Shopper Satisfaction Survey

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 Heritage Turkeys

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.

ReZoNation Farm Saturday November 14, 2015. Photos by: Mamta Popat

Kara and Jaime de Zubeldia raise pork seasonal turkeys and honey at ReZoNation Farm.

ReZoNation Farm Saturday November 14, 2015. Photos by: Mamta Popat

Young turkeys in October at ReZoNation Farm in Avra Valley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe for Roasted Heritage Turkey

 

 

 

 

‘Tis the Season for Turkeys

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 Terms

Organic

marys-organicPoultry 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.

Free-range

marys-naturalThis 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.

Natural

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.

Cage-free

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.

Pastured poultry

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.

Fresh

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.

Co-ops Grow Community, Join the Co-op Today!

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.

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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.

Changes with Conspiracy News

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.

Conspiracy News October_November Coupon books

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 newsletter@foodconspiracy.coop

Eat Local Challenge July 1 -14th

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.

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@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. IMG_4591IMG_4592

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@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.

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@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.

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Calling All Creatives!

Calling all creatives to contribute to Conspiracy News, the bimonthly Newsletter of Food Conspiracy Co-op.  We are seeking photos, recipes, original art, personal essays, reporting and more.

Conspiracy News

July/August Issue theme is Monsoon.  Deadline is June 1.

September/October Issue theme is Cooperation.  Deadline is August 1.

Download and Share Call for Creatives

P.S. Aside from the pride and joy of sharing yourself with readers, we offer selected contributors a $20 gift card and free co-op reusable shopping bag.  If you are a Food Conspiracy owner, you get a reusable shopping bag and a 5% shopping discount at the Co-op during the first month of publication.  (i.e. July/August 2016 issue you would get a discount for the month of July 2016).   Interested? Contact us at newsletter@foodconspiracy.coop for media formats and deadline specifics.

Call for Creatives 2016

Sewn Together

SEWN TOGETHER, from the May + June Issue of Conspiracy News

by Ray Younghans, the Gloo Factory

The Women’s Sewing Cooperative of DouglaPrieta Works (DPW) is the longest running and closest fair trade sewing project in our region. The women of DPW make quality hand-sewn products and support a community center that teaches self-sufficiency and promotes food security in the community of Agua Prieta, Sonora. The women are agents for change in this post-colonized town, and the project demonstrates how our consumer choices can make radical differences in peoples’ lives, while countering the global capitalist paradigm that takes the means of production away from individuals—for everything from the clothes we wear to the food we eatdougla4

The name DouglaPrieta describes the mission of the group to dissolve the border between Agua Prieta, México, and contiguous Douglas, Arizona, where an artificial wall creates real divides between those who have material prosperity and those who don’t. Thus, DouglaPrieta Works is a resistance group that fills in the barren holes left in communities by worker exploitation. In previous decades, many people from Agua Prieta were employed by NAFTA factories, where they made products (including sewn goods) for export. Since 2000, over two-thirds of the factories have moved to lower-wage zones in Asia. This has left more and more people un- or underemployed. Since 1990, the population of Agua Prieta has risen from 37,000 to 200,000, and dozens of migrants are deported daily from the United States into Agua Prieta.

DouglaPrieta Works embraces a system where people can apply their skills to receive fair wages to support their families, and can pass their skills on to others, thus securing a livelihood for future generations. DPW has been collectively raising capital for infrastructure, equipment, and training to expand their program. Members make decisions together with the progress of all in mind. The women’s sewing group is a function of the whole cooperative, which also trains members in growing healthy food, building trades, and computer skills. Through perseverance, they have developed a community center with productive gardens and hand-made adobe structures. All members work in the garden, which contains food crops, fruit trees, herbs, and medicinal plants. Chickens are raised for eggs and rabbits for meat. The gardening supports improved nutrition and growth in self-esteem. The gardening program teaches water-harvesting, desert irrigation, erosion control, and use of beneficial bugs for control of other pests. The resources generated from sewing and food production benefit the members and also go back to support the center for all. Committed to a self-sufficiency that lives through future generations, DPW also teaches classes. Co-op member Trini Anguamea says “We’ve had about 26 children come for sewing classes. They also come see the vegetables we grow. I know they’re going to learn something good.”dougla2

Churches, service clubs, and border aid groups order bags, aprons, hot pads, and bandanas to sell at fundraisers. DPW also partners with humanitarian group No More Deaths to provide “dignity bags”—bags which are given to migrant deportees who have had all of their possessions taken in the deportation process. Local Tucson businesses and organizations such as Tap & Bottle and Make Way For Books order custom-printed tote bags from the DPW Co-op. Food Conspiracy Coop has printed on tote bags and other items from DouglaPrieta Works, consistent with its mission to source locally and ethically, as well as to cooperate among other sister co-ops.

The DPW sewing Co-op is currently comprised of about seven women. As sewing orders increase, the Co-op trains new women. “Each member also becomes an active gardener and participates in the group’s governance” said Rosalinda Chavez. The collective meets with buyers to negotiate a wage that is fair and agreeable to the cooperative. This process elevates the concept of “Fair Trade” to an even higher standard as it gives more power to the workers themselves. DPW exports their products with the help of U.S. volunteers who courier them over the border, where they find their way to Tucson and elsewhere. Since the current export and import system is not designed for production of this human scale, the volunteers based in Douglas, Arizona are critical in helping the cooperative provide logistics, such as materials transfer, delivery and ordering.dougla3

Not only is the purchase of fair trade DPW sewn products a major benefit to the women who make them, but it supports a true local alternative to a global problem. In Tucson the products are available through the Gloo Factory, a union print shop and DPW’s main customer, where they may be embellished with custom designs. DPW products are well made and produced in a manner increas-ingly hard to find in an industry that has raced to the bottom to get the cheapest source of labor. This same industry maximizes profits from American consumers, who are often thoughtless about the source and subsequent impacts of the products they buy. Through 13 years of sewing, growing, and building economic selfreliance, DouglaPrieta Works has taught and inspired many. Despite the challenge of living in a town with a rapidly increasing population of deportees, unemployment, and health problems, the women of DouglaPrieta Works demonstrate how to rebuild solid community and self-sufficiency in a climate of challenge. Through the struggle, Trini says “One of things we have learned is we don’t give up easy.”

DPW is seeking to expand their network of customers, as well as donations of fabric, machines, and sewing supplies. To donate these materials, purchase DPW fair trade products or order them with custom sewing or printing contact the Gloo Factory at: www. thegloofactory.com.

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!