The FireStarter ~ Summer 2016

Volume 32, Issue 3

New and Noteworthy at the Co-op

This summer has been busy at the Co-op, serving our local customers along with the increasing seasonal visitors Tonasket hosts! From hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to travelers crossing the border, our store serves around 150 people during a typical summer weekday. Not bad for a little store of less than 3000 square feet! And often times visiting shoppers marvel at the full and varied stock that lines our shelves.

Some Co-op members may have noticed an increase of out-of-area shoppers. That is no surprise, since General Manager, Alice Simon has been targeting advertising to take advantage of the growing tourism in this area during between April and October. We advertise in Adventure Cycling Magazine and the Washington Scenic Byways publication, as well as the large Travel Guide maps posted throughout North Central WA. These, coupled with the State Motorist Information signs and billboard posted south of town, have been attracting tourists to our little store.

The produce section of the store is bursting with lovely local fruits and veggies, thanks to our many organic farmers in the area. Some of our providers are Annie Dooleage of Iris Rock Farm, Scott Dennis of Scott and Julie’s Organic Fruits, Michael Simon’s Apple Cart Fruit orchard and Craig Hinkley of Terra del Sol. New this year are vegetables from Phoenix Farm (Aurora Dwyer) and soon to come are potatoes from Jerry Jones. We can look forward to more produce coming in on a regular basis now that the season has progressed.

The Co-op now stocks Chevre, (a soft goat’s cheese) from Sunny Pine Farm of Twisp. If you haven’t yet tried some, be sure to check it out. It’s especially tasty spread on crackers, making a delicious healthy snack!

Last spring the Co-op Scholarship went to Madeleine Graham whose family have been members and avid supporters for many years. Madeleine will be attending Bellevue College in the fall, transferring to the University of Washington. Her plans are to major in business and fashion merchandising. Good luck to her!

We have seen some staff changes recently and now welcome two new employees. Amy Miller has been with us since last May and has been primarily stocking and cleaning. Now she’s been training in all the other aspects of the store operations, including cashier and Deli. An Okanogan County native, Amy previously worked at North Valley Hospital as a lab technician but recently decided to change careers. A happy choice? “I love this job, she says, “everyone is so friendly!”

Dalana Potter, our newest hire, came to us from Tonasket Interiors. She is a graduate of Evergreen College and has also worked at the Tonasket Public Library and Okanogan County Planning Department.

Welcome to our staff, Dalana and Amy--glad to have you aboard!

Dave’s Killer Bread Update

Flowers Foods Inc., a Georgia-based 'bread giant', purchased Dave’s Killer Bread last year. The company, which manufactures and distributes baked goods all over the country, is a huge multi-billion dollar corporation. However, their claim has been that they will be keeping to the same organic standards that were originated by Dave’s.

Now the problem we are facing is that the Co-op is no longer able to buy directly from Dave's bakery in Oregon. Many of the varieties of bread have been phased out and are not available through UNFI, who picked up the bread distribution.

“It’s good for those who profited from the sale, but not necessarily good for small retailers and ultimately the consumer,” laments store manager, Alice Simon. “We were sad to see the all too familiar pattern of giant corporations buying out the smaller, more personal businesses.”

Have we heard this saga before?

NEWS FLASH: Fresh, local melons now available
in our produce section, courtesy of Art Heineman!

Removal of Carrageenan from Organics Uncertain

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will determine this fall whether carrageenan, a widely-used emulsifier and thickener derived from red seaweed, will continue to be allowed in organic food. To remain on the National List of materials allowed in organic production, carrageenan must meet all three of the following OFPA criteria: 1) essential to organic products; 2) safe to humans and the environment; and 3) compatible with organic practices.

After assessing written and oral public comments at two semi-annual meetings, the NOSB will vote to establish whether carrageenan should remain on the National List. Cornucopia and public interest groups testified against carrageenan, noting decades of independent research demonstrating its role in inflammation, colitis, cancer, and diabetes.

A number of labs around the world have studied the inflammatory effects of carrageenan, and approximately 10,000 references occur in PubMed when “inflammation and carrageenan” is searched.

Several groups that profit from carrageenan, including carrageenan manufacturers, food processors, and hired lobbyists and scientists, lined up for public comment to assure NOSB members that food-grade carrageenan is safe, and that those stating otherwise were citing bad science and “fear-mongering.”

There was not one scientist or industry representative that testified in support of the safety of carrageenan that doesn’t stand to profit from its use. The industry is leading a coordinated effort to discredit public research. These tactics resemble those of the tobacco and fracking industries and must not go unchallenged.

For more information on this subject visit

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

The Many Benefits of Eating Arugula

Arugula, prolific and easily grown, is a delightful green vegetable with many health benefits. Some of the reported merits of arugula include a lowered risk of cancer, healthy bones, and improved eyesight. It has known antioxidant properties and is good for healthy skin. It also seems to help in strengthening the brain, improving metabolic functions, mineral absorption, and boosting the immune system. Some reports say that arugula is beneficial for weight management as well.

Arugula contains high levels of folic acid and antioxidants, such as vitamins C, K, and A, which makes arugula integral in the fight against free radicals. It is packed with carotenoids, as well as many other minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and calcium, all of which are beneficial and necessary elements in a person’s diet. Arugula contains phytochemicals, which are likely beneficial in preventing cancer. Arugula is also superior to some other leafy greens because, unlike those other varieties, arugula is low in oxalates, which are chemicals that actually inhibit the absorption of minerals into the body.

Arugula is also a well-known source of carotenoids, which are naturally occurring pigments that have long been famous for improving a person’s ability to see properly. It’s not too late to plant some in your fall gardens, you’ll be happy you did!

(sources: Wikipedia,,

Arugula also contains 1 gram of protein, 0.3 grams of fat, and 1.5 grams of carbohydrate (including 0.6 grams of fiber and 0.8 grams of sugar). Consuming 2 cups of arugula will provide 20% of vitamin A, over 50% of vitamin K and 8% of your vitamin C, folate and calcium needs for the day.

Easy Arugula Salad Recipe

In a large bowl, combine arugula, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, oil, vinegar, and parmesan cheese.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss very gently.
Divide salad onto plates, and top with slices of avocado.

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

Farm To School Movement Gaining Regional Popularity

Wenatchee School District (WSD) has recently embarked on a new school lunch program, known as the Farm To School movement. This initiative was inspired by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which enables the USDA to grant monies to schools.

The mission of WSD Farm To School is to help students learn to appreciate real food and to support the local farmers of the area by purchasing directly from them.

The Food Services Department of the WSD continuously seeks to enhance nutrition and food quality by providing locally procured fruit and vegetables. The director of the Food Services Program also serves on a national committee to help develop Farm to School programs throughout the country.

For more information visit

Alaffia Body Products – A Company With Local Ties

Since our inception, the Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op has been a supporter of local producers. From seasonal vegetables and fruits to salves and soaps, the Co-op offers a marketplace for farmers and ranchers, crafters, and artisans. We provide a bridge between the producer and the consumer, which is especially helpful in small, rural communities.

The Alaffia Company, purveyor of body products and goods procured from Africa’s Togolese communities, is a cutting-edge business with local roots. Co-founder, Prairie Rose Hyde is originally from Chesaw, WA, with family still living here in Okanogan County. The company, which began in 2003, manufactures a full line of clean, healthy body products, while helping to better lives in the impoverished communities of West Africa. Their mission is one of empowerment, helping to “alleviate poverty and encourage gender equality”.

Not only does Alaffia manufacture and sell high quality products, the company has been able to make tremendous strides in enhancing the lives of the Togolese people with its programs. Education, reforestation, maternal care and an eyeglass program are some of the projects that are aided by the profits from Alaffia sales. The company feels a moral responsibility to “ensure African resources empower African communities.”

When you purchase Alaffia products you are not merely buying a high-quality, clean body product, you are helping thousands of West African children, women and men improve their lives.
See more at

Co-op Board of Directors meets on the THIRD MONDAY of each month, at 6:00 pm . in the North Valley Hospital Board Room in Tonasket, at 126 S Whitcomb, in the Administration Building. (subject to change)

The more generous we are, the more joyous we become.
The more cooperative we are, the more valuable we become.
The more enthusiastic we are, the more productive we become.
The more serving we are, the more prosperous we become.
   --William Arthur Ward

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 .

Newsletter editor and store management will review all submitted articles to determine suitability for publication.

Co-op Board of Directors:
Sunny Lanigan, Chair
Cassandra Schuler, Vice Chair
Ron Jones-Edwards, Secretary
Aaron Kester
Szarka Carter
Your Name Here???(There is an opening)