The Co-operator, January and February 2017

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Co operator THE


12 products for a healthier, happier gut Page 6

soup recipes to warm you up this winter Pages 8 - 10

Focusing on gut health Page 14

Volume 28 : Issue 1 • January & February 2017


Board of Directors Mike Collura, President Sarah Aerni, Secretary Dirk Kalp, Treasurer Caroline Mitchell Amit Shah

The board meets the third Monday of each month.

Management Team

General Manager: Justin Pizzella Human Resources: Jen Girty Finance: Shawn McCullough Marketing & Member Services: Kate Safin IT: Erin Myers Grocery: Maura Holliday Café: Amber Pertz Front End: eric cressley Produce: Evan Diamond

Welcome to the newest edition of The Co-operator, which is now published in this full color format on a bi-monthly schedule. I’m so excited by the possibilities this new format provides. We will be living our ends and being green, saving thousands of pounds of paper each year by printing fewer copies of our newsletter. We will also be able to present this newsletter in an appealing digital format, something Co-op members told us they were very interested in. I want to fill the pages of The Co-operator with the voices of our members. Our March/April edition will focus on sustainability and the environment and will feature a fun spread full of Spring brunch recipes. If you have an idea or recipe to share, please email me at I’m so looking forward to gathering everything that makes this Co-op so great into our member publication. Cooperatively,

The Co-operator

Editor: Kate Safin Copy Editor: Karen Bernard Contributors: Patrick McHale and Erica Peiffer Design: Molly Palmer Masood Printer: Banksville Express Printed with vegetable-based inks on recycled paper. The Co-operator is a quarterly publication of East End Food Coop. Copies are available in the lobby of the store and online at

Interested in Advertising?

Please contact: or call 412.242.3598 ext. 142. Opinions expressed are the writers’ own and do not necessarily reflect Co-op policy. The East End Food Co-op does not endorse the views or products of the advertisers in this newsletter.

SIGN UP FOR OUR E-NEWS If you are not receiving our e-news, please take a moment to subscribe so you can stay up to date on all the Co-op news and specials taking place in between the publication of our bi-monthly newsletter. You can subscribe by texting EASTENDFOOD to 22828, by clicking the link on the homepage of our website, or by emailing a request to join to

Show how much you “LIKE” us and follow EEFC online! 2 - The Co-operator

GM REPORT By Justin Pizzella For several years, the process the board uses to evaluate expansion opportunities has been described in an 8-step model. I recently came across another, simpler way of communicating this process that doesn’t change how or what we evaluate, but provides a clearer framework for expressing each unique stage we will enter. There are five steps in this expansion decision model: Ideation, Feasibility, Member Engagement, Decision Making by the Board, and Completion. The ideation phase could really be called the conceptual phase. In our case, the idea of expansion has been going on for a long time. In our Co-operator archives, we found an article from 1999 describing a firm expansion decision by the board to move into the upper level of The Factory building. This is just one example of a time the East End Food Co-op was on the cusp of expansion. You can review that and other articles about expansion on our website at The feasibility stage has several aspects to it. First, the board tasks me with identifying and evaluating potential sites. This requires interactions with community leaders, developers, and other businesses that are often speculative and confidential. At this stage, it’s premature to discuss these opportunities with our members. That said, our Co-op is an attractive tenant and we have no control when a developer may float our name to the press to build excitement or market their property. Another aspect of feasibility is operational readiness. We have been working to improve our store for several years. Some of the things are visible like merchandising or expanding key categories like cheese. Others are behind the scenes to improve our business or build


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capacity to take on a larger store. Our financial ability to undertake an opportunity is another key requirement. The expansion that was referenced in 1999 ultimately didn’t happen because the Co-op was unable to raise the funds necessary to relocate. The most important feasibility need is congruence with our ends. A project that is financially viable yet doesn’t fulfill our ends won’t be pursued. Additionally, there may be features that we build into the project design, like a community room or facilities to allow us to achieve zero waste, that help us to further our ends. Any site we choose must have the ability to accommodate this. The next phase, member engagement, is the most important and happens before a decision is made. While we are always listening to our members, in the case of an expansion project, this takes a more formal role with town hall meetings, surveys, and other ways to interact with you all to identify your support for a project and what features you’d like to see in a new store. The board will not make any decisions without engaging our membership. Once member engagement is complete, the board is tasked with making a final decision. After the board votes to proceed with a project, we will move into the completion stage, where we finalize our financing and site plans, and move forward with construction and relocation. This phase usually takes over a year and any plan would include frequent updates to our members of the project’s progress. A lot of time and energy has been put into creating a process that allows our Co-op to make a deliberate, careful decision about any potential expansion site. These processes don’t accommodate fast decision making. We have done numerous member surveys over the last 10 years and there is overwhelming support for expansion. We just need to find the right site. I’m confident that in the coming years, the Co-op will utilize this process to make a great selection of a future expansion site.




THE Co-op iS A great place to work! The East End Food Co-op is a growing business that operates in a diverse, fast-paced retail environment. We are committed to providing a safe, inclusive environment that fosters teamwork and integrity. Energetic, cooperative, and committed employees who enjoy helping others through exceptional customer service and who share a love for good, healthful food may find the Co-op is a great place work! We offer generous staff benefits, compensation well above minimum wage, and a culture that emphasizes building skills and promoting from within when positions become available.

Staff Benefits • Competitive Wages: We are comparable to other grocers in our area and starting wages for all positions are well over minimum wage. • Discounts: All employees receive a 20% discount on purchases, as well as a discount on special orders. • Paid time off: We offer all our part-time and full-time employees flexible, easy-tomanage sick and personal time.

• Short-term disability: This benefit is fully funded by the Co-op for all employees who have successfully completed a 90-day trial period. • Retirement Plan: All employees are eligible to participate in the Co-op’s retirement plan after earning $5,000 within a calendar year. • WageWorks Travel Benefit: Employees may use pre-tax dollars to save up to 30% on the cost of transit passes.

Local UE 667 Partnership

• Paid holiday benefits: In addition to paid sick and personal time, employees are paid for holidays when the co-op is closed (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day).

The United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers (UE) Local 667 represents some of the staff of the East End Food Co-op. Our partnership serves to promote excellent labormanagement relations covering wages, hours, and conditions of employment.

• Healthcare: Each employee working an average of 30 hours or more a week, who successfully completes a 90-day trial period, is eligible to sign up for a generous and comprehensive health/dental/vision plan.

If you are prepared to make a serious commitment to our organization and have the skills, talent, and characteristics we are looking for, please tell us more about yourself through our online application.

APPLY ONLINE TODAY! 4 - The Co-operator

Healthy eating doesn’t have to break the bank! You can get fresh, high-quality food at an incredible value when you shop at the East End Food Co-op! Our expansive Co+op Basics program includes hundreds of popular grocery and household items at everyday low prices. To find incredible values on pantry staples, just look for the purple tags around the store! Build an easy, healthy meal with these staples from our Co+op Basics Program. See page 9 for a simple organic soup recipe that costs less than $2.50 a serving.




Field Day Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 Liter

Field Day Vegetable Broth 1 QT

Field Day Pinto Beans 15 oz.



Field Day Kidney Beans 15 oz.

Field Day Great Northern Beans 15 oz.

Whether it’s a pinch or a pound…

Find everything you need among hundreds of bulk herbs, teas and spices.

Looking to stretch your grocery budget? Just look for this logo.

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6 - The Co-operator

SPOTLIGHT ON LOCAL Lux Artisan Chocolates Handmade premium chocolates crafted from the finest ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible. Find Lux chocolate bars at register 2. 4 miles from your Co-op

Goat Rodeo

at e r g a e k a m This would es Day gift! Valentin

A wide variety of fresh and aged artisan cheeses created from goat milk, cow milk, and blends of both. Find Goat Rodeo fresh chevre and more in our cheese island. 23 miles from your Co-op The Co-operator - 7

Allison Park, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Chevre ma addition to kes the perfect a r mant ic dinner!


STOCK By: Co+op, stronger together

Soup stock is the foundation for many of the tastiest soups, and it’s a flavor enhancer for many a dish too. But canned and packaged stocks are generally high in sodium and may include artificial ingredients, like monosodium glutamate (MSG). You can find healthier and organic varieties at your co-op, but if you use stock frequently in your cooking, it can get expensive. Despite what you may think, making your own stock requires minimal effort, costs little money, and will keep you, well, stocked for months. There are a million and one uses for a good homemade stock, including:

• Making your own soups and stews • Adding depth to homemade pasta sauces • Using in place of water or butter to infuse rice, couscous, or other grains with flavor • Braising greens and other vegetables • Deglazing pans to make gravy • Substituting for wine in any recipe The most versatile stocks are chicken and vegetable stock, but the possibilities don’t stop there. Beef stock, fish stock, chili stock, ginger stock—the list is limited only by your imagination. For the sake of simplicity, file away this basic how-to for chicken or vegetable stock and improvise from there.

Reprinted by permission from Find articles about your food and where it comes from, recipes and a whole lot more at The Co-operator - 8

Member Submitted Recipe!



Mint Pesto Pea Soup

Farmhouse Bean Soup


• 1 pound chicken bones (if making chicken stock); either buy them from your co-op’s meat counter or farmers’ market meat stand, or reserve the bones every time you roast a local, pastured chicken and freeze in a plastic bag until you’re ready to make stock • 1 pound assorted vegetables: carrots, celery, onions, garlic, or other root vegetables, washed and chopped into large pieces • 1-2 dried bay leaves • A few handfuls of fresh herbs: thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley, or whatever else you have on hand, washed and added to the pot, stems and all • 2-3 tablespoons whole spices: black peppercorns, coriander, caraway, fennel, etc.


Ingredients • 1 butternut squash

• 2 tbsps. coconut oil • 2 tart green apples • 2 celery stalks • 2 small onions • 1 carrot • 2 qts. chicken bone broth • 1 tsp. salt • ½ tsp. ginger • ½ tsp. cinnamon • ¼ tsp. cumin • ¼ tsp. sage • ¼ tsp. white pepper

Preparation 1. Preheat oven to 400° F

Reprinted by permission from Find more recipes and information about your food and where it comes from at

2. Halve butternut squash, remove seeds, place in roasting pan face up and coat inside with 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Roast in the preheated oven for 50 minutes, or until soft. 3. While squash roasts, sautee roughly chopped apples, celery, onion, and carrots in a soup pot in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, until onions begin to soften and are fragrant. 4. Season to taste with ginger, cinnamon, cumin, sage, salt and



1. In a large soup or stockpot, add all the ingredients and cover with 12-16 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 3-4 hours. The liquid should reduce slowly; if it seems to be drying out quickly, add more water and turn down the heat. 2. After 3-4 hours, strain the stock, discarding all solids (it’s okay if a few whole spices escape the strainer). You should be left with 8-10 cups of stock. Season to taste with salt or just wait to salt until you use it in a recipe. Divide stock into one-cup portions in small plastic bags or containers and freeze (this way, you can thaw just as much as you need).

Soup • 3 tbsps. olive oil • 2 tbsps. butter • 1 cup yellow onion, diced • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 4 cups vegetable broth • 6 cups fresh or frozen peas • 2 green onions, diced • 2 tbsps. fresh mint, minced • 1/4 cup sour cream Pesto • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves • 1/4 cup pine nuts • 1 lemon, zest and juice • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded • 2 tbsps. olive oil • Salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation 1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive

oil with the butter in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté 5-10 minutes until onions are soft and

translucent. Add half the minced garlic, and cook another minute, then add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add the peas, return to a boil, and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in the green onions, mint, sour cream, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Taste for salt and pepper 2. To make the pesto, put the parsley, mint, garlic, pine nuts and lemon zest and juice in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the Parmesan cheese and blend. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until blended well. Top each bowl of soup with a large spoonful of pesto, and serve warm or chilled.

Reprinted by permission from Find more recipes and information about your food and where it comes from at

• 2 tbsps. Field Day olive oil • 1 yellow onion, diced • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced • 3 parsnips, peeled and diced • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes • 4 cups Field Day vegetable broth • 2 tsps. dried rosemary • 2 tsps. dried thyme • 1 15-ounce can Field Day Northern beans, rinsed and drained • 1 15 oz. can Field Day pinto beans, rinsed and drained • 1 15 oz. can Field Day kidney beans, rinsed and drained • 5 cups fresh spinach, chopped • Salt and black pepper to taste

white pepper. 5. Add chicken bone broth to soup pot, cover and bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer until squash is finished roasting. 6. Remove squash from oven and let cool. Then scoop out of skin and add to soup. 7. Simmer 10 more minutes or until carrots are soft. 8. Puree with immersion blender, in a food processor, or in a blender in small batches. 9. To add texture and a spicy kick, garnish each serving with roasted pumpkin seeds seasoned with cayenne, chili powder and salt.

Reprinted with permission from Erica Peiffer, Member Since 2011


1. In a large pot, heat the oil over mediumhigh heat. 2. Add the onion, carrots, parsnips and garlic and sauté 5 to 7 minutes. 3. Add the tomatoes, broth and herbs and bring to a boil. 4. Add the beans, reduce heat to simmer and cook 20 to 30 minutes until vegetables are tender. 5. Stir in the spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste. 6. Serve warm. Serves 6. Prep time: 15 minutes active; 30 minutes total.

Reprinted by permission from Find more recipes and information about your food and where it comes from at


MEET Owner Where do you live? Lawrenceville What was your motivation for coming to and/or joining the Co-op? My mom brought me here a lot when I was younger, so I’ve always been coming here. But at some point I just thought to myself, I’m shopping here a lot, I might as well invest. What is your favorite thing you get from the Co-op? I like the hot tea. There’s something special about someone else making a hot drink for you, it’s different than making it for myself at home. If you could change one thing about the Co-op, what would it be? Make the floors even! Chasing carts is no fun… What do you LOVE and hope will never change about the Co-op? It’s cozy. I usually see people I know. There’s a community feel. It’s a different vibe. I shop at different places for different reasons. When I go to Trader Joe’s, I’m all about

Michelle C., MEmber since 2011 business and I want to get in and get out. But I come here for special things. I like to take my time here, enjoy the experience. How would you describe your lifestyle, and how does the Co-op fit in? My lifestyle has an

emphasis on healthy living and healthy eating for sure. I’m a business owner, so my lifestyle is also busy. For me, the Co-op means having a place to go, where I don’t have to cook, and I can still get something healthy to eat. The hot bar is great!

Are you Interested in Advertising? Please contact: or call 412.242.3598 ext. 142.

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2017 Recipients: Free Store Wilkinsburg 412 Food Rescue Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse Nine Mile Watershed Association Bike Pittsburgh Group Against Smog & Pollution (GASP) The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank Assemble Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) Let’s Move Pittsburgh One World Everybody Eats Afro-American Music Institute


Round The Co-op’s Register Round Up Program was established in April 2013, and each month gives shoppers the opportunity to round up their total at the register to the nearest dollar and give the difference to a local non-profit that has been preselected by the Co-op. When the program began, we could have only dreamed of the amazing success it has become. Since its inception, Co-op shoppers have given back over $90,000 to area non-profits! As awareness of this opportunity increases, so do the number of applications the Co-op receives for consideration. With only twelve months in each year and dozens of applications, the selection process can become daunting! A collaborative effort between the Front End staff and Marketing & Member Services yielded the 2017 Register Round Up recipients. Each application was carefully reviewed and evaluated. Criteria for selection included how the funds will be used, the communities served by each organization, and how well the mission of each organization aligned with the Co-op’s Ends. We certainly wish there were more months in a year so we could give to all the wonderful organizations that submitted applications. This year, money raised through the Register Round Up will support a wide variety of causes including health and wellness, hunger, food access, education, and the environment. 12 - The Co-operator

January Register Round Up

Free Store Wilkinsburg’s mission is to redistribute new and lightly used donated goods to residents to create stability and self-reliance. Communities Served: Primarily Wilkinsburg and community members within the various neighborhoods of the East End and Eastern suburbs. Register Round Up funds will support store relocation and securing a new space. Funds will also be used toward programming that teaches reading and financial literacy, healthy eating on a budget, and other topics that contribute to a self-sufficient society.

FEBRUARY Register Round Up 412 Food Rescue rescues healthy food that would otherwise be thrown away and donates the food to area nonprofits who are doing the important work of feeding people who are hungry. Communities Served: Allegheny County Register Round Up funds will support improving the food infrastructure in Allegheny County by ensuring that food that would ordinarily be thrown away is instead donated to area nonprofits that feed people by helping to cover general operating expenses.

If you’d like to support these organizations and their missions, be sure to tell your Co-op cashier to round up your total to the nearest dollar. Want to give more than your spare change? Just let your cashier know. The Co-operator - 13

Focusing on Gut Health

Getting to the Root of the

Health Care Crisis

By Edward Joseph James, MD, MBA

The current model for health care in the United States is focused to a large degree upon the management and treatment of chronic diseases, principally using various prescription drugs and procedural interventions. Chronic diseases are our Nation’s leading cause of death and disabilities. So-called preventative measures (e.g. mammography, colonoscopy, and blood pressure screening) may be useful for earlier disease diagnoses, but typically fail to prevent disease, which requires addressing the root cause at the cellular level. There is a growing body of research which strongly indicates that eating more plant based whole foods and avoiding both processed foods and animal based foods, as well as avoiding and removing body toxins, is effective in preventing and treating many chronic diseases. Unfortunately, many Americans, including health care professionals, are generally not well informed about nutrition or the health impact of common toxins. Optimum health and natural healing rarely occur in our society, because our United States food system is fundamentally flawed. Many large agribusinesses exert considerable influence on the United States government and its agencies, resulting in dietary recommendations and agricultural subsidies that are not in the best interest of our Nation’s health. Too often, profit is prioritized over food quality. Governmental oversight of our food and water

supply is insufficient, resulting in many toxic substances in our daily diet. Choosing to eat certified organic and support local farms is important for our health and to protect our environment, but it is not enough. For example, the herbicide Roundup is now in much of our rainwater. Additionally, organic farms are being infiltrated with GMO seeds from nearby farms. For these and other reasons, it is virtually impossible today to maintain a farm which is truly 100 % organic. A rapidly growing body of research involves the 3-4 pounds of bacteria in each of our bodies, which play a most important role in determining overall physical and mental health. Of the cell population in our body, 90% are bacteria. Of the genes in our body, 99% are related to bacteria. The bacteria which constitute our bowel flora are responsible in many instances for determining if genes are expressed. I believe we should generally be less concerned about our genes, and instead focus upon optimizing the population of our bowel flora, encouraging its diversity, so that genes expressed are those which promote health and do not cause disease. We must begin to remove toxic substances which threaten our microbiome, including pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, gluten, and many pharmaceutical drugs (e.g. antibiotics and ibuprofen). 14 - The Co-operator

Because there are so many toxins today which threaten to destroy our healthful bowel flora, we must seek protective measures, such as the natural carbon based redox molecules which support healthful bowel flora colonization and diversity, as produced by Biomic Sciences, under the leadership of Dr. Zach Bush. As we properly nourish and continually protect our bowel flora, gut membrane tight junctions begin to function much better, protecting our immune systems, our brains and our entire bodies from toxic chemicals, which have greatly contributed to the epidemic of chronic disease throughout our Nation. We must also

continually let our government leaders at every level know that a toxic food and water supply is not acceptable. I also believe it is important that medical research and clinical care become focused upon selected natural, unadulterated organic, plant remedies. Dr. James is certified in plant based nutrition and is a retired, board certified general radiologist and neuroradiologist. He is passionate about health and wellness, with a particular interest in the effectiveness of organic, plant-based, whole foods for preventing, reversing and curing disease.

How Probiotics Support

Health & Wellness

By Dr. Ilona Berkoben, IHB Health & Wellness

Probiotics are microorganism living in our body. There are hundreds of different species, including the most well-known, Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. The positive impact of probiotics on human health is well documented in scientific studies, and my family and I have personally experienced a profound difference in our overall health because we incorporate high quality probiotics into our diets. This is because gut health is crucial for overall good health and well-being. The microbiome, where probiotics live, plays a critical role in maintaining our health, as 75% of our immune system resides in the gut. Leaky gut develops when the intestinal lining is damaged by antibiotics, drugs, chemicals, toxins, stress, and irritating foods (like wheat, dairy, soy, and sugar), and is linked to autoimmunity, chronic inflammation, food sensitivities, and skin

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conditions. Incorporating fermented foods and probiotics can improve gut health. Leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage), and garlic provide food for prebiotics, which promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines. Reducing stress, getting enough sleep, eating mindfully, and adding digestive enzymes to your supplements will also support gut health. To learn more and to sample some of the foods that support gut health, join me for a free class at the Co-op on Saturday, January 14th at 2 PM. Event details are on the back page. Dr. Ilona is an MD turned holistic health and wellness coach with over 20 years of experience. She is passionate about educating and inspiring people to take charge of their health thourgh natural methods.

7516 Meade Street Pittsburgh, PA 15208 Phone: 412.242.3598

Event Calendar

January & February

Gut Health

Saturday, January 14th at 2 PM Ilona Berkoben, IHB Health & Wellness POWER/EEFC Conference Room Ilona brings over 20 years of experience as a primary care physician and health coach to teach the importance of gut health, the factors that disrupt and damage healthy guts, and tips on restoring your digestive system. Samples of fermented foods and drinks will be provided.


Saturday, January 28th 1-4 PM Pittsburgh Chamber of Co-operatives POWER/EEFC Conference Room Play “Co-opoly!” It’s a board game designed similarly to that game that rhymes with Co-opoly but you and your fellow players are members of a cooperative business. It shows players through experience how coops work, and entertains players along the way, too. It’s also just a fun board game. Meet other folks curious about cooperatives and members of some other cooperatives around Pittsburgh. Get your burning questions answered!

starting seedlings at home Saturday, February 18th 1-2:30 PM Danielle Marvit, Garden Dreams Urban Farm & Nursery POWER/EEFC Conference Room

January 25th and February 22nd

Learn the skills and tools you need to grow your own seedlings at home this year! Garden Dreams head farmer Danielle Marvit will provide tips on selecting seed varieties and discuss how to properly germinate, pot up, feed, and harden off homegrown seedlings. Attendees will walk away with the knowledge and resources needed to start seeding as soon as they get home. Please bring seeds to swap!


Co-op Orientation

Sunday, February 12th at 1 PM Erica Peiffer, Member Services Coordinator POWER/EEFC Conference Room Orientations ensure our members feel completely comfortable using our store and participating in our Co-op. They provide an opportunity to ask questions, meet other members and staff, review member benefits, and learn more about the cooperative business model.

To RSVP for any of these events, please call 412.242.3598.


*No additional discounts or sales may be stacked with this offer

10%* off wellness AND body care Senior Discount Days

(5% courtesy discount for 62+) Every Tuesday & Thursday

quarterly discount

Members, be sure to use your 10% quarterly discount by March 31st!