January 2013

Volume 29, Issue 1

The FireStarter

What’s in Your Tea Cup? Go Green!

It has been known for several years that green tea has many health benefits. From fighting cancer to lowering cholesterol, more and more health benefits of black tea's lighter cousin are being examined each and every day. One thing that some people don't realize is that this “miracle drink” shouldn't be brewed in the same way as black tea. Green tea and black tea (along with oolong tea and while tea) all stem from several varieties of the camellia sinensis plant. But, unlike black tea, which is oxidized for a long time, green tea receives less processing, which leaves the result less hardy. Green tea can burn, and if green tea is treated harshly or is steeped too long, the result will taste bitter.

Our shoppers are fortunate because the Co-op is the only store in North Okanogan County to offer so many choices of this marvelous beverage. We can buy it in bulk (loose), packaged in tea bags and even several bottled drinks, found in the Garden Room cooler.

The Co-op carries several bulk varieties, all organic, which are: Choice Jasmine Green Tea. Bancha Leaf Tea. Sencha, Green Jade Tea, and Gun Powder Green Tea.

Research has determined that the bulk teas are probably the better choice for optimum healthful drinks, although we tend to buy bags for convenience sake. The Co-op’s selection of green tea in bags is quite extensive and varied. The boxes usually carry brewing instructions and tea descriptions.

Listed near the end of this newsletter are some of the many benefits of drinking green tea, but the reality is one cup of tea a day will not give you all the abundant gains. The jury is out on how many cups are necessary; some say as little as two cups a day while others encourage around five cups--and more still say you can drink up to ten cups a day.

Whether you drink green tea for pleasure or for its many healthful benefits, you can be sure that you will find a fresh and abundant selection at your Co-op!

To brew a proper cup of green tea, the water should be around 160°F when the leaves or tea bags are introduced. If you don't have a thermometer, you can boil the water and let it cool for 2-3 minutes.

Deli News

Long-time Co-op Deli Cook, Sandi Sunda has retired from the kitchen, after many years of preparing wonderful, healthful meals for our lunches. Best wishes to you, Sandi, in your retirement!

Filling the position is Val Bradshaw, recently from Anacortes, WA. She brings with her many years of restaurant and catering experience. Welcome to the Co-op family, Val, and thank you for stepping in to help to help nourish us all!

Study Shows Pesticides Linked to Food Allergies

from the Cornucopia Institute

Scientific studies have linked pesticides to autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Now, there’s yet another reason to support organic farmers: a recent study links pesticides to food allergies.

Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University found an association between high urine levels of dichlorophenol, a chemical commonly used in pesticides, and food allergies.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, concluded: “Excessive use of dichlorophenols may contribute to the increasing incidence of food allergies in westernized societies.”

The incidence of food allergies among children has indeed been on the rise, increasing 18% between 1997 and 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study’s authors noted previous published research that documents the increase in food allergies alongside an increase in environmental pollution and pesticide use, and decided to study whether the two were related.

According to lead author Dr. Elina Jerschow, “The results of our study suggest these two trends might be linked, and that increased use of pesticides and other chemicals is associated with a higher prevalence of food allergies.”

Bob Marley Birthday CCF image and CCF Fundraiser Set for February 1st 2nd!

The annual Bob Marley birthday celebration and Conscious Culture Festival fundraiser are set for February 2nd (NOT the 1st, as previously advertised) at the Community Cultural Center of Tonasket.

Conscious Culture Festival and the Community Cultural Center of Tonasket welcome INDIGITIZE, the newest addition to the Sick Donkey Records roster, for a night of reggae in all sorts to honor the birthday of the late king of reggae Bob Marley.

Indigitize is the brainchild of two Seattle music scene icons, Stingshark and Adrian Xavier. The group fuses many musical elements including Funk, Latin, R&B, Reggaeton and Hip-Hop.

Opening with an acoustic set will be reggae/soul singer Sarah Christine hailing from Vashon, Wa followed by local reggae artists Essential I, Jahson Ites & DJ Sticky. Mista Chatman will be your guest host for the evening.

A Caribbean themed dinner with vegan options available starting at 5pm.
Music starts at 6pm.

Entry and dinner will be on a sliding scale suggested donation of $6 - $10 each.
Children 12 years & under free. Students and seniors are $5 apiece.

FDA Expands Irradiation Uses for Meat and Poultry

from the Cornucopia Institute

Producers who use ionized radiation to kill pathogens in meat and poultry now have expanded options, thanks to two rules published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November.

The FDA’s first rule allows for the irradiation of unrefrigerated raw meat. Previously, only refrigerated or frozen meats could be irradiated. The second rule ups the dose of absorbed ionizing radiation in poultry from 3.0 kilogray (kGy) to 4.5 kGy. While this higher dose is already allowed in meat and molluscan shellfish, the limit had remained at 3.0 kGy for poultry until now.

The two rules were issued in response to two petitions filed in 1999 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The FDA says that since that time, it has received many comments from consumer advocacy groups requesting the denial of both petitions. However, these comments “were of a general nature” and “did not contain any substantive information that could be used in a safety evaluation,” said the FDA.

Irradiation exposes food to high doses of ionizing radiation to kill bacteria. In the process it depletes vitamins and nutrients and causes the creation of known toxins and new chemicals. Research has shown health problems in lab animals fed irradiated food, including genetic damage and cancer. The use of irradiation is prohibited in organic food production.

Recipe Card: Honey-Sweetened Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Icing

In med. bowl, beat the honey and oil with a whisk or electric mixer until smooth and creamy:
add eggs one at a time and mix until well blended.

In a separate bowl, mix flour with salt, baking soda and spices;
Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and stir until all of the flour is evenly moistened:
Fold in carrots and walnuts.

Put batter into greased 9-inch round cake pan.
Bake at 350° for about 35 minutes until the cake shrinks from the sides of the pan and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of cake.
Cool 10 minutes in pan then turn out to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, to prepare cream cheese icing, cream butter and honey until smooth with a wire whisk or electric mixer.
Add cream cheese and vanilla and mix until smooth.
When cake has cooled, frost with icing.

Golden Glen Creamery Cheeses Available at Your Co-op

cow One of the favorite new products sold at the Co-op is assorted cheddar cheese, in many flavors and varieties, produced by Golden Glen Creamery of Bow, Washington. This delicious cheese, made from cow’s milk, has been very well received by our customers and for those who haven’t yet tried it, you are missing out on a delectable treat.

Golden Glen Creamery “does not and will not use the preservatives, stabilizers emulsifiers, fortifiers and coloring agents” found in many of the cheeses available on the conventional market. Their product is handcrafted with milk fresh from their farm, which is what designates them as “Farmstead” cheeses.

The Co-op carries many varieties, including: Sundried Tomato and Basil; Jalapeno, Queso con Salsa; Medium Gouda, Dill and Garlic; Sharp Cheddar, Onion and Chive, Double Cream Sharp Cheddar, River Cheddar and Rich, Creamy Cheddar.

The cheeses that Golden Glen Creamery makes have a “distinctive, amazing taste that cannot be replicated using other methods. Golden Glen uses a gentle, slow-batch pasteurization process rather than the high temperature short time (HTST) pasteurization techniques commonly used by corporate creameries.” Their process removes “potentially harmful bacteria while preserving vitamins and helpful enzymes that are damaged by high temperatures.”

The result is absolutely delicious, delicate and far more healthful than conventional cheeses.

Try some--you’ll love it!

The Many Healthful Benefits of Green Tea

teapot Source: Wikipedia

1. Weight Loss: Green tea increases the metabolism. The polyphenol found in green tea works to intensify levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body turns food into calories.

2. Diabetes: Green tea apparently helps regulate glucose levels slowing the rise of blood sugar after eating. This can prevent high insulin spikes and resulting fat storage.

3. Heart Disease: Scientists think, green tea works on the lining of blood vessels, helping keep them stay relaxed and better able to withstand changes in blood pressure. It may also protect against the formation of clots, which are the primary cause of heart attacks.

4. Esophageal Cancer: It can reduce the risk of esophageal cancer, but it is also widely thought to kill cancer cells in general without damaging the healthy tissue around them.

5. Cholesterol: Green tea reduces bad cholesterol in the blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.

6. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s: It is said to delay the deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Studies carried out on mice showed that green tea protected brain cells from dying and restored damaged brain cells.

7. Tooth Decay: Studies suggests that the chemical antioxidant “catechin” in tea can destroy bacteria and viruses that cause throat infections, dental caries and other dental conditions

8. Blood Pressure: Regular consumption of green tea is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

9. Depression: Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tealeaves. It is this substance that is thought to provide a relaxing and tranquilizing effect and be a great benefit to tea drinkers.

10. Anti-Viral and Anti-Bacterial: Tea catechins are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents, which make them effective for treating everything from influenza to cancer. In some studies green tea has been shown to inhibit the spread of many diseases.

11. Skincare: Green tea can apparently also help with wrinkles and the signs of aging; this is because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Both animal and human studies have demonstrated that green tea applied topically can reduce sun damage.

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

CCF Rainbow ~ 4th Annual Conscious Culture Festival THREE days in June 2013!

Okanogan Highlands Productions has announced extended dates for this year's Conscious Culture Festival. The dates are set for June 21, 22 & 23 at the Barter Faire site.

The aim of the CCF is to promote and maintain ideals surrounding sustainability, organic farming, natural healing and all around conscious living.   The festival will again host over 40 music acts with musical genres spreading from Reggae, Folk, Rock, Hip Hop, Dubstep/Electro, Native, World Music and beyond.  

CCF will feature a free workshop area that will include yoga, alternative healing, Reiki, drumming and much more.   There will be a vending circle with local, quality made products, food and art. 

Tickets go on sale in February, check ConsciousCultureFestival.com or just stop in and get yours here at the Co-op.

CCF would like to give a big thanks to all our past and current sponsors including: Tonasket Natural Foods, AkRak, Community Cultural Center of Tonasket, Essential I, Far from Earth Films, Go Green, 8th St Greens, Little Shop of Yoga,  Methow Brewing, Sick Donkey Records , Okanogan BakeryThe Solar Shop, and The Junction

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 www.TonasketCoop.com/CorkBoards.

As of January 1, 578 People 'Follow Us' on Facebook! You can, too, at www.facebook.com/TonasketCoop

late breaking news
Friday, January 25th
4:30 - 6:00pm: Dinner and Silent Auction Bidding
6:00 - 7:00pm: Songwriter's Concert and Silent Auction Closing
at the Community Cultural Center, 411 S Western Ave, Tonasket

This is a letter some of us received from Jere and Rick Gillespie. Jere is currently the Coop Board Secretary; both are long-time members and all-around community assets.

Dear Family & Friends,

Our alternative community in North Okanogan Valley has organized a benefit to give Jeré help in restoring her health after her radiation and chemo therapies for the Stage IIIB lung cancer diagnosis she received in the Fall 2012.

Jeré under went a cell mutation analysis while in Portland which determined that she has an Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) mutation. This mutation allows a drug, erlotinib, to inhibit the epidermal growth from establishing a blood supply to fast growing tissues like tumors. Taking eroltinib (Tarceva) inhibits the cancer cells from metastasizing to other organs or areas of body because the blood supply or nutrient delivery to the tumor has been reduced or inhibited. As you might guess, this new genetic drug is not reasonably priced. Our Medicare Drug Plan and Extra-HELP (a Medicare program) will defray some of the costs, however, it will still leave us with bills beyond our means.

Sandy Vaughn, Julie Ashmore, & River Jones have put a lot of energy into setting up Jeré's Benefit at the CCC with some great music, a silent auction, and a delicious meal. We hope you can come and join us on January 25th starting at 4:30 pm. Attached is a poster Julie Ashmore put together. Please share it with your friends.

The outpouring of love and support from family and friends has been unbelievable and very helpful in knowing we can be successful in restoring Jeré's health. Thank you for all you do to make our community truly caring and compassionate.

In Service of Peace & Justice,

Rick & Jeré

click to see the poster

Whether you can make it to the CCC benefit this month or not, you can still help by donating at this ongoing site www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/jeresbiggestbattle/27254


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.