Eat Local, America!

 

When: May 15-29
More online: FoodConspiracy.coop

THE FOOD CONSPIRACY CO-OP INVITES CITIZENS TO FEAST FROM FARMS

Eat Local, America! initiative unites food lovers across the country in support of local food producers

Want to learn more about eating local? The Food Conspiracy Co-op is launching a campaign this summer to help people do just that. From May 15 through May 29, consumers can explore the benefits of eating the region’s best locally sourced foods through Eat Local, America!, an initiative led by co-op grocers nationwide.

To participate in Eat Local, America!, shoppers are invited to stop by the co-op to find great local food options and event information and join the Eat Local online community at www.eatlocalamerica.coop. Participants are encouraged to set a goal for themselves. Whether eating one meal a week made with local foods or trying to source a specific percent of meals locally, participants can set a goal that fits their lifestyle.

The Food Conspiracy Co-op will also organize several events as part of Eat Local, America!, including a tour of Sleeping Frog Farm and a bike ride through southern Arizona’s wine country.

The Food Conspiracy defines local food as anything grown within 100 miles of the co-op, or anything made by a business located within 100 miles. During Eat Local, America! and throughout the year, the Food Conspiracy helps shoppers identify local food by labeling all of our local products.

“Summer is an exciting time of year for co-ops; the bounty and diversity of local foods are at their peak in Southern Arizona,” said Coley Ward, Food Conspiracy marketing manager. “Eat Local, America! gives us a chance to introduce ‘newbies’ to the local food movement in a fun, engaging way, but also to challenge local food lovers to get creative.”

“Though eating locally has become more popular recently, The Food Conspiracy has a long tradition of developing close relationships with food producers,” added Ward. “Right now there is a groundswell of people looking for authentic local foods, and we’re thrilled to be at the center of this movement.”

The Food Conspiracy joins dozens of natural food co-ops hosting Eat Local, America! coast-to- coast. All are members of National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), a business services cooperative representing 119 retail food co-ops nationwide.

Food lovers can learn more about Eat Local, America! and how to participate at www.eatlocalamerica.coop. For more information on great food, visit www.stronger.coop

Eat Local, America! Events

May 15
Gardening Workshop
8-10 a.m. Hosted by Tucson Organic Gardeners at Dunbar Springs Community Garden, on the northwest corner of 11th Ave. and University Blvd. Learn about soil micro ecology, how to pick a spot for your garden and how to get started. Free.

May 15
Talk & Grill: The Paleolithic Diet
7 p.m. on the Food Conspiracy Co-op’s back patio. Painted Cave Ranch’s Langdon Hill will grill up some tasty beef samples and talk about getting back to basics by eating only what our ancient ancestors ate — no grains, legumes, processed sugars or oils. Free.

May 21
Garlic Harvest
At Forever Yong Farm, in Amado, AZ. Join Yong and John for a unique farming experience. Garlic harvesting starts at 8 a.m. Lunch will be served and everyone will go home with a bundle of garlic. There will be a second harvest date in June. Email marketing@foodconspiracy.org to reserve your spot. Hurry, space is limited! Free.

May 28
Tour Sleeping Frog Farm
4:30 p.m. See where your local food is grown. Meet at the co-op at 2:30 p.m. A bus will leave for the farm at 3 p.m. Email marketing@ foodconspiracy.org to reserve a spot on the tour. Hurry, space is limited! Free.

May 29
Bike Ride through Wine Country
Starting and ending at Callaghan Vineyards, 336 Elgin Road, Elgin, AZ. Taste local food and wine after a ride through southern Arizona’s beautiful wine country. More details to come.

For more details about these great Eat Local events, visit FoodConspiracy.coop

CONTACT
Coley Ward
Food Conspiracy Marketing Manager
(520) 624-4821
marketing@foodconspiracy.org

Resist the spread of genetically engineered foods

Recently, the USDA approved unlimited, nationwide planting of Monsanto’s Round-up Ready™ genetically engineered alfalfa despite more than 200,000 critical comments submitted by concerned citizens. Since that decision, several Food Conspiracy customers have emailed to ask what this will mean for some of their favorite organic and GE-free products.

The truth is, we don’t know. Alfalfa, like the soybean, is a legume and a key food source for livestock and dairy cattle. Organic farmers fear possible contamination in the form of seeds or pollen from genetically engineered crops being picked up by the wind, bees, or birds and falling onto nearby organic fields. Such contamination can be devastating to organic farmers, cheese makers, and dairy producers, all who say even the smallest presence of genetically engineered seed can result in domestic retailers and overseas buyers refusing to buy their products.

Moreover, there are legitimate concerns about the healthfulness and safety of GE crops. This year, the Obama administration announced several decisions that have generated concern in the organic farming industry. In addition to giving the go-ahead to GE alfalfa, the USDA also approved a type of corn that can be used to make ethanol and gave the OK to plant genetically engineered sugar beets in certain situations.

Several organic food companies, including Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farm, have expressed their opposition to the USDA rulings, and the Center for Food Safety announced it will sue. Our community should join in their opposition to the big companies that are pushing GE crops.

We encourage you to write your elected officials and tell them you oppose GE alfalfa and GE crops in general.

Here is a site that makes it easy to draft a letter to the White House.

Join the Board!

The Food Conspiracy Co-op is growing its Board of Directors. If you’re interested in joining the board, come to an informational get together on Wednesday, April 13, at 6:30 p.m. on the Co-op’s back patio. Co-op board members will be on hand to answer your questions. And we’ll have snacks!

Why join the Board of Directors? Click here for a list of candidate requirements, duties and benefits!

Solar Rock is Sunday, March 27 at Armory Park

In March, residents concerned about the catastrophic effects of climate change will rally to promote the benefits of renewable energy.

What is Solar Rock?

• Solar Rock is a 100% solar-powered concert and fair.
• Solar Rock is free and open to the public.
• This year’s Solar Rock will coincide with Cyclovia, a car-free community cycling and walking event.

Now in its fifth year, Solar Rock will feature live music from bands like Michael P., The Way Back Machine, Spirit Familia and The Opposables, the winner of the Arizona Daily Star’s 2011 Battle of the Bands competition. There will also be speakers, games, kids’ activities, food, and exhibits from local businesses, schools, and community organizations.

“If there are two things Tucson has in spades, it is great music and sunshine” said Solar Rock organizer Coley Ward. “So a concert to promote solar power makes perfect sense.”

Solar Rock 2011 will feature an assortment of activities and organizations including valet bike parking; a freecycle.org “free-meet” where people can exchange unwanted household items as long as no money changes hands; The Physics Factory, a modified school bus for hands on science experimentation & stage shows for all ages; and opportunities for kids to paint their own canvas bag to help reduce the need for disposable plastic bags in our community.

The event will be powered by an on-site trailer outfitted with solar panels, inverters, and battery packs that will act as a teaching tool for individuals to see how solar electricity is generated. GeoInnovation, the company that is donating the trailer, will be on-hand to talk with the public.

Solar Rock focuses on solar power as a solution to the immense challenges that climate change seems destined to bring.

Solar rock is from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Armory Park.

You can find more information and updates at solarrocktucson.com

2011 Co-op Election Results

Saturday, March 5 was the last day to vote in Co-op Elections. That evening, Board of Directors president Paula Wilk announced the winners of this year’s elections at the Co-op’s Annual Meeting. All three people running for the BOD were elected. Proposed bylaws changes passed overwhelmingly. Three nonprofits were chosen to receive Co-op Community Fund grants of approximately $500.

Here are detailed election results:

Total valid ballots cast: 249

Candidates
Shefali Milczarek-Desai: 238
Joyce Liska: 225
Rob McLane: 223

Bylaw Revisions
Yes: 233
No: 3

Co-op Community Fund Winners:
Watershed Management Group: 136
Native Seeds (SEARCH): 134
Tucson Village Farm: 129

Reminder: The Annual Meeting is Saturday, March 5

Oh man, the 2011 Annual Meeting is going to rock. We’ll have food catered by the Avenue Deli, beer, wine, a photo booth, a henna artist, heirloom tomato plants for sale, an on-site babysitter, and more.

Raffle prizes will include a cooking class with the Tucson Organic Kitchen, Co-op t-shirts, hats and more.

Best of all, the meeting will feature a performance by Salvador Duran!!

Annual Meeting 2011
5-9 p.m.
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, 3809 East 3rd Street.

This event is for co-op member-owners.