December 2012

Volume 28, Issue 6

The FireStarter

Co-op News and Holiday Items

by Alice Simon, Store Manager

The Co-op will again offer unique shopping opportunities for the community this holiday season.

We have just received a new shipment of cool new clothing, bags, hats, mittens and headbands from Lei Lotus. These make fabulous gifts as well as to spruce up your own wardrobe for the holidays. Also in stock is delightful new incense from Shoyeido along with three new types of incense holders, incense charcoal and elegant Japanese incense. We also have a nice assortment of calendars, engagement books, mugs and bowls, not to mention all the wholesome goodies we offer; perfect for gift giving.

Other items to consider are local handmade soaps and salves, local honey, and even some artwork--all produced by friends and neighbors. There is a nice stock of music CD’s created by local and regional musicians. We are also expecting our new Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op t-shirt, designed by Harvey Swanson, to be arriving any day now, which would be a welcome gift to find under anybody’s Christmas tree.

As usual, the Co-op stocks a very nice selection of wines and wine glasses for your holiday entertainment needs, so be sure to check us out first!

We will participate in Tonasket’s Winter Fest with an Open House on Friday, November 30th, offering tasty refreshments available while you shop.

In other Co-op news, the new heating system installation has been completed and is now in use. We will all enjoy the convenience of the new heat pump, as well as the peace of mind that comes from having a safe and up-to-date unit.

“Labeling of GE foods is not a question of whether, but when.”

What the California Defeat Means for GMO Labeling: All Hope is Not Lost

from the Cornucopia Institute

Last November’s failure of Proposition 37, which would have mandated labeling of genetically modified foods for California, is not an indicator of the future for GMO labeling nationwide. Many food activists looked to the California initiative as “the last best hope” for GMO labeling in this country, but all is not lost.

A recent Reuters article reported that “new state labeling initiatives are planned for Washington state and Oregon. Beyond that, the action now shifts to Washington, D.C. and efforts to force change at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has primary regulatory oversight for food and food additives.”

Additionally, a citizen’s petition is pending with the agency demanding a re-examination of its policy against labeling of GMO foods, according to the Reuters article. More than one million people signed on, the most ever for a petition to the FDA.

“We are going to have to come to grips with this.” said Gary Hirshberg, co-founder of Stonyfield Farm organic yogurt company. “Labeling of GE (genetically engineered) foods is not a question of whether, but when.”

Cornucopia also wants to remind concerned consumers that they are not left in the dark about genetically engineered (GE) foods, since foods without GE ingredients are already widely available – they clearly carry the USDA “organic” seal. Federal law prohibits the use of GE seed or ingredients in any product labeled “organic.”

Consumers can view an infographic by Cornucopia illustrating the financial contributions of various organic brands at “We hope this information will empower consumers to vote in the marketplace and support the true heroes in this industry,” Kastel added.

Proposition 37 also achieved the important goal of increasing awareness about GE foods among California consumers (and beyond).

Look for the SALES throughout the Coop!
Members receive special discounts on products with white shelf tags below them.
Some are one-time deals, some are monthly sales, and some are introductory promotions.
Price tags show member prices and non-member prices, with the sales being for our Co-op Members only.

Protecting Children’s Health: American Academy of Pediatrics Misses the Big Picture in Their Flawed ‘Organics’ Analysis

from the Cornucopia Institute

In a recent report, widely covered in the national media, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) acknowledged that many pesticides are neurotoxins, and that studies have linked exposure to pesticides to neurological harm in children. But the AAP stopped short of recommending organic diets for children, explaining, “No studies to date have experimentally examined the causal relationship between exposure to pesticides directly from conventionally grown foods and adverse neurodevelop-mental health outcomes.”

With this statement, the AAP suggests it considers existing knowledge about toxic pesticides to be inadequate and incomplete for the purposes of recommending organic foods for children, which have been shown in peer-reviewed published studies to radically reduce children's pesticide exposure. The AAP suggests that the question of whether pesticides harm children will remain unanswered until results from experiments (which are logistically near-impossible to execute) provide definite proof of harm.

This approach favors agrochemical manufacturers. By failing to come out strongly in favor of organic foods, the AAP does a serious disservice to the health of our children and the well-being of future generations. The full article by Charlotte Vallaeys, Director of Farm and Food Policy at The Cornucopia Institute, can be found on Cornucopia Institute website.

Easy and Delicious Vegan Baked Goods Everyone Will Love For the Holidays

Tofu Cheesecake

tofu cheesecake

Combine ingredients in a blender in order given, adding the liquid at the end only if needed to blend tofu. Mixture should be a fairly thick, creamy consistency. Pour into a partially baked crumb crust (10 minutes at 350º) and bake approximately ½ hour at 350º or until tofu is set in the middle. Tofu cheesecakes may be topped with fruit syrups, fresh strawberries and cashew whipped cream.

Crust for Cheesecake

Mix flours, salt and cinnamon. Then work in shortening and honey with fingers. Work in water. Pat on bottom and halfway up sides of pan. Partially bake for 10 minutes at 350). Then fill and bake as above. Be careful, it burns easily.

All ingredients are easily found on your Co-op shelves!

Cashew Milk

Combine cashews with one-cup water and sweetener in blender.
Blend on high to form a thick cream.
Slowly add remaining water and blend on high for 2 - 5 minutes.
Use it as if it were cream.

Cashew Whipped Cream

This is VERY yummy, but best saved only for holidays because it's so rich. It can be put it in the freezer for a short while before serving.

Serving Size: 2

Blend cashews and water to form a thick cream. Slowly add the oil in a fine stream until cream thickens.
Blend in maple syrup, vanilla, and salt.
Chill and serve. Cream will thicken substantially when chilled.

A letter from Regarding GMO Labeling

Dear Alice,
GMO labeling in America: Where we won
Last [November] more than 5 million California voters stood up for transparency and labels on genetically engineered foods by voting Yes on Prop 37. We came up short on election night, but have built a powerful movement that has changed the conversation on GMO labeling in the U.S. forever.

At Food Democracy Now! we want to express our gratitude for you and all of our members who helped place Prop 37 and labeling of genetically engineered foods as a central part of the national debate during this year’s election.

It was a hard fought race and we’ve been amazed and inspired by the grassroots support in California and across the country. Despite being outspent nearly 6 to 1, the Yes on 37 campaign fought Monsanto and DuPont to a standstill with 47.6% to 52.4% at the polls.

We may not have won on election night, but what we did gain is unprecedented and can never be taken from us: the fact that millions of people have stood up for democracy and labeling of genetically engineered foods, and we have fundamentally changed the conversation in the U.S. forever.

What's next?
Along with our allies, we've been encouraged to hear this question ring throughout California among those who gave their heart and soul to this fight and within the growing national food movement: "What's next?"

Food Democracy Now! has been a part of this fight from the beginning and along with our close allies who fought with us every step of the way, we can tell you that this fight is not over and we will not stop until we achieve transparency and the basic Right to Know what's in our food.

Why do 61 other countries enjoy this right while Americans do not?
It's time that we make sure these questions are heard at the highest levels here in the U.S., from the White House to Congress to state capitals across the country.

Right now efforts are unfolding in Washington state where volunteers are gathering signatures to place an initiative similar to Prop 37 on the ballot in 2013 and there are attempts to get President Obama to enact his 2007 campaign promise to label GMOs in Washington DC. No matter what, GMO labeling in the U.S. is going to become a reality.

Give Thanks and Reward Our Heroes
Today there are there are 2 things that you can do to move this conversation forward and help thank those who stood with us during the historic battle on Prop  37. 1. Please join us in thanking those Organic Heroes who stood with us in the fight on Prop 37, from the moms, grandmothers and grassroots activists to the California farmers and organic and natural companies that helped make the fight possible. Without their help, it wouldn't have been possible!

2. Please join Food Democracy Now! in committing to doubling down in the marketplace by supporting those companies that supported your Right to Know at the grocery store.
A lot of these companies are small in size, but their leaders gave a generous amount to help us in the fight to Label GMOs in California. Please reward them with your undying brand loyalty at your local coop or grocery store because when the next fight comes, we know they'll be there for us!

Thank the Heroes of Prop 37
Thank Dr. Mercola, Dr. Bronner's, Lundberg Family Farms, Nutiva, Amy's Kitchen, Organic Valley, Clif Bar, Udi's, Earth Balance, Annie's Homegrown, Applegate, Eden Foods and Good Earth Natural Foods. They have stepped up to the plate and stood beside their customers and this grassroots movement to Label GMOs. 

The people who run these companies care a great deal about doing the right thing and Food Democracy Now! is proud to stand with them in the fight to label GMOs!

Now spread the word and share this with your friends to show who stood with you and who is against you and your Right to Know! Let them know that you intend to vote with your dollar!

Co-op Board of Directors meets at the Community Cultural Center on the first Tuesday of each month, beginning at 5:30pm

Web Notes

submitted by Patrice, Member and Webmonkey

Reminder: The Co-op's website has an online Classifieds section available to all at no charge. Use this web bulletin board for buying, selling, renting, sharing, and promoting your local events. Feel free to browse at

As of December 1, 576 People 'Follow Us' on Facebook! You can, too, at


The Co-op News is edited by River Jones and published as a service to the members of the Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op.

Letters and articles are welcome from members. Please email your submission for consideration to us at .

Views expressed in The FireStarter are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Co-op management, directors, or membership. Acceptance of advertising does not indicate endorsement by the Co-op of the produce/ service offered.