Coop Scoop May/June 2018

Page 1

ISSUE #422



How Democracies Die What We Can Learn

Meat & Seafood

Making Thoughtful Choices

Baking For A Cause

A Co-op Community Spotlight

Does this process sound fun and interesting to you? You

can be a part of it! Give me a shout and we can talk about all the opportunities for involvement. Like the Co-op itself, the Coop Scoop’s value comes from its contributors, whose diversity make it richer and stronger. Georgia Julius is the current editor of the Coop Scoop. She can be reached at

This issue also contains some refreshed features that we’d love continue in coming issues:























you don't have to be a member to shop!



100 Watervliet Avenue, Albany, NY 12206 (518) 482-2667 [COOP]


A series of events that play out more or less the same way every year, that should come as no surprise, somehow still always does. And it courses through our collective veins with energy and



Trees pop with color. Blossoms float in the breeze. People have suddenly appeared outside, everywhere, wearing short sleeves and smiles. The delicate plants that bring the sweetest fruits are inching towards the sun more and more each day.


Spring, now finally, fully, here feels like a big stretch after a long and satisfying sleep.

the return of the memberowner/staff interview, a book review, and an overview of some exciting products we now carry at Honest Weight (kind of like mini Producer Profiles for nearly every department). This bimonthly magazine is dynamic and full of potential; a potential that is realized by our member-owners who create the content and help put it together.

That’s the theme of this issue: Refresh, which I usually pronounce with a prolonged “sh” sound to make it sound even fresher. We choose these themes to give some loose structure to our magazine. They’re not strict, but beginning on a track makes it a little easier for all our writers, editors, and designers to begin putting this labor of love together, more than three months before it hits the lobby magazine rack. It’s always fun to see the different directions our writers go with the different motifs, which are purposefully general and left open to interpretation.


Marketing & Digital Coordinator



Georgia Julius


our Editor


Letter from

promise. The potential of all the warm and pleasant days ahead feel almost too enormous to fathom. It’s all so darn refreshing.


8am TO 10pm EVERY DAY

Honest Weight Food Co-op is a member- ecologically sustainable ways of living. owned and -operated consumer Honest weight is open to the public, cooperative that is committed seven days a week. The Coop to providing the community Scoop is produced bimonthly with affordable, high by our Education Department quality natural foods and and offered free of charge products for healthy living. as part of our mission. Our mission is to promote to view online, Please visit more equitable, participatory, and


Associate EDITOR:

Ben Goldberg is retired from a 40+ year career in behavioral health care in the nonprofit sector. He is currently an active volunteer and a freelance writer and editor.

Assistant EDITOR:

Carol Reid is a retired cataloger at the New York State Library, where she worked for over 35 years. She has edited newsletters on librarianship, intellectual freedom, and social responsibilities, done scads of proofreading in her time, and maintained a 10-year blog called “Typo of the Day for Librarians.� A total nitpicking word nerd, Reid has been a member of Honest Weight since the 1980s.


Ben Goldberg, Georgia Julius, Rebecca Angel Maxwell, Melanie Pores, Pat Sahr


Mathew Bradley and Jordan White

DISTRIBUTION AssistantS: Donna Eastman, Ellen Falls, Bonnie Betz

interested in CONTRIBUTing TO THE COOP SCOOP? Contact:


Advertise with us!

ISSN 2473-6155 (print) ISSN 2473-6163 (online)

Contact: Kim Morton (518) 330-3262

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.

Printed with soy ink on recycled paper in Albany, NY

Cover photo by Scott Webb










The Albany Vegetable Project

by Honest Weight Staff


by the Honest Weight Outreach Team




ABOUT THIS BOOK: "How Democracies Die" by Ben Goldberg

17 RESILIENCY IN RECOVERY by Rebecca Angel Maxwell



by Melanie Pores


Co-op Community Spotlight by Georgia Julius

Stephen Piorkowski

Our community spotlight features an inspiring employee or member-owner who does great work at the Co-op and in the community. This issue features Stephen Piorkowski, a baker, cook, student, artist, and epilepsy advocate.

What do you do at Honest Weight? I’m a baker. We do all the standard desserts, but then I have my own projects—I research a lot of recipes at home. I’ve developed my own recipes that we use for coffee cake, strawberry cheesecake, lemon bars, and more. I’ve got one called the Double Chocolate Double Espresso Cookie. That’s one thing about Honest Weight I love—they allow me to become more proficient at my talents and create my own recipes to share with our members and shoppers. I couldn’t be happier.

How did you get into cooking? My mother was an immigrant from Hungary and my father was from Poland. His family owned a Polish deli in Perth Amboy, NY. My mother was a Hungarian-Austrian pastry chef. I moved out at an early age and but I learned all the recipes I could to preserve my family’s traditions. I now have a culinary and baking degree from Schenectady County Community College. MAY/JUNE 2018

What brought you to Honest Weight? I was a member at the Central Avenue store and I would volunteer my time to bake for demos. I started working at Honest Weight on March 25th—my birthday—two years ago. Also the day before Purple Cupcake Day, so it was a very busy time. I was three months away from graduating from culinary school and my baking instructor, Bill Benson, who was Honest Weight’s Bakery Manager at the time, suggested I take the job. I started at 30 hours a week while I finished my degree. It was a hard time for me; I’d leave home at 6am and take the bus from Delmar to Schenectady for 8am class, then to Albany and home at 11pm.

second year, we raised $400. By the third year, we’d raised $1,300, which was enough to start a scholarship through a foundation of Schenectady County Community College.

What’s your favorite thing to bake? My favorite thing outside of here is my mother’s Beigli. It’s a special type of jellyrolled pastry that has walnuts, sometimes poppy seeds, rolled very tight. It’s like a coffeecake. They’re delicious. My most popular recipe at the Co-op is a coffeecake that I created. First I made it with blueberries. In the fall, blueberries became too expensive and I adapted it to feature apples. When the spring came, I made a tropical version with pineapples and coconut. And today, I’m going to make one with peaches and blueberries!

You do a lot of advocacy work for Do you have any favorite words of epilepsy. Can you tell us about it? wisdom you’d like to share with us? I’ve had epilepsy since I was two years old, but now I’ve had it under control for six years. I’m a volunteer and advocate for Epilepsy Foundation and I’ve been working with their art therapy group, Studio E, for four years. In May, we’re having an art show at the Co-op in conjunction with the Honest Arts committee. The art will be for sale and proceeds will be donated to the Epilepsy Foundation of New York. I started The Purple Cupcake Project which happens every year around March 26th. [Editor’s note: March 26th is Purple Day, an international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide.] I recruit bakeries, including Honest Weight, to donate cupcakes. The first year, that effort raised $40. The

“Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.” – Francois Minot You can find Stephen making magic in the Co-op bakery Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. He is open to speaking about his epilepsy to anyone who wants to learn more. This interview has been edited and condensed for publishing. You can see the full version on our blog at

Saturday, May 1st - Friday, June 1st 8AM-10PM • At Honest Weight 5

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!



required to ensure that each variety’s special qualities and flavors are preserved. This is where Brewtus Roasting differs from other coffee producers. When an order is received, the beans are roasted by hand in small batches. The coffee is then immediately shipped to the customer. Because there is little shelf time, the coffee is fresher than anything that can be found in a typical grocery store.

“Coffee, like wine, has different characteristics based on where it comes from. The soil, the altitude, the rainfall, the shade, and the sun all affect how coffee tastes.” Pivonka has been enjoying coffee for most of his life, and three and a half years ago he began to pursue his dream of owning his own coffee business. From his early days selling at the Delmar Farmers Market, he has expanded into space at 20 Hallwood Road in Delmar. There he roasts the beans himself and fills online and retail orders. At the moment, Brewtus is a one-person operation. However, he looks forward to the day when he will have a tasting room as well as a roastery.

How many of us coffee lovers ever wonder about the origin of the java we enjoy? How knowledgeable are we about the many places in the world that produce coffee? Large chain suppliers obtain coffee beans in huge lots and roast them in large quantities in a computer-controlled roaster. The unique flavors of individual coffees are lost in such a process, and one type becomes indistinguishable from another. For many people, coffee choices are made in the supermarket simply based on the labels “light, medium, or dark roast.” However, there is much more


to coffee than its relative strength. Stephen Pivonka of Brewtus Roasting, located in Delmar, NY, declares: “Coffee, like wine, has different characteristics based on where it comes from. The soil, the altitude, the rainfall, the shade, and the sun all affect how coffee tastes.” Wherever the beans are grown— Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi, Colombia— they each have their own subtle differences. It takes a great deal of hard work to nurture and harvest coffee crops. Careful handling at the roastery is

Brewtus Roasting coffee can be purchased at six retailers throughout the region and at the Delmar Farmers Market. Pivonka says that Honest Weight is one of his earliest business partners. Look for the Brewtus label in the Bulk Department at the Co-op, and try some truly fresh, flavorful brews, like Bali Blue Moon Fair Trade or Narino Colombian Coffee. 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!”


    

    

  


 


photo courtesy of Teeny Tiny Spice Co.




What's Fresh at Honest Weight! We’re always keeping our eyes and ears open for products and companies that would be a good addition to the shelves and bins at Honest Weight. That means products that fit our strict buying policies with none of the ingredients on our Banned List. Priority goes to local or regional businesses, mission-based businesses and cooperatives, and those who use socially and environmentally conscious practices in their work. Here are eight new Honest products to check out!

Leidy's "Nature's Tradition" Antibiotic-Free Sliced Bacon Leidy’s is a Pennsylvania-based pork company with high industry standards. Their uncured bacon is certified by the American Humane Association and made without added nitrates or nitrites and no artificial ingredients. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Find it in Meat & Seafood!

No Evil Plant Meats No Evil Foods makes small-batch, sustainable “meat” from plants in Ashville, NC. There are currently five varieties, all of which are available at Honest Weight. Top a salad with Comrade Cluck ‘No Chicken’ or try the Pit Boss ‘Pulled Pork’ BBQ on a toasted bun with coleslaw. Yum!

Find it in our Freezer Aisle!

Tait Farm Foods Shrubs Shrubs are a concoction of fruit, herbs & spices, sugar, and vinegar, historically used as a way to preserve fruit before refrigeration. Tait Farm Foods, based in PA, makes 15 flavors of all natural, sweet-tart mixers to add a burst of fresh fruit flavor to plain seltzer, cocktails, or mocktails!

Find it in Cheese & Specialty Foods!

Stony Brook Brined and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds These scrumptious, high-oil seeds are grown in Brockport, NY at one of the only farms producing pumpkin seeds for eating in the US. They’re high in iron, a good source of protein, minerals, vitamins A and E, and omega 3 and 9 fatty acids. Use them on fresh salads, in granola, or to top fish dishes for an added crunch! Find it in our Bulk Department!

The Healing Meals soups Based right down the street from HWFC, Chris Small crafts nutritious specialties like Chickpea Coconut Curry and Beet and Tomato, as well as classics like Minestrone and Cream of Broccoli. You’ll find pints of these tasty soups in our grab-and-go case. Find it in our Deli! MAY/JUNE 2018

Simply Kombucha New kids on the kombucha block, Simply Kombucha provides beautifully simple bottles of sparkling probiotic beverages to our refrigerated section. This Fort Ann company is family-run and uses all organic ingredients in their six unique flavors. Find it in Refrigerated Grocery!

WishGarden Herbal Remedies Genius Juice Woman-owned and family-run since 1979, WishGarden uses whole organic and wild-harvested herbs to create their remedies at their Colorado studio. Their Genius Juice contains Ginkgo, Dandelion, and Cinnamon to support optimal neural messaging and aid in focus. Wellness Department manager, Alex, swears by it to help him study!

Find it in our Wellness Department!

Organic Watermelon What says summer like biting into a cold, sweet watermelon and having its juice run down your chin? Organic watermelons return to our Produce Department in May and are available through autumn. Organic watermelons are excellent low-calorie sources of potassium, fiber, and Vitamins A and C. Find it in our Produce Department!


The Albany Vegetable Project by the Honest Weight Outreach Team

When students at Albany’s Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School are offered a taste in the garden for the first time—perhaps a taste of a freshly pulled and washed carrot—someone will often say something like, “No way! I’m not eating something that just came out of the dirt!” This reluctance, however, typically evaporates as soon as the student sees a friend happily chomping away. And then, likely as not, he or she will proclaim, “That was good!” Kids at Myers Middle School are giving fruits and vegetables a try thanks to the Vegetable Project, which organizes gardening and related programming there and at Albany High School. “We don’t put any pressure on anyone,” says Bill Stoneman, who launched the garden-related initiative when his daughter was an eighth-grader at Myers. “The relaxed atmosphere, kids having a hand in growing and harvesting what they’re eating, and the positive example that friends set seem to be enough.” And that’s very different from what often happens at many family dinner tables with regard to fruits and vegetables! With 30 to 40 different types of edibles growing most summers, encouraging kids to eat, or at least try, some veggies is an important part of the 8

Vegetable Project’s work. Depending on the time of year and what is ready for harvest, kids might pluck cherry tomatoes from the vine and pop them right into their mouths, prepare simple salads right at the garden, or roast root vegetables in a classroom kitchen. Sometimes they take bagfuls of greens home with them.

With 30 to 40 different types of edibles growing most summers, encouraging kids to eat, or at least try, some veggies is an important part of the work. But the Vegetable Project’s mission involves a good deal more than just introducing kids to ground cherries, peas and beans, tomatoes and basil, and the freshest strawberries imaginable, although that alone would be worthwhile. Recognizing disparities in the lives and academic experiences of Albany students, the Vegetable Project was organized to use gardens and hands-on work with live plants to reach out and try to help support kids with the greatest needs, including those who may face, and may present, significant challenges in traditional COOP SCOOP

classroom settings. “This so often means kids who don’t respond well to being told to sit still in their chair and look up at the board,” Stoneman says. “This often means kids who disrupt their classes.” Research increasingly shows that contact with nature, tactile experiences, and building connections across traditional academic subject boundaries can produce a host of positive outcomes related to social and emotional health, academic performance, and ability to focus in the classroom. Indeed, with science showing steadily clearer links between time spent outdoors amid greenery and overall well-being, the Vegetable Project is sketching out a vision for an outdoor classroom at Myers. (See the Landscape and Human Health Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign for information about related research.) In addition to existing vegetable beds, the vision includes a shaded area where classes can sit, and where stressed students or staff can calm down and recharge; a greenhouse, where science exploration can be undertaken; fruit trees; native

days warm up, care for soil and plants, and harvest and cook garden produce, until the cycle starts over again. Students also learn a bit about business during the summer when they sell some of their produce to the Honest Weight Food Co-op and other Albany food establishments. About 75 Myers students participate in the Garden Club over the course of a typical year. Three other programs, with more always under consideration, round out the Vegetable Project

“The sight of carrots, potatoes, beets, and turnips coming out of the soil is an eye-opener for some, but a great experience for all.” offerings. Vegetable Project volunteers work with teachers to connect its gardens with regular classes or to incorporate hands-on plant care into a class’s curriculum. “The Vegetable Project organizes a team of volunteers to bring my classes, sometimes 150 students in a single day, to the garden as soon as school starts in September to sample so much of what is growing,” says Larry Drew, family and consumer sciences teacher at Myers. “The sight of carrots, potatoes, beets, and turnips coming out of the soil is an eyeopener for some, but a great experience for all.” The project has focused lately on working with high school biology classes, bringing students outside in the fall to do some late-season planting and buildingcontrolled experiments around seed starting in the winter.

plantings; and accessibility for people with physical challenges. Such an outdoor classroom could be appealing to art, history, or English classes, as well as to science or cooking classes with more obvious garden connections. Founded at Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School in 2009, the Vegetable Project started building gardens and doing programming at Albany High in 2014. Two years later the project incorporated as a New York State nonprofit and qualified for I.R.S. tax-exempt status. The organization supports its work—from building raised beds to buying classroom supplies—with a revenue combination of fundraisers, grants, produce sales, and direct contributions. Its anchor program is an after-school and summer evening Garden Club at Myers. Meeting weekly throughout the year, Myers students start plants indoors, transplant them outdoors when the MAY/JUNE 2018

The project offers a paid garden assistant internship to at-risk high school students as a means of mentoring and providing school day support, and it partners with the Albany summer youth employment program to host a work site for five weeks each year, giving teens a taste of paid work. Whether during Garden Club and class outings or on the job over the summer, working the soil can generate the strongest reactions—particularly when earthworms and other small creatures are spotted. Some students know the critters are valued friends of the garden; some are aghast. Either way, their presence commands attention on a totally different level than more passive and predictable indoor instruction, and that opens the door for conversations about environmental stewardship, soil development, nutrition, and so much more. More information about the Vegetable Project is available on their Facebook page. Interested in volunteering? Get in touch by emailing Contributions may be made at 9

Go Ahead and Grill Us Our thoughtful buying practices ensure that only ethical, sustainable, and healthful meat and seafood make it onto our shelves, so that you can chill while you grill. If you’re anything like us, you preemptively lit up the grill on the first nice (read: above 60 degree) day of the year, only to find yourself flipping burgers or portobellos in a winter coat after the sun and temperature dipped back down. The good news is that those early cookouts are just one glorious step in getting us nearer to real-deal summer, when cooking and eating outside begins to feel almost necessary after seven months of being cloistered to the kitchen with its mundane heat sources. We love putting asparagus, bell peppers, onions, corn, artichokes, and, yes, pretty much all other veggies (and fruit!) on the grill, but we decided that in this season of charcoal and propane, we’d highlight what, for many, is a big part of the barbecue: meat and seafood. We have a department of the same name that offers pretty darn good selection of sustainable animal proteins, one that’s worth mentioning, and even celebrating. While irresponsible production and consumption of animals wreaks havoc on human and animal health and the environment, meat and seafood that has been raised or caught sustainably is an incredibly important alternative for those who choose to eat it, and Honest Weight only offers that alternative. 10

Our Meat-Buying Guidelines • We give preference to local and regional farms, which our staff make every effort to visit personally. • The meat we sell is chosen for its high quality, sourced principally from small, local farms within a 250-mile radius, and with preference for pasture-based and free-range conditions. • Grazing animals are primarily fed on grass and may either be 100% grass-finished, or finished with minimal grain supplementation. • Pigs are pastured and may be fed grain. • Poultry is pastured or raised cage-free in open barns. • We will not knowingly stock products that contain or were treated with animal-by products in their feed, or with prophylactic antibiotics, growth-promoting antibiotics, hormonal additives in any form, or synthetic (artificial) nitrites, nitrates, additives, or preservatives.

• When our customers are looking for something that we’re unable to source locally or regionally, or can’t access in adequate supply, we also offer Certified Organic and Natural meats that meet our criteria but are raised elsewhere in the United States. All of our meats are marked with their place of origin.


What do grass-fed and grass-finished mean?

Grass-fed beef comes from cattle that have spent their entire lives on pasture, eating grasses and other nonwoody plants. Whereas most cattle spend their last days fattening up on a concentrated mix of corn, soy, grains, and other supplements, plus hormones and antibiotics in a feedlot, grass-finished cattle are never fed grain and are allowed to mature to their “finished” size while solely eating plants. Despite an increase in consumer demand for grass-fed beef in the U.S., the market for grass-fed is possibly less than 3% of all beef sales. But we can vote with our dollars and create more of a market for grassfed by supporting small, local farms!

Three Steps to a Perfect Marinade

Why do we prefer grass-fed beef?

It has lower levels of fat and calories in general, and specifically smaller amounts of unhealthy fats. Meanwhile, it boasts 2 to 4 times more healthy omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef, has lower levels of dietary cholesterol, and provides more beta-carotene, antioxidants, and vitamins B, A, and E. It also offers more calcium, magnesium, and potassium, and nearly twice as much healthy conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which can help lower the risk of diabetes and may have cancer fighting properties. And it’s better for the planet: Whereas cattle raised on feedlots emit massive amounts of greenhouse gases, well-maintained pasture actually draws such gasses out of the air and stores them in living plant matter. Pasturelands reduce erosion and soil loss, increase the number of native plants, reduce the use of petrochemicals, and restore natural ecosystems.

Marinades are easy and affordable to prepare, and will up the taste factor of any fish, meat, or vegetable you’re grilling. Plus, studies show that adding fresh herbs, spices, citrus juice, honey, and fruit or vegetable puree to a dish provides extra antioxidants that fight disease and aging, and marinating meat and veggies can also help counteract the risks associated with grilling. Here’s a foolproof guide to making an ace marinate from scratch with ingredients you already have!

1. First, an acidic ingredient, such as vinegar, wine, beer, tomatoes, yogurt, or citrus juice. The acidic component tenderizes meat by helping to break down protein, making meat easier to digest, helping slow the growth of harmful bacteria, and allowing moisture and flavor to permeate the meat. 2. Next, an agent that adds sweet, spicy, or salty notes. Good options include Dijon mustard, soy sauce or Bragg’s Aminos, honey, chopped chile peppers, or other vegetable or fruit purees. MAY/JUNE 2018

3. Finally, an accent of fresh or dried spices. Some ideas: fresh ginger, garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, cumin, coriander. Combine all three components plus your meat, fish, or vegetables in a baggie or casserole dish and cover. Marinate in the fridge for as little as 30 minutes or as long as overnight. Grill and enjoy!

11 11

sustainable Seafood at Honest Weight Seafood can be a little tricky to understand—there are so many factors, and so many varieties. Which is better, farmed or wild-caught? What about the dolphins getting caught in fishing nets? And trawling? How about mercury, how do we avoid that? And sushi—what’s safe to eat? The best resource for information about which types of seafood are ocean-friendly is the The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program. Their frequentlyupdated list is an important resource our memberowners turn to when updating our own Food and Product Manual, which is where our Banned List originated.

Seafood Recommendations Best Choices Buy first, they’re well managed and caught or farmed in ways that cause little harm to habitats or other wildlife.

Good Alternative Buy, but be aware there are concerns with how they’re caught or farmed.

Avoid Don’t buy, they’re overfished or caught or farmed in ways that harm other marine life or the environment.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has also identified a list of seafood that connects human and ocean health. This "Super Green" list features seafood products that are currently on the Seafood Watch® "Best Choices" list, are low in mercury and are good sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The full list (which is, admittedly, quite short) can be found online at and includes U.S.-farmed freshwater Coho Salmon and wildcaught Pacific sardines.

You may have seen Monterey Bay Aquarium’s ubiquitous little Seafood Watch® pamphlets at Honest Weight or elsewhere. They also offer their list of recommendations in an app that you can download for free on your smartphone or tablet. The list is split into the three categories below to help consumers choose seafood that's fished or farmed in ways that support a healthy ocean, now and for future generations.

Stop Energy Waste and Save! Get a free Home Performance Energy Assessment which can qualify you for incentives and low interest financing to make home improvements. Have an expert show you where you may be wasting energy- and how to fix it.

We’ll help you take the first step to a greener and more comfortable building with lower utility bills. Homeownership Center 12


Perfect Grass-Fed Beef Burgers source: Bon Appetit

1 small onion, coarsely grated 1½ pound grass-fed ground beef 1¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more

1 tablespoon vegetable oil Hamburger buns and desired toppings (for serving)


Grilled Swordfish Steaks source: HWFC Meat Department

4 swordfish steaks 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional) 4 slices lemon, for garnish (optional)

4 cloves of garlic 1/4 cup lemon juice 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper


ThaiTITLE StyleOF Baby Back Ribs THE DISH source: HWFC Meat Department


2 racks of baby back ribs Salt and freshly cracked pepper 1/4 cup fish sauce 1/4 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons minced jalapeños 2 tablespoons minced ginger 1 tablespoons minced garlic 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemongrass

4 13

1. Using your hands, gently mix onion, beef, 1¼ tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper in a medium bowl. Gently shape into four 1½”-thick patties (loosely formed patties will be more succulent). 2. Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. 3. Season patties with salt and pepper, place in skillet, and immediately reduce heat to medium. 4. Cook 4–6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Serve on buns with desired toppings.

1. In a glass baking dish, combine the garlic, white wine, lemon juice, soy sauce, olive oil, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix just to blend. Place swordfish steaks into the marinade, and refrigerate for one hour turning frequently. 2. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate. 3. Grill swordfish steaks for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. 4. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.

1. Build a fire in your grill; when covered with gray ash and the temperature is medium-low (you can hold your hand 5 inches above the coals for 7 seconds), you're ready to cook. (for gas grill, turn all burners to high, lower cover and heat for 15 minutes, then turn burners to medium-low.) 2. Sprinkle the ribs generously with salt and pepper, place them on the grill directly over the coals. Cook until a peek inside shows that the meat no longer has any pink at the center, about 10 to 12 minutes per side. 3. When rib racks come off the grill, cut them into individual ribs and place in a large bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients, toss to coat, season with more salt and pepper if needed, and serve! 14


◊ that disagreements and even personal dislikes do not amount to illegitimacy, much less mendacity or evil intent or action; ◊ that politically, you win some and lose some, and that losing almost never amounts to “a full-blown catastrophe,” or at least not for long.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: "How Democracies Die"

●● Forbearance: restraint, patience, tolerance, self-control; “the idea that politicians should exercise restraint in deploying their institutional prerogatives” (pp. 8-9); “the action of restraining from exercising a legal right” (p. 106) that “imperils the existing system.”

by Ben Goldberg

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” -Winston Churchill Levitsky and Ziblatt are Harvard academics who have extensively studied the failures of democratic nations and the growth of authoritarianism around the world. In this accessible and provocative book they analyze how and why many democracies have faltered while others have been sustained, and they bring these lessons home to us in twenty-first-century America and the bizarre status of our current political environment. How Democracies Die does focus on national politics, on the 2016 presidential campaign, and the victory and startup of the Trump administration. However, the book also has much to offer to smaller organizations that aspire to self-govern by democratic principles and means, such as labor unions, clubs, condo owner associations, and cooperatives. For a variety of obvious reasons, reviews of How Democracies Die in prominent publications have focused largely on how these historical lessons apply to U.S. politics in the last decade or so, set in a global context, culminating in the election of the current president. This article, however, will try to outline some of the more general lessons and principles that may be applicable to democratic social structures that are more modest in size and relative importance. The authors contend that the root cause of the failure of democracies MAY/JUNE 2018

is “extreme partisan polarization— divisions that extend beyond policy differences into an existential conflict over race and culture” and that “if one thing is clear from studying breakdowns throughout history, it’s that extreme polarization can kill democracies” (p. 9). This “murder” of sorts occurs primarily through the erosion of what the authors call the “soft guardrails” of democratic norms, which are the “shared codes of conduct,” “the unspoken rules and conventions that hold a democracy together,” unwritten political conventions that fortify and shield democratic structures and institutions such as a constitution, bylaws, and a variety of other legal checks and balances vital to democracies. These norms operationalize the long view and the comprehension that no power brokers, parties, or isms retain power indefinitely, that sooner or later we reap what we sow, and that what we (party, nation, or organization) may reap may well be in-kind revenge. The critical democratic norms Levitsky and Ziblatt discuss are: ●● Mutual tolerance: Mutual tolerance is “the politicians’ collective willingness to agree to disagree” (p 102). ◊ that competing parties treat one another as legitimate rivals, as “the loyal opposition,” and not as mortal enemies or as evil incarnate;

◊ that you compete hard to win, but that you play by the rules and as a good sport without bending or stretching rules, or violating even the spirit of fair play.

“This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.” ◊ that you do not routinely, primarily, or exclusively use political tactics such as brinksmanship, obstructionism, and deadlock, which will eventually or quickly result in crisis and chaos. In other words, you do not initiate a nuclear war that may destroy the entire planet in hopes that you might just win. You avoid and do not promote or encourage the sorts of extreme partisanship and tribalism— sides unconditionally committed to incompatible world views—that result in all-out, no-holds-barred legislative warfare because winning at any cost can result, and historically has resulted, in the destruction of democracy itself. These norm violations and extreme polarization create vicious cycles and negative feedback spirals, so that, regardless of “who starts it,” eventually both sides wage open warfare and the polarization feeds 15

norm destruction, which increases polarization, which … well, you know. The vicious cycle produces a heightened climate of “hostility and mutual distrust” and a bilateral escalation of both verbalization and extreme actions with tragic results (e.g., political extremism and demagoguery) for all concerned. Adherence to these “soft guardrails of democracy,” on the other hand, the authors contend, creates a “virtuous circle” reducing polarization and the sense of dread and threat and increasing the likelihood of cooperative effort. Remember “bipartisanship”? Most political scientists would probably agree that the best legislation adopted in most democratic countries has been the result of bipartisan participation. Again, there are many forms of social organizations that aspire to govern themselves democratically, but in virtually any organization—at some times and to some extent—some


differences of opinion, and typically even overt competition and conflict, are inevitable. Democracy amounts to an organizational leap of faith that people can and even should govern themselves. And as Churchill implies in his statement about democracy being the worst form of government except for all the others, democracy is messy and often unpredictable. Using Levitsky and Ziblatt’s analysis, participants in organizations that aspire to be genuinely democratic in nature and function over the long haul should try to: ●●Focus, not exclusively but largely, on the BIG PICTURE and the looooooong view. Not on the deeply adversarial battles, but on winning the war, which means supporting and sustaining the democratic nature, institutions, and functions of the organization. ●●Be civil (at the very least) and avoid ad hominem attacks and

June 25 - August 24

dehumanization of the opposition at all costs. And being kind almost never hurts. ●●Whenever possible, be collegial and handle the inevitable differences of opinion or perspective as just that. Not as threats. Not as evil. Just as differences. ●●Employ the classic “win-win” style of negotiation. Negotiations do not have to be a zero sum game (I win, you lose), regardless of the extent to which such a belief may dominate current American politics. In fact, if you want to know how best to support (and not undermine and sabotage) democracy, just dispassionately observe the current executive and legislative branches of our government for a while. Then act in exactly the opposite manner. As Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote, “This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.”

Woodland Hill welcomes you to engineer, invent, tinker, and create! Become a master builder, explore your theatrical side, learn about creatures great and small, get hands-on with electronics, and explore the outdoors!

Ages 3-12

Space is limited. Register today!

Woodland Hill Montessori School 100 Montessori Place • North Greenbush


SUMMER CAMPS at The Arts Center! Sign up today at:


265 River Street Troy NY 12810 · · (518) 273-0552 16

Scholarships Available!

Does your child love being creative!? The Arts Center provides full-day art camps for kids during summer! Experienced teaching artists offer a variety of art media and skills while providing campers with a unique creative experience. COOP SCOOP

Resiliency in Recovery by Rebecca Angel Maxwell

A Member-Owner shares her experience in recovery from a serious rare disease after nearly a decade of misdiagnosis. “Then I was dying. Now I’m not.” I said those words in an interview last month for a self-reflection video project. My daughter’s talented college roommate had asked people to answer a few questions about their current lives back in September of 2017, and then made a video five months later where we read our letters and answered a few more questions. In the second interview she asked, “What’s the biggest difference in your life then and now?” When you have gone through a life-changing event, it’s impossible to go back to who you were before; requested or not, it’s time for a complete renewal. In everyday terms, I need new pants. I have Cushing’s disease, which is an excess of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is the stress hormone. Imagine when the person driving in front of you suddenly stops and you break on instinct, your heart racing, hands shaky, unable to remember what you were thinking about before it happened. That’s cortisol rushing through your system, keeping you focused and ready to do whatever it takes to stay alive. But cortisol can spike from any kind of physical or psychological stress—like running a sixyear-old’s birthday party, worrying about how the rent will be paid, or any time you get sick or have a medical procedure. The normal response is for the level to go back down again. Cushing’s disease means it never goes down. I had over ten times the amount of cortisol flooding my body, 24/7. It’s not sustainable, and every system within me was breaking down from the stress.

I want to grow past that story, create a fresh one of this new me that is emerging wet and blinking in the dawn. Psychologically, it’s devastating. Imagine having both ‘roid rage and PMS all the time, plus being unable to sleep. And not knowing why. I would even have panic attacks while meditating. Physically, I went from a size eight to a size eighteen. Tracking MAY/JUNE 2018

my regular exercise and healthy eating habits left my doctors and nutritionist at a loss. I was doing everything right, but looking like an obese pregnant man (check out internet images if you’re curious). Obviously, I had to buy a whole new wardrobe— several times—and then donate, give to friends, or chuck my now-too-tight clothes. There can be many causes for Cushing’s. Mine was a functioning tumor on my left adrenal gland. After almost a decade of suffering and unanswered questions, I found a new doctor last spring and was finally diagnosed, after which I had a surgery to remove the tumor and gland in October. The video project was right before and after this life-saving surgery. Although my recovery will take a few years, I’m not dying anymore. I have to take synthetic cortisol and slowly wean my body off the drug that I had been supplying myself with. I was both the drug dealer and addict.

The author, pre-surgery in summer 2017 and five months post-surgery in March of this year. So, this isn’t a fun time for me. I take just enough drug to keep me alive, but suffering enough to make my right adrenal gland start working again. However, I’ve got some bright spots already. I sleep better (huzzah!), and I’m losing weight like crazy. That’s the trouble with my pants. They’re all falling down. I sorted through the pile in my closet, and although I knew some would probably fit eventually, I didn’t want ANY of them. Every shirt, dress, and pair of pants told me the story of my illness. I want to grow past that story, create a fresh one of this new me that is emerging wet and blinking in the dawn. 17

I hate shopping (unless it’s for books), so I’ve let friends know I’m in the market for clothes, all sizes welcome, since I’m not done on this journey just yet. Budget- and eco-conscious, I’ll hit a consignment store soon to fill in the gaps. In the meantime, I have to wear a very fashionable Medic Alert bracelet and borrow my husband’s belts. My daughter’s roommate will be showing her video project at the end of the semester and I plan to be at the event. Although the date is not too far off, I know I will have physically changed even more by then. Perhaps I’ll have reached my healthy weight and have a whole new wardrobe, perhaps not. But my re-emerged self will still be changing, and I’m blessed to be able to recognize this. How many people get the chance to realize they are no longer dying, but so abundantly alive? Rebecca Angel Maxwell has been a member of Honest Weight for sixteen years, bringing her family along for the ride. She has been part of the Nutrition and Education Committee, and taught classes on gluten-free cooking, tea, and utilizing the bulk department. When she's not at the Co-op Rebecca is a music teacher, writer for, and keeps a blog at


Hands-On, Hearts Open

Care During Your Entire Childbearing Year Albany VegFest FREE Admission Dozens of exhibitors and vendors, free food samples and snacks, expert speakers, cooking demos, fitness and wellness panels, VIP lounge, and more!


10 YEARS Albany VegFest

Saturday June 2nd, 2018 | 10am - 5pm Polish Community Center - Albany, NY Hosted by Albany Vegan Network

Learn more at

Betsy Mercogliano, CPM, LM (518)449-5759

Jess Hayek ,CE, Doula (518)727-8219

Tisha Graham, CPM, CLC, Doula Rose Mitchell-Tenerowicz, Doula Laura Simpson, RN, NMT, Doula

Professional homebirth midwifery, Doulas, education and more! Locations in Albany & Saratoga

Recipe Corner

COOLING WATERMELON CUCUMBER SALAD by Melanie Pores Summer is coming, and this flavorful salad is perfect on a picnic or as a refreshing side at a cookout. Have kids can help with the cubing or set them up with a melon-baller!

INGREDIENTS: 1 seedless baby watermelon, cubed 3 baby cucumbers, seeded and cubed ½ cup paneer (or other soft white cheese), cubed ¼ cup cubed avocado ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped ¼ cup hulled sunflower seeds (raw or dry roasted will do) 2 tbsp lime juice, or more to taste 2 tbsp Olivia! White Balsamic Cranberry Pear Vinegar or plain white balsamic vinegar 2 Tbsp olive oil Himalayan pink salt and black pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS: 1. Mix lime juice, vinegar, and extra-virgin olive oil in a bowl; set aside to marinate at least 10 minutes. 2. Mix watermelon, baby cucumbers, and paneer cheese cubes together in a large bowl. 3. Garnish with avocado, cilantro, and sunflower seeds. 4. Pour the lime juice, vinegar, olive oil, and Himalayan pink salt and black pepper to taste over the watermelon mixture and toss to coat. 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 and educational researcher and policy analyst. She facilitates the Co-op’s Spanish Conversation Group on Mondays at 10am. COOP SCOOP

Albany VegFest FREE Admission

Does Your Social Impact Investment Earn Interest? “I invest in the Community Loan Fund because it helps the local businesses in my neighborhood.

Dozens of exhibitors and vendors, free food samples and snacks, expert speakers, cooking demos, fitness and wellness panels, VIP lounge, and more!

And I can earn interest on my investment.” Louise McNeilly 11-year Investor


10 YEARS Albany VegFest

Saturday June 2nd, 2018 | 10am - 5pm Polish Community Center - Albany, NY Hosted by Albany Vegan Network

Learn more at

255 Orange St., Albany, NY 12210 920 Albany St., Schenectady

Call us at (518) 436-8586 x806 to learn how you can align your money with your values – while earning interest!

Solid Ground Center for a Balanced Life


Offering mindfulness-based solutions for Stress Management Caregiving and Compassion Fatigue Grief and Loss Weight Management ADHD Relapse Prevention Individual and group services 148 Central Avenue, Albany 518-339-9443 Check our website for class schedule





CHOCOLATE COFFEE Always Organic, Always Fresh.

Keepin’ It Real ASK FO




Visit us at for our story, sustainability practices, and to view our 240 certified organic products.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.