The Co-operator - April & March 2019

Page 1

Co operator THE

Volume 30 : Issue 2 • March & April 2019



Gree n




e 7! Pag

BPageul4 k Favorites

bels and FOOD 101: Egg Lath Production Me ods Page 5

s e p i c e R k l u B 7 Page

Reducing stuff ss to reduce stre

k c i t S e g d u m DIY: S Page 11

Page 12


Board Corner The East End Food Co-op exists to enhance physical and social health to our community. To these ends, we will create: • A sustainable memberowned business open to everyone; • An ethical and resilient food infrastructure; • A vibrant, dynamic community of happy, healthy people; • A creative vision to transform the future.

Board of Directors Eddy Jones, President Sam Applefield Eva Barinas Karen Bernard Emily DeFerrari Larry Meadows, Jr. Jona Reyes Sarah Trafican O.E. Zelmanovich

The board meets the third Monday of each month at 7 PM in the POWER/EEFC Conference Room. Members are welcome to attend.


Finance: Shawn McCullough HR: Jen Girty IT: Erin Myers Marketing & Member Services: Kate Safin Café: Amber Pertz Front End: eric cressley Grocery: Maura Holliday


The Co-operator is a bi-monthly publication of East End Food Co-op. Copies are available in the lobby of the store and online at

Editor: Kate Safin Copy Editor: Mike Eaton Contributors: Erica Peiffer Design: Molly Palmer Masood Printed with vegetable-based inks on recycled paper by Banksville Express.

Advertise with us

E-mail 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 Coop does not endorse the views or products of the advertisers in this newsletter.

Hello co-op members! Your board is off to a busy start in 2019. We welcomed five new board members at our December meeting. New board members are: Karen Bernard, Sam Applefield (Vice President), Eva Barinas (Secretary), Larry Meadows (Treasurer), and Jona Reyes. These five join Eddy Jones (President), Emily DeFerrari , Sarah Trafican, and Zoe Zelmanovich to bring us to a full complement and a sense of stability. We will miss outgoing board member William Warnock and appreciate the commitment he brought to the board. We will also miss Erica Peiffer, and thank her for many years of conscientious and knowledgeable work as our board clerk. We wish her well as we welcome MaCall Scott who will provide board clerk service to the board. On January 13, Emily DeFerrari hosted a full day retreat at her home, where we got to know each other and understand the role of the board in governing the management of the store. Since then, we have been interviewing candidates for the general manager position, paying close attention to the criteria we gleaned from members and staff at the listening sessions held last year. The traits you, as a membership, told us were important were communication and people skills, love of good healthy food, and a commitment to cooperative values. We are also looking for an individual who can lead the store in whatever direction the expansion project takes us. As you probably realize, we have been functioning without a general manager for 16 months; the board recognizes the work staff have taken on to keep the co-op on an even keel. In the fall of 2018, we moved from a three-member Designated General Management team to a seven-person Interim General Management team that consists of

Jen Girty, Human Resources; eric cressley, Front End; Shawn McCullough, Finance; Kate Safin, Marketing & Member Services; Amber Pertz, Café; Maura Holliday, Grocery; and Erin Myers, Information Technology. Tyler Kulp, our new produce manager, will gain strength in his new position before joining the management team. Please give our staff and managers a friendly hello and a verbal pat on the back for working well while we sort out the management structure. We’ve been especially heartened at the work the staff has been doing to improve our sustainability footprint and to make the store more affordable to people with low incomes. Currently about 3% of our sales are made with SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) funds. One opportunity to extend access to shoppers with low incomes is the Food Bucks program, coordinated by the Philadelphia non-profit The Food Trust; we are excited that our co-op is looking for ways to participate as a retailer once we have the necessary technical requirements in place. We continue to make adjustments to our board meetings to make them more meaningful to members who want to attend. We want to acknowledge the insensitivity with which the first 2019 board meeting was scheduled on Martin Luther King Day. With this awareness we will pay closer attention to days of cultural significance as we manage the schedule in 2019. Members are invited to attend board meetings. We usually meet at 7 PM on the third Monday of each month. Meeting dates and times are posted in the store and on the co-op’s website. If you are interested in joining the Member-Owner Participation Committee, which works on communication between the board and the membership, please e-mail us at Hope to see you!

Living our ends The Co-op’s commitment to local is unmatched by any other retailer in our region and helps us build an ethical and resilient food infrastructure.


100% EGGS

64% MILK



90% MEAT

Approximate % of product mix that is local by category. *Fluctuates by season.

The co-op returns about $3 million a year back into our local economy through the sales of local goods, which makes up nearly ¼ of our total sales. Data collected FY2017-18 (July 3, 2017-July 1, 2018)

STORE news

What’s happening at your Co-op Spring is just around the corner! What an exciting time to feel refresh and rebirth. If you’ve fallen off the wagon for those New Year’s resolutions you made, now is a great time to revisit your goals. Spring is a much more suitable time for cleansing, be it of our bodies or our homes. Many of us will find ourselves in “spring cleaning” mode, sifting through our belongings and making choices about what is really important to keep in our lives. If you need some motivation, check out our spring cleaning tips on pages 11 & 12 and be sure to attend our free DIY Green Cleaning class hosted by Women for a Healthy Environment on April 3rd (more info is on the back page). At the co-op, we found ourselves in cleaning mode as we adapted to changes in available space in The Factory building. In the past few weeks, we vacated some admin office space on the second floor of the building and

removed back stock and storage items from the former Gemini Theater. We are working hard to find creative solutions to the ever-present squeeze we feel in our available footprint here at 7516 Meade Street, and hope these changes do not disrupt our ability to serve you, our members and customers. And speaking of serving you, we’d like to say thank you to the many co-op members who took the time to complete our bi-annual member survey. Results will be available in the coming weeks, and we are truly looking forward to evaluating your feedback so we can learn how to best meet your needs.

At the end of February, we participated in the TRUE Zero Waste Symposium hosted by PA Resources Council at Phipp's Conservatory. It was an enlightening day-long session that challenged us to rethink waste in terms of resources and find ways to close the loop on waste streams.

We are also thrilled that we got online shopping and home delivery service off the ground in mid-February. If you are pressed for time, not really in the mood for our parking lot, or maybe want to send a few of your favorite healthy foods to a friend, check out the online store at

We hope to see you at our popular Bulk Sale on April 14th. Normally we host this sale on the Sunday before Earth Day; this year, that date happens to be Easter Sunday, so we’ve moved the sale up by one week. We love this celebration of zero waste shopping. It is typically one of our biggest sale dates of the year!

The co-op’s financial position remains strong, with second quarter sales growth of 5.3%. In accordance with the co-op’s agreed upon gain share memorandum, we were able to issue a gain share to co-op staff based on earning for the quarter ending December 2018.

EMPLOYEES OF THE MONTH PATRICK WOODS (PRODUCE) Patrick has been a Produce Clerk at the coop since May 2018. He was also a cashier from August 2017-February 2018. Patrick is in the Army Reserve, and loves cooking, world travel, and his pets.

Christine Bruening (STOCK/MMS)

Emily Shepard (CAFE)

Christine has been at the co-op since October 2018 and recently transitioned from stock to PMC. She enjoys making art and watching horror movies with her cats Cheese & Pancake

Emily has worked in the Cafe since April 2017. She loves being outside, hiking, backpacking, reading, watching movies, and cooking.



for encouraging self-empowerment, growth, and discovery.

PCCR is a non-profit that inspires creativity, conservation, and community engagement through reuse.



To support these organizations, tell your cashier to Round Up your total at the register! Register Round Up Funds raised to date: $138,034.14 April 2013-January 2018

Girls Write Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Center for Girls Write Pittsburgh utilizes the Creative Reuse craft of creative writing as the tool 2

We’re Listening Your voice is heard

COMMENT Cards Customers outside of Pittsburgh city limits can no longer recycle any plastic except HDPE 1 and PETE 2; also no glass. Can you find a bulk container supplier that provides these containers? We are looking into some new containers for our bulk department. In the meantime, we always encourage customers to bring in their own clean re-usable containers to our bulk department. We also offer many options in reusable containers for purchase. - Maura, Grocery Hi. Please order the regular Natalie’s orange juice. It is more affordable. Thanks. This item is back in stock - I’m glad it’s meeting your needs! - Marc, Produce Please carry Bambu sporks! We will change the world by all carrying our own utensils! Thanks. Thank you for your comment, and I agree! We currently carry a bamboo utensil that is a fork on one end and a spoon on the other (not technically a spork, but close). I will keep an eye out for sporks and will order if they are available to us. I am also happy to take recommendations. - Chad, Grocery The Appliance Warehouse recycles Styrofoam--please advertise this to customers. Thanks for the info! We added this to our list of recycling resources on our website ( - Kate, Marketing & Member Services Bulk dates would be better off with a scoop, not tongs. Tongs are tedious and discouraging to shoppers. Tongs seem to be a better choice because scoops tend to smash the dates. However, poly gloves are always located near the date bins as an alternative to the tongs. - Jim, Bulk

Judy Vanderbeck, LMT, INHC Since 1995 Creating Sessions Specific to Your Needs. Member Hands-On Trade Assoc. Licensed Massage Therapist #MSG004109

Swedish & Sports Massage, Energy Work, Self-Healing Techniques. Certified Reflexologist: in Face, Ear, Hand & Foot Reflexology Certified Health Coach - For Balanced Lifestyle & Non-Toxicity Office Hours by appt. Mon. - Sat. 5850 Ellsworth Ave. Independent at Capristo Wellness Spa

Shadyside - 412/362-9084 Online Scheduling + Purchase of Gift Certificates & Apt. Pack-


Your staff is always so friendly & helpful - thanks! The Co-op attracts the most wonderful people! Thanks for being part of the community and for sharing positive thoughts! - eric, Front End

Why don’t you put signs up encouraging customers to use paper bags instead of plastic. Several people have told me they often forget, maybe I’ll do an informal survey of shoppers. Thanks for the suggestion! We will be rolling out signage that encourages re-use and reduction of plastics throughout the store as part of our sustainability efforts. We’ll be sure to highlight the paper bag option as part of our storewide campaign. - Kate, Marketing & Member Services Thank you for providing me with good vegan foods! We are happy to be able to provide you with good vegan foods! Thank you for the feedback! - Ian, Grocery Could you carry more sprouted nuts? Our bulk department will soon carry sprouted almonds and walnuts. If there are any other varieties you are looking for, let us know. - Jim, Bulk I don’t care how good the article I don’t want to see a magazine with a cover of a confederate flag in the co-op. We’re sorry for the distress caused by the image on this magazine. Since we read your comment we’ve attached a cover on the front of the rack, blocking the photo and warning that the picture may be disturbing. Thank you for letting us know how you feel. - Karen, Books


FEATURED PRODUCTS Check out these great bulk staples!

Yogurt Raspberry Pretzels from the Bulk Department

“These pretzels are salty, sweet, melt in your mouth & turn your frown upside down!”


NEW Items! • Enzymedica - Heartburn Relief & Fish Oils • Organic Valley - Lactose Free Skim Milk • African Formula Cosmetics - Muscle Relief Bath • Primal Kitchen - Organic Golden Unsweetened BBQ Sauce • Nature's Path - Organic Almond Nut Butter Cereal • Wayfare - Non-dairy Cheddar Dip • Deland - Gluten Free Vegan Burger Buns • Kite Hill Tortellini • Pranarom - Organic Essential Oils Starter Kit • Wholesome - Organic Sucanat


Food 101

by Co+op, stronger together

The Chicken and the Egg: Egg Labels and Production Methods For such a simple food, buying eggs can be complicated. Eggs come in various colors, sizes, and grades and from chickens that are housed, fed, and treated differently. Short of raising your own chickens, how can you tell what’s what when it comes to eggs? Grade

If a carton of eggs sports the voluntary USDA shield, these are the criteria used for the grading: Grade AA eggs have thick, firm whites; yolks that are high, round, and practically free from defects; and clean, unbroken shells. Grade A eggs are the same as Grade AA, except that the whites are “reasonably” firm. Grade B eggs might have slight stains on the shells, the whites may be thinner, and the yolks wider and flatter than AA or A eggs. If the eggs have a grade without the USDA shield, it means they’ve met specific state standards.


The eggshell color—white, brown, pink, and even green and blue—simply depends on the breed of chicken and has no effect on the egg’s quality or taste.


This doesn’t refer to the dimension of each egg, but the minimum weight required per dozen eggs, from peewee (15 ounces) to jumbo (30 ounces). Most recipes are based on large eggs, which weigh in at 24 ounces per dozen.


Unfertilized eggs mean that the hens were housed without roosters. Fertilized eggs are produced from cohabitating hens and roosters. (But don’t worry—refrigeration stops cells from growing and prevents embryos from forming.) Cage-free* hens are allowed to roam inside barns or warehouses, but they don’t necessarily have access to the outdoors. Uncaged chickens can engage in some natural behaviors that caged birds cannot, like walking, nesting, and perching. There are many certifications verified by USDA for humanely raised chickens; some set standards for hens’ space and access to the outdoors, and some also prohibit forced molting (via starvation) and/or beak cutting.

Reprinted by permission from


Free-range and free-roaming* apply to hens that are cage-free. There are no regulations for exactly how these hens are raised differently from “cage-free” hens,

but the understanding is that true free-range eggs come from hens that forage on pasture for green plants and insects. Pastured or pasture-raised* eggs come from hens raised outdoors on grass *Refers to terms not regulated by nor certified through USDA (or other organizations recognized by USDA).


Fortified eggs contain supplemental nutrients. In order to boost the amount of a specific nutrient in eggs, chickens may have their diets tweaked—added flax for increased omega 3 fatty acids or marigold extract for more lutein, for example. Certified organic eggs come from chickens raised on organic feed and without the use of hormones or antibiotics. As regulated by the USDA National Organic Program, they are given access to the outdoors, though the type and amount of access are undefined.

Vegetarian eggs are produced by hens whose feed is free of animal by-products. This term is not regulated nor certified, and while the absence of animal by-products in feed is praised by many, the vegetarian label is also criticized since a natural diet would include hens foraging for grubs. While some suppliers assert that there’s no nutritional difference between eggs raised by different methods, studies conducted by Mother Earth News conclude that compared to USDA nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from pastured hens may contain one-third less cholesterol, a quarter less saturated fat, two-thirds more vitamin A, two times more omega-3 fatty acids, three times more vitamin E, seven times more beta carotene, and four to six times more vitamin D. Of course, these labels don’t always guarantee the living conditions and production methods used. Co-ops often offer eggs from local suppliers and/or producers that use the most humane methods, making them a good source for finding the most nutritious, most humanely raised eggs. Which labels do you look for when picking up a dozen?

100% of our eggs come from local farms! Did you know that every single egg sold at the East End Food Co-op comes from local, family farms? It’s true! And we know you’ll be able to tell the difference in quality from other store bought eggs. When you crack them open, the rich color of the yoke is an immediate indicator of the fresh, local egg’s superiority. Hens that have access to pasture, feast on bugs and/or healthy grains, and get to soak up real sunlight produce healthier eggs. We receive fresh egg deliveries nearly every day. Check the side of the carton and you’ll see the date the eggs were laid (often hand written). Do your other grocery store eggs have that? Enjoy a variety of eggs fresh from the farm. Not only will you have a better taste and nutrition, you’re also helping support small family farms. Need help deciding what to buy? Here’s a breakdown of our local farmers practices.






Champion Chick Farm



Free Range, Cage Free

Hormone-free vegetarian diet; no antibiotics

Jubilee Hilltop Ranch



Pasture, Naturally Raised

Liberty Farm





Mercer County Farm




Grain-fed, GMO-free

Mickley Organic Farms




Soy free, GMO-free, no drugs, herbicides, or pesticides

Nature’s Yoke (Co+op Basics)

Grade A


Free Range

Pure grain fed, no medications

Organic Valley

Grade A


Pasture, Free to forage

Non-GMO, no synthetic hormones, pesticides, or antibiotics

Swiss Villa




Grass-fed, Soy free, GMO-free


USDA Organic


Go Green. Shop BUlk.

From our kitchen to YOURS Something about cooking from bulk goes here...

Reap the financial and environmental rewards of embracing shopping habits that eliminate the need for single-use plastic by shopping in the bulk department. Bring your own containers (or use one of ours) to buy as little or as much as you like! Whether it’s a pinch or a pound, you’ll find everything you need to stock your pantry including rice, grains, flour, sugar, herbs, spices, and so much more!

Shopping in bulk is easy! Just follow these simple steps:

1. Grab a container and a sticker. 2. If you brought your own jar, weigh it empty. This is the tare weight. Please make a note of it on your jar. 3. Fill your container and label it with the PLU number located on the bin next to the product name. 4. Take your container to check out. A cashier will weigh it at the register. 5. Enjoy the satisfaction of getting a great deal on fresh, delicious food without the unnecessary packaging.

DILL PICKLE POPCORN This delicious, tangy popcorn is coated in a yummy mix of pickling spices, like coriander seeds and dill weed. Popular during our bulk Sale and MEMBER DRIVe, now the recipe is all yours! INGREDIENTS • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds • 1/2 tsp. dill seed • 1 1/2 tsp. salt • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder • 1/2 tsp. onion powder • 2 tsp. dried dill • 1/2 tsp. citric acid • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels • 2 tbs oil of choice • Spray oil of choice

Member Submitted Recipe!


PREPARATION 1. Place all spices in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind until it resembles a fine powder. 2. Pop popcorn using whatever method you prefer, stovetop or microwave. 3. Place popcorn in a large bowl. 4. To help the spice mix stick, spray with oil, then sprinkle spice mix over top and toss to coat.

Member Submitted Recipe!

Jennings Family Vegan Irish Soda Bread

Member Submitted Recipe!

Herb Infused Roasted Chicken

Member Submitted Recipe!

Green Pea Dhal

Member Submitted Recipe!



Dhal: 1. Blend soaked moong dhal in a blender or food processor until it resembles a coarse paste. 2. Heat ghee in a saucepan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin, asafoetida powder, curry leaves and garam masala. Cook for 2 minutes stirring so spices do not stick. 3. Add the garlic paste, ginger paste, green chilies and tomato, Stir, cooking until fragrant and the tomatoes have broken down. 4. Add the moong dhal paste and cook, stirring for 1 minute to coat in spices. 5. Add water and bring to a boil. 6. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring PREPARATION occasionally, for 50 minutes Rice: or until dhal is cooked and 1. Combine 1½ cups water with mixture thickens. 1 cup rice and 1 tbsp. butter 7. Add peas and cook for 5 (optional) in a pot with a tight minutes or until cooked fitting lid. through. 2. Bring to a boil. Stir once 8. Season with salt and pepper 3. Cover with lid. Reduce heat to to taste. simmer and cook 20 minutes. 9. Serve over rice and top 4. Remove from heat without with green onion and fresh lifting lid; let stand in covered coriander. pot for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork; salt to taste (optional).

INGREDIENTS then slowly stir into dry ingredients. • 5 cups all purpose 4. Gather dough into a white flour ball and turn onto a • 1 tbsp. baking powder floured surface. • 1/2 tsp. baking soda 5. Knead for two • 1 1/2 tsp. salt minutes, but be sure • 1 tbsp. caraway not to over-knead. • 1/2 cup sugar 6. Shape dough • 1/2 pound raisins into two rounds • 3 tbsp. lemon juice and place onto a • 2 cups soy milk greased baking • 1 tbsp. canola oil sheet. 7. Cut an slit on top of PREPARATION each loaf about one1. Preheat oven to inch deep. 375° F. 8. Bake for about 45 2. Mix all dry minutes, or until a ingredients in a toothpick inserted large bowl. into loaf’s center 3. Mix wet ingredients comes out clean. in a separate bowl,




• 1 cup oats

• Combine oats, nut

INGREDIENTS Dhal: • 2 cups yellow moong dhal, soaked for 8 hours or overnight • 3 cup water • 1 tbsp. ghee • 1 tsp. mustard seeds • 1 tsp. cumin • A pinch of asafoetida powder • 2-4 curry leaves • 1 onion, finely chopped • 2 garlic cloves, ground to a paste • 1 in. piece of ginger, ground to a paste • 2 green chillies, finely chopped • 1 tomato, finely chopped • 1 tsp. garam masala • Salt and pepper to taste • 1 cup frozen peas • 2 Tbsp. fresh coriander • 1 green onion, finely chopped Rice: • 1 cup of rice • 1 1/2 cups of water • 1 tbsp. of butter

• 1/2 cup peanut or almond butter • 4 tbsp. ground flax seed • 4 tbsp. shredded or flaked coconut • 1/2 cup dried cranberries • 1/3 cup honey • 1 tbsp. chia seeds • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

butter, ground flax seed, cranberries, honey, chia seeds, and vanilla extract together in a bowl. Mix well. • Cover and chill dough in the refrigerator 30 minutes. • Remove from refrigerator; roll into balls, about 1 inch in diameter.

Herbed Butter: • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter • 1/4 tsp. turmeric • 1 tsp. sage • 1 tsp. rosemary • 1 tsp. thyme • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds • 1/2 tsp. chili peppers • 1/2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds • 1 tsp. coriander seeds • 4 garlic cloves • Salt and pepper to taste Chicken and Vegetables: • 4 1/2 lb whole chicken • 10 small purple potaoes, cleaned and cut in half • 2 carrots, cut into 2 in. sticks • 1 cup Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half • 1/2 tsp salt • 1/2 tsp black pepper • 1/4 tsp garlic powder • 1/4 tsp onion powder


Herbed Butter: 1. Grind together all spices using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Once finely ground, add in garlic cloves and grind until it

forms a paste. 2. Heat one tablespoon of butter in a saucepan and add the herbs and garlic. Stir for 2-3 minutes. 3. Add remaining butter and stir until melted. Set aside. Chicken and Vegetables: 1. Cut the chicken open through the back bone. Dry the chicken and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. 2. Lift the chicken skin and generously rub the herbed butter under the skin and over the whole chicken. 3. Lay the chicken flat on a baking sheet and roast in 425°F preheated oven for 30 minutes. 4. Sprinkle the potatoes, carrots and brussells sprouts with salt, black pepper, onion and garlic powder and toss to combine. 5. Add the vegetables around the chicken and roast for an additional 40 minutes. (In the last 20 minutes, put your chicken under an aluminum foil tent.) 6. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving.

food for Thought

Nancy Martin, PA Resources Council

Healthy soil and healthy water are inextricably connected. Without healthy soil, no plants could grow; without plants, no animals (including humans) could survive. It behooves all of us to protect the health of our water, soil and plants. When we protect nature, we protect ourselves. In Silent Spring, Rachel Carson wrote: “The thin layer of soil that forms a patchy covering over the continents controls our own existence and that of every other animal of the land. Without soil, land plants as we know them could not grow, and without plants no animals could survive. Yet if our agricultural-based life depends on the soil, it is equally true that soil depends on life, its very origins and the maintenance of its true nature being intimately related to living plants and animals.” We all live in a watershed, an area of land that all drains into the same body of water. Therefore, the way that we live on the land has a significant effect on the quality of water in our rivers, streams and lakes. Good water quality is essential to healthy soil and to healthy plants and animals — again, including humans. Pennsylvanians are fortunate to have abundant rivers and streams. It’s imperative that we each take responsibility for protecting this water, the lifeblood of the planet. For centuries, the people who lived in PA enjoyed fresh, clean water. Today, our clean water is flowing away. Article 1, Section 27 of the PA Constitution states: “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.” While we can easily—and often justifiably—pin the blame on government, industry, and the marriage of the two, we all contribute to the buildup of pollution in our waterways. Simple activities that we perform in and around the home add chemicals, sewage, plastic pollution and/or organic debris to our precious waterways. Lawn and garden maintenance, car care, pet care, cleaning products, personal care products and the disposal of solid waste and household chemicals are just a few of the ways we all share in the fouling of our waterways and aquatic habitats. There are many ways that we can each take responsibility for our contribution to the problem. We can vote with our dollars by supporting responsible companies and shunning polluting industries, implore industry and our government reps to take action to protect our natural resources, and take a long, hard look at our own activities. Are we doing everything that we can do to protect the integrity, health, and beauty of our natural surroundings? Water is connected to everything that we do, from purchasing products packaged in single-use plastics,

salting our sidewalks, purchasing food that is not grown organically, to buying clothing made from synthetic fabric or dyed with toxic dyes. It all matters, and it all adds up. When the water is polluted, so are the plants; so are we; so are our children. Two simple ways residents can take action is harvesting rainwater and composting. Harvesting rainwater significantly reduces contributions to impaired water quality, flooding, and to the frequency of combined sewer overflows (CSOs). This reduces stormwater runoff while increasing on-site absorption and groundwater recharge. Learn more about nonpoint source pollution, green infrastructure, on-site absorption of storm water, rainwater harvesting and how we can all help to alleviate some of the water pollution and stormwater management problems that plague this region. For example, harvesting roof water from an average-sized house with a 1000-sq.-foot base will remove roughly 24,000 gallons of stormwater from the region’s system annually. We can also aid water retention and improve drainage by adding compost to garden beds. Soil, rich in organic matter, can reduce runoff and capture and degrade many pollutants, while also contributing to carbon sequestration, food security, health, water infiltration, biodiversity, ecosystem health and farmer prosperity. Soil is made up largely of minerals, air, water and a small amount of organic matter. According to Oregon State University researchers, “one teaspoon of good garden soil to which compost has been added contains 100 million bacteria and 800 feet of fungal threads.” Without that small amount of organic matter in the soil, no plants could grow — and as was mentioned earlier, without plants, no animals could survive. That organic matter is compost! PA Resources Council (PRC) will offer two lifestyle-greening workshops addressing water and soil this spring at the East End Food Co-op: “Celebrate the Rain! Watershed Awareness and Action Workshop” and “Backyard Composting Workshop.” Pre-registration is required. See back page for more details.

Nancy Martin, Pennsylvania Resources Council Environmental Educator is the coordinator of PRC West’s Watershed Education Program. Nancy designed and facilitates the in-school Watershed Awareness Program, community Watershed Awareness/Rain Barrel Workshops, and teacher workshops addressing environmental issues. She also teaches PRC’s Recycling Awareness Program, Litter Prevention, and Composting Programs in schools and communities throughout SW PA.


HEre’s to your HEalth

by Kate Safin, Marketing and Member Services Manager

Reducing stuff to reduce stress A recent study by the University of Minnesota found that participants with messy desks came up with more creative ideas than participants working in tidy spaces. While a cluttered desk may be a sign of creative genius, this same philosophy does not seem to translate to a cluttered home. In fact, clutter can make us feel anxious and overwhelmed. According to psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter for Psychology Today, clutter makes it difficult to relax because our brains are bombarded by physical stimuli constantly signaling that our work isn’t done. Mess can also make us feel guilty, embarrassed, or frustrated, and it decreases our productivity. Tackling a messy home may further contribute to our anxiety, giving us a sense that the job is too big and will never get done. Committing just 10-20 minutes a day can make a difference. Are you ready to clear away clutter and say goodbye to the stress and anxiety caused by excess stuff? Find an approach that works for you and get started!


Organizing your home focuses less on the accumulation of stuff and more on belongings having a neat and orderly place. This makes it easier to find things and then put them away. For example, a bin for all your hats or shoes, a folding folio for bills, a drawer for pens, etc. A room-by-room approach is often taken when it comes to organizing.

Tidying 11

To tidy is simply to bring things to order and arrange them neatly. Pittsburghers likely know this better as “redd up.”

The KonMari Method™

The KonMari Method™ was developed by Marie Kondo, introduced to audiences in her best-selling book, The LifeChanging Magic of Tidying Up, and new Netflix original series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. It encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. This method promotes keeping only things that “spark joy” and discarding all other items with gratitude. (


Minimalism is both a tool and a lifestyle that helps people clear clutter by questioning what things add value to their lives. The philosophy behind minimalism is that by reducing material things, people are more capable of focusing on health, relationships, fulfillment and freedom.

The Next Step

Clearing our homes can make us feel much lighter, but how do we responsibly dispose of our excess without contributing to landfills? There are many organizations that can help you repurpose items you are ready to let go of: FreeStore Wilkinsburg, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, and Construction Junction are just a few. You can also coordinate your cleaning to line up with ReuseFest, a one-day drop off event open to the public that diverts materials from local landfills to reuse by Pittsburgh non-profits. This year ReUse Fest will take place in Buhl Park on April 20th. For more information, visit reuse-fest/

Smudging is the act of burning special healing herbs as part of a cleansing ritual to clear energies, air or a physical space. It’s very easy to make your own smudge stick-here’s how to do it!

Do it Yourself

Make Your Own Smudge Sticks To Banish Bad Energy


• Dried roses, lavender or any other flower that dries well • Roughly 15 sprigs of dried herbs like rosemary, cedar, sweet grass and sage • Scissors • All natural fiber twine


1. Start by trimming your flowers and herbs to size, about 4-6 inches. 2. Arrange them in a bundle and begin wrapping the string around them. Wrap tightly at the bottom; as you move upwards you won’t need as much string. 3. When you reach the top, tie your twine securely and trim the excess. Trim off any herbs that happen to be sticking out of the bundle. 4. Set your smudge stick aside and allow it to dry for at least two weeks.

How to smudge your Home You will Need: • Smudge Stick • Matches • Fireproof container such as a smuging bowl or abalone shell 1. Create a sense of ceremony when you smudge your house and allow yourself at least 10 to 15 minutes. 2. Place smudge stick on the smudging bowl or shell and light the bundle by holding a flame to it until it begins to smoke. 3. Starting at the Eastern most room of your home, circle around the room clockwise, wafting the smoke as you go. Continue moving in a clockwise direction through the rest of your home, purifying each room. 4. When you have smudged all areas of your house, return to the starting point and gently extinguish your smudge stick by pressing it into the shell or runnning it under water. 5. You can bury the remaining smudge in your garden to really feel the completeness of the cleansing ritual. Ideally, you should use a new smudge for each cleansing, but you can reuse the same smudge stick until there is nothing left to burn.

Recipe and instructions by Stephanie Pollard of

C0-op Community

PASA Conference Recap Each February, our co-op has the privilege of sponsoring the annual PASA, Sustainable Agriculture Conference. This year’s conference took place in Lancaster, PA, from February 6-9. The schedule was packed with food and farming education sessions, inspiring keynote addresses, and a very touching PASAbilities awards ceremony where Pittsburgh’s own Black Urban Gardeners & Farmers Co-op (BUGS) was honored for their leadership in the farming community. The conference really served as a reminder of our co-op’s place in building a sustainable food system. It was an honor to connect with the farmers who bring us healthy, delicious, sustainable food that is grown with care, love, and compassion.

Learn about local food resources

Don’t miss the Farm to Table Conference, March 1-10 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. This celebration of local food is now part of the annual Pittsburgh Home Show. Your Co-op will present “Embrace Zero Waste Shopping” on Friday, March 1st at 4 PM. For a full list of vendors and demonstrations, visit

partner 3 Rivers Outdoor Company Find quality, name brand equipment and apparel, hard-to-find eco-conscious brands, and gently used gear on consignment for hiking, mountain biking, climbing, backpacking, camping, paddling, SUP, and trail running. Alongside offering a great selection of gear, this locally-owned shop serves as a hub to connect the Pittsburgh outdoor community, promote the use of Western PA’s natural resources for outdoor adventure, and advocate for sustainable practices. Co-op members receive 10% off once per month! For more info please visit: One of the many benefits of Co-op membership is access to the Community Partners Program, which offers members exclusive discounts when they support local businesses in our community. Visit for details and a complete list of Community Partners. 13

Co-op Throwback

Another gem from our archives! That time when a fancy beet was hanging outside an early Meade Street storefront.

Co-op Fun Fact Did you know... the Co-op's #1 selling bulk item by weight is organic rolled oats? We sold 6,727.72 lbs of rolled oats in 2018!

Member Center Do you have questions about membership benefits? Need to update your records? Drop us a line at, call 412-242-3598, or visit our website:

Susan R.,

MEET THE OWNER by Erica Peiffer

MEMBER SINCE 1980 Where do you live and how often do you visit our store? I visit about once or twice a week, and I live about a blockand-a-half up the street. What was your motivation for coming to and/or joining the co-op? I grew up with this ethic. My mom had a food buying club in the late ‘60s and instilled in me the values of healthy food and a lifelong instinct for social justice. When I was in high school, my mom and I belonged to the Semple Street Co-op. Then I moved to California and was a member of a co-op there. So when I moved back to Pittsburgh, it was only natural to join EEFC. I started out as a skills-worker and quickly evolved into an employee, wearing many hats for around 9 years. What is your favorite thing you get from the co-op and what’s so great about it? I gravitate toward the homemade baked goods, the bulk herbs, the health and beauty products, and the supplements. They’re fresh and delicious and clean.

“I love t he fr of the pl iendly staff and ace; it m t a ke s m e h e wa r m at m o s p feel at h h ome.” ere

If you could change one thing about the co-op, what would it be? Naturally, I would love prices to be more accessible. What do you love and hope will never change about the co-op? The friendly staff and the warm atmosphere of the place; it makes me feel at home. What makes shopping at the co-op different from other stores? I always run into people I know. It’s rare for me to leave without having at least one or two great conversations!

What are some of your hobbies and interests? I am an improvisational artist. I love to dance, sing, play music and act. I also love to teach and currently teach chair yoga to seniors. How would you describe your lifestyle, and how does the Coop fit in? I love the simple joys in life, and I love making everyone I interact with a tad more cheerful. The co-op is definitely a place I can express myself.



25% OFF bulk food & herbs *

**No additional discounts or sales may be stacked with this offer. In-store only. 14

Events & Sales WOMEN’S HEALTH PT Wednesday, March 6, 7 PM – 8 PM Dr. Kailee Venzin Physical Therapy FREE – Please RSVP on Teach your core and pelvic floor to work together so you can take on your daily routine with confidence, free of leaking and chronic back, hip and other joint pain. COMPOSTING 101 Wednesday, March 20, 6:30 PM – 8 PM Nancy Martin, Pennsylvania Resources Council $70 Individuals / $75 Couples To register, visit: conservation-workshops/backyard/ Or call 412-488-7490 X 226 This workshop thoroughly covers the importance and benefits of composting, the process, setting up a compost pile, proper maintenance, and ways of using finished compost. Participants receive a FreeGarden EARTH compost bin with attendance. DIY GREEN CLEANING Wednesday, April 3, 7 PM – 8 PM Hawa Mariko, Women for a Healthy Environment FREE – Please RSVP on Learn about safe alternatives for cleaning your home, make your own cleaning spray, and take home a free cleaning kit.

CO-OP ORIENTATION Sunday, April 7, 2 PM – 3 PM FREE – Please RSVP on Ask questions, meet other members, review member benefits, and learn more about the cooperative business model. Non-members welcome! RAIN BARRELS 101 Wednesday, April 10, 6:30 PM – 8 PM Nancy Martin, Pennsylvania Resources Council $80 Individuals / $85 Couples To register, visit: conservation-workshops/watershed-rainbarrels/ or call 412-488-7490 X 226 Learn how to practice watershed protection and conservation in your own backyard. while becoming good watershed stewards. Participants receive a pre-made FreeGarden RAIN 55-gallon rain barrel. BAG IT - FILM SCREENING Monday, April 22, 6:30 PM-8:00 PM FREE – Please RSVP on What starts as a film about plastic bags evolves into a wholesale investigation into plastic's effects on our oceans, environment, and bodies. We see how our crazy-forplastic world has finally caught up to us...and what we can do about it.

All classes take place in the power/eefc conference room PLEASE RSVP at:

WELLNESS Wednesday

10%* off wellness & body care The first Wednesday of every month! Co-op Deals

February 27 - March 12 March 13 - April 2 April 3 - April 16 April 17 - April 30

Senior Discount Days (5% courtesy discount for 62+) Every Tues. & Thurs.

quarterly discount

Members, be sure to use your 10% quarterly discount by March 31st! *No additional discounts or sales may be stacked with this offer


Open to everyone, every day from 8 AM - 9 PM 7516 Meade Street . PGH, PA 15208 412-242-3598 .

Be Green!


Subscribe to our e-news by texting EASTENDFOOD to 228328.

EastEndCoOp @eastendfoodcoop @EastEndCoop eastendfoodcoop

View all our issues of The Co-operator online at