THE CREATE ISSUE
Live More Sustainably
Take Steps Towards Zero Waste
Care for Local Birds
Learn About Birds and Raptors
Create Mindful Rituals Enhance Your Life
Finally, if the Spark, Change, or this Create issue hasn’t yet inspired you to take pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, think about contributing to one of our upcoming issues: Balance; Sustain; Joy. We currently have a list of 40 or so Co-op member volunteers who have expressed interest in writing for the Coop Scoop. If you’re not on our Call for Contributions list already and would like to consider creating content for the Coop Scoop in the future, please email coopscoopeditors@ googlegroups.com and we can add you to the distribution list. If you don’t use email, feel free to call the Honest Weight Customer Service Desk at (518) 482-2667 and leave your name and contact information. Someone from the Coop Scoop will call you to follow up. Volunteer to CREATE!
Linda Coolen & Susan Metcalf
Linda Coolen & Susan Metcalf are Co-op
Member-Owners and Co-Managing Editors of the Coop Scoop.
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RIAL PA RK RD
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Several years ago, Joyce Perry, now
For this issue, we asked our contributors to think about what it means to create, to bring something into existence that wasn’t there before—the hows, whys, challenges, and successes. What does it take, and what does it feel like to create something?
exactly go with pizza, but that’s what our contributors concocted in their kitchens this time!
The impulse to create can come from within or without, more likely a combination of the two spheres. Another contributor writes of how the creativity we experience when awake can pale in comparison to the creativity in our dreams, and how we might bridge these two worlds. Others look to the home, creating new ways to think about and reuse kitchen “waste.” There are rituals we can create to help us sustain good habits. Get everyone involved across generations by joining children at the Creation Station to create art out of recyclables. As with every issue, there are one or two recipes here as well—not sure cookies
Greetings, readers. Hopefully, 2019 has been a good year for you so far. For the Coop Scoop, we started with the SPARK issue, offering a time to reflect, followed by the CHANGE issue and a time to act. To create a spark is to create a catalyst for change, however small. Now as spring turns to summer, we welcome the CREATE issue. Like the buds of spring bursting into summer, it is time to create!
E VE R
Letter from Our Editors
Linda Coolen and Susan Metcalf
in her seventies, founded Whispering Willow Wild Care, a nonprofit that cares for wildlife in desperate need of rehabilitation and shelter in the Capital District. “Organizations like WWWC help to remind us—without sermonizing, just by showing and explaining in a thoughtful and gentle way—that we live in a wonderfully rich and diverse natural environment, and that we have to take our roles as stewards of the Earth and its creatures seriously.” By volunteering or by offering financial or other means of support, we have the ability to care, create, and thrive as a community, a nation, and a planet.
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Honest Weight Food Co-op is a memberowned and -operated consumer cooperative that is committed to providing the community with affordable, high quality natural foods and products for healthy living. Our mission is to promote more equitable, participatory, and
Ecologically sustainable ways of living. Honest weight is open to the public, seven days a week. The Coop Scoop is produced bimonthly by our Education Department and offered free of charge as part of our mission. To view online, Please visit www.honestweight.coop/coopscoop.
Contributors EDITORS: Ben Goldberg, our Associate Editor, is retired from a 40+ year career in behavioral health care in the nonprofit sector. He is currently an active volunteer and freelance writer and editor.
Carol Reid our Assistant Editor, is a retired cataloger at the New York State Library, where she worked for over 35 years. She wrote a 10-year blog called “Typo of the Day for Librarians” and has been a Co-op member since the 1980s.
Writers: Loren Brown, Ben Goldberg, Amy Halloran, Kris Honeycutt, Bill Huston, Georgia Julius, Melanie Pores, Mary Rogosta, Pat Sahr
Designers: Mathew Bradley Holley Davis is a new Co-op member. When she’s not at the Troy Farmers Market or trying new recipes, you can find her running a half marathon in every state.
DISTRIBUTION Assistant: Donna Eastman
Interested in Contributing TO THE COOP SCOOP? Contact:
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ADVERTISE WITH US! Contact: Kim Morton (518) 330-3262 firstname.lastname@example.org Printed with soy ink on recycled paper in Albany, NY
ISSN 2473-6155 (print) ISSN 2473-6163 (online) The Coop Scoop is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider. We are not responsible for errors or omissions. Honest Weight is not responsible for, and does not necessarily agree with, our guest writers' articles. Cover photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
create 5 6
WHAT'S FRESH AT HONEST WEIGHT Georgia Julius
JOURNEY INTO ELIMINATING TRASH SUSTAINABLY AND SANELY Kris Honeycutt
WHISPERING WILLOW WILD CARE Ben Goldberg
PRODUCER PROFILES: EAT ME ICE CREAM AND PRIMO BOTANICA CHOCOLATE
HONEST WEIGHT SUPPORTS UNITY HOUSE
CREATING RITUALS FOR EVERYDAY SANITY
INVITING DREAM CONSCIOUSNESS INTO WAKING LIFE FOR ENHANCED CREATIVITY
HOMEMADE PIZZA & SAUCE
RECIPE CORNER: MELANIEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S SATTVIC OAT COOKIES
Bill Huston & Georgia Julius
KIDS CORNER Linda Coolen and Susan Metcalf COOP SCOOP
What's Fresh at Honest Weight! We’re always working to improve your shopping experience, along with our store’s social and environmental impacts. We regularly assess and update our product offerings, educational programs, policies, and store infrastructure. We seek suggestions from our Member-Owners, staff, and shoppers and consider every single one. It’s a lot of work, but it’s totally worth it. Here’s what’s fresh for you this month at Honest Weight.
RAD Soap Co. is an Albany-based family-owned business that’s made a big impression in our shared hometown and all across the country. Susan Kerby started crafting homemade body products when her son, Zak, was born with eczema. Now Zak is in his 30s and helps run the company with his mom and brother, Max. We’re excited to be one of the first to carry Rad’s new line of CBD products, formulated from the highest quality full spectrum hemp extract. Try radcbd’s tinctures and topicals, made with vaporextracted CBD and other all natural ingredients to help penetrate at the cellular level and optimize results. Introducing a new line of grass fed beef as part of our Co+op Basics everyday low priced offerings! Lower cost, in this case, does not mean lower quality--Thousand Hills 100% Grass Fed Beef is antibiotic & hormone-free as well as lifetime grazed with regenerative practices to heal degraded land, restore wildlife habitats, boost nutrition, and capture carbon. This group of independent family farms follows strict protocol: NON-GMO, holistically managed, free-range grazing environments, suitable heritage breed cattle genetics, raised and finished on a 100% grass and forage diet, proven humane handling through the entire life of the animal and, finally, processed at the cleanest facilities possible, with stringent, proactive food safety testing. Honest Weight offers many cuts of Thousand Hills Beef, all at everyday low prices.
Thousand Hills 100% Grass Fed Beef
Honest Weight Utensil Sets You don’t think too much about how great spoons are until you’re caught without one and have to drink your yogurt in the car. You know what I mean? These stainless steel utensil sets are highly useful and wastefree for picnics, take-out, and any and all eating or drinking emergencies. I can tell you firsthand that it’s extremely satisfying to turn down a single-use plastic straw, pull a metal one out of your bag, and avoid restaurant ice water hitting your front teeth. Kit includes stainless steel fork, knife, spoon, chopsticks, straw and straw brush, all stowed in a convenient Honest Weight branded case.
Urban Farm Fermentory This new-to-us line of kombucha from Portland, Maine lives amongst our beers and ciders, rather than with its kombucha cousins near the dairy. That’s because the folks at Urban Farm Fermentory bottle their product in its natural state, which lands at 1.5% alcohol, while other makers modify their kombucha to reduce alcohol to less than .5% in order to sell it as a non-alcoholic beverage. In their words, “We simply reject any process that compromises the flavor, inherent bite, or living culture in our kombucha.” There you have it. Try it in Wild Blueberry and Ginger Root and see what you think of this slightly boozy booch!
Journey into Eliminating Trash Sustainably and Sanely INDIVIDUAL CHOICES THAT MATTER by Kris Honeycutt
Considering the rapidly expanding problem of trash accumulation—especially ubiquitous plastic trash and its effects on wildlife, oceans, and people—can be overwhelming. The enormity of the problem is difficult to digest, and I struggled with the question: What can I possibly do in the face of such a large, omnipresent issue? The question inspired me to do some introspection, some research, and some writing because the research/writing process informs both the writer and the reader. I think it’s important to point out that I am here on this journey along with you, reader. My hope is that by sharing my own process, others may be inspired to think, act, and share too. I also hope to add to an existing community of information sharing about trash reduction and other environmental concerns. This article is by no means intended to be an exhaustive study of all options, endeavors, and themes already underway to reduce trash. Rather, it is an exploration of one person’s creative process looking at a few different ways to change wastegenerating behavior.
I focused on one avenue in particular: micro changes that individuals can make at home starting right away. Micro changes. I realized the answer did not need to be—perhaps could not be—as large as the question. A gigantic action may not yet be possible as the answer to this problem, but a series of small but meaningful 6
changes made by many people may be powerful and influential enough to build the momentum necessary for systemic change. These changes would need to be the kind of shifts that could be maintained and made part of everyday life. So, for me, it became a recalibration of attitude and reframing of the question to be less daunting: What is my role to play in the solution? How can I use my creativity to explore solutions that work for me and my family? Everybody's answer to this question is going to look different. My journey began by identifying where I wanted to focus. The most pressing issue to me was plastic and singleuse items, so I made a commitment to examine what plastic and single-use items my family was using each month and then make small changes to intentionally and mindfully eliminate these items.
a series of small but meaningful changes made by many people may be powerful and influential enough to build the momentum necessary for systemic change Before I began making changes, I needed to get my infrastructure secure. Meaning that the place where I was shopping needed to be consistent with these values. Therefore, my husband and I joined the Honest Weight Food Co-op. We chose the Co-op because it was important to us to limit COOP SCOOP
packaging, buy local, and whenever possible, buy in bulk. The Co-op offers all of this. There is an abundance of unpackaged produce. The bulk section is extensive, offering a variety of options to meet many different dietary and lifestyle needs. Also, the Co-op is committed to offering local goods whenever possible, limiting carbon emissions and supporting local farmers who often have their own sustainability practices. The Co-op also has a set of zero-waste principles. Being a member and buying from the Co-op is one simple way to start to create change: change in habits, change in consciousness, change in community. This is an excellent start. But there is more work to be done.
The next thing I did in my sustainability journey was to take a discerning look at our home and habits. First, I took note of what we were already doing well: the use of glass water bottles as opposed to plastic; using a coffee thermos as opposed to a paper to-go cup; shopping with a basket and reusable bags as opposed to using plastic or paper bags from the store; using glass containers as opposed to plastic containers for food storage; and never using plastic straws. But what else could we reduce or eliminate that wouldn’t be missed? I saw an abundance of items right away, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t overwhelm my family with too many changes at once. I decided to choose only three items to eliminate from our daily lives and if those changes seemed like they were working out, then the following month we would pick three more items to eliminate and so on.
The first three items my family chose to replace were tampons, Scotch-type sponges, and paper towels. I chose to exchange tampons for a Diva Cup. Not only would this eliminate a very common singleuse plastic item, but most many feminine hygiene products are not entirely safe or healthy for women to use. Switching to a Diva Cup made a lot of sense. Also, I replaced our sponges and paper towels with wash clothes. Eliminating the sponges was an easy change, but the paper towels was a big one. I have a two-year-old and although epic spills are rarer now, they do still occur. So far the change has worked well, though. MAY/JUNE 2019
I realized my attachment to paper towels was just a mindset, and I’m glad I challenged myself on this issue. I defined what kind of changes I wanted to make, determined the scope of these changes, established my infrastructure, and implemented the first round of change. Next month, I will assess how the changes from the previous month are working out and whether my family and I are ready to take on more changes. If we are, we will determine which three single-use and/or plastic items to eliminate next, and I will challenge my perceived need of these items. Thus the process will continue mindfully and sustainably. Once I was clear about what works for my family and had a good idea of what we could take on, I began to wonder what others were doing. Access to people doing similar work is available on social media. There are numerous sites dedicated to inspiring people to limit trash and waste. Here are a few Instagram sites and hashtags I have found useful:@plantedinthtewoods, @zerowastecartel, @zerowaste_community, and #zeroplastic #singleuseplastic #reducewhatyouproduce #ourplanteourhome #gogreen #sustainable #zerowastecollective and #consciousliving. Other sources of information that may be helpful on this journey include: Dominique Mosbergen’s article, Life Hacks to Help You Break up with Plastic from The Huffington Post; the Earth Day Network website, which offers a comprehensive list of larger, global changes being implemented (more information on what we each can do can be found at www.earthday.org/plasticban); and the work of Max Lamanna, chef and promoter of food waste elimination, on Instagram @maxlamanna and through his website www.eatingwithmax.com.
I made a commitment to examine what plastic and single-use items my family was using each month and then make small changes to intentionally and mindfully eliminate these items 7
Lastly, keep savvy with what the Co-op is doing, through the zero-waste initiative, workshops, and more. Regardless of how our journey manifests, the ability to create change is a constant. The decision to do something, along with the wisdom that more is not always better, has been a powerful step in helping me feel more empowered in the struggle against environmental degradation. I think that, in addition to politically advocating for global changes in policy and practice, a key part of the solution to the environmental crisis is for each of us to create small but meaningful changes in our daily lives. If we all did this, the changes and the resulting momentum for systemic change could be sustainable, and the impact would be significant. Kris Honeycutt is a proud new member of the Co-op. She is a loving mamma to her two-year-old son, Marcus. She is also working on her master’s thesis in history focusing on capitalism, patriarchy, and gender dynamics in nineteenth-century Troy, NY. She is on Instagram @khoneycutt3.
Resources and Further Reading Global Efforts to End Plastic Pollution: Single-Use Plastics www.earthday.org/plasticban Max La Manna (@maxlamanna) www.instagram.com/maxlamanna Planted in the Woods (@plantedinthewoods) www.instagram.com/plantedinthewoods Zero Waste Cartel (@zerowastecartel) www.instagram.com/zerowastecartel Zero Waste Community (@zerowaste_community) www.instagram.com/zerowaste_community “9 Life Hacks to Help You Break up with Plastic” by Dominique Mosbergen, Huffington Post, May 17, 2017
Open House March 30 1-3 pm
June 24 - August 23 Woodland Hill Montessori School 100 Montessori Place • North Greenbush
Woodland Hill welcomes you to play, cook, create, and invent! Become a nature explorer, lean yoga poses, create with clay, connect with your inner musician, investigate outer space, and try coding!
Space is limited. Register today! 518.283.5400 woodlandhill.org
Thanks for supporting the businesses that support Honest Weight!
Whispering Willow Wild Care: Rapt by the Raptors Raptor Rehabilitation in the Capital District by Ben Goldberg photos by Katerina Paleckova
sweet lenore: Raven Noel: snowy owl
The woman moves deliberately as she opens the door to the large enclosure and enters. There’s natural light, but the day is cloudy so it’s a little hard to see inside. As she moves toward the perch, the barn owl makes a whistle/screech/hissing noise. The woman turns to me and says, “That’s the way he greets me. But he’s also wary because you’re a stranger.” She speaks calmly to the bird while she inspects the enclosure and checks to see if the owl ate the mice that one of the volunteers had left earlier in the day. “Oh,” she says, “You had your lunch. Good going.”
The well-being of raptors, among other birds and animals, tells us a lot about the health of our environment MAY/JUNE 2019
The woman is Joyce Perry, Founder and Director of the Whispering Willow Wild Care (WWWC), a nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation and education program in Guilderland, NY. Although Perry retired in 2000 after a long career in public social work, she didn’t retire from a life of service. But now, as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and educator, her “clients” have feathers and wings, and she works seven days a week and is on call for injured birds, primarily raptors, “birds of prey”—hawks, owls, falcons, vultures, buzzards, ospreys, harriers, kits, and so on. “I’ve always loved animals,” Perry tells me as we sit in her cozy kitchen. “As a kid, I was always picking up baby animals and birds—even when I shouldn’t have—and every stray dog in town would follow me home. Of course, I encouraged them, though.”
Baby beavers in the bathtub, dogs and cats, chickens, and raccoons. You name it, Perry has nurtured it. “I was visiting with a wildlife rehabilitator in Maine, and at one point she walked out of her barn with a hawk on her shoulder. That was it. I was stunned, hooked!” Although she already knew quite a bit about raptors, she learned even more about their critical role in the environment (e.g., balancing populations of rodents and other small mammals), and how their wellbeing is increasingly threatened by development and loss of habitat, the use of pesticides, and climate change. “The well-being of raptors, among other birds and animals, tells us a lot about the health of our environment,” Perry says. “And what they’re telling us at this point is not good news, so we’ve become increasingly involved in helping people gain more insight into how much there is to lose and to save. We don’t lecture or sermonize. We 9
just show people these awesome creatures and help them learn about what’s happening to them and other creatures in the world.”
Xendara: redtailed hawk
My adult daughter and I attended one of WWWC’s demonstrations a few months ago at a local birding shop. The place was jammed with people of all ages, all of whom were “rapt by raptors.” For many of us, standing within a foot or so from these amazing birds and learning about them was a transformative experience. The children, in particular, were captivated and, for Perry, that connection with children and young people is key to the WWWC mission.
“These young people will be inheriting the Earth, and the only hope for the planet is that they’ll do a much better job than we’ve done so far in caring for our home.” Ophelia: barred owl A note about the raptors featured in this article: Whenever possible, injured birds are treated and rehabilitated and then released back into the wild. The pictured birds are “non-releasable education ambassadors.” Their injuries/ limitations prevent them from being released back into the wild, but they participate in WWWC education events! 10
In order to expand the education and consciousness-raising sides of her work, in 2013 WWWC became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. “We had reached a tipping point,” Perry relates. “We couldn’t keep going purely with our wonderful volunteers and me doing the work—which we still do—and operating on our personal donations. In order to keep our work alive, and particularly to expand our public demonstrations, we had to position ourselves to be eligible for sponsorships, donations, and grants. We had to become a little more ‘formally structured’ if we were going to continue to carry the message.” Even though WWWC became a “corporation,” the organization is still “flat,” with Perry, a few board members—
all of whom are “hands-on,” feeding birds, doing enclosure maintenance, and cleaning out enclosures—and a host of volunteers. “We all do the grunt work,” Perry says. “That’s the heart of our organization.” Perry and her dedicated volunteers have greatly expanded their educational programs and presentations at schools, libraries, nursing homes, farmers markets, regional fairs, and special events, such as Troy’s Victorian Stroll, and even private birthday parties. They will do more than 80 events this year alone. On the other hand, WWWC recently experienced a serious setback. “For years there was a local lab that donated a major portion of the food source (frozen mice) our birds need. They recently found a way to sell those, so we have to buy that food, and it’s become a major expense in our bare-bones budget.” Having to buy food is a major financial hit on WWWC, which receives no public funds, and may threaten the very existence of the organization, which already runs on a shoestring and volunteer power.
Organizations like WWWC help to remind us - without sermonizing, just by showing and explaining in a thoughtful and gentle way - that we live in a wonderfully rich, diverse, natural environment, and that we have to take our roles as stewards of the Earth and its creatures seriously. At a recent two-day ASD-inclusive event, the CDPHP/Ring Around the Spectrum Bouncy Bounce, a COOP SCOOP
kid who was maybe ten or so, just gazed at the birds on their perches. Every once in a while, he would politely ask a thoughtful question. When another person asked a question or made a comment, the kid listened closely. You could see he was processing the information. After a time, he left with his mother. He came back two more times that afternoon and just watched the birds, taking it all in. When he left for the last time, he said he wanted to come back the next day “to be with the birds.” Then he smiled at me and shook his head. “Yes!” he said. To learn more about Whispering Willow Wild Care or to discuss WWWC’s educational programming (including private parties), visit their website at whisperingwillowwildcare.org, go to their Facebook page, or call WWWC at (518) 339-4164. Ben Goldberg, is retired from a 40+ year career in behavioral health
Get Involved with WWWC! Do any of the needs below match your skills or interests? If so, contact WWWC at (518) 339-4164 or Visit their Facebook page! Donations Donations of money, building materials, or DIY skills related to bird enclosures
VolunteerS Volunteers who can make either a project-based commitment or a long(ish) term commitment to do a variety of tasks, from feeding and caring for the birds, to doing paperwork, publicity, or fundraising
Sponsors Corporate sponsors for operations or special events
care in the nonprofit sector. He is currently an active volunteer and freelance writer and editor.
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Professional homebirth midwifery, Doulas, education and more! Locations in Albany & Saratoga MAY/JUNE 2019
Producer Profiles by Pat Sahr
We truly value the small businesses and dedicated individuals who work hard to create the exceptional goods and products we carry here at Honest Weight Food Co-op. We think these inspirational stories demonstrate the importance of supporting local, and why we’re so committed to it!
EAT ME ICE CREAM FOUND IN OUR FREEZER AISLE In 2011, two best friends, Catelyn Augustine and Amber Odhner, began selling ice cream sandwiches at local farmers markets in Rochester, NY. They also peddled around the city with two carts “whipping up ice cream dreams and converting tongues, taste bud by taste bud.” Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, their mission was to bring creativity and playfulness to ice cream through flavor experiences. Today their creamy dessert recipes include (but are not limited to) Hibiscus Flower, Lavender, Deep & Dark Chocolate, and Curry Cashew & Crystallized Ginger.
bringing creativity and playfulness to ice cream through flavor experiences 12
Eat Me Ice Cream’s unique flavor experiences push the boundaries of taste and surprise the palate. Although Eat Me does make some ice cream from cow’s milk, most of Catelyn and Amber’s confections are based on coconut milk, which gives this dairy-free ice cream a full-fat, creamy “mouthfeel” that mimics that of dairy products. In fact, they call their products #mouthrevelations.
This business is certified Vegan and certified Women-Owned. Every offering is made from ingredients that are all natural, sustainable, fresh, and, whenever
possible, organic. In addition, Eat Me’s custom flavors are seasonally released and highlight the upstate NY growing season. In 2013, in response to growing demand for their product, Catelyn and Amber opened their own kitchen in downtown Rochester; they have continued to grow ever since. Currently, Eat Me Ice Cream can be found at the Co-op and in ten other stores as well as in eight restaurants in the Northeast. For more information about this unique product, go to eatmeicecream.com.
Pat Sahr has been a member of the Co-op
since 2005. She contributes to the Coop Scoop as the writer of the Producer Profiles. Sahr says, “It’s a pleasure being part of the Honest Weight family, and I’ve especially enjoyed communicating with the various producers whose products are sold at the Co-op!” COOP SCOOP
PRIMO BOTANICA CHOCOLATE Found in our specialty foods area
“We believe that making good chocolate is like performing magic.” These are the words of Oliver Holecek, owner of Primo Botanica Chocolate. When Oliver realized that much of the chocolate available in the Capital Region contained few high-quality ingredients, he decided to use his special “magic” to turn raw cacao beans into delicious, healthful chocolate.
harvested wild and locally sourced. Thus, he creates a satisfying treat that also provides health benefits. Oliver has a degree in anthropology, with a focus on historic methods of food production in ancient Mayan and Aztec societies. In these traditions, certain foods had spiritual and cultural significance. Chocolate was one such food. It was to be enjoyed, but it was also important for ceremonies and celebrations.
Oliver purchases fermented, dried beans Oliver strives to bring a holistic approach directly from farmer-managed cooperatives in to his business. Mexico and South America that use regenerative says it’s not just about creating a chocolate agroforestry methods - that is, practices that He bar; it’s about connecting a past civilization with sustain rather than deplete the ecosystem. present-day communities that value the cacao At his production site in the kitchen of the Mount Ida Community Hall on Congress St. in Troy, he and a group of dedicated volunteers transform the beans, through temperature, friction, and the addition of sweeteners, into chocolate. However, he doesn’t stop at merely producing a simple chocolate bar. He combines the chocolate with therapeutic-grade herbs and fungi that have, for the most part, been
A satisfying, Sustainably Sourced treat that also provides health benefits MAY/JUNE 2019
bean. Rather than focusing on his profit margin, he works to develop strong economic and personal relationships with families who provide him with resources. In addition, he partners with nonprofits that are helping to improve infrastructure in these marginalized communities. Oliver proudly states that Primo Botanica produces the first “bean to bar chocolate” and one of the first to be infused with therapeutic herbs and fungi. This product can be found at the Co-op among the specialty foods in the area near the Cheese Department. For more information about specific varieties, go to primobotanica.com. 13
Honest Weight Supports Unity House by Amy Halloran
We have lots of supportive and informative conversations in the dining room, on the serving line, at the table, and in the pantry
Honest Weight Food Co-op is providing great help to Unity House's food programming. Once a month, two staff members from the Outreach Department come to Troy with recipes, spices, and samples of tasty, nutritious dishes. This collaboration, which began last fall, is really building momentum and is very relevant to the educational aspects of my job. I am the Food Security Manager for Unity House. “Food insecurity” is the contemporary term for hunger. The language around this issue has been updated to try to help people understand that hunger happens right here, not only in far-off places we can't particularly imagine. This helps frame the problem as something anyone might face—for example, skipping lunch to make ends meet or even to make sure their kids get enough food.
Food insecurity affects more than one in ten people in New York State. The food pantry and community meals at Unity House work to build food security for folks who face 14
many different challenges. Our programs are buffers to help keep people from falling behind on rent and to better handle the generalized crises that happen in the lives of the working poor and people who are under-resourced. Our pantry supplies a three-day cushion of meals for everyone in a household. About 750 households—or a thousand individuals—shop at our free grocery store each month, and about 100 people come in for community lunches Monday through Friday. In our American landscape of income inequality, Unity House can’t begin to serve everyone’s food needs, so we try to supply information too. We have lots of supportive and informative conversations in the dining room, on the serving line, at the table, and in the pantry. We discuss other food resources—such as the Veggie Mobile, Capital Roots’ mobile produce shop; WIC benefits; and other local food pantries— distributing paper handouts as reminders. The SNAP coordinator for Rensselaer County is housed right in our building, so we can set up appointments to help access this critical government asset for keeping people fed. We also invite outside groups to have conversations with our community members. Many groups offer information on healthcare and education programs. Catherine Jura and Susan Hoff-Haynes from Honest Weight visit us each COOP SCOOP
People love having samples to taste and recipe cards with spice packets to take home month with samples, ready to chat with people about recipes and cooking.
of our interactions has amplified my ability to slip more sampling and recipes into our everyday efforts in the pantry and dining room too. Prior to the collaboration with Honest Weight, I couldn't get as much nutrition education done.
Having partners in these efforts is useful This initiative began when Catherine Jura beyond just the time that the Co-op is lending to Unity House; the sense of support carries attended a Talk Soup in our dining room. over throughout the rest of the month. We run an evening meal once a month to offer extra nutrition and to create an opportunity to have discussions about food security and the food system. After we met, Catherine asked if doing some nutritional outreach would be useful. I was thrilled. I have more ideas than I can execute, and I was excited to get some help in creating dialogues about healthier eating. Catherine and Outreach Coordinator Amy Ellis came to lunch at Unity House to discuss possibilities.
Last fall the collaboration began. This is how our process flows: Catherine calls me at some point during the month, and I let her know what foods in the pantry I'd like some help promoting. This might be less familiar fruits and vegetables that people need help using, such as butternut squash and lentils, or fig pieces. Each of these foods has been plentiful in the food pantry, and thanks to the Co-op we now have creative tools and a tasting opportunity to help more people take advantage of them. The response has been fantastic. People love having samples to taste and recipe cards with spice packets to take home. Once the samples are done, and Catherine and Susan go home, I still have the recipe cards and sometimes a few spice packets to give out in the pantry. I tape the recipes right to the food, which encourages people to choose the items. Such was the case with whole-grain rotini. Catherine's recipe really made it a desirable food!
Support is a beautiful thing. I'm so grateful to have my co-op at my job. And I hope this story of how a little help and cooperative effort can help people do moreâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;how itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an exponential gift, not a finite oneâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; is useful to everyone who reads this. Amy Halloran is the Food Security Manager at Unity House in Troy, where she runs the food pantry and community meals program. She taught the first class at HWFC's classroom when the new building was brand new and is the author of The New Bread Basket. Find her on Instagram @amyhalloran or @flourambassador. Her website is AmyHalloran.net.
Local land = Local food ACT TODAY! Learn about
Having a regular sampling day has expanded my farmland protection educational efforts. in the Capital Region and how you can help! I know that I have people to help me create nudges for certain inexpensive and healthful foods, such as dried beans and brown rice. The routine nature MAY/JUNE 2019
Creating Rituals for Everyday Sanity SIMPLE SOLUTIONS by Mary Rogosta
There is a certain intersection with a long red light that I pass through on my way home. I often feel impatient for the light to turn green, so I will play with the radio or my phone. When nothing comes on the radio, and I remember that it is dangerous to use my phone while driving, I will look at the birds near the intersection instead. The birds move together from a power line to the eaves of a brick building, then disperse to the bulk of a tree’s branches. My friend Sharon told me these graceful birds are starlings. A flock of starlings is called a murmuration, which brings to mind a steady heartbeat or friend’s whisper in the movie theater.
Creating these rituals for ourselves is important Recently, I’ve purposely stopped playing with the radio or my phone at the intersection. Instead, I turn the radio off. I look at the birds. I keep my hands on the steering 16
wheel, and I breathe. Impatience, anger, preoccupations, or any other anxious emotions surrender to mindfulness.
There are other words to describe the experience: groundedness, appreciation, calmness, sanity. I think sanity is especially fitting because it so clearly suggests that the moment is replacing insanity. Insanity seems to be the new normal in a world that has been built by app developers, energy drinks, and the Trump administration. I don’t mean to disparage apps or energy drinks, which are valuable and provide important services. I mean that staying sane in the world is difficult. Watching the birds helps. So I’ve created a ritual. When I reach the intersection with the long red light, I keep my hands on the steering wheel, breathe, and watch the birds. When the light turns green, I drive forward with a renewed sense of sanity.
Each of us can create personal rituals that renew our sense of sanity. When I spoke about this with some of my friends, I appreciated how personal and diverse these rituals can be. Some have transformed chores into rituals, like Sid who does the dishes mindfully. “I focus on just doing that. It’s relaxing. It’s rewarding.” Others make special moments in their day, like Kristin who pauses regularly to “connect with the body through breathwork, movement, stepping outside,” or Hana who “takes a moment to see the world, the sky, trees, chipping paint on the house next door, power lines, and to notice how the air feels that day.” Physical activity is common for many, like Gayle who “likes to go walking in the neighborhood. It’s the same walk, but you tend to see something different or notice changes. The quiet of it, the birds, the smells, changes in the leaves.” COOP SCOOP
Many simply savor warm drinks like morning coffee, herbal tea, or a “strong mate tea with nut mylk and honey.” Reclaim sanity while you wait for the water to boil.
It seems that the key is to draw attention to the modest qualities of the present moment, which might be the soapy water while doing the dishes, the brisk air while stepping outside, or the whirling steam while making tea. Of course, it is not always realistic to pause our day while the water boils. Deadlines, conflict, and danger are very real challenges that compromise our sanity, especially in the workplace. In these cases, Katie will “acknowledge what’s going on, then detach from the stress and
pressure. The sooner I get out of feeling stressed or anxious, the sooner I can move on to more important things. I take one moment at a time and focus on my priorities. I acknowledge my breathing a lot.” I like to think of meditation simply as one of these rituals that help us get out of feeling stressed and anxious. Dan, who often meditates for as little as 10 minutes, gives himself that time to notice his thoughts and feelings. Then, he makes “a little wager where for that time I try to abandon belief in the thoughts which come rushing through. Before I do, I promise myself that I’ll come back and believe the thoughts if I need to.” Oftentimes, 10 minutes of “suspended belief” during meditation is enough to reclaim sanity.
In whatever for m, t hese activities become habits when we create rituals. So after a few weeks of intentional practice, the activities may become second nature. Sanity becomes the norm again. Our physical and mental health improves. Blood pressure drops. Headaches disappear. Mental fog lifts. Creating these rituals for ourselves is important because the distractions that create insanity in our modern world are not going anywhere. The pharmaceutical companies are not going to create the antidote. Instead, it is our responsibility to create sanity for ourselves and our loved ones. It is our responsibility to reclaim control of our minds and bodies. In doing so, we can create healthier, happier, and more peaceful lives.
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Inviting Dream Consciousness into Waking Life for Enhanced Creativity MESSAGES WHILE WE SLEEP by Loren Brown
The street was jammed with people carrying string instruments and moving slowly towards an open garage where skilled artisans were tweaking their instruments into their finest form, for free! This was not an opportunity to be missed. There was a hum of latent music in the air, although neither music nor voice could be heard.
I woke savoring the magic of the dream, wondering about its meaning. Then I took inventory of my body as one would a workhorse being prepped for her day of labor. In a flash, I knew for certain that this body was the musical instrument I had brought to the woman in the dream. It had been a dream of healing. This body, tuned and tweaked, could move beyond its tribulations and make music for this world.
The creativity of our waking life pales in comparison to the creativity of our dream life. I wondered, how to bridge our dream world with our waking world
Before sleep last night, I listened to Beethoven's Symphony 6 and marveled at his musical genius, but I also thought about how the creativity of our waking life pales in comparison to the creativity of our dream life. I wondered, as I often do, how to bridge our dream world with our waking world, making our waking life richer, more meaningful, even...more real.
For some reason, I was patiently standing in that crowd with my...viola? I'm not quite sure what it was because I never played a string instrument and was surprised to find myself standing among these musicians. I inched forward with the crowd until a woman took my instrument and began working on it, teaching me as she went along. The person I had come with kept interjecting his expert advice, interrupting her concentration with irrelevancies. She finally had to send him away. It was just the woman and me now; the crowd had evaporated, and the woman was spending an inordinate amount of time working with me on an instrument I had no idea how to play. I felt special, cared for, believed in. 18
What follows are some homespun ideas for building bridges between our dream and waking lives. ●● The most obvious way to do this is by bringing the residual emotional ambiance, images, and dramas of our night dreams into our day, allowing the contemplative space for them to inform and enhance our day's journey. ●● When out in nature, imagine you are actually dreaming. See everything as if in a lucid dream. Notice how the lighting becomes more luminous, how colors become more saturated. Allow COOP SCOOP
Beethoven’s gift was the ability to hear nature’s Perhaps Beethoven would advise us that if we music. The trees, rocks, clouds, all had their can't yet hear the music in the energy, then own song. hear the energy in the music. Dreams are It is no longer a reach for us to grasp that trees and energies finding form in images and dramas birds and whatnot have their own energy signatures. everything to become more real than normal real, to become sacred. ●● See things as aspects of yourself. You know the rose because you are the rose, or the tree, or that cloud. ●● See things as alive with sentience. Listen to what their energy has to tell you. ●● You are privileged to be living in this age, woven into the fabric of history. See your world through the awed eyes of a time traveler. ●● Ask the Universe interesting questions. Let the answers come to you, not so much in words, but in images. For example, when I asked how spirit consciousness can be in more than one place at a time, I saw the image of an insect's compound eye. ●● Most of waking life is dominated by the left cerebral hemisphere's verbal and linear mentality, which is rather noisy, chaotic, and vulnerable to stress. You can, however, switch to right cerebral dominance when you make the conscious choice to do so. Shift your attention from your verbal thoughts to your nonverbal experiences. Allow what you see to fill your mind's eye, bypassing your verbal mind, going naked of noun labels. ●● You have a toggle switch on your autonomic nervous system. In waking life, we function mostly in sympathetic nervous system dominance. The “fight or flight” stress response has become a chronic adaptation to our current state of modernity. This is not necessarily how we were designed to function. There are many ways to flip that toggle switch to the more relaxed and healing parasympathetic nervous system, which dominates during sleep. To mention a few, deep belly breathing, meditation, exercise, such as aerobic, yoga, and nature walks, abstaining from stimulants, such as caffeine, replacing stressful self-talk with calming self-talk, getting a good night's sleep, and making love. MAY/JUNE 2019
Would that we could hear the music of that energy! Perhaps Beethoven would advise us that if we can't yet hear the music in the energy, then hear the energy in the music. Dreams are energies finding form in images and dramas. Creativity gives form to the energies we experience. Creation is a translation of inchoate thought beings into forms we can understand and manipulate. We all dream, we are all gifted creators, and we all have music to give to this world. Loren Brown identifies most with being a person, learning, growing,
seeking, and trying to capture the aesthetic of thoughts in writing so she can share with others. She has been a member of the Co-op since the days of the Quail Street start-up. Which means she is getting old.
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Homemade Pizza by Bill Huston
If you are a fan of pizza but have not attempted to make your own from scratch, give this a try! It’s fun (who doesn’t enjoy kneading dough?), it smells wonderful, it’s cheap, and it’s easy as pie. Don’t give up if your first few results fail. It happened to me several times. Eventually, you just might prefer your own pizza to your local pizzeria’s offerings. This is the original recipe I found a few years ago in an Italian cookbook put out by Sunset Magazine in 1972. Lately, and to great effect, I have been using the King Arthur Artisan Flour found in the Co-op’s Bulk Department. I’m not sure if it is considered an all-purpose or a bread flour, but it works for me.
Pizza Dough Ingredients ●● 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour (plus more as needed) ●● 1 level tablespoon of active dry yeast (or one packet) 20
●● 1 cup warm water at 110°F** ●● Honey (or sugar) ●● Heaping tablespoon of whole rosemary leaf ●● Vegetable oil
Tools ●● 12”- 15” round pizza or other low- or no-sided pan, at least 15” x 9” ●● Pizza cutter ●● Thermometer ●● Large mixing bowl or two ●● Apron (if you like) In a large mixing bowl, add the water** and then add a few drops of honey and the yeast, whisking until dissolved. Let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy. Add rosemary (if desired), and one cup of flour at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon to form the dough. When the last of the flour is nearly mixed into the dough, empty the bowl’s contents onto a lightly floured surface. Knead
remaining flour into the dough, and continue to knead for at least five minutes until the dough is smooth and springy. If necessary, add small portions of flour until the dough ball is no longer sticky. Place a splash of oil into another large mixing bowl and add dough ball, turning it until both the dough and the bowl are coated in oil. Cover the top of the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for one hour. It should at least double in size. Punch down dough, remove it to a lightly floured surface, and knead for a few minutes until once again you have a smooth and springy ball. Cut the dough ball in half—each piece will make a 12-inch pizza. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add a splash of oil to the center of your pan. Spread oil around the pan with the dough ball, turn the ball over and firmly press out the dough with palms and fingers, turning the dough to stretch it evenly and flipping it occasionally to keep both sides well oiled. Circular pizza dough is the easiest to form, but you can make rectangular or oval-shaped pizza easily enough and impress your friends and family with your artisanal sensibilities. The dough should not tear, but if it does just patch the hole with a small piece taken from the edge. Not making two pizzas? The dough will last a few days covered in the fridge (give it some space as it will continue to rise a bit), or you can freeze it.
TOPPINGS Pizza sauce, homemade sauce, or any other not-too-watery tomato sauce is suitable. With a spoon, COOP SCOOP
spread enough sauce—about 6–8 ounces— to just cover the dough, leaving the edge dry. No need to pile it on. Cheese? Grated mozzarella is the traditional choice, but try whatever you like. Use no more than two cups (around half a pound).
The sky is practically the limit when it comes to other toppings. Here are some of my own favorites: sliced mushrooms, thinly sliced onion, chopped garlic, red pepper, pepperoni, and anchovies—no more than three per pie. Try to minimize toppings. Less is more here. Place your pie, while still on the pan, into the oven (whatever height) and bake for 12 minutes (don’t peek), or 15 for a crispier pie. Slice pie with a cutter. Anything else will ruin your knife and make a mess of your masterpiece. I often sprinkle crushed basil (dried) on top of the pie last thing before baking. Smells and tastes great, of course, but it also looks nice, especially on a cheese-only pie.
Exquisite Pizza Sauce taken and adapted from allrecipes.com by Georgia Julius
I've made this recipe dozens of times with various ingredients omitted, and it's always a hit! No cooking required, and it's easy enough to keep a tiny can of tomato paste around. Plus, our Bulk Department is great for small and large amounts of the freshest dried herbs. Prep 10 minutes | Ready in 40 minutes
Ingredients ●● 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste ●● 6 fluid ounces warm water (110°F/45°C) ●● 1-2 cloves minced garlic ●● 2 tablespoons honey (or sub 2 tablespoons sugar, more to taste) ●● and as many of the ingredients below as you have on hand: ◊
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan (sub nutritional yeast for vegan sauce)
1 teaspoon anchovy paste or chopped anchovies (optional)
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
Note: The biggest challenge can be getting the warm water temperature just right. Here’s what I do: Heat about three cups of water in a pan with low heat. Check temp with a thermometer. It will not take too long to reach 110 degrees. At 110–120, pour water into a measuring cup and use it. If the water in the pan goes well over 110, turn the heat off, add some cold water and wait for it to cool down to 110. I find that heating just one cup of water in a pan is difficult to control and measure.
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
salt to taste
One of my favorite pies I call “Mexican Pizza.” Toppings are well-drained black beans, salsa or tomato sauce, garlic, onion, and cheese, usually cheddar. Now that’s a winning meal!
Bill Huston is a bicycle mechanic who has been living
in Hudson for the past few years, having grown up in Tarrytown. Bill doesn't get to visit the Co-op as often as he would like. Bill enjoys playing guitar, gardening, and dumpster diving. MAY/JUNE 2019
Instructions 1. In a small bowl, combine and mix all ingredients well. 2. Let sit for 30 minutes to blend flavors. Spread over pizza dough with the back of a ladle or spoon, leaving at least a thumb's width around the edge for the crust. 3. Add toppings and bake according to instructions for your dough. Enjoy! Georgia Julius used to think pizza was overrated, but she now reports that she is fully on board with pizza as one of the best foods.
Recipe Corner Create AND experience sattva by enjoying one of my Sattvic OAT Cookies! by Melanie Pores
Melanie’s Sattvic Oat Cookies Makes 2-3 dozen depending on cookie sizE
Sattva and the Sattvic Diet
●● 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
In yogic philosophy, sattva (a Sanskrit word that means "pure") is one of the three gunas (or principles of nature) that reflect purity, energy, life, and prana. Sattvic foods are thought to be life-giving to both the body and mind. Therefore, the Sattvic diet is thought to help cultivate the whole person by nourishing the body with pure substances. Source: www.yogapedia.com.
●● 1 cup oat flour ●● ¼ cup sunflower seeds, ground ●● ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, ground ●● 1 tsp baking powder ●● ½ tsp baking soda ●● 1 tsp ground cinnamon ●● ½ tsp ground cardamom ●● ¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg ●● ¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt ●● 2 Tbsp egg replacer powder
Wet Ingredients ●● ⅓ cup ghee, melted ●● ⅓ cup sunflower oil ●● 4 Tbsp (¼cup) maple syrup ●● 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350° F. 2. Line two rectangular baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl with a fork. 3. In a separate large bowl, using a wooden spoon, combine the wet bowl ingredients: the melted ghee, maple syrup, vanilla, and soaked dates and raisins, being sure to include the water that they were soaked in. 4. Gradually fold the dry ingredient mixture into the wet ingredient mixture until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. 5. Using the wooden spoon, drop the cookie batter onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing the mounds about two inches apart. Flatten the cookies slightly with the back of the wooden spoon. 6. Bake the cookies until they are lightly brown around the edges (about 15-25 minutes). The larger the size of the cookies, the longer they'll need to bake.
●● 1 cup chopped pitted dates and 7. Cool completely before removing from cookie sheets. 1/2 cup raisins, soaked together 8. Store prepared cookies in an airtight container at room overnight (in 1 cup water) temperature for 2-3 days. Melanie Pores is presently retired after having served a 30+ year career as a bilingual teacher, teacher-trainer, resource specialist, school board member, adjunct professor, educational researcher and policy analyst. She facilitates the Co-op's Spanish Conversation Group on Mondays at 10 am. 22 COOP SCOOP
Kids Corner CREATION STATION
Instructions Set up a building area (a table covered with a plastic tablecloth would be ideal) with all the supplies children will need to begin creating what only their imaginations can limit.
Supplies Clean recyclables: paper towel tubes, cereal boxes, plastic yogurt or sour cream containers, corks, bottle caps, egg cartons, packing material, etc. Anything that can be safely used by kids to construct their projects. Masking tape, clear tape, tacky glue and glue sticks (hot glue is handy with adult help) Scissors, markers or paint
Notes Cereal and other boxes can be taken apart, turned inside out, and hot-glued back together to make “blank” boxes. If more than two or three children are participating, you can make a “shopping area” for them to pick a specified amount of supplies, so that one child doesn’t take too much of anything. Let the building begin! MAY/JUNE 2019
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