastCo July 11 – 13
Exo Roast Co. Provides Tucson with specialty coffee and regionally inspired bottled cold brew. Sonoran style. Exo Roast Co. is about meticulous attention to the coffees that bears their name. From sourcing green beans to refining roast profiles to searching out the optimal extraction for each coffee, Exo is committed, everyday, to providing customers with the best coffee experience possible.