The Co-operator - March/April 2021

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Co operator

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a free publication of the east end food co-op

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C2 Feature Teaser Style mauris suscipit et pulvinar issi donec. www.eastendfood.cooP

March/April Board Corner I often think about my communities and what it truly means to be in community. In my experience, being part of a community means being part of something greater than yourself. I think community can be used as a medium to strive towards the betterment of self, our environment, and our realities. I deeply believe human connection and conversation are two of our greatest tools as humans. I believe that when communities practice and create habits of coming together,

Board of Directors Sam Applefield'21 President Ariel Barlow'21 Vice President Laura Valentine'22 Secretary Charlie Orr '22 Treasurer Eva Barinas '21 Jenise Brown '23 Tom Pandeleon '22 Trevor Ring '23 Marty Seltman '23

communicating transparently and having critical conversations, the things we can The board meets online the third Monday of each month at 7 PM. Members are welcome to join virtually via WebEx.

achieve become immeasurable. As we move towards the co-op’s expansion, I can't help but wonder how we will use this opportunity to strive towards these betterments and the futures we want to see and seek to manifest within our communities. Many things are on my mind as we move towards expansion: How can we create more authentic avenues to ensure our communities feel welcome, seen, and heard in this expansion process? As many small and locally-owned farmlands and water sources are being bought out by big buyers across the U.S., how do we continue to support small business and agricultural sustainability throughout this process and stay true to our principles and values? And on a heavier note, how can the co-op expand without contributing to the gentrification and Black genocide that permeates much of Pittsburgh, a city that has come to be known as one of the more liberal cities in the U.S., while also having a dark and heavy history of destroying Black lives for profit? I hope the co-op community feels welcome and empowered in knowing this expansion is all of ours, and is not just in the hands of the board and managers of the co-op. I'm looking forward to supporting the creation of more pathways to encourage community involvement in the co-op’s expansion and seeing what kind of future we will manifest together. I enthusiastically welcome and encourage anyone who has any thoughts, questions, concerns, ideas, or suggestions about expansion to reach out to the board either by attending a board meeting or by sending an e-mail to

Management Team Maura Holliday General Manager Amber Pertz Cafe Manager Shawn McCullough Finance Manager eric cressley Front End Manager Ian Ryan Grocery Manager Jen Girty Human Resource Manager Erin Myers IT Manager Kate Safin Marketing & Member Services Manager Tyler Kulp Produce Manager The East End Food Co-op exists to enhance physical and social health to our community. To these ends, we will create: A sustainable member-owned 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.

Wishing everyone days full of joy, restoration, and nourishing human connection,

The Co-operator is published by: East End Food Co-op 7516 Meade Street, Pittsburgh PA 15208 phone: 412-242-3598 web:

Ariel Barlow

Opinions expressed are writers' own and do not necessarily reflect Co-op policy.

EEFC Board Member

Kate Safin, Editor Rose Davis, Design & Layout Printed locally by Banksville Express with vegetable-based inks on recycled paper.


The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op

March/April 2021

GM Report

Maura Holliday, General Manager A year ago, we had no idea what was about to hit us and just how much COVID-19 was going to change our lives. In early March 2020, we experienced panic shopping as Pittsburgh residents watched the impacts of COVID-19 sweeping across the nation and braced for a possible stay-at-home order. The pantry stocking of those panic buys brought us never-before-seen sales growth and unprecedented supply chain interruptions. It truly is mind-boggling to think that it was only one year ago. The way time has passed since is strange and hard to describe. Ultimately, our co-op is stronger because of what we went through this past year (although I would never have asked for a growth experience such as this one). I cannot thank our members enough for the continued support through all of 2020 and for keeping our sales healthy. Whether you are new to us because COVID-19 changed where and how you shop, or you have been a long-time member, we are so grateful for your membership and patronage. We have exciting plans for our co-op as we look to the future. We will be renewing our bargaining unit contract with UE Local 667, which represents a large portion of our staff. Through this process, we ensure that staff’s voices are heard and that they receive fair wages and benefits. Our relocation plans are plugging along and leading us into a capital campaign to help fund the project. Capital campaigns are a common way for members to support the co-op's financial health by investing to help grow capital funds for large projects, such as expansion or relocation. Capital campaigns allow members to invest specific amounts of money in the co-op and receive a return on investment through interest via either a member-loan program or a preferred shares program. The funds lent to the co-op reduce the total amount of debt the co-op takes from traditional sources (such as a bank loan). The terms of the capital campaign will lay out the interest earned by the member and when the co-op will return the initial investment along with the earned interest. As we get closer to rolling out the capital campaign, we will host member education sessions so you can learn more about the capital campaign and the relocation project itself. Thank you all again for your support, and I look forward to some inspiring projects as we move along in our process of growing our co-op.

Store Updates •Now offering hot soup to-go! 16 oz hot soup is available at our hot bar every day from 10 am to 8 pm. Choose from 4 delicious varieties of fresh house-made soups (including our famous Mushroom Barley!). • Be sure to visit our upgraded bulk department featuring gravity bins for safe and convenient bulk shopping (Yes, you can bring your own clean containers to shop!). w • Our on-tap kombucha is back! We are now featuring 6 flavors of GTs Kombucha. Reusable drink containers (including growlers) are not permitted at this time. •We are sad to say farewell to Jamison's Farm. John and Sukey Jamison decided to go into early retirement due to the business impacts of COVID-19. Jamison Farm's world-famous lamb will no longer be available at the Co-op.

March/April 2021

The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op


Vendor Spotlight: Zero Waste Wrangler Zero Waste Wrangler provides hauling of food waste and other compostables for small and medium businesses such as coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants, bars and corporate cafeterias. Instead of going to a landfill, the materials collected are transported to commercial scale composting operations where they are made into nutrient rich “black gold” (compost) that benefits gardens and farms throughout the region. The company was established by Kyle Winkler in 2018 and he remains the sole owner and operator. EEFC: What inspired you to start your business? Kyle: After having done limited impact work on zero waste events, consulting for businesses and serving in a largely symbolic role as the recycling supervisor at the City of Pittsburgh, I wanted the opportunity to feel immediate benefit from my day to day actions. Being the Zero Waste Wrangler does that for me. EEFC: How has working with the East End Food Co-op benefited or influenced your business? Kyle: The Co-op has been a great customer and partner in my business. The style of collection is new and the scope of the programming has expanded as the Co-op pushes for best practices in the elimination and diversion of waste from the landfill. We continue to learn and grow together in the understanding of what can be done to achieve better environmental outcomes in a retail setting with serious space constraints. On a personal level, I enjoy the back and forth with many of the Co-op crew. When I service the Co-op, I'm in their workspaces, blocking access, putting things back the wrong way and occasionally knocking a display slightly askew. Despite my weekly intrusions, everyone is friendly and I feel like part of the staff. EEFC: What is the biggest challenge you face as a small business owner? Kyle: Mentoring. It's hard to know what steps to take in any business enterprise, so nagging doubts raise my stress level. After family, the second greatest support I have received is from my customers who have shown me that they care about this service enough to divert any and all compostable materials while asking insightful questions, grappling with nuanced issues and weathering pricing and operational changes. EEFC: What is your hope/vision for for the future of your business? Kyle: The recent troubles with recycling markets and loss of faith in for-profit schemes for managing waste have left many businesses disheartened about recycling. Composting is something tangible, can't be exported and largely benefits the region where it is done. As the moniker Zero Waste Wrangler suggests, I plan to offer more comprehensive waste handling options for my customers in the future and possibly expand into residential collection. EEFC: What is something that sets you apart, or something you'd like people to know more about you/your business or the field you work in generally (opportunity to enlighten us! ;) )? Kyle: The problems around waste are systemic and interconnected. Violence and disregard for a planet and place leading to pollution, illegal dumping and landfills, for a people leading to racism, poverty and environmental injustice. The recent crash in the recyclables commodity market can be seen as a correction of poor environmental and labor practices that China was no longer willing to tolerate on their own land. This is a good thing and an opportunity to talk about real solutions that don't involve sweeping our problems under the rug in someone else's country. Hopefully the future of responsible waste handling rely more on reusables and are local, restorative and actually help to lift people up! EEFC: How has the pandemic changed your business? Kyle: The pandemic has slowed down new customer recruitment as well as caused some customers to make difficult decisions to suspend service. The drying up of new business and already slow crawl toward profitability has forced me to think about how to collect additional materials without significantly increasing cost. I hope to do that with a subscription based residential drop-off program that will allow individual residents, who can’t compost at home or at their apartment, pay a small monthly fee to bring the full range of acceptable compostables to designated spots throughout the CIty whenever then need. Businesses already using my services will be partners in connecting the drop-off network.


The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op

March/April 2021

How to Check Your Balance at Home by Sarah Woodward, PT, DPT Pivot Physical Therapy in Point Breeze We all know the phrase, "If you don’t use it, you lose it.” Our balance is no exception. If we don’t consistently use or challenge our balance, it will diminish. Balance is a key reaction that we need in order to maintain an upright posture throughout various positions in daily living, whether the body is still or in motion. Balance is essentially defined as maintaining your body's center of mass in relation to your base of support. Balance functions by receiving input from 3 different systems: 1. the visual system, 2. the vestibular system or inner eye, and 3. the somatosensory system—this is where the joints are in space in relation to each other and the base of support. It is important to regularly assess balance because, practically speaking, if you lose your balance, it can result in a fall. Additionally, regular balance checks become more important over time because balance naturally declines with age. Keep reading below for three easy tests that anyone can do at home to assess whether their balance needs work. 1. The Romberg Test: Start this test by standing with your back close to a wall or your back to the corner of the room. Next, place your feet together and bring your arms across your chest, placing each hand on the opposite shoulder. Try to hold this position for 30 seconds. It is important to remain stable during the test and limit how much you sway. If you are able to maintain this stance for 30 seconds with your eyes open then repeat the test with your eyes closed. By closing your eyes, you remove your visual system and rely only on your vestibular and somatosensory systems. If you are unable to maintain this position for 30 seconds both with eyes open and eyes closed, your balance may need improvement. 2. The Single Leg Test: Start this test standing next to a sturdy chair or counter top to assist you in case you do lose your balance and need a place to catch yourself. Place your arms folded across your chest (similar to the Romberg Test) and lift one leg off of the floor standing with all of your weight on the opposite leg. You want to aim to hold this for at least 1 minute with minimal sway and good stability. If you can only maintain this for less than 5 seconds, it indicates a high fall risk. Ability to maintain this for any time less than 20 seconds indicates lower extremity weakness. If you are wondering, “Do I really need to be able to balance on one leg?”, always remember: every time you take a step, you have to stand on one leg. 3. The Functional Reach Test: Begin this test standing next to a wall (either shoulder closest to the wall) without touching it. Both feet should be in a normal parallel stance. Raise both arms in front of you to 90 degrees at your shoulders. Have someone either mark the wall or place a tape measure on the wall. The starting point is where your fingertips/fists reach while standing upright. With your arms still extended in front of you and without moving your feet, bend at your hips and reach your arms forward as far as you can without falling or taking a step. Then, have someone mark how far you are able to reach this way. If you are unable to reach more than 6 inches that indicates a high fall risk. Normal reach for men is between 13-16 inches and for women it is 10-14 inches. After completing the above assessments, you may feel concerned about the state of your balance. However, take comfort in the fact that similarly to how we can train our muscles to become stronger and more flexible, we can also train our balance. And the more you practice, the better! If you are concerned about your balance or simply would like more information on improving your balance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. If you believe you may need assistance in identifying or correcting a balance issue, PIVOT offers complimentary balance screens with no referral required. March/April 2021

The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op


Why the garden is a great place for kids

Nurturing Little Green Thumbs By Eve Adamson


hen my two sisters and I were youngsters, my

could make them for dinner. I didn’t even mind eating them

dad had a great idea. One warm May day, as the

too much — with a little butter. They tasted nothing like those

three of us stood in the grass of our big backyard

mushy beans from the can we had to eat in the winter, and

watching and wondering what he was up to, he cut 15 six-foot

those fresh beans prompted me to try the garden carrots,

lengths of molding left over from our recent basement remodel,

lettuces and tomatoes, too.

stuck them into the warming dirt of our garden in three circles,

There’s something about growing things that appeals to kids,

and lashed the tops of each together with twine to make three

and several casual studies suggest that when kids grow their

“teepee” forms. Next, he tore open a packet of pole bean seeds

own vegetables, they are more likely to eat vegetables. It was

and gave us each a small handful. He showed us how to plant

certainly true in my case. Decades later, my own son, who at

them around each wooden stake, and then he watered the soil

14 remains suspicious of most green things, finally became more

with the green garden hose, while we ran through the spray.

open minded when his summer camp grew a vegetable garden.

Every day, we went out to the backyard with my dad to

If gardening is the way to get kids to eat more vegetables

check on our seeds. When the sprouts emerged, we cheered.

(not to mention spend more time with you), then why aren’t

He showed us how to pluck out the weeds and keep the soil

we all doing it? Even if you only have a small backyard plot, or

moist. As the beans began to grow, in the impressively speedy

room for a few containers on your deck or porch, you can get

way they tend to in the rich Iowa soil, something amazing

growing together.

happened. Without any prompting or guidance from us, vines

Gardening with your kids gives them many gifts. They learn

sprouting leaves and bean pods began to wind around the

where food really comes from. They learn how to work together

wooden stakes until they reached the top. The leaves and

with others toward a common goal. They learn practical skills.

tendrils grew thicker and denser, until one day, each of us could

They learn how fresh food tastes. They learn the feel and smell

crawl inside our little green houses and be completely alone. I

of wet dirt and mulch. And they learn that they have the power

remember sitting in the cool dirt, quietly marveling

to take something as small and full of potential as a seed, and

at the way the vines filtered and freckled the bright July sun.

nurture it until it becomes everything it was meant to be. Just

It is one of my fondest childhood memories.

like you are doing with them.

Sometimes I would pluck a tender raw bean and eat it. It

Reprinted by permission from

tasted like spring to me — fresh and grassy. Or, I would collect them in a bowl and bring them into the kitchen, so my mother


The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op

March/April 2021

Fun gardening projects with kids Tube garden Start your seeds and recycle at the same time. Toilet paper tubes are easy for small hands to manipulate. Plant tomato, pepper, pea or bean seeds in tubes filled with potting soil, in early spring. Prop them upright in a tray or flower pot. When the seeds sprout, pop the whole tube into the garden after the soil is warm.

Salad in a box Any window box, bucket, basket or other container with drainage at the bottom will do. Fill it with potting soil and plant a variety of lettuces and spinach scattered over the top. Press into place and water lightly. Keep the soil moist. When the greens sprout, trim off a few leaves each day to include in a salad. For kids who don’t like bitter tastes, butter lettuces are a good choice.

Mushroom garden If your child has a daring palate, try growing mushrooms. Many companies sell mushroom growing kits that make it easy to spawn this fascinating fungus in a box at home.

Herb circles A round container or a small circle dug out of your sod can become an herb circle. Plant basil, lavender, tarragon, thyme and edible nasturtium flowers in concentric circles. Your child can sample the different smells and tastes, and help you decide which herbs to add to which foods.

Flowers and fruit garden For some kids, fruit is an easier sell than vegetables. Try planting watermelons, cantaloupe or honeydew melons, interspersed with native wildflowers, for a pretty and gastronomically satisfying garden experience.

Bean teepee If you have the space, give your child a magical-seeming, ephemeral playhouse. You don’t have to use leftover molding like my dad did; any thin wooden pole or bamboo rod will work. For each teepee, put five or six poles, about 5 to 6 feet long, in the ground in a circle, approximately 3 feet in diameter. Prop or tie the tops together. Plant pole bean seeds around each stake. Water and mulch, then watch as each teepee leafs out, creating a private space just for small people.

Salsa garden, pizza garden or spaghetti garden Devote your garden plot to a food theme kids can relate to. For a salsa garden, plant tomatoes, tomatillos, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, onions and cilantro. For a pizza garden, plant Roma tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, spinach or whatever else you like on your pizza. For a spaghetti garden, try tomatoes, onions, garlic, oregano and thyme.

Pumpkin garden Two or three pumpkin plants will sprawl and spawn just what you need for Halloween crafts as well as pumpkin pie, pumpkin butter, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin puree you can add to applesauce, smoothies, or even chili. Marigolds nestled between the vine make a prettier plot.

Find more ideas for gardening projects with kids and recipes for your harvest at March/April 2021

The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op


Tips to Manage the Plastic Waste at Your Door by Sabrina Culyba, Recycle This Pittsburgh | Humane Action Pittsburgh

As we round the corner on a full year of pandemic lifestyle shifts, many of us are ordering more stuff than ever online and getting take-out from places where we’d normally eat in. Here are a couple tips for avoiding, reducing, and dealing with the resulting single-use plastic.

Decline The Take-out Extras You may be supporting your favorite local restaurants by ordering more take-out or delivery than you used to. If so, you’ve undoubtedly received a variety of take-out containers with your food, many of them made of plastic. Did you know that virtually none of these containers should go into your City of Pittsburgh curbside recycling? The city does not accept any plastic items except bottles, jugs, and jars. That means no tubs, no cups, no sauce dishes, no cutlery, not even paperboard boxes (usually lined with plastic and contaminated with foodstuffs). This was a problem in need of solving long before COVID-19, but the current economic and health situation makes it difficult to address with strategies such as more sustainable (but typically more expensive) single-use containers, or even reusable containers. So right now, if you want to support your local restaurants, you’ll probably be ending up with containers that


The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op

March/April 2021

can’t go into curbside recycling. Many all-plastic containers are fairly robust and can be reused as storage containers in your home or even as a reusable container for buying bulk items at the Co-op. You can also take any containers labeled #2 or #5 plastic to one of Reimagined Recycling’s collection events (look for @ reimaginedrecycling on Instagram and Facebook for dates and location). There are a couple small things you can do when ordering take-out to cut down on the plastic you receive with your food: Make a point to clearly state that you don’t need plastic utensils or disposable plates included in your order. You can also decline extra sauces that you don’t need, as these typically come in small single-use plastic containers or small plastic sachets. Not only does this cut back on the plastic waste you’ll get with your order, it saves the restaurant a small amount of money. I’ll encourage you to alert the restaurant that you are making this request because you want to minimize the amount of plastic that comes with your order. This lets the restaurant owner know that their customers care about this issue. You can also look for businesses who have already shifted to certified compostable containers, like the Co-op has done. This is a small but growing trend in Pittsburgh. Keep in mind that compostable containers also cannot go into curbside recycling and that they typically break down best in a commercial composting setup. Sign up for a residential composting service that accepts compostables, such as Worm Return (

Recycle Common Plastic Shipping Materials If you’re ordering items for delivery, you’re probably receiving these common forms of single-use plastic packing materials: air pillows, all-plastic bubble mailers, and combination paper/plastic bubble mailer envelopes. Often companies do not even disclose their packaging practices before you order so you may find these items difficult to avoid. However, two of these items, air pillows and all-plastic bubble mailers, can be recycled locally at plastic film recycling drop-offs* at stores like Giant Eagle and Target. Pop the air pillows and kindly remove as much of the paper labels from the mailers as possible. Unfortunately the paper/plastic hybrid bubble mailer is not recyclable because of its mixed material design so your best bet is to reuse them if you can or place them in the trash. One suggestion for reusing these items, if you have no need to ship things yourself, is to offer them up for free on a community list such as your local Buy-Nothing group (buynothingproject. org). To reduce the chance of receiving these plastic materials when shopping online, try to save up your orders so that your items are more likely to ship together in a larger box. Cardboard boxes are extremely easy to recycle and are accepted curbside in the City of Pittsburgh (be sure to flatten them!). *The website has more information about what these bins accept. Recycle This Pittsburgh is a hyper-local resource for Pittsburghers to get answers to what is and is not recyclable in the City of Pittsburgh. Have a question about recycling? Visit

March/April 2021

The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op


Spring into Healthy Eating Spring is a great time to add fresh vegetables to your plate. Look for early spring crops like asparagus, sweet lettuces, tasty radishes, and peas to emerge as the harbingers of the avalanche of fresh local food just on the horizon. Cold hardy crops like potatoes and chard will also be readily available. Salads and soups that feature lentils and wild rice will add just the right amount of heartiness to balance out delicate spring veggies; fresh herbs like dill and parsley add fresh flavors while drizzles of lemon add a bright burst of flavor.

Spring Goddess Chickpea Salad Sandwiches Prep: 20 minutes; yields 2 servings Ingredients: • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley • 1/4 cup chopped dill • 2 Tbs whole grain mustard • 2 Tbs Vegan Mayo • generous pinch salt and pepper • 4 slices whole grain bread • Lettuce (any variety) • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced • 1 carrot, thinly sliced • 4 radishes, thinly sliced • 1 avocado, sliced • Sprouts (alfalfa or sunflower)

Instructions: 1. Prepare chickpea salad by combining chickpeas, parsley, dill, mustard, mayo, salt and pepper in a bowl. Smash with a fork until combined. 2. Spread some whole grain mustard onto sliced bread, add chickpea salad, top with lettuce, sliced vegetables, and sprouts.


The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op

March/April 2021

Lentil Salad with Spring Veggies and Yogurt Sauce Prep: 15 minutes, cook: 25 minutes, Yields 4 servings Ingredients: •

2 cups French Green lentils, cooked

1 cup green beans

½ cup snap peas

½ cup snow peas or garden peas

½ cup radishes, sliced

½ cup chard

2 Tbs red onion, finely chopped (or green onion)

2 garlic gloves, minced

¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped (can also use


French Spring Soup

2 Tbs olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon


Lemon zest

¼ cup butter

Salt and pepper to taste

1 lb leeks, chopped

Yogurt Sauce:

1 onion, chopped

2 quarts of water

or mayo)

3 large potatoes, chopped

1 Tbs lemon juice

2 large carrots, chopped

2 Tbs fresh dill, chopped

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup uncooked long grain rice

Dash of salt

4 tsp salt

2 cups fresh spinach

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup plain Greek yogurt (or sub with vegan yogurt


Prep: 25 minutes prep, Cook: 35 minutes; Yields 10 servings

1. To cook lentils, add 2 cups of lentils to 5 cups of water with 1 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat


to simmer. Cook on low for 25 minutes.


2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add veggies. You

the leeks and onion. Cook approximately 5 minutes, until

can mix and match veggies to your liking. The goal is to


have 3 cups of vegetables total. Lightly sauté vegetables


for a few minutes so they retain some crunch. If using

asparagus, and rice. Season with salt. Bring to a boil.

chard (or kale or spinach) allow it to cook until just wilted.

Reduce heat to simmer and cook 30 minutes, until

3. Combine cooked lentils, sauteed vegetables, juice

vegetables and rice are tender.

and zest of ½ lemon, garlic, and mint in a bowl. Add salt


and pepper to taste.

Cooking an additional 5 minutes.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in

Pour water into the pot. Mix in potatoes, carrots,

Stir spinach and heavy cream into the soup mixture.

4. To prepare the yogurt sauce, mix all ingredients in a bowl. 5. Add lentil salad to a bowl or plate and top with yogurt sauce.

January/February 2021

The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op


Spring Spinach Skillet Pasta Prep: 10 minutes, Cook: 15 minutes; Yields 4 servings Ingredients: · 6 oz penne pasta · 2 cloves of garlic, minced · 1 Tbs olive oil · 1 can diced tomatoes (or 9 oz fresh cherry tomatoes sliced in half) · 15 oz can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed · 2 1/2 cups fresh spinach · 3/4 cup half and half · 2 tsps cornstarch · 1 tsp Italian seasoning · 1/2 tsp salt · 1/4 tsp ground black pepper · Parmesan cheese

Vegan Potato Salad


Prep 30 minutes, yields 8 servings Ingredients: • 2 pounds baby red potatoes, halved • 4 green onions • 2 medium ripe avocados, peeled and pitted • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, stems removed • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise • 3 tarragon sprigs, stems removed • 2 tsps capers, drained • 1 tsp seasoned salt • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped • Sliced radishes

· Crushed red pepper flakes (optional) Instructions: 1.

Cook pasta

according to instructions on the box. 2. While pasta is cooking, mix half and half, cornstarch and Italian seasoning together in a cup. Set aside. 3.

Heat oil in a large

saucepan. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. 4.

Add tomatoes and spinach and sauté for 3 to 4

minutes. 5.

Add beans, salt, pepper and half and half mixture.

Stir well. Cook for 2 minutes, until the mixture thickens up. 6.

Stir in cooked pasta and remove from heat.


Garnish with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.


The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op

March/April 2021

Instructions: 1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes until potatoes are tender. 2. While potatoes are boiling, prepare the dressing. Combine green onion, avocado, mayonnaise, capers, parsley and tarragon in a blender and process until smooth. 3. Drain potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Add celery, the bottom (white portions) of green onions and dressing. Toss to coat. 4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 5. When ready to serve, top with sliced radishes and fresh parsley.

The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op


Kid-Friendly Rainbow Veggie Kabobs These are a great way to get kids in the kitchen and connected to healthy foods. Children can select their favorite colorful vegetables and carefully assemble kabobs by adding the veggies onto wooden skewers. Choose your favorite veggies from each color and arrange them in order on your skewers. • Red: cherry tomatoes (whole), red bell pepper (sliced), radishes (whole if small, or quartered) • Orange: carrots (sticks or round quarters), orange bell pepper, whole mini peppers • Yellow: yellow bell pepper (sliced), yellow squash (sliced) • Green: green bell pepper (sliced), green olives (whole, pitted), snap peas (whole), cucumbers (sliced), broccoli • Blue/Indigo/Violet: purple carrots, olives (whole, pitted), purple cabbage, purple cauliflower

Edamame Hummus

Prep: 5 minutes; yields 1 ¼ cup of hummus Ingredients: • 1 cup frozen, shelled edamame (thawed) • 3 1/2 Tbs tahini • 3 Tbs water • 2 Tbs lemon juice • 2 Tbs canola oil • 2 cloves garlic, chopped • ½ tsp salt • 1/4 tsp onion powder • black pepper to taste (optional) Instructions: 1. Combine all ingredients in a mini food processor or blender. 2. Transfer to glass container. Allow to refrigerate for at least one hour if possible so the flavors can blend together. 3. Serve alongside your veggie rainbow skewers or with tortilla chips.

March/April 2021

The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op


Home Gardening and Urban Farming Fundraiser Seed sales support Pittsburgh Urban Growers Scholarship Between February and December 2020, East End Food Co-op sold 6,359 seed packets to raise $1,589.75 for the Pittsburgh Urban Growers Scholarship. This fund helps urban gardeners and farmers in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County access professional development opportunities. Proceeds from the annual Pittsburgh Urban Farm Tour and grants maintained the fund since it was established in 2018. The co-op created the seed fundraiser in 2020 to ensure a steady income for the scholarship, donating 25 cents for every seed packet sold directly to the fund. To date, $3,048.50 in scholarships have been awarded to local urban growers. “The scholarship has ultimately made Pittsburgh’s urban ag community stronger and more equipped to improve food access and community connections for residents. It has also sent the message to our food growers that they are appreciated and that the services they provide are essential to the health of our communities,” says Karlin Lamberto, Pittsburgh Food Policy Council Project Manager. Charissa Ruth received scholarship funds to attend Owens Lambing Clinic in Sunbury, PA, and a virtual Cornell Small Farms course. “As a result of [Cornell Small Farms] course, I looked for mentors in the farming community, started regularly working at several farms, and essentially got my hands dirty. This course showed me where my strengths are and what areas I need to work on in order to get my farming dream up and running,” says Ruth. Of the on-farm experience at Owens Lambing Clinic, Ruth says, “My greatest takeaway from this experience was the confidence to start my own goat or sheep operation. The clinic covered so much of the practical information, not only to understand the process of lambing but the care for both mother and baby afterward as well.”

— have prepared to meet increased demand and the seed fundraiser will continue. A fresh batch of organic seeds from Renee’s Garden, High Mowing Seeds, and Hudson Valley Seed Company arrived at the co-op in February. East End Food Co-op will also sell Grow Pittsburgh seedlings this year, continuing a successful partnership forged in 2020. "We are so grateful we had Grow Pittsburgh seedlings last year. We sold every single one. We really could barely keep them in stock. This year, we anticipate having double the inventory," explains Kulp. Grow Pittsburgh’s organic seedlings will be delivered twice a week to the co-op, though the first delivery date is not yet determined. The co-op will also have local soil, compost, amendments, seed potatoes, onion sets, bulbs, and burlap bags to expand the gardening selection. Plans are also underway for the 5th Annual Pittsburgh Urban Farm Tour, a collaborative event organized by East End Food Coop, Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, Pasa Sustainable Agriculture, and Grow Pittsburgh. The tour promotes urban agriculture as a viable means for food production and builds community connections. The 2020 tour was virtual due to COVID-19. Those video tours are still available to view on YouTube. The 2021 format is yet to be determined, but could be a hybrid of inperson and virtual programming. For more information, visit and www.

The fundraiser got an extra boost this year when home gardening saw explosive growth during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the US Census Bureau, garden store sales increased 8.6% between Spring 2019 and Spring 2020. With stay-at-home orders keeping many people cooped up and looking for a new hobby, the self-sufficiency of growing food and the therapeutic benefits of working with the earth fueled interest in home gardening. "It was definitely the highest seed demand we've seen in a very long time. Nobody saw it coming, and everyone was just scrambling to keep up. One of our vendors sold out of seeds completely by June," recalls East End Food Co-op Produce Manager Tyler Kulp, who also oversees the co-op's floral department. While it remains unclear how many people kept up with their gardening hobbies this year, seed vendors — and the co-op


The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op

March/April 2021

Congratulations to our Employees of the Month!

Olive (Produce): While Olive very much enjoys the supportive community they've found at the Co-op, they find the most joy in playing the fiddle and banjo. And also in caring for their beloved cast iron skillet collection! Lauren (Customer Service): Still fairly new to the Co-op, Lauren is enjoying getting to know her co-workers, who she appreciates as very genuine people. When she's not at the Co-op, you may find her on a hike in Frick Park, or at a tea party with friends.

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To support these organizations, tell your cashier to Round Up your total at the register! Register Round Up Funds raised to date: $182,921.64

March Recipient Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse A non-traditional, non-profit art supply shop that inspires sustainability and creativity. Shop their online store for curbside pickup, local delivery, or shipping.

April Recipient

PennFuture A non-profit focusing on a clean energy economy and protecting air, water, land, and sustainable communities in Pennsylvania and beyond.

April 2013 - January 2021

March/April 2021

The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op


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The Co-operator | The Newsletter of East End Food Co-op

March/April 2021

Be Green | View all our issues of the co-operator online at