July/August 2014

Volume 30, Issue 4

Co-op Sandwiches Won’t Have Sprouts: A Food Safety Decision

The Co-op Deli will no longer offer clover sprouts in its sandwiches, due to the potential for food safety risk. Many grocery chains have already made the decision to not sell raw sprouts, including PCC, Kroger stores and Walmart. This is something store management has been considering for some time but had been hesitant to make the change due to the popularity of alfalfa sprouts with our regular customers.

Sandwiches made for the cold case will simply be made without the sprouts; while sandwiches made to order at the window will have the following options as a replacement: sliced radishes, shredded carrots, sliced pickles, or extra cucumbers. (see our sandwich menu)

Recent large sprout-based outbreaks include

The method used to grow raw sprouts (such as clover, alfalfa, and broccoli) requires warm, moist conditions, which are also the very conditions that allow bacteria to grow. Mung Bean sprouts are considered safe when cooked in a stir-fry or other dish, as the bacteria is destroyed with heat.

Congratulations to Tonasket High School Senior
Leslie Peralta
who received the $500 Co-op Member Scholarship!

Coffee Fungus Cause for Concern

Central American coffee farmers are worried about the effect of a fungus that attacks the coffee plants, once only found in African coffee-growing regions. The fungus, which is also known as coffee rust, is wrecking havoc throughout Central American coffee farms, attacking the tree’s roots and causing leaves to drop. The outcome will, of course, cause prices to rise as availability diminishes. Organic coffee production has been hit the hardest due to the fact that the fungicides that are typically used to combat the rust are not acceptable in organic growing practices. It has been reported that many coffee farmers in Central America and their local agricultural agencies have been working to replant their coffee trees with other varieties that are more resistant to the coffee rust. The Co-op has already seen a rise in coffee prices and it’s likely that this trend will continue.

Attention Co-op Members: The Board of Directors has at least two openings. If you’ve been wondering how you can give back to your community, please consider this worthy service. Talk to General Manager Alice Simon, or Assistant Manager Julie Greenwood for more information.

How 'the New DDT' Wreaks Havoc on the Bottom of the Food Chain

June 24, 2014 ~from Motherboard online

The same insecticide nerve poison that is contributing to the shocking declines in bees and other pollinators is also behind the sharp declines in many other insect species, along with insect-eating birds and bats. Even important creatures like earthworms, which keep our soils healthy, are being damaged by systemic insecticides called neonicotinoids (neonics) and fipronil, a new four-year international meta-analysis has found.

"It's the new DDT but different," said Ole Hendrickson, a former scientist at Environment Canada and member of the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides that complete the Worldwide Integrated Assessment (WIA) analysis. It's the first examination of all the science on the topic-more than 800 studies. The task force is compromised of 50 independent scientists from all over the world who spent the last four years trying to figure out why so many bees, butterflies, and other insects are disappearing.

"Instead of wiping out the top of the food chain, killing hawks and eagles as DDT did, neonics are wiping out the bottom of the food chain," Hendrickson told me. "Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson once said if we wipe out the world's insects, we will soon follow them to extinction." 

Over the past 15 years, neonics have become the most widely used insecticides on the planet. They're everywhere: in homes, gardens, farms, lakes, rivers and forests. The six main types of neonics in use are very, very good at destroying the nerve cells of anything that ingests them.

"Neonics are 5,000 to 10,000 times more toxic than DDT," said Jean-Marc Bonmatin of The National Centre for Scientific Research in France. 

(see the rest of this article at Motherboard.Vice.com)

Member Appreciation Day is the 3rd Tuesday of each month.
Members may bulk-order from the UNFI Catalog at 15% above wholesale.

Citizen Groups Challenge USDA’s Power Grab “Threatening” Organic Integrity

June 17, 2014 ~from Cornucopia News Reports

Last month 20 organic farm and consumer groups filed a legal petition with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to protect the authority and permanence of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The petitioners object to recent changes to the NOSB charter, renewed on May 8, 2014, that undermine the mandatory and continuing duties of the Board as established by Congress under the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990.

The NOSB, a diverse 15-member stakeholder body, intended to safeguard the integrity of the organic food label, was created by Congress with independent authorities that operate outside the discretion of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Petitioners maintain that in renewing the charter under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), USDA mistakenly re-categorized the NOSB as a time-limited Advisory Board subject to USDA’s discretion and a narrowing of responsibilities.

“These changes to the NOSB Charter are significant and directly controvert the specific mandates of OFPA and Congress that NOSB is a permanent, non-discretionary committee that must fulfill a long list of statutorily mandated duties integral to the organic program,” said Aimee Simpson, policy director and staff attorney for Beyond Pesticides.

The NOSB, appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, is comprised of a wide swath of organic interests, including farmers, consumers, environmentalists, processors, a retailer, and a certifier. It is charged with a number of specific duties, including establishing and renewing the list of synthetic and non-organic materials allowed to be used in organic production, known as the National List.

“Congress created the Board so that a balance of organic interests, from consumer to industry, would have an irrevocable seat at the table in defining, maintaining and enhancing organic standards. That independent voice is now seriously jeopardized,” noted Paige Tomaselli, senior attorney at the Center for Food Safety.

In response to one of several recent moves by USDA to reclassify the NOSB’s role as a purely advisory and discretionary committee, petitioners urge USDA to reverse what they consider missteps. The petition finds that to comply with organic law, USDA must immediately revise the most recent NOSB Charter to accurately reflect the mandatory non-discretionary duties and ongoing status of the NOSB as described in OFPA.

(see the rest of this article at Cornucopia.org)

Look for the SALES throughout the Co-op, displayed with white shelf tags below the items.

Members receive special discounts on these products.

Some are one-time deals, some are monthly sales, and others are introductory promotions.
Price tags show member prices and non-member prices, with the sales being for our Co-op Members only.

The Rise of the 'Super Weed' Around the World

~from The Wall Street Journal via OrganicConsumers.org

Texas cotton growers are petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency to let them use propazine, an alternative herbicide to Monsanto’s glysophate, which is currently used,  to combat a “super weed” that has developed resistance to it. According to the Weed Science Society of America, these herbicide-resistant weeds were first reported in the 1950s — soon after farmers began using the first major synthetic herbicides — and are on the rise.

It’s a case of typical evolutionary processes: A farmer sprays her field with an herbicide, most of the weeds die, a few that are best adapted for the herbicide will live on and reproduce. After repeated herbicide use, these super weeds can actually come to dominate the weed population. Weeds have evolved to be resistant to herbicide after herbicide, starting with synthetic auxins, then triazines, then ACCase inhibitors, then ALS inhibitors and now glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, according to Director of the International Survey of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds Ian Heap, who helps run Weedscience.com, the central repository for scientifically backed, peer-reviewed herbicide-resistance cases.

The increase in super weeds is troubling for everyone. Farmers worry they’ll lose their crops while environmentalists worry about these various toxic herbicides leaching into groundwater.

“Pigweed is a really serious problem for farmers,” said Bill Freese, science policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety. “But propazine is not the solution. We need to have farm practices that don’t create resistant weeds in the first place, so we don’t have to resort to toxic herbicides to treat them.”

U.S. farmers have had some success in controlling pigweed using a growing arsenal of herbicides, but Texas’s proposal underscores the challenge farmers face in keeping the weed from strangling their crops.

“Weed resistance is of utmost concern for us,” said Ned Meister, director of regulatory activities for the Texas Farm Bureau. “The purpose of the request is to put another tool in the toolbox for farmers to address weeds that are resistant to other chemicals.”

Have Lunch at the Co-op
--or bring some Deli home for dinner!

Co-op Deli SALADS

Served with AK-MAK crackers

Garden Salad ......$6.50/$4.50
Salad greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, sliced mushrooms , radishes with choice of dressing
Add tuna salad .....$3.25
Add chicken salad or marinated sliced chicken breast ......$3.95

Greek Salad .......$7.50/$5.50
Salad greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, & feta cheese with Greek dressing

Tempeh Salad ......$7.50/$5.50
Baked marinated tempeh on a fresh garden salad with choice of dressing

Chef's Salad ............$8.95
Garden salad with Hempler's ham & smoked turkey, Swiss cheese, hard cooked egg, choice of dressing

Chicken Caesar Salad ....$8.95
Crisp romaine, croutons, sliced marinated chicken breast, Parmesan cheese, with Caesar dressing

Dressing choices: Sesame, Greek, 1000 Island, Caesar, or Ranch
Onions available – no charge

We use all natural ingredients (organic when possible) to create delicious, from scratch, good-for-you lunches and baked goods.

See our full Deli Menu

Co-op Board of Directors meets on the THIRD MONDAY of each month, at 6:00 pm (not 5:30). in the North Valley Hospital Board Room in Tonasket, at 126 S Whitcomb, in the Administration Building. (subject to change)


This edition of the Co-op News was 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. Newsletter editors and store management will review all submitted articles to determine suitability for publication.

Co-op Board of Directors:
Steve 'Sundog' Lanigan, Chair
Cassandra Schuler, Vice Chair
Rob Thompson, Treasurer
Ron Jones-Edwards, Secretary
Aaron Kester