Coop Scoop Spring 2016

Page 1

ISSUE #410


40TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION Printed with soy ink on recycled paper


A Pinch or a Pound— Your Guide to the Bulk Department PAGE 14

A History of Honest Weight 4 Forty Years of Photos 6 How To: Container Gardening 12 Herbals and Health 16

1. Voluntary, Open Ownership 2. Democratic Owner Control 3. Owner Economic Participation 4. Autonomy And Independence 5. Education, Training And Information 6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives 7. Concern For The Community

open every day 8am - 10pm



Honest Weight is a member-owned 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. We welcome all who choose to participate in a community which embraces cooperative principles, shares resources, and creates economic fairness in an atmosphere of cooperation and respect for humanity and the earth.

Honest Weight is open to the public and located at 100 Watervliet Avenue in Albany, New York.



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


(518) 482-2667 + ext.


Jim Guzewich


Lily Bartels



Nate Horwitz



Ned Depew



Kate Doyle

Janet Sorell


Carolyn Presser




Carolynn Presser, Daniel Morrissey


Ned Depew



Ned Depew

Jean Corigliano, chair


Kate Doyle



Nate Horwitz


Sandra Manny



Carolynn Presser


Amy Ellis



Jennifer Grainer




Georgia Julius



Daniel Morrissey


Katie Centanni



Daniel Morrissey


Tom Gillespie



Kate Doyle


Brendan Kelly



Dan Hurlbut



David Aubé



Nick Bauer



Interested in joining a committee? Contact:

want to advertise? contact Kim Morton: (518) 330-3262

The Coop Scoop is Honest Weight Food Co-op’s quarterly newletter, produced by the Education Department and offered free of charge as part of our mission. Content is created by Co-op member owners and staff. To get involved, please contact The contents of the Coop Scoop are for information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read in the Coop Scoop.

A Brief History

This is a particularly meaningful spring for Honest Weight, as we will officially be celebrating our 40th anniversary. It has been nothing short of a remarkable journey through the last four decades, as some of our oldest members can attest. Many of you are familiar with our origin story and long history, but for those who are relative newcomers to the Co-op, let me walk you through our organization’s timeline (I never tire of telling this story!). Once upon a time, which is to say 1976, a group of about 20 locals seeking to source healthy, wholesome foods and ingredients (many of which at the time were considered quite esoteric and are now ubiquitous) came together to form a monthly “buying club,” which operated out of the basement of Sharon and Gary Goldberg’s home in Albany. Overwhelming response to this fledgling initiative led to the club’s incorporating as Honest Weight 4

Food Co-op on May 27th of that year, adopting a new organizational structure, and relocating to a rented storefront of about 800 square feet at 112 Quail Street, where the business opened to the public. Honest Weight purchased the building in 1982, and from that starting place emerged an amazing trajectory. In 1995, to better serve the needs of our growing membership and non-member customers, Honest Weight moved to 484 Central Avenue. The new, larger store enabled further growth in both sales and membership, increases that eventually placed strains on the store’s existing facilities and resources. A remodel adding 3,000 square feet was begun in 2007, resulting in a strong increase in sales in the first year and continued growth in each subsequent year. For the next decade, success and dramatic growth continued rapidly, and the need for a larger space was clear. The member-

ship voted in 2007 to purchase the land and building at 100 Watervliet Avenue, and in June 2008 voted overwhelmingly to authorize the removal of the existing building on the site and build a new one. A groundbreaking in August of that year kicked off construction, and Honest Weight opened the doors of its new home to the public on June 19, 2013, with a grand opening celebration following on August 8th. From that original group of 20, the Co-op now includes a base of more than 12,000 members and more than 200 employees, and sources products locally from 285 farms and 319 producers. With a lively roster of free educational classes and practitioner services, as well as a vibrant outreach program, Honest Weight continues to be not only a landmark homegrown business, a destination for clean and wholesome food, and a community anchor, but COOP SCOOP

Table of


















a living example of how an alternative cooperative business model can survive and thrive with the support of its members and the thousands of other customers who choose to shop the Co-op. We offer abundant thanks to our founding visionaries who pioneered the natural food movement in the Capital Region; to our devoted members whose work, commitment, and passion for Honest Weight is the foundation upon which our organization was built; and to all of our shareholders and customers whose loyalty supports our continued success as a values-based business. You empower us to live our mission of offering high-quality, nutritious food for a healthy lifestyle; to make a real and positive impact on our community; to provide more than 200 local jobs; to maintain strong relationships with our local farmers and producers; to support a strong local economy; and to manifest the value

of cooperation on a scale our small group of founders could hardly have imagined.

“We raise a glass to all of you and to our storied past, as we set our sights on our future.” Lily Bartels Communications Leader and Co-op member since 2012







How To: Container Gardening, page 12

A Pinch or A Pound: A Guide to Bulk, page 14

Promoting successful homeownership and healthy neighborhoods through:

We sent our Education Coordinator to the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York’s Winter Conference. Here’s what she learned.

Can Carbon Farming Save the World? by Georgia Julius, Education Coordinator and Co-op member since 2014

On occasion, we find ourselves at some event that pulls together hundreds or even thousands of people who are committed to the same cause, share a way of life, or worship into a common belief system. I found myself in one such event this winter, at NOFA-NY’s 34th Annual Farming and Gardening Conference. I’ve had my eye on this event for years and was thrilled at the opportunity to join in the workshops, networking and all-around educational fun for the first time. The Northeast Organic Farming Association brings together folks from the beginning to end of food production - farmers, writers, food educators, state government representatives, seed sellers, soil amenders, business owners, movement-builders, chefs, advocates for sustainability, and on and on. If I attempted to write about all that I learned at the NOFA-NY Conference, I’d fill this whole Coop Scoop and then some. Since I have limited space amongst this issue’s great features, and in honor of the Earth Month edition, I want to focus on a topic that had the whole conference abuzz and that I had zero prior knowledge of: Carbon Farming.


255 Orange St. Albany, NY 12210 518-434-1730

The concept is pretty simple, and it’s the basis of the no-till movement. First, a quick science lesson from a non-science person: Climate change is happening in large part because the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is increasing. Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas most produced by human activities and is responsible for 64% of man-made global warming. Like water, the amount of carbon in our Earth and its atmosphere is limited but has a cycle that moves it up into the sky and down into the Earth. As man-made functions pull carbon out of the earth and into the atmosphere at a rate much quicker than they were stored in the first place, the greenhouse effect occurs and the globe heats up. The two main causes of increased CO2 in the atmosphere are the burning of fossil fuels, which brings dino-carbon from deep within the earth and releases it into the air, and reasons pertaining to land management, specifically including deforestation, overgrazing, raising livestock on a large scale, tilling soil, and the use of chemical fertilizers on crops. On the flip side, carbon is put back into the soil by plants and through decaying carbon-based life forms. As we learn in elementary school, plants ‘breathe’

Celebrating 30 years of sustainable community development for economically underserved people and communities.

Become an investor in the Community Loan Fund. Help your community AND earn interest! Call us today to learn how. 255 Orange St., Albany, NY 12210 ◆ 920 Albany St., Schenectady NY 12307 (518) 436-8586 ◆

Homebuyer Education Credit Repair Landlord Training Energy Efficiency Down Payment Assistance/Grants Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Thinking about buying a home? Contact us to register for FREE Homebuyer 101 . Save Energy. For a comprehensive home energy assessment —

carbon dioxide and pump it through their roots into the soil. Likewise, when living things die, the carbon that makes up 18% of animals and 45% of plants breaks down into the earth. There, carbon acts as an important natural fertilizer. With carbon farming, farmers have a way to fight back against climate change by encouraging carbon out of the air and into the soil - and keeping it there. In fact, agriculture is the only sector that has the ability to transform from a net emitter of CO2 to a net sequesterer of CO2 — there is no other human-managed realm with this potential. The main tenets of carbon farming are eliminating tillage (which mixes soil with air, allowing carbon to evaporate); mulching with compost and composting in general; rotating livestock; and fixing the soil with cover crops. Amazingly, these practices also increase agricultural productivity. This is an exciting and complex methodology at the forefront of the climate justice movement that is being studied and written about as you read. So can it save the world? There’s no telling at this point, but it is offering hope to a lot of science people, who know far more than I do about the sustainability of life on Earth as we know it.


socially concerned investors with local micro and social

entrepreneurs since 1985


by Amy Ellis, Outreach Coordinator Co-op member since 2009

We couldn’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year than with the annual Wine & Dine for the Arts. Wine & Dine has become the premiere “foodie” event in Albany and for a great cause: the event raised $128,000 to support local arts organizations, among them Capital Rep, the Palace Theater, Park Playhouse, and Albany Barn. Both our Cheese and Food Service departments did a fabulous job of sampling out some of their finest cheeses and desserts. Jonathan Milks, our Cheese & Specialty Foods Manager, welcomed Margot Brooks and Alex Eaton from Sugar House Creamery in Upper Jay, NY to showcase their “Little Dickens,” variety, a Geotrichum surface ripened cheese. We’ve partnered with Dance Flurry and our dear friend and Co-op member Paul Rosenberg to offer a new community dance series, Albany Shindig, featuring “Roots” dancing. Short concerts are followed by simple community circle square and longways dances with live fiddle music. Our Outreach team had a lot of fun providing a selection of light snacks, and we look forward to its happening again. On January 22nd, we spent an evening cooking with and for the children and families of the South End Children’s Café. This new non-profit in Albany’s South End is worth checking out if you’re looking for ways to give back to our community. Director Tracie Killar is running an afterschool homework help and dinner program Monday through Friday, and is always looking for dedicated volunteers to help prepare meals, work with children, or make a monetary or food donation. For more information, visit www. SPRING 2016

“Our AP Environmental Science class just finished reading a chapter on the Green Revolution and the environmental impacts of agriculture, “Feeding the World.” Honest Weight’s visit brought to life what ‘sustainable agriculture,’ ‘local,’ and ‘organic’ really meant. They brought in a colorful array of fruits and vegetables and we got to make good and healthy snacks.” Patricia Sicat, center

Albany High School Senior and Ready, Set, Grow! Participant

Ready, Set, Grow! at its best! Albany High School was the setting for two days of working with engaged, mature, and thoughtful students in Mr. Bizzarro’s AP Environmental Science class. The topic: discuss the origin and philosophy of the Co-op and the environmental footprint of food. Patricia Sicat, a senior at AHS, loves the Co-op and always has a copy of the Coop Scoop in her backpack. She was more than excited to share with Coop Scoop readers her thoughts about our visit. For Heart Health Month in February, we invited the American Red Cross’s mobile unit to the Co-op for a donor drive. Despite low pre-registration numbers, we ended with 37 presenting donors, 26 pints collected, and 9 firsttime donors. Our goal of 18 donors was surpassed by 144%! Thank you to our staff, members and shoppers for giving the gift of life. We love children and we love to cook with them, but we have been finding that adult audiences are in need of and eager for healthy, affordable, and easy recipes. We’ve been getting great feedback from adult food prep classes we’ve offered this year to members of the Albany JCC, Albany Damien Center, and the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District. Outreach member worker Catherine Jura has helped develop both youth and adult

programming for the Co-op. She has been an invaluable asset in furthering our mission and our commitment to providing healthy, affordable food to our community. Capital Region International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 8th at the Opalka Gallery of The Sage Colleges. We’re always proud to show off the women-owned companies whose products we offer, and we provided the event with samples of Bake For You cookies. More information on this inspiring annual event can be found at www. One of our community partners, Soul Fire Farm, is currently in the process of selling CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares, which provide 20 weeks of fresh veggies from the farm delivered to your doorstep from midJune thru early November. SFF offers shares on a sliding scale - shareholders are asked to pay according to access to financial resources. SFF is committed to making real food available to everyone and dismantling systemic racial and economic injustice in the process. They accept EBT, reserve a portion of their shares for low income families, and offer free educational programming for urban youth. Learn more at: 9

producer profiles ADIRONDACK MAPLE FARMS Located in the upstate community of Fonda, NY, Adirondack Maple Farms has been producing pure maple syrup of extraordinary quality for almost 50 years. Started by Bruce Roblee as a young boy, it is now run by Bruce and his son Mitchell. Throughout the years, the farm has grown organically and currently sends pure maple syrup all over the world for wholesale and bulk orders, as an ingredient supplier, and for retail sale. Adirondack Maple Farms also offers pure maple syrup in both kosher and kosher-for-Passover varieties. IN LINE FARM In 2004, Bob Comis and his wife Jennifer moved to the town of Schoharie to become pig farmers. They established Stony Brook Farm and grew their small business into a profitable venture, with a yearly output of 250 pigs. Much of Bob’s humanely raised pork was sold to a Manhattan meat market and business was good and felt ethical. However, as he spent time observing and interacting with these intelligent, sociable creatures, he found it harder and harder to justify sending them to the slaughterhouse. Bob says, “I saw pigs show empathy, joy, depression and a range of emotions...the experience of pigs seemed more and more like my own.” Last winter, Bob closed down Stony Brook Farm for good and gave his


by Pat Sahr Co-op member since 2005

As a business that has grown up in the health food industry, Adirondack Maple Farms enjoys providing a product that is extracted solely from trees that are sustainably managed. The syrup production process uses the latest in green technology in addition to still utilizing a wood fired evaporator that preserves the unique flavor. Look for Adirondack Farms Maple Syrup at Honest Weight in both the Bulk and Grocery departments of the store. Learn more about this producer at www.

remaining pigs to animal sanctuaries. He reopened at the same location as In Line Farm, a certified organic vegetable farm that employs only vegan organic, or veganic, farming methods. Veganic farming relies on plant-based sources of fertility like alfalfa meal and soybean meal, in contrast to the vast majority of organic farms which amend soil with animal manure-based compost and/ or slaughterhouse byproducts like bone-, blood-, and feather meal. Later this year, a full length documentary will be released about Bob Comis and In Line Farms, entitled “The Last Pig.” The film will cover Bob’s years as a pig farmer, his epiphany about killing animals, and his transition to veganism and veganic farming.


ARGYLE CHEESE FARMER The Argyle Cheese Factory, located near Saratoga Springs in Argyle, NY, built its processing plant, lovingly known as “The Cheese House,” on the family farmstead in 2007. The value-added business was a leap of faith for Dave and Marge Randles, in hopes that the high quality milk produced on the farm and the growing consumer desire to purchase local products would be a winning combination. The resulting products - Greek yogurt, artisan cheeses, cheese

Vegetarian & Vegan Friendly Special gluten-free menu

spreads, cheesecakes, gelato and cultured buttermilk - have been received well by consumers in the Capital Region and New York City. Notably, Argyle Cheese Farmer is the first business in the area to offer its yogurt in returnable, recyclable glass containers. In addition to being available at their on-site store, Argyle Cheese Farmer products can be purchased at other area retailers and farmers’ markets. Honest Weight Co-op shoppers will find Greek yogurt and buttermilk in our dairy department.

Voted “Best One-Location Mexican”

Elemental HAPPY HOUR 4 - 6:30 pm Frozen & Gourmet Agave Fruity Margaritas


Sunday, May 15, 2016 • 10:30am - 2:30pm FAIR LOCATION: Albany JCC • 340 Whitehall Road • Albany, NY


Tues - Sun menus online at

465 Madison Ave. Albany

(between Lark and the Park)


518-438-6651 x112 •


• • Information Booths • Refreshments • Drawing Prizes • Therapeutic Massage • Snack Bag 10:30am - noon (while supplies last) • Quick Adult Haircuts

“It‛s hives.”

Vaad Hakashruth

of the Capital District

Albany Jewish Community Center 340 Whitehall Road, Albany, NY 12208 Contact: Claire Sigal 518-438-6651 x112

How To: Container Gardening by Paul Tick Co-op member since 1989

Photos by Andrew Franciosa, Co-op member since 2009

THINK SPRING and if you’re like many Co-op members, you’re thinking of growing your own food. Where you live does not have to determine whether or not you are able - apartment dwellers or those in small homes can still grow herbs, flowers and veggies without much difficulty. You can use pots, barrels, or any other container, and find homes for them on balconies and fire escapes, in driveways, on front steps, hanging from the eaves of your porch, or by sunny windows. The rewards of growing-your-own are fresh and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables that taste great, can be picked at the perfect time, and are yours for a great price - free. You can grow many types, and, contrary to myth, they don’t need to be dwarf varieties or require full sun. So let’s get started! 12

Choose your containers Larger

Choose your site Your containers

ones are better as there is more room for the roots to grow and they retain moisture longer. Don’t worry if it is a small container - you can make that work too. You can purchase flower pots of all sizes and shapes or you can fashion your own from a recycling bin or whatever you can scavenge. Make sure you have holes at the bottom for proper drainage and if the pot is plastic or metal, drill holes in the sides for aeration. Lighter color containers are less likely to overheat, clear ones might allow hot sunlight to damage the roots of the plant. Untreated wood can last a few seasons before rotting. Old metal tubs are often used, but they too can get hot and need extra watering. Under your pot, be sure to place a drainage dish so that when the water and wet soil flow through, you won’t have a mess.

will be heavy after you fill them with soil so place them in their spots first. Choose a spot with all-day sunlight if you have such a spot and will be able to water on a regular basis. This is especially important for lovers of sunshine, like tomatoes and peppers. Leaf vegetables like lettuces only need partial sun.

Source your soil Many organizations suggest that regular soil from gardens is too dense to go into pots that are under one gallon in size. For these you can use store bought potting mix, or make a mix of regular soil with compost, wood shavings, etc. There are many recipes for these online and in books. Before putting in the soil, you may wish to place some cloth material at the bottom, right on top of the COOP SCOOP

drainage holes. This will keep the soil in while allowing the excess water out. Do not fill your containers to the top with the soil. You will need about an inch of extra space for later when you add water.

Decide what to plant If your container is larger than five gallons, you can plant regular-size tomatoes, broccoli or cabbage. Tomatoes will need more sun and the others less. Dwarf varieties of most plants can grow in smaller containers, as can lettuce and all sorts of other green leafy vegetables. Again, the leaf vegetables should be in partial sun and the tomatoes in full sun. Your favorite herbs are generally smaller and many are ideal for container gardening.

chlorine can evaporate. The chlorine may protect you from dangerous micro-organisms but it can damage some of the healthy ones in your soil. After letting the water seep slowly into the soil, you should keep the soil slightly moist to the touch. Do not let the plants dry out, so if you are away for a few days, have a friend check on them. If they are in full sun, they will need more frequent watering than if they are

“Gardening, like everything else worthwhile in life, is a learning process”

in partial sun. The amount and frequency of watering will change as the season progresses.

Feeding You have lots of plant food choices for sale at the Co-op. Follow label directions and do not overfeed.

Talk to them but seek help if they talk back.

At the end of the season, the dead plants can be put into a compost pile for food for next year’s crop. If things did not work out just right the first season, don’t get discouraged. Gardening, like everything else worthwhile in life, is a learning process, and it does, well, grow on you.Classes

How to plant Whether you plant your vegetables from plants that are already started, (called “starts” or “starter plants,” which are easier to grow) or from seeds, the methods are really the same as if you were planting right into the ground. Lightly press in the soil around your new plant or seed. If you pack it in, it will be more difficult for the necessary water and air to get to it.

Water thoroughly. If you are using tap water, whenever possible, let it stand for 24 hours so that the Betsy Mercogliano, CPM, LM (518) 449-5759

Tisha Graham, CPM, CLC

Jess Hayek, CE, Doula

(518) 584-6619

(518) 727-8219

The Family Life Center (518)465-0241

Photo by Kate Farrar, Co-op member since 2016


A Pinch or A Pound

Economical and Eco-friendly, Buying in Bulk Can Expand Your Culinary Horizons by Colie Collen Co-op member since 2008

Photos by Andrew Franciosa, Co-op member since 2009

The aisles are lined with clear canisters and jars. Scoops, stickers and tiny pencils pop up every few feet. The coffee grinder is whirring; quinoa is plunging into bags; the smell of freshly ground peanut butter fills the air. Honey and maple syrup, olive oil and pure vanilla extract pour from spouts, and the sprouting seeds and spices are a veritable library of color and scent. What is this magical place?! You can probably guess that it’s our happy place, the Bulk Department. As more and more grocery stores pick up on the natural food “trend,” what are traditionally ‘co-op foods’ can be found in conventional places. Gluten-free, anti-inflammation, vegan and vegetarian diets can all be supported, in limited but recognizable ways, by a standard 14

“As April is Love Bulk month, and we love Bulk, we thought we’d take a moment to appreciate its history, its affordability, and it’s environmental friendliness.” suburban grocery trip. But one thing that sets co-ops apart, and Honest Weight in particular, is the sometimes daunting, always beautiful, incredibly diversified and important department we call Bulk. As April is Love Bulk month, and we love Bulk, we thought we’d take a moment to appreciate its history, its affordability, and its environmental

friendliness. Bulk is our cornerstone, so let’s give it some love.

Buying in bulk is what our Co-op was founded on. As a buying club in 1976, the original HWFC members placed orders for huge bags of brown rice, beans, and other shelf-stable hippie staples and divided them into portions for individual members to purchase. This saved money, enabled access to foods that weren’t widely available at the time, and eventually fostered the sense of community that has landed us, 40 years later, in a huge store, with a membership of over 12,000.

Shopping in the Bulk Department not only saves packaging, it enables you to reuse your old packaging. COOP SCOOP

Were you gifted a really beautiful bottle of oil, or a pretty jar of jam, and have used it all up? Not to worry! You can continue to enjoy a trusted jar or the world’s mostbeloved honey bear for years to come. Just bring your container into the store and refill it - it’s so simple, and conserves so many resources. You’ll save piles of plastic, glass, and cardboard, not to mention the energy that goes into producing, recycling, and/or disposing of them.

It saves money. Just like our founding members knew, when you buy a large quantity you receive a better rate. We’re able to pass those savings on to our shoppers and members in the Bulk Department.

Tips for Shopping Bulk

It’s educational and interactive, just like our Co-op

itself. Grab a recipe card near the soup mixes or a pamphlet on Soy Products, Beans, Rice or Flours near the pasta. Ask one of our friendly Bulk Department staff or The selection is vast. Want member workers for tips on how to some dried mulberries, guar gum for prepare any of the items you’ll find a special baking project, or wildthere. Did you know we have an harvested Maine seaweed? Need entire mini-section of gluten-free a little Vietnamese cinnamon for a items within the Bulk Department, recipe? Sometimes the things we slightly isolated to prevent crosslove or need for a special meal are contamination? Did you know that impossible to find at conventional all but one of our coffee roasters groceries. Bulk carries a huge is local, and the other is a not-forassortment of items, from a range of profit? There is really so much to cuisines, for a range of diets. learn, just from strolling the aisles.

In our Bulk Department you

We’ve dedicated these next few pages to demystifying the Bulk Department, and sure, maybe taking Are you making something new the opportunity to brag a little. that calls for an ingredient you’ve But we think even our longtime never tried before? If you buy a large members and our most devoted package of a rarely-used item, you shoppers will learn something new, may be creating a lot of waste and and maybe even fall in love with Bulk taking up valuable real estate in your all over again. kitchen cupboards. can buy exactly what you need, and just that amount.

Bring your own empty and clean container and have it weighed and dated at the service desk when you enter the store. If you forget your containers, don’t worry! We have a selection of bags, jars, bottles, and tubs available for free or for purchase. You’ll have to write down the PLU for every bulk item you purchase. You can use a clipboard from the service desk or write on the yellow stickers provided. Something you’re looking for that we don’t have? We may be able to special order it through our distributor. If so, we’ll likely get it in the next day! Did you know you can buy bulk in bulk, and at a discounted rate? Buy a whole package of an item, like a 50 lb. bag of flour, and you’ll get 10% off! (Sorry, 24-percenters - this additional discount doesn’t apply to you.) Feel free to bring your own clean measuring cups and spoons if you’re shopping for a recipe and don’t want any leftovers!


Secrets of the Bulk Department

Join us for a new series of our free educational

offerings in which we’ll explore the mysteries of the Bulk Department. Taught by a rotating cast of Coop members and offered at least once a month, this infomational series will guide you through cooking and baking projects using grains, flours, spices, nuts, and oils from Bulk. Classes are free and open to the public.

To see our monthly offerings and register for classes, visit If you have an idea for a class or are interested in teaching a class, contact Georgia Julius at georgiaj@

First up in our monthly series: Cooking with Lentils with Nidhi Agrawal Wednesday, March 30th, 6 - 7:30 pm HWFC’s Bulk Department carries six types of lentil, so how do you choose which one you need? Nidhi will help demystify the process of buying and cooking this economical source of protein. You’ll learn to prepare lentils three different ways using three of our varieties, and experience the taste differences of each type, served with vegetables and spices over quinoa or brown rice. You will leave feeling prepared to cook healthy, quick and affordable vegetarian meals with this and other pulses, or legumes, from our amazing bulk offerings.

If every American opted to buy bulk during Earth Month, we’d save more than 26 million pounds of packaging waste from landfills in the month of April alone.*

The EPA reports that Americans generate about 80 million tons of waste from packaging and containers each year.

If Americans purchased all of their coffee in bulk for one year, nearly 240 million pounds of foil packaging would be saved from our landfills.* 16


Data courtesy of a 2012 study by Portland State University’s Food Industry Leadership Center on behalf of the Bulk is Green Council



Honest Weight boasts the largest Bulk Department in the Northeast, with a whopping 730 products. So what’s in all those bins and jars, anyway?

730 BULK

















Infographic courtesy of the Bulk Is Green Council


O F P L A I N & S E A S O N E D





We carry over 60 products from TIERRA FARM, a certified gluten-free, USDA organic, peanutfree manufacturer and distributor located just 20 miles south of Albany.





Refrigerated Oils, Miso Paste, Ground Seeds

Seeds & Dried Fruit

Coconut Oil, Honey, Agave, Syrups

Nut Butters Oils, Vinegars, Soy Sauce, Tamari, & other liquids

Nuts & Trail Mix Rice Selection from Tierra Farm

Candy & Snacks


Maple Syrup

Soup Mixes

Grains & Dried Beans

F l o u r s

G r a n o l a

Speciality Baking


Pre-packaged Bulk Snacks

Herbs and Spices

(for when you’re on-the-go)

Sugars & Salts Sprouting Supplies

Bulk Kombucha fom Aqua Vitea


Seaweed & Dehydrated Mushrooms

Loose Tea

You’ll find stations with scoops, pencils, stickers, and scales in every aisle of the Bulk Department. Jot down the PLU for each item, either on a sticker, a clipboard from the Service Desk, or in your own notebook or phone!

Bulk in Other Departments:

Olives Cheese & Specialty

Eggs Dairy

G r a n o l a

& O a t s

C o f f e e

Soaps and Detergents Wellness & Grocery

Bulk illustrations by Mathew Bradley, Co-op member since 2012

THINK SPRING and if you’re

Albany Soul Café Community Dinner

Westminster Presbyterian Church • 262 State Street, Albany (Parking and Entrance at 85 Chestnut Street)

All are welcome! Dinners are on Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m.

March 28 • Spring Celebration! May 23 • Garden Party July 25 • Mid-Summer’s Night ~ Pay What You Can ~ Suggested Donation: $5 Adults / $3 Kids

Proceeds go to support future Soul Café meals & local food programs. Sponsored by the Honest Weight Food Co-op.

Baking with Bulk Gluten-free Buckwheat Millet Bread ½ cup raw buckwheat ½ cup raw millet 1 ½ cups filtered water

1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil, plus more to oil parchment

¼ cup psyllium husks

2 teaspoons each: flax, chia, sesame and 1 ¼ cups gluten-free rolled oats, divided sunflower seeds 1 teaspoon sea salt


Dining, CSAs, Markets

Combine buckwheat and millet in a large jar or bowl and cover with at least 3 inches of filtered water. Set aside to soak overnight or for 10 to 12 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a piece of parchment paper and line a 9-inch (1-pound) loaf pan; set aside. Combine water with psyllium, stir and set aside to thicken. Pour soaked buckwheat and millet into a medium strainer and rinse well. Buckwheat will be slimy, so it will need a good wash. Drain thoroughly then place in a food processor and add ¾ cup of the oats, baking powder, salt and oil. Add soaked psyllium mixture and blend until completely combined and grains have mostly broken down. Add remaining oats and blend until just combined. Scrape dough into loaf pan and spread out evenly. Top with seeds and use a sharp knife to score the top of the loaf in several places.

Visit us online! Bonded & Insured

Call us for info 518-207-0427

Cat Sitting in Your Home

Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes, remove and re-cut the places where you scored it earlier. (This step is very important as you need to let air into the dough otherwise it won’t cook properly.) Return to oven for another 40 minutes, or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. You can check for doneness with a knife, but the blade will be sticky even when the loaf is finished. Remove from pan and set aside to cool completely before slicing. Once cool, store bread in a sealed container. In a cool kitchen it can be kept at room temperature for about 4 days or can be stored in the fridge for a week. It can also be sliced and frozen, then defrosted in the toaster. Note: If you double the recipe, bake for an extra 20 minutes. Recipe from Amy Chaplin’s blog, Celebrating the Art of Eating Well.

Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting ¼ teaspoon instant yeast 1 ¼ teaspoons salt Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is OK. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side Photo by Kate Farrar, Co-op member since 2016

To Be As Green as We Can Be

On April 22nd, 1970, National Earth Day was founded, marking the birth of the modern environmental movement. At Honest Weight, we like to think of every day as Earth Day. Below are are some of the ways we strive to minimize our environmental impact. Waste Reduction

Packaging & Materials

We reclaim the heat generated by our refrigeration system to preheat water going into the store’s water heaters. This allows for less energy to heat the water. It goes into the tanks at around 120 degrees and only has to be heated up to 141 degrees.

Green Infrastructure

We keep anywhere between 13,000 and 16,000 pounds of food waste from going into landfills each month through our partnership with a composting company, Empire Zero.

We offer a paper bag made with 100% recycled content and reuse shipping boxes for grocery pack out.

When building our new store on Watervliet Avenue, we put in a porous parking lot. In addition to reducing runoff, permeable paving effectively traps suspended solids and filters pollutants from the water.

We save wax boxes for reuse by our farmers. These boxes cannot be recycled and would otherwise be thrown into a landfill. This also minimizes overhead costs for our local farmers- the boxes cost anywhere from $4 to $8 each!

We used only indigenous plants in our landscaping around the store. We source our electricity and natural gas through Blue Rock Energy, an alternative energy supplier based out of Syracuse. By sparing no expense on the insulation in the store, we reduce heating and cooling costs and save energy. Our roof was built with extra supports for potential future use as a green roof or to house solar panels, exciting possibilities that ran over budget in the first iteration of our store’s buildout!


We recycle around 18,000 pounds of cardboard each month.

Our huge Bulk Department is a bastion of waste reduction. By selling items in bulk, we reduce the need for extraneous packaging during shipment. The EPA reports that Americans generate about 80 million tons of waste from packaging and containers each year. If every American opted for bulk during Earth Month, we’d save more than 26 million pounds of packaging waste from landfills in the month of April alone. Free cull produce is made available to member owners and donated to food pantries whenever possible. Cull bread is also donated to food pantries. We boast 4,200 local products from close to 600 local vendors and producers. About a quarter of our annual sales are of local products. The shorter an item has to travel to get to us, the lower the impact on our air quality from greenhouse gas emissions.

The Coop Scoop is printed on recycled paper with soy ink. The take-out boxes in the Deli are made of FSC certified100% recycled unbleached paper and printed with water-based inks. Our coffee and soup cups are made of chlorine-free paper and printed with water-based inks. The plastic-seeming cutlery in the deli is actually compostable! Co-op branded clothing is made and printed in the USA, reducing carbon emissions from overseas printing (and supporting fair labor practices).

Getting Involved Every time you bring in a reusable bag, we’ll offer you five cents off your order or an Envirotoken, which allows you to donate the five cents to a non-profit of your choosing. This incentive has allowed us to donate over $4,000 to ten area non-profits since September 2015, and counting. Bring your own containers for bulk! We promote reuse of containers by encouraging shoppers to bring in their own for bulk purchases. Reusable glass and plastic containers are also for sale in our Bulk and Wellness departments and the home goods aisle. COOP SCOOP

Herbals and Health by Mary Theresa Julien

A member shares her experience in combining medicinal herbs with osteopathic methods to prevent illness and support her body’s ability to heal itself.

Co-op member since 2011

Photo: comfrey in the author’s garden

approach to medicine. MDs are allopathic physicians, using methods aimed at counteracting problems., like prescribing pharmaceuticals to suppress symptoms. My primary care physician is an osteopathic physician (DO). Both MDs and DOs are fully-licensed physicians, trained in diagnosing and treating illnesses and disorders and in providing preventive care. In many respects, they practice medicine in identical ways. However, osteopathic physicians are trained in some special Sadly, prescriptions sometimes cause areas in which allopathic physicians side effects which in turn require additional medication to regulate. It can do not receive training. Osteopathic become frustrating, and we would like to medicine emphasizes the integration avoid this cycle and mitigate the process of the entire body’s systems and places special emphasis on preventive of med-load escalation. If we find that medicine. These paradigms tend to be we are merely suppressing symptoms, more in line with my own beliefs and we may investigate alternate ways to preferences - my primary care physician address the root condition. We wonder, recently prescribed me turmeric as an isn’t there a better way? anti-inflammatory! Because I have an interest in medicinal I prefer integrating an herbal approach herbs, I sometimes hear from friends whenever I can. I also prefer to avoid and family who want to investigate pharmaceuticals whenever I can. Don’t alternate ways to manage a condition. Usually, my response includes thoughts get me wrong; I’m first in line for an antibiotic when I have an ear infection! on how an herbal approach differs Pharmaceuticals can directly and from the mainstream allopathic It can be devastating to be suddenly faced with a medical condition. Not only does the event take center stage in our lives, we often feel like helpless bystanders in the process of treatment. We depend on our doctors to successfully diagnose, and hope for effective management, ideally a cure. Typically, prescriptions are dispensed and again, we trust and hope for the best.

Offering classes in: Iyengar Yoga All Levels + Gentle, Senior Vinyasa Flow, Kripalu Yoga , Kirtan and Dance

540 Delaware Ave. Albany, NY 12209

For Information: www/THEYOGALOFT.NET Call: Gerry 438-2557 Marge 482-8124


effectively address critical, acute and long term situations and sometimes they are the clear choice for treatment. However, plant medicine can also be direct and effective, since plants produce myriad potent and effective chemicals. The pharmaceutical industry itself turns to the plant kingdom in its Research and Development efforts. What I like about plant medicine is that it can gently alter conditions over time, slowly and steadily supporting our bodies’ own ability to heal. I use herbals to gently support and nourish systems under duress. If you are interested in taking some small first steps with herbal remedies, I highly recommend starting with tea. Yogi Tea blends, found online or in the tea section at the Co-op, are available for respiratory, immune, nervous and digestive system support. Traditional Medicinals, also available at the Co-op, makes wonderful tea blends, including a heart health tea. A Yogi Detox tea in the morning on an empty stomach and a specialized tea of choice during the day makes a good daily regimen. Our bodies work hard to try to keep abreast of detoxification and supporting this process should be a fundamental component of our health care routine. Toxins enter our bodies from our environment, our food, and transdermally through what we apply to our skin. Metabolic waste produced from medications adds to the toxic load. Unfortunately, the intake of toxins often exceeds our bodies’ capacity to process them, causing stress to our systems of elimination and circulation. Regular support of our kidneys, liver and lymphatic systems can have important, positive long term health impacts. I fast on a regular basis to facilitate detoxification because detoxification ramps up in our bodies when the energy normally used for digestion becomes available. cntd. on page 24 23

Earth Month at HWFC

Free Kitchen Exchange Monday, April 4th, 5:30 - 6:30pm

All are welcome to come join in a Capital District Free Kitchen Exchange swap at HWFC! Come meet other enthusiastic cooks in the region, get rid of some of your lesser-used kitchen tools and equipment or pick up something you’ve been looking for. All kitchen items must be in good working order and offered for free. Light refreshments will be provided and prizes will be raffled. No registration is required.

Nine Mile Farm Tour in Delmar Wednesday, April 20th, 10:00 - 11:45am Enjoy a full farm to table experience! Farmer Rebekah Rice will guide us around 9 Mile Farm, her biodynamic organic vegetable farm and one of the Co-op’s producers, located just 20 minutes from the store. Then we’ll pull veggies from the root cellar to cook in a class at the Co-op later in the day. See for more details and to register.

Farm to Table Cooking Class with Ellie Markovitch Wednesday, April 20th, 12:00 - 1:30pm Following the farm tour, Ellie will guide us in using farm-fresh veggies to prepare a delicious and nutritious lunch. Join us for just the cooking class, just the farm tour, or both events! Register at

Smoothie Bike Demo at HWFC Friday, April 22nd, 11:00am - 1:00pm Kids and adults alike will enjoy taking a ride on our stationary bike to power a kitchen blender and mix up fresh fruit smoothies! Your legs and your tastebuds will thank you. No registration is required.

Listening to the Landscape with Pine Hollow Arboretum Saturday, April 23rd, 1:00 - 2:30pm Lauren Axford, a native plant enthusiast and the Director of the Pine Hollow Arboretum, will speak about letting the landscape inform planting decisions for the home gardener. This workshop will encourage using appropriate plants for appropriate conditions while encouraging natural ecological processes for the benefit of native flora and fauna. This concept is at the core of the arboretum’s mission and its collection management policy. Lauren will share examples of this at work at the arboretum and discuss how one can create a functional ecological garden in their own backyard. Register at

Soil Testing with Cornell Cooperative Extension Saturday, April 23rd, 11:00 am - 3:00pm Bring a dollar and a cup of soil from your garden to have its pH balance tested by Master Gardeners at HWFC. Comprehensive nutrient testing will also be available at an additional cost. See our website for details.

Sustainable Fashion & Upcycling Workshop with Mimi Jolivette & Fatima Bey Saturday, April 23rd, 11:00am - 12:30pm Did you know that in the United States, 12 million tons of textile waste goes to landfills annually, with the average family producing nearly 70 pounds of this waste per year? Join us for a presentation about sustainable fashion and issues to be aware of in order to ensure that we are contributing to a sustainable environment. Then, Mimi and Fatima will guide you in a hands-on upcycling workshop where you’ll make your own scarf out of old clothes! Open to adults and teens. Please bring three old tops and/or skirts. Registration is required at

Sign up for classes and events at:

Herbal medicine is wonderful when used on a regular basis to support the body’s inherent ability to heal itself. Likewise, our diets can significantly impact our health. The Chinese have practiced “let food be your first medicine” for thousands of years. Their unbroken system of herbal medicine goes back to the 3rd century BC and is practiced today in state hospitals alongside western medicine. The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio has a Chinese Herbal Therapy Clinic, one of the first hospital-based herbal clinics in the U.S., and the World Health Organization has recognized Herbal Medicine as an essential component of primary healthcare. When faced with a medical condition, remember, it’s prudent to take an active part in the management of your care. A possible approach includes researching based on what your doctor has told you about your diagnosis. This enables you to ask important questions and be proactive with your doctors, to which they will often be very receptive. We tend to think of medicine as an exact science but in large measure, it’s not. Sometimes, it takes a little digging to figure out what is causing a treated symptom. If you are able to identify some ways that it would be helpful to support certain bodily functions and systems and find a corresponding tea blend or herb, run it by your doctor and make sure that he or she has no concerns. A friend of mine once responded to this suggestion with, “I expect a blank stare.” If your MD is unfamiliar with the herbs that you suggest, perhaps seek input from a DO. Remember, osteopathic medicine emphasizes the integration of the entire body’s systems, and a DO may have had training with herbal medicine. Really, herbal medicine is the tip of the iceberg - there are many alternative therapies and systems of care that we can explore to augment the allopathic care that we receive in the hospital. Many of these alternatives are aimed at supporting our bodies, with the understanding that the body’s ability to heal itself is remarkably powerful. Anyone who has worked with plants or a garden understands that a nurturing environment is essential for living organisms to thrive - and so it is with humans. If we expect to thrive, we need to nurture ourselves, ideally as a way of life and before illness strikes. Sometimes a simple step in the right direction can have a profound impact in the end.

from the


Q: Bring back the Tofu Bomb! And/or switch up the sandwich menu. A: We are looking to switch up our sandwich menu in the spring. Q: Consider offering a few prepackaged things at the plaza. For example, I wanted something sweet and there was only one gluten-free option. Peanut butter cups? Kind bars? Chocolate? Once you are in the plaza you are stuck. A: We are looking to expand our offerings at the plaza - please stay tuned! Q: Great idea with the bag donation tokens! It’s fun to do and nice to see how all together we can help our community! A: Thank you! The response to this initiative has been overwhelmingly positive. We are grateful to our members, staff and customers for their generosity. Q: Bananas too often don’t ripen

properly, if the only ones available are green ones. Can you post how to get them to ripen right at home? A: You may place unripe bananas in a paper bag with an apple or one very ripe banana. It is also best to keep the bunch together, as they will ripen each other.

Q: I would like it if you could get the ghost pepper salt back in. A: We’re glad you liked it! We’ll bring it back. Q: I love your cheese! But I am

sick of cutting off the outside because it tastes like plastic! Please, please move away from plastic and toward wax paper! Plastic is absorbed into fatty food and cheese is fatty! No more plastic! A: We’ll be happy to wrap your cheese in wax paper! Please ask at the specialty foods counter. Q: Can you add a compost bin to

the eating area?

A: As much as we would like to provide composting in the customer area of the cafe, it has not worked in the past. If you leave your compost on your plate, we’ll add it to our store compost. Q: Vegan whoopie pies on 1/23 were soooo good! A: Thank you for showing your appreciation! We make them every Tuesday and Friday. Q: Death Wish Coffee! Why we no

have? It local, yes? And good, yes?

A: We are in fact looking into bringing Death Wish into our selection!

Q: The greeting card selection lacks imagination, fewer local selections. What happened to great choices and variety? A: We’ve actually expanded our greeting card selection since over a year ago. One spinner is devoted to locally produced cards and we’ve received numerous compliments on our current selection. Q: Why is there garlic from China? China is known for their toxic process of garlic as it’s soaked in bleach. This is disappointing to see in a co-op that should only support local farms. A: We carry conventional garlic to offer a more affordable alternative for those who may not be able to afford local, organic garlic. Providing local produce is an essential part of our mission statement. If you know of a local farmer who still has garlic available, please put them in touch with us. Q: Please can you get back Metromint Spearmint Water? Not Peppermint - they taste different. I keep asking :( A: We continue to order it but it hasn’t come in. Thanks to those who’ve made suggestions! You can see all the suggestions and responses on the Suggestion Board posted near our Co-op Café.


~Check engine light ~NYS inspection ~30K,60K,90K Services ~Cooling system repair ~Brake system repair and more.

Come experience: ~Quality repair from people who care ~Friendly polite service ~Dependability and integrity Get Acquainted Special - $49.95! WOW!

1003 Ninth Ave Watervliet, NY 12189 518-272-8601

3miles from route 9&155 intersection

-Synthetic engine oil and filter, top off fluids, set tire pressures-Check belts, hoses and coolant condition-

*Upto 5qts of oil. European cars & trucks extra.

BE KIND TO YOUR CAR AND THE ENVIROMENT TOO! A well maintained vehicle pollutes less and saves on gasoline cost.

Closing Words...

Enter your ownv photo by posting it to Instagram and using the hashtag


photo courtesy of @georgiajuniper

“ Spring is the time of plans and projects.�

- Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina




Co-op Kids!

Imagine the drawing below is your dinner plate. What foods should you eat the most of? What foods should you eat the least of?

Hey Co-op Kids – A special day is coming up on Friday, April 22nd, called Earth Day. This is a day that reminds us that the people on our Planet Earth need to protect all the plants and animals that live together in the world around us. Use all your senses – sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste - to discover the wonders of the environment around you. Show how you can make a difference in keeping your environment healthy and clean. Recycle your cans and plastics and throw away garbage in a trash can; never litter. Take care of plants by giving them sunlight, water, and plant food. Take care of the living creatures (such as pets and backyard birds) by giving them food and water, and speak to them with kindness. Even your pets love to get hugs sometimes! Help to make our Planet Earth a healthier, cleaner, and safer place for everyone to live for many years to come. You can make a difference!

Maytime Magic A little seed For me to sow? A little earth To make it grow? A little hole, A little pat, A little wish, And that’s that. A little sun, A little shower? A little while, And then a flower. Mabel Watts

Lynne Giminiani, Co-op member since 2013

Fox Facts

Foxes eat almost anything, including berries, worms, spiders and even human food from the trash. Foxes are solitary animals, unlike wolves. Baby foxes are called kits, cubs, or pups. Foxes, like cats, have eyes that allow them to see in almost total darkness. Foxes use 28 different types of calls to communicate with each other. A fox can run 30 miles per hour!

Find Felipe’s kits!

There are nine little foxes playing hide-and-seek in the pages of this Coop Scoop and you’re It! Can you find them all?