The FireStarter
is the newsletter of the
Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op

21 West 4th Street
Tonasket, WA 98855

2014 Store Hours:
Mon-Fri 9-7 * Sat 9-6 * Sun 11-4

General Manager: Alice Simon
Assistant Manager: Julie Greenwood

as a cooperative natural foods market is to continue to be at the leading edge of supporting local, organic, sustainable agriculture, with a commitment to social and environmental responsibility, a hub for local products and services, and a source of information for healthy living.


Sunny Lanigan, Chair
Ron Jones-Edwards, Secretary
Aaron Kester, Treasurer
Szarka Carter
Tom Fisher

The next regularly sheduled Board Meetings in 2017 are: Monday, October 16, and Monday, November 20 at 6:00 pm, in the North Valley Hospital Board Room--for location see

About the Regular Meetings of the TNFC Board

For only $50 you can become a member of the Co-op. Payments can be made at the rate of $10 per year. You would become a lifetime member in 5 years. Seniors over 65 can become members for half the regular rate. Next time you visit the front counter, check to see your membership is current.
Be eligible to serve on the Board of Directors; Sell on consignment; be eligible for Member Sales; Volunteer to earn discounts; Bulk ordering at wholesale + 15-20% markup.

Membership & Bulk Orders

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Homemade baked goods daily
Deli Window
Open 7 Days A Week, 11am-2pm
Sandwiches made to order
or grab & go from the deli case
Call ahead for fast service
Hot entrees Monday-Friday

Past FireStarter Issues

October, December


January, February-March, April, May, August-(Special Edition), October-November, December


February 2010, Spring 2010, Summer 2010, Winter 2010




Spring, Summer, August, September, November, December


January, February, March, April, May, Jun, Summer 2013, October


January, March, May-Spring, July-August, September-October, Fall 2014,


Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn


Winter, Spring, Summer, Dec 2016


Spring 2017, 40th Aniversary, ../news/2017/Fall_17" target="_tlx">Fall 2017

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The FireStarter ~ Fall 2017

Volume 33, Issue 3

Co-op News

The seasonal chill in the air spurs us on to finish projects, get our firewood in and put the garden to bed. Hearty soups and savory vegetable dishes await us from the Co-op Deli, enjoyed in our cozy Garden Room. With all the changes in the world it’s comforting to know that, after 40 years, the Co-op is still “home” to all of its members!

What's to love about our food co-op? So much! We seem to have a way of doing things differently. We are people working together for better food, a stronger community and a healthier world. We support many altruistic community endeavors, such as monthly donations to the Tonasket Food Bank and Free Community Dinner. Every year we give a $500 scholarship to a child of a Co-op member. We support and donate to Apple Hill Art Camp, youth sports groups, Tonasket Community Theater, our local quilting society and many other local causes. We’re not just a food store!

With the advent of online natural foods sources, shoppers might be tempted to go elsewhere for our favorite organic comfort foods. While it’s likely that we could find Basmati rice online for five or ten cents a pound less, it’s also very likely that the dollars you spend with us will stay in our valley. Aside from some major food suppliers, most of the Co-op’s operating budget is divided between payroll for ten employees, store utilities and maintenance -- all locally based.

We carry many locally produced items, such as body products, seasonal produce, CDs and t-shirts. As a co-op, we offer space for members to consign their wares, taking a very small percentage of the sales. (This, of course, is only available as retail space allows.)

As a co-op, we recognize the value of our shoppers, and specifically our members. We welcome your input and continually strive to make the store a better place for you. can’t say that, can they?

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.

Top Ten Reasons To Buy Local

  • 1. Strengthen your local economy.
  • 2. Reduce cimate change impacts.
  • 3. Support community groups.
  • 4. Keep our community unique.
  • 5. Create more good jobs.
  • 6. Get better service.
  • 7. Invest in your community.
  • 8. Buy what you need. Don't buy the hype.
  • 9. Put your taxes to good use.
  • 10. Encourage local prosperity.

Think Local * BUY LOCAL * Be Local

A New Location for Our Bob’s Red Mill Products!

Bob’s Red Mill, housed outside of Portland, Oregon, has been a natural foods mill for over four decades. What started as a “mom and pop business” is now a multi-million dollar enterprise.

Nearly a decade ago, owner Bob Moore decided to transfer proprietorship to his employees, offering an employee stock ownership plan. This move once again showed Bob’s commitment to fairness, as well as taking a cutting-edge approach to business.

Stone ground flours are produced at a much lower temperature than steel ground. This preserves the quality and healthful benefits of the grains. The Co-op has increased our selection on Bob’s Red Mill products and so have moved them to the back of the store.

Some of our regular shoppers have been missing their favorite Bob’s Red Mill mixes and flours, but we haven’t discontinued them – we’ve just moved them!

The Co-op Board of Directors has a few vacant seats. Interested in getting involved? Talk to Alice or Julie to find out more!

We Have Sea Scallops--x 2

The Co-op now carries two varieties of sea scallops from Lund Fisheries. With locations on both the east and west coasts, they are a family owned and operated business, offering quality products. Their scallops have no added water, solutions, or preservatives and can be found in our freezer section.

Not All Beef is Created Equally

Almost all of the beef available in supermarkets across the country comes from sick cows that pose a significant risk to human health. The Cornucopia Institute, a national food and farm policy research group, has just released a video educating consumers on where their burger meat comes from. The informative, short video, Sick Cows/Sick People-The Grassfed Antidote, shows just how unhealthy typical beef production is and what consumers can do to find excellent meat for their barbeques.

“Most beef cattle in the U.S. are morbidly obese and likely suffer from diabetes and fatty livers,” said Mark A. Kastel, Cornucopia’s senior farm policy analyst. “Very few would survive to old age if not sent to slaughter.”

However, Americans don’t have to eat meat from sick animals. There is a more humane, healthy alternative: 100% grass-fed organic beef, available at your local co-op, specialty retailer, or farmers market.

While both USDA certified organic and grass-fed beef offer significant benefits compared to products produced by cows confined to a feedlot, these two labels are different. USDA certified organic cattle must be fed entirely certified organic feed, which means the pastures must be certified along with any grain and hay the cattle are fed. None of the feed, including the pastures on which the cattle graze, can be sprayed with dangerous pesticides or herbicides. In addition, organic beef cattle cannot receive antibiotics, growth-promoting hormones, or other drugs banned in organic farming.

But consumers should be aware, “greenwashing” tactics are common with grass-fed labeling. A simple “grass-fed” label without any other qualifiers can just mean that the product was derived from livestock that received some portion of its diet from grass. That animal could have still received some grain, and may have been completely “finished” on grain, which negates many of the health benefits associated with prior grass feeding.

One of our beef suppliers, Knee Deep Cattle Company, is located in the mid Willamette Valley near the town of Coburg, Oregon. According to their website, their region offers an ideal grass growing climate. Their Grass Fed cattle are raised on free range pastures containing grasses, clovers, with mineral supplements and salt.

“Knee Deep Cattle Company prides itself in our cattle and assures you quality beef; from birth to consumption we trace the history of each animal. From our ranch to your table we produce what the consumer wants to eat: Beef Grass Fed, just as cattle were meant to live in their natural environment, grazing on lush green Oregon pastures. Our cattle have continuous and unconfined access throughout their lives to these pastures and have never been confined to a feedlot where freedom to roam is limited.”
The Co-op carries Knee Deep ground beef, beef stew/kabob, and top sirloin in our freezer section.

The other popular local ground beef that our store carries is Oberg Brothers Natural Beef. Located near Havillah, in the Okanogan highlands. A family operation, Oberg Brothers have been raising beef for over 50 years. All of their calves and cows have been born and raised on their ranch. Oberg Brothers has begun a new line of grass-fed beef, and the Co-op will be carrying it some time after the first of next year.

Remember to look for MEMBER SALES throughout the Co-op. White shelf tags display regular non-member and specially discounted price for current Members. Some are one-time deals, some are monthly sales, and others are introductory promotions. (These specials also apply to visiting members from other Co-ops – just show us your membership cards!)

* * *Join the Call for a Washington Sewage Sludge Moratorium! * * *

Residents who live in an area near Davenport, Washington, called Mill Canyon, are threatened by proposals to spread municipal sewage sludge on nearly 900 acres of nearby agricultural land uphill from homes, gardens, and farms. The area in question includes a natural watershed.

Protect Mill Canyon Watershed has launched a grassroots letter-writing campaign to generate hundreds of email messages to Washington State Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee requesting a moratorium on any further “biosolids” permit approvals. The moratorium would last until a thorough review of the science is completed and the findings incorporated into re-worked regulations pertaining to sewage sludge disposal and agricultural land application in the state. Protect Mill Canyon Watershed is an informal committee of Mill Canyon residents.

Not only do residents demand that the permit application to apply sewage sludge in 'our backyard' be denied, but they are also demanding that Washington State Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee immediately impose a state-wide emergency moratorium on approving all pending permits for land application of sewage sludge.

For more information, visit Mill Canyon's website page: Deny Permission to Spew Sewage Sludge in Our Watershed (scroll down past long header)

Let your opinions be heard – write to Governor Inslee at: Governor Jay Inslee, Office of the Governor, PO Box 40002 Olympia, WA 98504-0002 or call: 360-902-4111

Also contact Ecology Department Director, Maia Bellon at: PO Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, phone: 360-407-6000

Or click here to EMAIL them note: If you sign the petition via this link you will need to open an email and click a confirmation link (to prove it's really your email address) and the confirmation email might be sent to your spam folder, so look there! :-)

Send them this message, loud and clear: No more sewage sludge on agricultural land!

DID YOU KNOW the Co-op recently converted to LED lighting throughout the store? It was paid for by the store’s Improvement Fund and helped by a PUD rebate. Over time this improvement will lower energy costs.

Where Do We Get Our Information?

Some of the articles printed in the Firestarter are taken from a few online news sources that encourage widespread sharing. These news websites primarily focus on organic farms, producers, distributors and consumers. Serving as watchdog organizations for the industry, we trust that these sources have done thorough research on the topics that concern us.

At the top of the list is The Cornucopia Institute, at Their promise is: “Promoting Economic Justice for Family Scale Farming”. Co-founded by Mark Kastel and Will Fantle, the organization is a 501(c)3, based in Wisconsin. Their regular writers are from all over the country and include farmers, scientists, doctors, and lawyers, along with many contributing writers.

“The Cornucopia Institute engages in educational activities supporting the ecological principles and economic wisdom underlying sustainable and organic agriculture. Through research and investigations on agricultural issues, the Cornucopia Institute provides needed information to consumers, family farmers, and the media.”

Another trusted source is the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) at Their mission is to insure that we, the consumers, are informed about issues that directly affect us.

In their words, “The Organic Consumers Association is an online and grassroots nonprofit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children’s health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics.”

They claim they are the only organization in the US focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation’s estimated 50 million organic and socially responsible consumers.

Due to a devastating cyclone in April of this year, Madagascar vanilla and vanilla beans are skyrocketing in price. As we know, vanilla is used in almost all baked goods and ice creams, so unfortunately, our costs will be going up!
In the produce department we are also seeing large price hikes in fresh avocados, due also to adverse weather conditions.

Countering the Amazon/Whole Foods Juggernaut:
Co-ops Create a Better Food System

from The Cornucopia Institute

Corporate supermarkets sell prime shelf space, with slotting fees and other premiums, to food manufacturers, helping near-monopoly food producers further push out competition to consolidate their market share. This means supermarket shelves are stocked with the highest bidder’s foodstuff, regardless of a product’s health implications, environmental footprint, or the exploitative labor practices that brought it to market. Cornucopia strongly supports co-ops and other independent grocers who stock healthy, local and organic food, pay their staff a fair wage, and grow their communities. Choosing to support a member-owned co-op rewards family-scale farmers and gives you access to the freshest, local, healthiest food.

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)


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
Ron Jones-Edwards, Secretary
Aaron Kester, Treasurer
Tom Fisher
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General Manager: Alice Simon
Assistant Manager: Julie Greenwood