La Montanita ˜ Co-op Administrative Offices 901 Menaul Blvd. NE • Albuquerque, NM 87107 www.lamontanita.coop
o c t o b e r 2 012
˜ Co-op Join La Montanita Your community-owned natural foods grocery store
Why Join? • You Care!
-about good food and how it is produced
• You’re Empowered!
-to help support the local/regional food-shed
• You Support!
-Co-op principles & values & community ownership
• You Vote!
-with your dollars for a strong local economy
• You Participate!
-providing direction and energy to the Co-op
• You Receive!
-member discounts, weekly specials & a patronage refund
• You Own It!
-an economic alternative for a sustainable future
In so many ways it pays to be a La Montanita ˜ Co-op Member/Owner
Great Reasons to be a Co-op Member
Member Appreciation Volume Discount Month Annual Membership Meeting • details inside
• Pick up our monthly newsletter full of information on food, health, environment and your Co-op. • Member refund program: at the end of each fiscal year, if earnings are sufficient, refunds are returned to members based on purchases. • Weekly member-only coupon specials as featured in our weekly sales flyer. Pick it up every week at any location to save more than your annual membership fee each week. • Banking membership at the New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union. • Member only discount days: take advantage of our special discount events throughout the year-for members only. • Special Orders: order large quantities of hard-to-find items at a 10% discount for members. • General membership meetings, Board positions and voting. Co-ops are democratic organizations. Your participation is encouraged.
October is Member Appreciation Volume Discount Month Annual Membership Meeting • October 27th in Santa Fe
CO-OP BOARD of DIRECTORS REPORT President’s Annual Report BY
’m thrilled that in my lifetime the UN declared 2012 the International Year of Cooperatives. How gratifying to have the international community acknowledge the significance of cooperatives because, doesn’t it seem sometimes that co-ops are one of those best kept secrets? Over 1 billion people are co-op members, and cooperatives provide 100 million jobs worldwide. Co-ops are drivers in the economy, are resilient, and respond to social issues while going about being successful businesses. That’s certainly true at La Montanita Food Co-op. We are indeed a driver in New Mexico’s economy; our sales reached $30 million this year and we provide 237 jobs. Between our annual payroll of $6.5 million and assertive program of buying locally, we pump money into New Mexico, and there is no out-of-state corporate headquarters siphoning off our profits. We are resilient. We’ve been here since 1976 and continue to grow despite a challenging economy. We care about the people in our community whether through our wage structure, support of local producers, or providing volunteers for civic projects. And at the end of the day we acknowledge our members by running a successful business that returns a portion of excess profits back to them. Yes, once again, despite a difficult economy, we will declare a member patronage rebate. This year’s strategy has been stay the course and get better at what we do well. On an operational level that has meant re-affirming our commitment to the local economy by moving our warehouse and distribution center to a facility over twice the previous size. There is no other organization in New Mexico directing its energy into both volume and local product development as La Montanita Food Co-op has.
On a governance (board) level we, too, are becoming better at what we do. Board members are elected and given significant resources to develop their leadership skills. Our goal is to have all directors contributing significant value to the Co-op. Much of this is accomplished through our committees, and they are active and effective. Through the efforts of the Nominations and Elections Committee, we are introducing online balloting. Getting there took time, research and attention to detail. We hope you’ll like our new approach as it’s certainly greener, should save money, and yet still provide paper ballots for those who need them. Our Finance Committee developed a new training session to bring our annual CPA review to life and increased our core financial competency. It was such a success we’ll have the session every year and build upon our collective knowledge. The Member Engagement Committee initiated a Co-op Study Circle open to all members and has been meeting monthly in Gallup, Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Those that have attended, both directors and members, enjoy the learning and sharing of interests and concerns.
All the above happens because we have a stellar general manager leading a tal-
FUND the third OFFERING BUILDS THE LOCAL
ECONOMY BY ROBIN SEYDEL This October marks the third year of the La Montanita FUND. This grassroots local investing and micro-lending project is helping support farmers, ranchers and value-added producers throughout the state, providing capital to scale up the local/regional food system.
La Montanita is healthy and strong, poised to expand our impact in New Mexico and seasoned enough to handle the challenges that will surely come our way. Let the secret of co-ops become a thing of the past because collaborative cooperation has been and continues to be the key for our success. The UN’s International Year of Cooperatives may be coming to an end, but as far as I’m concerned every year is a cooperative year.
In the spirit of the International Year of Cooperatives, the board reached out to other regional cooperatives, inviting them to our meetings so we could learn about each other and explore opportunities for collaboration. An interesting turn of development arose when we sought cooperative research assistance from the Sustainability Studies Program at UNM. What went from a request for an intern turned into a full-credit semester course on cooperatives! We are excited by the collaborative nature of the course and look forward to establishing a deep relationship with the university.
Grassroots Investing and Micro-lending
ented and dedicated team. I give the board credit as well, because for years we’ve sustained a thoughtful and hard working culture that provides stewardship and a conduit for member values. But none of that matters without the members because it’s your support that ultimately makes the Co-op successful and able to contribute to the health of our communities.
which generated much interest from a variety of investing and securities organizations around the country, as well as a number of other co-ops. We continue to provide information on putting together similar grassroots investing and microlending programs to co-ops across the nation. We were also honored to be included in Michael Shuman’s new book, Local Dollars, Local Sense.
This year we are pleased to announce our Third Offering and investor enrollment period beginning October 1st and running through the end of March 2013. This newly expanded investor enrollment period is part of our ongoing work to make the LaM FUND more accessible and has been recently approved by the NM Securities Division. Our loan program is ongoing throughout the year, without loan application deadlines. Last year we made $86,000 in loans to farmers and ranchers around the state and paid 2.1 percent ROI to our investors.
The Third Offering In this, LaM FUND’s Third Offering, the investing aspect remains open to all current Co-op members who reside in New Mexico. This year we have increased the total amount of investments to $200,000 so that investors from our first two years can maintain their support of the FUND, and still allow room to include more Coop members who wish to participate.
One of the most interesting aspects of the LaM Fund has been the recognition of its innovative grassroots structure,
The money raised from the sale of LaM FUND “Interests” will be used to collateral-
Enjoy the Annual Membership Gathering Oct. 27th! ize the loans approved by LaM FUND’s Loan Advisory Committee. Interests are $250 each, with a total 800 units in this year’s offering. La Montanita Co-op will maintain its investment of $25,000 that will be used first to cover outstanding balances, in the event of a LaM FUND loan default. These A-Interests are the Co-op’s financial commitment to the program and although the purchase of LaM FUND interests are considered a high risk investment, the AInterests purchased by the Co-op provide a lessening of risk to other LaM FUND investors. Join your Co-op in our latest community building adventure. Put your money where your mouth is and become a LaM FUND investor today. For more information, a prospectus/memorandum, investor agreement, loan application and lending criteria, contact Robin Seydel at 505-217-2027, toll free at 877-775-2667 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. All LaM FUND documents are also available at www.lamontanita.coop.
FUN... INFORMATIVE... TASTY • FREE TO ALL CO-OP MEMBERS CO-OP ANNUAL
HEAR OSCAR OLIVERA FORONDA: PROTECTING OUR WATER WATER PRIVATIZATION AND THE BOLIVIAN WATER WARS OCT. 10 A CO-OP Community
COLLABORATION On October 10th at 6:30pm at the Hibben Center on the UNM Campus, the Sustainability Studies Program, La Montanita Co-op, Amigos Bravos, Our Endangered Aquifer Working Group, and Agua Es Vida Action Team will host Oscar Olivera Foronda of Cochabamba, Bolivia. Foronda was one of the main leaders of the protests against water privatization in Bolivia. The result of these protests was an event known as the Cochabamba Water Wars. He was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2001 for his work protecting access to water as a human right. In 1999, the Bolivian government responded to structural adjustment policies of the World Bank by privatizing the water system of its third largest city, Cochabamba. The government granted a 40-year concession to a consortium led by Italian-owned International Water Limited and US-based Bechtel
Enterprise Holdings with a minority investment from Bolivia. The newly privatized water company immediately raised prices. With the minimum wage at less than $65 a month, many of the poor had water bills of $20 or more. Foronda, executive secretary of the Cochabamba Federation of Factory Workers and spokesperson for the Coalition in Defense of Water and Life, known as La Coordinadora, led demands for the water system to stay under local public control. Thousands of citizens protested for weeks. In April 2000, La Coordinadora won its demands when the government turned over control of the city’s water system, including its $35 million debt, to the organization and cancelled the privatization contract. La Coordinadora achieved the first major victory against the global trend of privatizing water resources. Come hear Oscar Olivera Foronda at 6:30pm at the Hibben Center on the UNM Campus across from the Maxwell Museum. This event is FREE and open to the public. For more information contact Terry Horger at email@example.com or Robin Seydel at robins@la montanita.coop or call 217-2027.
OCT 2 7 5P M Celebrate with YOUR LOCAL CO-OP at Warehouse 21, 1614 Paseo de Peralta, (across the street from Santa Fe’s Railyard Farmers’ Market Pavilion)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27TH, 5PM CELEBRATE WITH WAREHOUSE 21’S YOUTH ARTISTS! RSVP to Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.lamontanita.coop BEFORE Oct. 25th.
La Montanita Cooperative A Community - Owned Natural Foods Grocery Store Nob Hill/ 7am-10pm M-S, 8am-10pm Sun. 3500 Central SE Abq., NM 87106 265-4631 Valley/ 7am-10pm M-Sun. 2400 Rio Grande Blvd. NW Abq., NM 87104 242-8800 Gallup/ 10am-7pm M-S, 11am-6pm Sun. 105 E. Coal Gallup, NM 87301 863-5383 Santa Fe/ 7am-10pm M-S, 8am-10pm Sun. 913 West Alameda Santa Fe, NM 87501 984-2852
a local food fest!
CELEBRATING HISTORY CULTURE & FARMING OCTOBER 14TH BY JESSICA ROWLANDS The 5th Annual Local Food Festival and Field Day will showcase the heritage and tradition of food and agriculture in New Mexico. Join the celebration at the historic Gutierrez-Hubbell House in Albuquerque’s South Valley on October 14, from 11am to 4pm.
UNM Co-op ’N Go/ 7am-6pm M-F, 10-4pm Sat. Closed Sunday, 2301 Central Ave. SE Abq., NM 87131 277-9586 Cooperative Distribution Center 901 Menual NE, Abq., NM 87107 217-2010 Administrative Staff: 217-2001 TOLL FREE: 877-775-2667 (COOP) • General Manager/Terry Bowling 217-2020 email@example.com • Controller/John Heckes 217-2029 firstname.lastname@example.org • Computers/Info Technology/ David Varela 217-2011 email@example.com • Perishables Coordinator/Bob Tero 217-2028 firstname.lastname@example.org • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 email@example.com • Marketing/Edite Cates 217-2024 firstname.lastname@example.org • Membership/Robin Seydel 217-2027 email@example.com • CDC/MichelleFranklin 217-2010 firstname.lastname@example.org Store Team Leaders: • Mark Lane/Nob Hill 265-4631 email@example.com • John Mulle/Valley 242-8800 firstname.lastname@example.org • William Prokopiak/Santa Fe 984-2852 email@example.com • Alisha Valtierra/Gallup 575-863-5383 firstname.lastname@example.org Co-op Board of Directors: email: email@example.com • President: Martha Whitman • Vice President: Marshall Kovitz • Secretary: Ariana Marchello • Treasurer: Roger Eldridge • Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn • Kristy Decker • Jake Garrity • Susan McAllister • Betsy VanLeit Membership Costs: $15 for 1 year/ $200 Lifetime Membership Co-op Connection Staff: • Managing Editor: Robin Seydel firstname.lastname@example.org • Layout and Design: foxyrock inc • Cover/Centerfold: Co-op Marketing Dept. • Advertising: Sarah Wentzel-Fisher • Editorial Assistant: Sarah Wentzel-Fisher email@example.com 217-2016 • Printing: Vanguard Press Membership information is available at all four Co-op locations, or call 217-2027 or 877-775-2667 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.lamontanita.coop Membership response to the newsletter is appreciated. Address typed, double-spaced copy to the Managing Editor, email@example.com Copyright ©2012 La Montanita Co-op Supermarket Reprints by prior permission. The Co-op Connection is printed on 65% post-consumer recycled paper. It is recyclable.
The festival’s theme, A Celebration of History, Culture and Farming, ties into the year-long New Mexico statehood centennial commemoration. This family-friendly festival will include food, entertainment, demonstrations and workshops. Edible Santa Fe is sponsoring chef demos. A variety of local food trucks, farmers and producers will be on site, selling prepared food and fresh produce. Beekeepers will display their hives and share information about pollinators. Local bands Los Jarañeros del Valle and Mala Maña will perform under the music tent. The Albuquerque Old School is presenting homesteading workshops on solar dehydration, winter gardening, food preservation and bread making. There will even be a pie contest, a kettle cooking workshop, a draught horse plowing demonstration, a seed exchange and children’s activities.
BY KENT SWANSON, ASSOCIATE PLANNER, CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE OPEN SPACE DIVISION
18TH ANNUAL DIA DEL RIO, OCTOBER 20TH, 8:30AM1PM. Join the Open Space Division and Alliance, and REI for conservation projects that nurture and protect the bosque and river. There will be activities appropriate for all ages. Meet at the Central Avenue Bridge on the northwest side of the river. Parking is limited so PLEASE CARPOOL! Bring gloves, sun protection, plenty of water, and a sack lunch. Free snacks will be provided during morning sign in. Register online with REI at www.rei. com/albuquerque or by calling 247-1191.
New Mexico has a unique and diverse agricultural history, stretching back in time to the Pueblo Indians and early Spanish settlers. The Hubbell House Alliance, whose mission is to teach local history and promote sustainable agriculture, will provide guided tours of the 150-year-old adobe home, the farm and the on-site demonstration gardens. The event is organized and sponsored by the Mid-Region Council of Governments Agriculture Collaborative and Bernalillo County, in conjunction with multiple other local partners, including La Montanita Coop, the South Valley Economic Development Center, the UNM Sustainability Studies Program and NMSU. Knowaste, a team of “Resource Recovery Rangers,” will manage its debut zero waste event at the festival. The Food Festival organizers are all supporters of sustainable agriculture and local food systems that cultivate environmental health, economic vitality and social equity. More information at www.localfoodnm.org.
TRADITIONAL AGRICULTURE AND
CONFERENCE BY LORRAINE KAHNERATOKWAS GRAY, FOUR BRIDGES PERMACULTURE INSTITUTE our Bridges Traveling Permaculture Institute will hold the 7th Annual Traditional Agriculture and Sustainable Living Conference on October 12 and 13th. The conference is a partnership with the Pueblo of Tesuque, INTK, Traditional Native American Farmers’ Association, and the Sostenga program at Northern New Mexico College.
This year we are especially pleased to have as one of our keynote speakers, Oscar Olivera Forunda of Cochabamba, Bolivia. Olivera was one of the main leaders of the protesters against the water privatization in Bolivia. The result of these protests was an event known as the Cochabamba Water Wars. This year’s conference will be held on the campus of Northern New Mexico College on October 12th and 13th. For more information contact Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.4bridges.org to register or call (cell) 518-332-3156.
ACOUSTIC ECOLOGY INTERSPECIES COMMUNICATION WITH DAVE DUNN, OCTOBER 3, 7PM Have you ever heard of an acoustic ecologist? Dave Dunn is one, as well as being a composer, and on October 3 in Albuquerque hear his fascinating presentation about the microphones he invented to record the sounds of bark beetles communicating within trees. He’ll explain how those sounds and others can be used as intervention strategies to address environmental problems, such as the bark beetle infestation in piñon pines. A short Native Plant Society chapter meeting precedes the talk. Native plant books are available for purchase. This FREE program sponsored by the Albuquerque Chapter of the Native Plant Society takes place at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, 1801 Mountain Rd. NW, Albuquerque. Information at: npsnm.unm.edu/albuq.html.
Other Ways to Help: Organize your own clean up at your favorite bosque or river spot the day of the event. Open Space will provide trash bags and haul off the collected trash. Call 452-5216 or email email@example.com to sign up your group for your own cleanup. MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY, OCTOBER 27TH, 8:30AM12:30PM. Make a Difference Day is a national day of community service. The Open Space Division and the Nicodemus Wilderness Project are organizing a variety of
conservation activities at the Piedra Lisa Open Space located east of Tramway on Camino de la Sierra, at the end of Candelaria. Projects include trail maintenance, trail building, trash cleanup, graffiti removal and more. The Nicodemus Wilderness Project works "to protect wildlife and our environment and to build future conservation leaders by engaging youth in environmental stewardship projects worldwide." More information at www.wildernessproject.org.
for the land&the
For more information or to register please call 452-5213 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
river October 2012
Feeding Nine Billion
PEOPLE WITHOUT DESTROYING
ccording to the United Nations, there will be nine billion people on the planet by 2050, which raises a serious question: how are we going to feed them without destroying what’s left of the natural world, especially under the stress of climate change? Australian farmer Colin Seis has an answer: intensify food production by managing land in nature’s image. Consider the heart of this issue: if humans can’t find enough food, fuel, fiber and fresh water to sustain themselves, they’ll raid the environment to secure them, pushing all other values that we place on nature, such as wilderness and endangered species protection, down the priority list. Perhaps way down. It’s not about poor people and starvation either. The food well-fed Americans eat comes from a global production system that is already struggling to find enough arable land, adequate supplies of water, and drought-tolerant plants and animals to feed seven billion people. Add two billion more – of all income levels – and you have a recipe for a devastating raid on the natural world. Where is all this extra food and water going to come from, especially if the climate gets hotter and drier in many places as predicted? Industry has an answer: more of the same. More chemicals, fertilizers, GMOs, monocropping, heavy fossil fuel use and land ownership consolidation. A second “Green Revolution” is required, they say, even though the consequences of the first one have been decidedly mixed, especially for the environment. Of course, Industry is more than happy to continue profiting from these “solutions” —which is why it insists on keeping its hand on the steering wheel. A BETTER Way Fortunately, there is another way, as I was reminded while visiting Colin Seis’ farm in New South Wales last fall. Colin pioneered a regenerative agricultural practice called pasture cropping, and I went exploring to learn his story.
ROADRUNNER FOOD BANK Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico is a statewide organization that has been serving New Mexico’s hungry since 1980. For 40 years it has served hungry people in our community and continues to create solutions to end hunger in New Mexico. As the largest Food Bank in the state, it distributes more than 26 million pounds of food every year to a network of hundreds of partner agencies and four regional food banks. In turn, these agencies provide food directly to the hungry in communities across the state. Through agencies including food pantries, shelters, group homes, soup kitchens, low-income senior housing sites and regional food banks, Roadrunner serves 40,000 different hungry people weekly. Roadrunner Food Bank runs several direct service programs to help end hunger in New Mexico. Emergency Family Food Box – The thirty-five-pound food box is targeted to assist families in emergency situations such as a fire, a flood, a domestic violence situation or medical emergency.
DONATE your BAG CREDIT!
In 1979, after a wildfire burned nearly all his farm, Colin decided to rethink the way he had been practicing agriculture. His new goal was to rebuild the soil’s fertility after decades of practices had unwittingly depleted it. Colin and his family raise Merino sheep (for wool) on their farm, so Colin decided first to take up Holistic Management practices, which is a way of managing animals on pasture that mimics the graze-and-go behavior of wild herbivores. But it is what Colin did next that really caught people’s attention. After a late night of beer-drinking at the local pub with a friend, an idea struck Colin: what if he no-till drilled an annual crop into his perennial grass pastures? Meaning, could he raise two products from one piece of land: a grain crop and an animal product? This was a heretical idea. Crops and grazing animals were supposed to be kept separate, right? But that’s because the traditional practice on cropland is plowing, which eliminates the grasses. But what if you notill (no plow) drilled oat or wheat or corn seed directly into the pasture when the grasses were dormant? Would they grow? Fast forward to the present and the answer is a resounding “yes!” Pasture cropping, as Colin dubbed it, works well and has spread across Australia to some 2,000 farms. Today Colin produces grain and wool – and, if he wanted, a harvest of native grass seed, which was an original food source for the Aboriginals of the area. It’s all carefully integrated and managed under Colin’s stewardship. Pasture cropping is just one example of regenerative practices that build topsoil, increase yields and conserve the natural environment. There are many others, involving soil, seeds, water, plants, livestock, trees, organics and people – as the stewards. Building topsoil, for instance, stores more water, grows healthier plants that can feed more people while sequestering carbon – which is good for nature, too! Is this pie-in-the-sky stuff? Perhaps, but consider the alternative: more of what got us into trouble in the first place. With two billion more people to feed, clothe, house, warm and slake thirsts, contemplating alternatives is crucial if we’re going to have our natural world and eat it, too. Fortunately, answers exist, if we’re willing to go exploring. Come to the Quivira Coalition Conference, NOVEMBER 14-16, and learn HOW TO FEED NINE BILLION PEOPLE, FROM THE GROUND UP. For more information or to register go to www.QuiviraCoalition.org.
creating solutions to
ENDHUNGER IN NM Food for Kids – The program is designed for elementary school-aged children and younger siblings who do not have enough food to eat at home during the weekends and holidays. Mobile Food Pantry – The program is a traveling food pantry that eliminates the need for long-term or large-capacity storage and provides families 50 pounds of perishable and non-perishable food. Forty-three percent of those helped are children. Senior Helpings – A 38-pound food box is distributed monthly to 1,125 seniors (13,500 annually) through low-income senior housing sites and food pantries. It includes fresh and non-perishable food. Disaster Relief – Roadrunner Food Bank provides food, water and other supplies during disasters in New Mexico and nationally. As a hunger-relief organization, Roadrunner will provide help to anyone who needs food. Referrals are based on geographic location. Call 349-8841 and provide your zip code to receive a list of 3-5 agencies near you to access food. To make a donation or volunteer, contact them 505-247-2052 or toll free 866-327-0267 or email@example.com or the Food Assistance Line 505-349-8841.
BAG CREDIT ORGANIZATION OF THE MONTH: Celebrate World Food Day ALL Month: Support Roadrunner Food Bank: World Food Day USA is observed each October 16th in recognition of the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945. Your AUGUST Bag Credit Donations of $1,888.56 went to Warehouse 21. THANKS TO ALL WHO DONATED!
Co-op Values Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, selfresponsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. Co-op Principles 1 Voluntary and Open Membership 2 Democratic Member Control 3 Member Economic Participation 4 Autonomy and Independence 5 Education, Training and Information 6 Cooperation among Cooperatives 7 Concern for Community The Co-op Connection is published by La Montanita Coop Supermarket to provide information on La Montanita Co-op Supermarket, the cooperative movement, and the links between food, health, environment and community issues. Opinions expressed herein are of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Co-op.
non GMO special section
October 2012 4
DEBUNKING CORPORATE PROPAGANDA ON
BY WILL ALLEN, CEDAR CIRCLE FARM, VERMONT This article is excerpted and reprinted with permission. Please read the full article at www.organicconsumers.org. 've been a farmer for more than 40 years. While I no longer live or farm in California, I do co-manage 120 acres of farmland in Vermont, and I know that a GMO labeling law passed in California will have widespread implications for consumers and farmers in every state of the country. As a farmer who has experience in both conventional and organic farming, I'm compelled to address the anti-labeling campaign's so-called "concerns" for farmers and consumers.
But first, make no mistake: The folks who are running and funding the campaign against California's Proposition 37, the Nov. 6 citizens' ballot initiative that would require mandatory labeling of GMOs, have never worked on behalf of small farmers or consumers.
Farmers growing cotton, corn, soy and canola are in a tight spot because biotech companies have bought a majority of the seed corporations in order to control what seed can be grown. In the last several years, more than 90% of the seed available to farmers for these four crops has been genetically modified. So if a farmer wants to grow any of these commodity crops, he's forced to grow the GMO variety - or not grow them at all. Statement #2: “Labeling a product as non-GMO will require farmers, food processors, and food distributors to document that ingredients are not produced through biotechnology. This massive new paperwork and record keeping requirement—on tens of thousands of crops and food products—will add significant cost and bureaucracy for farmers and food producers.”
Here's my farmer's-eye view of the propaganda statements coming out of the “No on 37” campaign, which, by the way, is dubiously named: Stop the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme. Statement #1: “The initiative would close off opportunities for farmers and food producers who might want to take advantage of future advances in crops bred for disease and pest resistance, drought tolerance, improved growth, nutrition, taste or other benefits.”
PROP 3 7
government agency charged with protecting the health and safety of U.S. citizens has admittedly conducted no independent testing of any GMO product. Instead it naively—or perhaps conspiratorially—accepts the testing done by the genetic engineering corporations themselves. The worldwide scientific consensus is that GMOs are not safe, which is why more than 40 countries require mandatory labeling for GMO products and some countries have banned them altogether. No long-term or multigenerational feeding studies have been conducted on GMO foods or feed grains. GMO products have been on the market for almost twenty years and all we have are a small number of short-term feeding studies. Yet even despite their brevity, those studies are alarming. French scientists reviewing nineteen 90-day GMO feeding studies found that 30.8% of female test animals had liver abnormalities and 43.5% of the males had kidney abnormalities. Other tests have found a consistent thickening of the intestinal wall in a high percentage of test subjects and some studies suggest significant weight gains are a byproduct of consuming GMO food; this may be a significant factor in our obesity epidemic. GMO feeding studies by independent laboratories are not considered in regulatory decisions made by the FDA.
The folks funding “NO on 37” are NO FRIENDS to FARMERS or CONSUMERS!
This is perhaps the most outrageous of the “No on 37” purported concerns, and it's directed at us, the farmers. The GMO giants claim to be concerned that we will not get a chance to grow GMO crops. After suing and harassing thousands of farmers and driving small seed dealers out of business and into court, it is beyond disingenuous for Monsanto and the GMO gang to feign concern for our interests.
Exaggeration upon exaggeration! The regulation and record-keeping process is not that difficult and there are not tens of thousands of GE crops grown in California.
Statement #5: “Requiring farmers and food producers to put scary sounding labels on their foods will confuse and mislead consumers.”
Farmers and activists in several states (including New Mexico-editor’s note) have tried to pass farmer protection laws against the spillage and drift of GMO seed and pollen. These laws were designed to respond to the fact that biotech companies can sue farmers for patent infringement if GMO crops inadvertently sprout up as "weeds" on their farms - the result of pollen drift or seed spillage from a neighboring farm that grows GMO crops. We farmers believe that when GMO seeds spill onto our land, or pollen from GMO crops drifts into our non-GMO crops and contaminates them, this constitutes trespassing, not patent theft. In spite of this trespass, Monsanto alone has brought 136 cases against more than 400 farmers. Thousands more U.S. farmers have been threatened with lawsuits by Monsanto.
When our farm first converted to organic production, we were leery of the regulations and the requirements for record-keeping and documentation for organic certification, so we understand the trepidation farmers have over regulations and record-keeping. Now, however, it is a regular part of our routine. Our staff regularly documents our growing and sales practices on computers, which makes it easy to track and segregate inputs and products if necessary. Excellent and easy-to-use record-keeping computer programs are available for small, medium, and large farms. And let's not forget—in almost 50 other countries, this process is required—and executed without undue burden on farmers.
Consumers rely on labels on the foods they purchase to inform them of everything from additives to calories to protein and vitamin content. But we're not intelligent enough to understand what "this ingredient was genetically engineered" means? Are the millions of consumers in nearly 50 other countries that require labeling dazed and confused, or just better informed than American consumers?
Currently, genetically engineered cotton, corn, sugar beets, soy, canola and experimental alfalfa are grown commercially in California. These same crops are the only ones grown on large acreages in the U.S. There are, however, tens of thousands of products that have genetically modified ingredients. About 75% of our processed food has GMO ingredients—and processed food accounts for 80% of the food U.S. consumers eat. That should give consumers pause!
Genetic engineering's less-than-superior results have been well-documented—and are well known by responsible, informed farmers all over the world. The second most inserted GMO product in crops is Bacillus thuringensis (Bt), a bacteria that attacks worms. This is a related organism to the Bt that organic farmers have used for years, but it is a genetically modified version. This GMO version has already caused corn rootworms to show resistance and shown up in 93% of the fallopian tubes of tested pregnant women.
Statement #3: “This provision would significantly impact farmers' ability to market their foods as natural, even if there are no GE ingredients.” Since there are no government or industry guidelines or regulations governing what is or is not "natural," food processors have stamped the word "natural" on everything from corn flakes to processed meats to shampoo. Biotech companies, cosmetic companies and food processors all want to keep up the illusion that processed foods are "natural." Why? Because they can charge consumers more for anything with the word "natural" on it; sales of "natural" foods have reached about $50 billion a year, compared with $32 billion in sales of certified organics. Statement #4: “The overwhelming majority of scientists, medical experts and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration have all concluded that genetically engineered food products are safe and that requiring special labels is unnecessary.” True, the FDA has said that GMO foods and feed crops are safe. But how would the FDA know? The
Biotech corporations brag that their genetically altered crops are going to eliminate hunger, reduce pesticide use, reduce chemical fertilizer use, better tolerate drought, and increase yields. If they believe their products are so superior, why be afraid to label them?
Twelve major U.S. weeds have developed resistance to RoundUp Ultra, the weed killer that is used with RoundUp Ready genetically altered crops. Chemical companies have responded by recommending that farmers use 2,4-D (a major ingredient in Agent Orange), Paraquat and arsenic compounds on weeds that RoundUp will no longer kill. All of these replacement chemicals have been proven to be oncogenic (cancer causing) in test animals by the California EPA. The promise of dramatically increased yields has also not been realized for GMO crops. All of the four major GMO crops have shown yield drags in the U.S. and total yield failures around the world (especially in India). Let's be clear. Whether you're a farmer in California or Vermont, India or Brazil, GMO crops are trouble. Factor in the cost to the environment, and the cost—and pain—to consumers in related healthcare expenses; GMO crops are a disaster. Propaganda aside! Will Allen has farmed both conventionally and organically for more than 40 years. He is on the board of the Organic Consumers Association and currently co-manages a 120-acre farm in Vermont.
As you walk through the La Montanita Co-op this October, keep an eye out for the many Non-GMO Verified products on our shelves. We’ve taken the time to hang some special tags so they’re easier to find. Supporting manufacturers who have committed to Non-GMO Project Verification sends a powerful message about what you want on your table, and helps support some of this country’s best farmers and processors.
NON-G GM O MONTH!
just label it!
October 2012 5
Preserving a Future for Ourselves and Our Children
Non-Gmo Month! BY CHRIS KEEFE, OUTREACH COORDINATOR, NON-GMO PROJECT ou have the right to know what’s in the food you’re eating and feeding your family. Most governments agree—nearly 50 countries around the world, including Japan, Australia, Russia, China and all of the EU member states, have either banned genetically modified organisms (GMOs) completely, or require that food containing them be clearly labeled. The experimental technology of genetic engineering forces DNA from one species into a different species. The resulting GMOs are unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes, often with antibiotic marker genes, that cannot occur in nature or in traditional breeding. GMOs have not been adequately tested, and have not been proven safe for human consumption.
In the US, we do not have mandatory GMO labeling, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require safety assessments of GMO foods or even review all of the GMO products hitting the market. Meanwhile, close to 75 percent of our conventional packaged foods now contain GMOs. In response to this dire situation the Non-GMO Project was founded, with a mission of protecting consumer choice and preserving and rebuilding our non-GMO food supply. By offering North America’s only third-party standard and labeling for non-GMO products, the Project fills the information gap for Americans who are con-
cerned about the health risks and environmental pollution associated with GMOs. This October is the third annual Non-GMO Month—an event created by the Non-GMO Project to help raise awareness about the GMO issue and celebrate Non-GMO Project Verified choices. NON-GMO VERIFIED Since late 2009, the Project has verified over 5,000 products to its rigorous standards for GMO avoidance, and this number increases daily. When you see the Non-GMO Project Verified seal on a product it indicates that the product is compliant with the NonGMO Project’s Standard—a transparent document requiring producers to meet strict requirements for GMO testing, segregation and traceability.
WE HAVE A
RIGHT TO KNOW!
To earn the butterfly logo, the Non-GMO Verified seal, an interested manufacturer, farmer or restaurateur reaches out to the Project and we help them understand what to expect in the Non-GMO verified process. The company then shares basic information, such as product names, ingredients and number of production facilities. All this info helps the Project’s technical advisors to pinpoint high-GMO risk ingredients and facilities, sketch out a rough idea of what any individual product verification will entail, and figure out what the verification process will cost. As a mission-driven non-profit organization, the NonGMO Project works to keep the cost of verification as low as possible. Verification contracts are signed, ensuring that confidential product information stays confidential, and that products only get to use the Verification Mark once they’ve completed Non-GMO Verification. If a product contains only low-risk ingredients, with no GMO varieties on the market, testing is not required. For companies with major high-risk ingredients in their products, the Non-GMO Project standard requires ongoing testing of those risk ingredients. High-risk ingredients are any derived from crops grown commercially in GMO form—from corn, soy and canola to the occasional summer squash. After testing, ingredients must remain segregated from other GMO risk factors, and traceable from that point on. This ensures ingredient integrity through to the finished product. To ensure that everything’s being produced properly, manufacturers must pass onsite inspections of any facility that uses high-risk ingredients. Manufacturers who have committed to verification must continue testing every single batch of their high-risk ingredients, and complete an annual audit process to remain “Verified.”
JUST LABEL IT!
PASS PROP 37!
AS CALIFORNIA GOES, SO GOES THE NATION BY ROBIN SEYDEL or over a decade polls done by a variety of organizations have shown that a great deal more than a simple majority of people want Genetically Engineered (GE) foods labeled. A recent 2012 study shows that 90% of mothers and 88% of fathers favor requiring labels for foods that have been genetically engineered or contain genetically engineered ingredients.
We require extensive labeling of nutritional content and ingredients, have instituted organic processes and labels that require substantial paper trails to ensure organic consumers can trust the organic label, but Americans are denied the right to know if GE ingredients are used in their foods. California’s Prop 37 vote is an extremely important moment in civic history. The processed food industry is pouring millions of dollars into defeating this grassroots initiative. Corporations donating large amounts of money to defeat Prop 37 include: Monsanto ($4 million), Coca-Cola ($1.1 million), PepsiCo ($1.7 million), Conagra ($1 million), Kellogg’s ($635,000), General Mills ( $600,000), Smuckers ($387,000), Dean Foods ($253,000), Rich Foods ($250,000) and a variety of industry trade groups including the Grocery Manufacturers of America and the Biotech Industry Organization.
With over 50 countries requiring labeling, these same multinational corporations are already selling products in some of those countries, so they must be labeling in those nations. Why not here? SUPPORT PROP 37—SUPPORT THESE NATURAL FOODS COMPANIES A number of organic and natural foods leaders have donated funds to support the effort to PASS Prop 37. These companies include Eden, Late July, Udi’s, Dr. is it Bronners, Tofurky, Strauss, Uncle Matts, Edward and Sons, Native Forest, Babys’ Only, Earthbound Farms, Nutiva, Cliff, Lundberg, Amy’s, Annies, Natures Path, and Dr. Mercola. The national Organic Consumers Association donated over 3/4 of a million dollars collected from their hundreds of thousands of members for passage of Prop 37. The amounts these companies and organizations have put toward Prop 37 passage is far less (only just over 3 million total) than the funds raised to defeat the consumer’s right to know.
La Montanita FULLY SUPPORTS CONSUMER RIGHT TO KNOW and has been a supporter of the Just Label IT Campaign, which has been headed by our friends at San Diego’s Ocean Beach Co-op, since its inception.
MAKING RIGHT TO KNOW A Campaign Issue!
BY RONNIE CUMMINS, ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION uring the last week in August the Organic Consumer Association (OCA) launched a SignOn petition asking Michelle Obama to tell the President it’s high time he honored his campaign promise to label GMOs. We don’t know if Mrs. Obama or the President will do the right thing, but we do know this: if the OCA and our partners can get 200,000 signatures, we will hand deliver this petition to the White House. And we’ll make sure we have plenty of media on hand to record the event.
Why does this petition matter? We want to generate awareness of—and support for—Prop 37, the
California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. We want to publicly remind President Obama of two things: First, that more than 90 percent of Americans—the people who elected him president—want GMOs labeled. Second, that in 2007, he made this promise: “We’ll let folks know whether their food has been genetically modified, because Americans should know what they’re buying.” We want voters in California to know that the whole country is behind them on this. And most of all, we want to help them get out and vote! Go to www.organicconsumers.org and SIGN THE PETITION then share with your friends.
OXFAM GROW Learn about the OxFam Grow Method. Five simple from our changes to everyday eating habits that can change the world. Oct. 16th is World Food Day. Join OxFam in fighting world hunger. OxFam works to make the food system more just and sustainable. For more info contact: Jasmine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 2012 6
A PLETHORA OF ORGANIC BENEFITS NOT CONSIDERED
BY ROB MOORE here has been some excitement generated by a recent Stanford University study of the nutritional values of conventional and organic foods. The mainstream sound bite is “organic food is not better for you nutritionally,” with references to the “high cost” of organic foods and some chuckling over the results: “Oh, those silly organic fans… there is no difference!” As usual, the devil is in the details, and a look at the findings of the Stanford study paint a different picture.
What the Stanford researchers found was that, given most analyses of nutritional data they examined, a conventionally grown orange tested the same as the organically grown orange. This result is somewhat surprising, at least to me; vitamin content can vary from season to season, region to region, and even within an overall crop. What is Significant? On the face of it, given the parameters of the nutritional analysis and comparing the results to USDA guidelines, conventional and organic produce are indeed similar. The Stanford study noted that there were higher levels of antioxidants and vitamins in organics in a number of comparisons, but that on the whole there was no “significant” benefit to the nutritional increases. And here is where questions about the study results arise: what does “significant” mean? There have been numerous studies demonstrating clear links to increased vitamin and mineral levels in organic produce over conventional counterparts. Studies investigating vitamin C content, for instance, have consistently shown better results for organic produce than conventional produce. In a 2010 study from Washington State University, not included in the Stanford analysis, organic strawberries contained 25% more vitamin C than conventional strawberries, results that are similar to French and Scottish findings on vitamin levels in organic produce. Within the Stanford results, variations on the order of 10% to 17% in favor of organics were broadly noted, and yet not considered sufficient enough to demonstrate nutritional superiority. In other words, a 17% difference was not considered significant in the Stanford results. This aspect of the study has not been lost on food-watchers. As Charles Benbrook from the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources points out in an initial review of the Stanford results, “the Stanford team does not define empirically what it means by a food being ‘significantly more nutritious’ than another food. In carefully designed studies comparing organic and conventional foods, organic
farming leads to increases on the order of 10% to 30% in the levels of several nutrients, but not all.” While such results could advance the notion of conventional being “close enough” for some people, studies involving pregnant women and young children have long indicated the nutritional advantages of an organic diet, which leads us to another issue with the Stanford study. Physiological Results Other critics of the study have pointed out that of the 240 research studies analyzed, only 17 looked at the physiological results of organic versus conventional diets in humans. While there may be some nutritional parity in laboratory studies, the vitamins, minerals and nutrient value of the food in the human body is the most important result, and certainly one that bears closer examination.
Stanford found a 17% higher NUTRIENT CONTENT in organics. To this end, years of studies have cataloged higher nutritional concentrations for organic foods, alongside concurrent reductions in pesticide and other toxic residues, something that the Stanford study did reflect. The study confirmed that organic produce had much lower levels of pesticide contamination and residue than conventional produce. The study noted that the pesticide levels in children’s urine were “significantly” lower for kids who ate organic foods compared with their counterparts who ate conventional, and that overall exposure to pesticides was more than 30-37% lower for organic consumers as a group.
or pork were up to 45% higher than in organic meats. While these may not be conclusive figures for the study, I would not shrug off that information when deciding what food would be better to feed to my kids, or myself for that matter. Finally, news has emerged that the Stanford research center responsible for the study has been funded in part by agricultural giants Monsanto and Cargill, and that the co-author, Dr. Ingram Olkin, had previously worked doing research for the Tobacco Institute, the “science” division established by Philip Morris for the purpose of debunking evidence of harms from cigarette use and is the creator of an algorithm designed to shape statistical results. By focusing on the nutritional aspects with regard to standard RDA levels, the study ignored some of the most significant benefits of organic food, its farming practices. Study after study has shown (and countless fields, waterways and farm workers can attest) that organic farming methods are much better for humans and for our environment than industrialized, chemicalized processes. While there may be an argument for percentages from a purely nutritional perspective, the ecological benefits of organics are absolutely clear. Organic means no streams of pesticides or insecticides poisoning birds, rivers, watersheds or us (today babies are born contaminated with dozens of endocrine disrupting chemicals). Organic farming means NO GMOs spreading engineered DNA across crops, through the ecosystem, and into our bodies, with unpredictable and unforeseen results. Organic means better health for farmers, crop and food workers, and organic means BETTER FOOD on our plates. Organic means a better world.
Further, incidences of contamination involving antibiotic-resistant bacteria in conventional chicken
Local Product Spotlight: Matcha Magnifico
GREEN TEA MOUSSE ROB MOORE our Co-op has a new treat on the shelves for you, and boy is it something special! Matcha Magnifico Green Tea mousse from Suikayama Rain is a green tea-based frozen dessert, with the savory flavor of green tea. “Green tea mousse?” I hear you ask. “What’s that all about?”
Kanako decided to create a dessert, based on the teas that she grew up enjoying with her family in Japan, capturing the small-scale excellence of the family farming system in that country. Experiments at parties and shared meals with her green tea dessert made her realize she was on the right track, and with the encouragement of friends, she decided to make her dessert a business as well as an enthusiasm.
Asian cultures have enjoyed green tea for centuries, trumpeting its worth as suikayama Kanako and Suikayama Rain further both a beverage and as a health tonic. declare support for local and global Green tea has well-known health propsustainability by using locally-proerties, being high in antioxidants, duced ingredients provided by small chlorophyll and polyphenol flavogreen tea traditional producers, whenever possinoids. Studies have suggested that the ble, and donating a portion of profits flavonoids in green tea may account in to environmental and green developpart for the much lower rates of heart ment projects. Future goals for Suikadisease and cancers amongst Asian cultures compared to the rates in the west. Matcha is the fine- yama Rain include getting the mousse into stores ly powdered form of green tea, and beyond its health all over New Mexico, with an eye toward evenproperties it is renowned in Japanese culture for its use in tually creating a line of green tea products, pretea ceremonies as well as a flavoring and colorant in pared in the traditional Japanese style. sweets and desserts. The mousse itself is a grand treat, with a mellow Suikayama Rain is the brainchild of Kanako Oppenheim, flavor and terrific finish. Even for avowed fans of who was inspired by the teas and treats of her native chocolate and vanilla, the taste is welcoming and Japan. When she moved to New Mexico, with her hus- yummy, with the added bonus of being good for band to work on a business project, she decided she you, too! Ideal for satisfying a sweets craving and wanted to gain an understanding of American culture, getting some antioxidant benefit at the same incorporate the vibe of the American Southwest and inte- time, give Matcha Magnifico a try! grate her native Japanese culture. “Suikayama” means Watermelon Mountain in Japanese, a nice dovetailing Look for Suikayama Rain Green Tea Mousse with the Sandia Mountains here in New Mexico, and a at your favorite Co-op location. linking of traditions that seek harmony with and reverence for Nature.
Come check us out and see what we’re about!
Board of Directors’
Be sure to give your email address to your local Co-op Information Desk IN ORDER TO RECEIVE YOUR ELECTRONIC
Or go to www.lamontanita.coop to register your email address. Your email address will only be used for board elections unless you subsribe to our weekly and monthly online sales flyers and newsletter.
OCTOBER 27TH: Annual Membership Meeting. Candidates have an VOTE! VOTE
opportunity to introduce themselves to the membership. NOVEMBER 1-14TH: ANNUAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ ELECTIONS.
YO U R
COw-aO P nts
co-op news THE INSIDE
October 2012 7
ur fiscal year (financial year) ended August 31st and that ending always provides good time to reflect. This was a very good sales year for our Coop. We achieved sales of just over 30 million for the first time and our Co-op Distribution Center achieved sales of 3.6 million. One of the highlights of the year was in December when we moved to our new office warehouse. This needed move positions us for future growth and supports our Foodshed efforts. In addition to these achievements La Montanita Fund gained traction—we loaned $86,000 to local producers and manufactures. Our volunteers put in almost 5,000 hours of work. We assisted several New Mexico co-ops with their operation, as well as co-ops in Minnesota, New York and Colorado. Our Holiday Giving Tree, coming in December, is one my favorite activities. I can’t describe the satisfaction I feel knowing children in need in our area are having a better holiday because our members care and are willing to share with them.
I could write a small book on the outreach work we do, everything from our Veteran Farmer Project to our Special Needs programs, from our marketing and branding work for local organizations and co-ops nationwide at no cost to them to the sharing of our operational expertise. All illustrate what La Montanita Co-op represents.
of Events 10/10 Co-op Community Collaboration 6:30pm, with Oscar Oliver Foronda, see p. 1 10/16 BOD Meeting, Immanuel Church, 5:30pm
Being involved day to day at La Montanita I consider this work as part of the job, but I wish everyone could experience the passion our staff puts into this work. We don’t always agree—we have our discussions of which avenue or project we will take, we sometimes just need a break from each other—but in the end it all works because of the combined efforts of our staff, management and board. My thanks and appreciation to them all, and special thanks to you, our members, who make all this possible with your support. I look forward to another special year for our Co-op. -TERRY BOWLING END OF THE FISCAL YEAR
10/27 Annual Member Gathering Warehouse 21, in Santa Fe, see p. 9
OCTOBER is member appreciation volume discount shopping month!
CO-OPS: A Solution-Based System A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs, and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.
Fall Foodshed Abundance:
Look for apples, veggies, goat cheese and other local foods AT ALL CO-OP LOCATIONS!
Important Information About This Year’s
BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ ELECTION We’re Going Electronic! BY KRISTY DECKER, BOARD OF DIRECTORS a Montanita is excited to bring you the board of directors’ election this year ELECTRONICALLY instead of mailing out paper ballots. We have been working really hard to make this as smooth and easy as possible for our members. Besides being easy, this method saves money, time, energy and trees!
Candidates are running to fill three, 3-year term positions open this election season. Here is how you can vote: Before October 25th primary members should give their email address to the Co-op info desk or register via our website at www.lamontanita.coop. Please be assured the Co-op will keep all your personal information confidential as usual. Email addresses will only be used for election purposes. On October 27th we will introduce this year’s candidates at our annual membership gathering celebration at Warehouse 21 in Santa Fe. Please contact Robin at 217-2027, by email robins@lam ontanita.coop or RSVP on our website to reserve your seat. On October 31st you will receive an email from email@example.com with your username and password, and a link to the website where you can cast your vote: https://eballot4.votenet.com/ LMC. La Montanita Co-op’s website http://www. lamontanita.coop/ will also have a link to this voting website.
Letter: to the
DEAR EDITOR, Good food and good people. An overwhelming sense of joy fills my spirit, and quite frankly, fills my stomach, when I spend time at the local on-campus La Montanita Co-op (in the UNM Bookstore building). Ever since I was a little boy and my parents took me to the Nob Hill location, a magi-
Read the candidates’ statements in the November 2012 Co-op Connection news to learn about this year’s candidates.
VOTE! The election will be open from November 1st through November 14th. ☛ Go to the voting website ☛ Enter your username and password ☛ Read the candidates’ statements ☛ Choose up to three candidates ☛ You will receive a confirmation page you can print to ensure your vote was submitted If you do not receive your username and password via email, primary members can go to the info desk with their driver’s license and membership number to receive voting information. If you need technical support, please call 2172016 or 217-2027. If electronic voting is not for you, we will download and print your ballot at any store and provide you with a pre-paid envelope for mailing. Primary members may go to the info desk to request your ballot between November 1st and November 14th. This is your Co-op and you own it! Your vote is your voice! EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT OF DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION!
cal sense of wonderment has filled me when I experiece food from across the world. Where else can you take a trip through delicacies and nutritious treats spanning the globe—from Peru, Sri Lanka, Ecuador and all across our local Southwest farms—in less than five whole minutes? Take my advice and stop by for delicious and nutritious eats. Your stomach will thank you and warm smiles from good people await you. SINCERELY, ANDRES F. LAZO
Please patronize these fine businesses that purchase products from the Co-op Distribution Center:
Amaro Winery Andiamo! Artichoke Café Back Road Pizza Betterday Coffee Shope Blue Corn Café Café Lush Chocolat Maven Farina Pizzaria Farm and Table Flying Star Harry's Road House Joe's Diner Marino's Pizzaria Los Poblanos Inn
Love Apple Mean Bao Mint Tulip Peacemeal Pizza Etc. Rio Chama Steakhouse Taos Cow The Chocolat Smith The Grove Tree House World Cup
is MEMBER A P P R E C I AT I O N
D i s count
for supporting the CO OP Distribution Center!
MEMBER APPRECIATION VOLUME DISCOUNT MONTH
SAVE UP TO 20%
One Volume Discount Shopping Trip Any Day In October
In so many ways, it pays to shop the Co-op! Shop More, Save More, Get More! In so many ways, it pays to shop the Co-op! Shop More, Save More, Get More!
SHOP MORE SAVE MORE GET MORE!
SPEND SPEND$0.00 $0.01--$74.99 $74.99and andreceive receiveaa10% 10% Discount Discount SPEND SPEND$75.00 $75.00--$174.99 $174.99and andreceive receiveaa15% 15%Discount Discount SPEND$175+ $175+and andreceive receiveaa20% 20%Discount Discount SPEND
we love our members!
The Volume discount cannot be added to any other membership participation discount, special order discount, or any other discount. Your membership must be current to take advantage of this discount.
what’s going on at the co-op ANNUAL
C ele bra
R NEW LOCAL VENDO
a fall holiday
HARVEST U This is the fullest, richest, biggest time of year for the widest variety of fresh produce. And that’s not just hyperbole. Every season has something to offer, but this brief late-summer, early-fall season offers everything—from the plumpest tomatoes and peppers to cucumbers and melons—so here are just a few ideas. These recipes are from my book, Local Flavors, where there are many more ideas for this best of seasons. I have to admit, it was hard to know what to choose! -DEBORAH MADISON An Eggplant Gratin This dish is adaptable. It’s good warm from the oven or at room temperature. It can be set up in advance, and it can be reheated. When it comes to its place in the meal, you can serve it as a side dish or as a meatless main course. Leftovers, should there be any, can be cut into pieces and served garnished with Sun Gold tomatoes tossed with balsamic vinegar. As for the eggplant, you can use any variety. Since I often buy several types just because I love to look at them in my kitchen, I end up using them all in this dish. Otherwise, larger varieties are the easiest to work with. 2 1/2 pounds eggplant, peeled if white Sea salt and freshly ground pepper 1/4 cup olive oil 1 large or 2 medium onions, thinly sliced 4 large eggs 1 cup milk or light cream 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 10 large basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a two-quart gratin dish. Cut the eggplant into rounds or slabs a scant half-inch thick. Salt if you wish, and set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick skillet, add the onion, and cook over medium heat, turning frequently, until soft and light gold, about 12 minutes. Scrape into a bowl. While the onion is cooking, beat the eggs with the milk; stir in the cheese, vinegar, 3/4 teaspoon salt and some freshly ground pepper. If you salted the eggplant, blot up the moisture with a towel. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. When hot, add the eggplant and immediately turn it in the pan so that all the pieces are lightly coated with the oil. Cook on medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until the eggplant is golden. This will take about 25 minutes in all, but you don’t need to stand over the pan. This is a good window of time to make a quick tomato sauce for the dish or another part of the meal. Season the eggplant with salt and pepper to taste, then toss with the onions and basil. Put the mixture in the prepared dish and pour the custard over the top. Bake until golden, firm and puffed, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool at least ten minutes before serving. Serves six. Chilled Sun Gold Soup with Shallots and Avocados I’ve been making Sun Gold tomato soups ever since sipping one at Casablanca restaurant in Cambridge. These little yellow-orange tomatoes are so sweet you really have to add vinegar. You needn’t serve more than about a third of a cup of this sweet-tart soup. It makes a stimulating, eye-opening start to a summer meal on a hot day.
October 2012 10
2 pints Sun Gold tomatoes 2 shallots, finely diced and divided Sea salt and freshly ground pepper 3 tablespoons Spanish chardonnay vinegar or champagne vinegar 2 teaspoons finely diced and seeded Serrano chile (optional) 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 firm avocado, finely diced 1 tablespoon chopped basil or cilantro Pluck the stems off the tomatoes and rinse them. Add them to a heavy saucepan with a tight fitting lid with half the shallots, half a teaspoon salt and one cup water. Cook over medium-high heat, keeping one ear inclined to the pot. Soon you’ll hear the tomatoes popping. Take a peak after a few minutes to make sure there’s sufficient moisture in the pan—you don’t want the tomatoes to scorch. If the skins are slow to pop, add a few tablespoons of water. Once they release their juices, lower the heat and cook for 25 minutes. Run the tomatoes through a food mill. You’ll have about two cups. Chill well, then taste for salt and season with more if needed. Just before serving, combine the remaining shallots in a bowl with the vinegar, chile (if using), avocado, oil and herbs. Season with a pinch or two of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Spoon the soup into small cups, divide the garnish among them and serve. Makes six appetizer portions.
Red Pepper and Tomato Tian with Capers and Marjoram A tian simply refers to a low-sided eathenware dish, like a gratin dish—but it lacks the breadcrumbs, cheese and dairy featured in so many gratins. With its silky texture and summery fragrances, a tian is one of the most pleasurable dishes to make. A short baking melds everything together and yields juices so delicious they invite dunking with good, strong bread. 4 large red bell peppers 1 1/2 pounds ripe, red beefsteak-type tomatoes 2 yellow or orange tomatoes 10 sprigs of Italian parsley (about 1/2 cup leaves) 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram or torn basil leaves 1 plump garlic clove 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground pepper Char the peppers over a charcoal fire or on a gas burner. Set them aside in a covered bowl to steam while you prepare everything else. Then wipe off the blackened skin, pull out the seeds and core, and cut into wide strips. Drop the tomatoes into boiling water for ten seconds. Slip off the skins, halve them crosswise and gently squeeze out the seeds. Cut the walls into wide pieces. Reserve the cores for a soup or sauce. Chop the parsley with the marjoram and garlic, then add the capers and oil. Season with half a teaspoon salt and some pepper. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Gently mix the peppers, tomatoes and sauce with your fingers, then cover and bake for 25 minutes. Cool before serving. Serves four to six.
Mary Alice Cooper, MD Classical Homeopathy in Albuquerque since 1992. Specializing in Visceral Manipulation & Lab Analysis. 204 Carlisle Blvd. NE Albuquerque NM 87106 (505)266-6522 firstname.lastname@example.org
Butternut Squash, Feta and Cilantro Quesadillas 3 cups Butternut squash cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes, peeled and seeded 1 finely chopped seeded jalapeño (about 2 tablespoons) 12 eight-inch-diameter flour tortillas 10 ounces feta cheese, crumbled 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cilantro 2 limes, each cut into 6 wedges Cook squash in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender but not falling apart, about ten minutes. Drain and cool ten minutes. While squash is still warm, transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Stir in jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper. Divide squash mixture equally among six tortillas (about a quarter cup per tortilla) and spread evenly. Sprinkle feta over each. Top each with a quarter cup cilantro and sprinkle with black pepper. Top with second tortilla.
October 2012 11
1 4-ounce ball of fresh or smoked mozzarella 3 tablespoons parsley leaves 1 garlic clove Bake or steam the squash. Scoop out the flesh and beat it with a fork until smooth. Season it with salt, to taste. Melt the butter or heat the oil in a medium non-stick skillet. Add the sage leaves and cook over medium heat for a minute or two to flavor the butter. Leaving the sage in the pan, add the squash and distribute evenly in the pan. Cook for 15 minutes, then give it a stir, scraping up the browned undersides and pressing a new layer to the bottom of the pan. Continue in this manner as long as you have time—the more it browns the better it will be. While the squash is browning, thinly slice the cheese and chop the parsley and garlic together. Just before serving, pat the squash evenly in the pan once more, lay the cheese over the top, then cover and cook a few minutes longer for the cheese to soften. Remove the lid, add the parsley-garlic mixture, drizzle over a little more sage oil (if using), and serve right from the pan. Serves three to six.
General Manager Sought by Ann Arbor’s People’s Food Co-op We are located in one of the midwest’s most vibrant cities, home to the University of Michigan. We are located downtown, in a historic neighborhood, directly across from one of the nation’s oldest farm markets and within sight of the world-famous Zingerman’s Deli, making our neighborhood a food destination. Founded in 1971, we are 7400 member-owners strong, with annual sales of 6.5 million and 4500 sq. ft. of retail. We have a talented and seasoned staff of 75. We are experiencing growth in both sales and membership and have won numerous “Best of“ awards. PFC is looking for a GM with skills in retail. finance, leadership, communication and organizational growth and change. Highly desirable are experience with co-ops and shared cooperative values. For further information, visit our website at http://peoplesfood.coop or call our store at 734-769-0095 and speak with our interim GM, Kevin Sharp. Submit cover letter, resume and salary requirement to email@example.com. We are an equal opportunity employer. Resumes will be accepted until the position is filled.
FAIR LOCAL.... CO-OP
Heat heavy large skillet over medium to high heat. Cook quesadillas until golden and dark char marks appear, about one minute per side. Serve with lime wedges. Serves six. Winter Squash “Pan Cake” with Mozzarella and Sage With a bowl of leftover roasted Butternut squash, a ball of fresh mozzarella, and half of a bunch of sage leaves, this dish was inevitable. Sage is a natural with winter squash—whether you cook with it, crisp it with breadcrumbs, or fry leaves in olive oil for a garnish. 1 Butternut, Buttercup or Blue Hubbard squash, weighing 2 to 3 pounds Salt and pepper 3 tablespoons butter or sage oil 10 large sage leaves
THE MORE YOU SPEND
THE MORE YOU SAVE!
enjoy fall foods
UP TO 20%!!! OCTOBER is member appreciation month!
Watch your home mailbox for your volume discount shopping coupon. Bring it to any Coop location during the month of October and get up to 20% off one shopping trip! $0.00-$74.99: get 10% off $75.00-$174.99: get 15% off $175.00 + : get 20% off!
CHANGING THE DISPOSABLE MENTALITY
SLOW fashion: ETHICAL CLOTHING BY AMYLEE UDELL he idea that what we choose to eat impacts our own health and the health of the environment is catching on; in fact, it's pretty much assumed in many circles. What about other goods we consume regularly, like clothing? We've heard about the Slow Food Movement, but what about slow fashion? Why not consider the materials and processes that go into what you wear? With the now worldwide abundance of conventional cotton and cheap labor, 98% of what is worn here is made abroad. It's easy to find inexpensive clothing, rack after rack of it. But these cheaply made items have become a part of our disposable mentality. The EPA estimated that the average American threw away 83 pounds of textiles in 2009, four times as much as in 1980.
October 2012 12
COTTON is popular, being natural, durable and comfortable. Growing cotton used to be labor intensive. With machinery and chemicals, it became less so. Even with advances in biotechnology, allowing insecticides to work as part of
FOR fashion as for food
Unfortunately it's not very easy to decide what clothing purchases may or may not be ethical. Let's start with the environmental mantra of "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." REDUCE what you buy may seem simple enough. But if you buy cheaply made items, you ultimately end up buying more to replace what won't last. While that does mean a larger upfront investment for better quality, if you wear the same items regularly or have a lifestyle that might be hard on clothing, this is especially important. Making a conscious decision to spend your dollars ethically will usually lead to a reduction in quantity. REUSE. We all reuse our clothing and clothing lifespan can be extended with careful laundering, but we also can purchase previously owned items. With children, hand-me-downs are a life and budget saver! RECYCLE. If you have any sewing skills, you can take older pieces and make them new again—recycle, repurpose,“up-cycle.” Even if you can't do this yourself, you can look to purchase these types of items. Basic sewing skills can also help you reuse your items longer by fixing, stitching, mending and re-attaching. DIY. If you have sewing skills and can make your own clothes there are still factors to consider. Making your own clothing does eliminate the manufacturing labor practice question. It does not eliminate the questions about where the material came from. You still need to purchase a few yards of material to sew that outfit. It probably won't be as cheap as buying the complete outfit, which is why many people have abandoned the idea of sewing for themselves.
the plant instead of being sprayed, cotton uses approximately 25% of the world's insecticides and more than 10% of the pesticides. This is enormous considering cotton covers just 2.5% of the world's cultivated land! Textile manufacturing is chemical-intensive, with dyeing/coloring typically being one of the most environmentally destructive parts of the process. The North American Organic Fiber Processing Standards prohibits the use of hazardous materials. As you know, most of the clothing we wear is NOT made in North America, so is not overseen by these standards. If you want more depressing details on the problem of chemicals and pollution from clothing manufacturing, visit Greenpeace International's website and search for the reports called "Dirty Laundry" and "Dirty Laundry 2." These discuss not just the chemicals dumped into waterways (mostly in China), but the chemicals (formaldahyde) applied to clothing for shipment and then worn by the consumer before washing (not just China). Greenpeace tested 15 major, worldwide brands and its first key conclusion: "The problem of toxic pollution from textile manufacturing is pervasive and extensive across producer countries.” If you do not want to contribute to this, actively seek out natural or safely dyed clothing, or clothing made under the stricter regulations of North America.
or not this is really a problem is up for debate. A worker at the Chinese sock factory makes just $14 a day, or $270 a month. In America, a clothing worker makes $88 a day, or $1,760 a month. I personally support US manufacturing companies that WANT to pay their employees a living wage. Many companies do work with cooperatives in other countries and oversee excellent working conditions at lower prices, bringing an economic boost to very poor areas while allowing US consumers to purchase fairly made goods at a lower price. Many people feel US ingenuity and drive should be invested in design and technology, allowing everyone to benefit from cheaper production elsewhere. Finally, how far did the clothing travel to get to you? I found Kiwi Industries right in Albuquerque. But it will be very difficult to buy everything you need locally. So if you start with US made, you most likely cover yourself on labor and production standards. Then, look for North American made and/or Fair Trade for both decreasing miles to the consumer, as well as for some environmental and ethical oversight. So, what are the basics? 1. REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. Check out your favorite thrift store and consider higher end thrift stores for quality that will last. You can also find clothing made from recycled plastics. 2. BUY ORGANIC. Organic clothing reduces the vast pollution caused by cotton and textile production. Consider other materials that are renewable and sustainably made; wool, hemp and possibly bamboo, though the chemical processing of bamboo may outweigh how easy it is to grow. 3. BUY U.S. OR FAIR TRADE. To increase your chances of safer dyes and production, as well as decrease the miles from producer to consumer, buy North American-made or Fair Trade clothing. Look for transparency and read labels! If you would like to learn more and see some examples of ethically made clothing, join us on Oct. 21st for an Ethical Clothing Show and Class. Registration required for this free event at www.InspiredABQ.com.
LOOK for U.S. MADE or FAIR TRADE for
The next question is, who is making and sewing your clothing? The answer is usually the Chinese. Whether
FAIR TRADE: Fair Indigo Revive Fair Trade Maggie's Organics
Jeans: NYDJ True Religion Longhorn Jean Co. (AZ)
Children's: Kiwi Industries (NM) Fair Indigo Tuff Kookooshka
Men's: Bill's Khakis Todd Shelton BGreen Apparel
Shoes: Soft Star Shoes (OR) LL Bean Okabashi
Women's: KikaPaprika Body Bark (CO) BGreen Apparel
ETHICALLY MADE CROSSROADS FOR WOMEN: H E A L I N G TRAUMA AND ADDICTION
Crossroads for Women provides comprehensive, integrated services to support women working to break the cycle of homelessness and incarceration and achieve healthy, stable and self-sufficient lives in the community for themselves and their children. CRFW is a transition program for homeless women with co-occurring addictive and mental health disorders. Crossroads helps women create safe, secure and drug-free lifestyles for themselves and their children and futures of economic self-sufficiency. lifestyles
rossroads for Women in Albuquerque is pleased to present In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, a day-long seminar with renowned speaker and author Dr. Gabor Maté on October 22, 2012. Five CEUs for social workers and counselors have been approved through the NMNASW.
Dr. Gabor Maté is a Canadian physician, public speaker and bestselling author whose works have been published internationally in twenty languages. His most recent book is the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. For twelve years he worked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with patients challenged by hardcore drug addiction.
To find out more about Crossroads for Women, make a donation or register for Dr. Maté’s day-long seminar, go to www.crossroad sabq.org or contact them at 805 Tijeras NW, call 505-242-1010 or go to info@crossroad sabq.org.
GOat GREEN ! your Get your locally grown GREEN VEGGIES CO-OP
at any Co-op location. Fresh, fair, organic...
October 2012 13
&the MICROBIOME CAN ANTIBIOTICS CAUSE FAT S T O R A G E IN PEOPLE? BY ARI LEVAUX t's been known since the 1950s that feeding low doses of antibiotics to livestock increases their weight gain. The practice, dubbed subtherapeutic antibiotic therapy (STAT), lowers feed costs while increasing meat production. Nearly 80 percent of the antibiotics purchased in the United States are used for this purpose. The practice is suspected of facilitating evolution of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" like MSRA, which infects both swine and people and is known to be especially common at pig farms. Meanwhile, it's finally coming to light that antibiotics can do to people what they do to livestock: make us fat.
ing rise to the idea that overhauling a dysfunctional microbiome could become a treatment for obesity. "It is possible that early exposure to antibiotics primes children for obesity later in life," said researcher Martin Blaser, of NYU School of Medicine, Office of Communications and Public Affairs.
Altering the Microbiome Data has supported this hypothesis since a 1955 study in which antibiotics and placebos were given to three groups of Navy recruits. The placebo group showed the least weight gain, significantly lagging behind the two groups given different antibiotics. In general, the rates of obesity have risen with antibiotic use since their discovery, but as they say in science, correlation does not equal causation. Recent research, however, is turning up evidence that this correlation might not be a coincidence. The basic idea is that bacteria alter the body's microbial communities, also known as the microbiome, and this disruption changes the way our bodies metabolize and store food. A study published August 27th in Nature looked at how antibiotics impact the microbial balance in mice, and how this might affect weight-gain patterns. One group of mice was exposed to STAT, the other not. Bacteria from the guts of mice from these two groups was compared, and the researchers found antibiotics altered the microbial ecology in the guts of the exposed mice, changing their metabolism. "By using antibiotics, we found we can actually manipulate the population of bacteria and alter how they metabolize certain nutrients," said Dr. Cho, assistant professor of medicine and associate program director for the Division of Gastroenterology at the School of Medicine, in a press release. "Ultimately, we were able to affect body composition and development in young mice by changing their gut microbiome through this exposure." In other words, just like cows, pigs and chickens that are exposed to antibiotics, the antibiotic-fed mice got fat. Another paper, published August 21st of this year in Journal of Obesity, found a strong correlation between young children's exposure to antibiotics and later obesity. It also reports that a disproportionate number of obese children and adults were given antibiotics before the age of six months.
MAKING US fat
Nearly 80% of the antibiotics USED in the US are FED to livestock.
Transplanting Flora Diversity Alas, before we can go any further I must first brief you on the topic of fecal transplants, in which one man's deposit becomes another man's suppository. The idea is that bacteria in feces will repopulate the guts of patients who have had their own bacterial communities disrupted. A 2006 study demonstrated that the gut flora of obese mice are less diverse than those of healthy mice, and when one transplants feces from obese mice to healthy ones, without changing their diets, the healthy mice will gain weight. Researchers have found evidence that these introduced bacteria can influence the genes that regulate metabolism. In Amsterdam, researchers are doing similar, but reverse, experiments on humans: giving fecal transplants to obese men. A control group receives their own feces, while the experimental group receives fecal transplants from lean donors. It appears that the experimental group's fecal transplants change the way the recipients' bodies metabolize sugar, giv-
THE EXTINCTION OF
to extinction. All of this is to our peril, as not only do the local varieties taste better, they also may be resistant to unforeseen diseases and climatic conditions and may hold the key to our having corn around at all in the future.
FRANKE recently saw an end-of-days themed film entitled “Perfect Sense”, in which a disease runs rampant The majority of Americans like consistency in through the Earth’s human poptheir food more than they like surprisulation, the first symptoms of which es, even pleasant ones. However, like DIVERSITY F L AV O R are the loss of the senses of smell and it or not, climate change and disease taste. It was a dreary affair that did issues may drive some familiar variFOOD badly at the box office, but as a bioloeties into extinction. forcing once isogist concerned with the extinction of lated local varieties into wider comagricultural plant varieties, this plot mercial production. element resonated with me. For instance, it’s a little known fact With the reduction in biodiversity in that bananas, the vast majority of both natural and human-cultivated ecosystems comes an which are of only two relatively bland–tasting extinction of unique tastes and other qualities that we varieties (Dwarf Cavendish and Grand Nain), undervalue in our food. The reasons for the extinction of might at some point in the near future prove flavors can usually be traced to the homogenization of cul- vulnerable and ultimately commercially extinct ture that comes with globalization. We can see this phe- due to emerging diseases such as Black and nomenon occurring with a stable foodstuff near and dear Yellow Sigatoka, Fusarium wilt, and the viral to us New Mexicans and our neighbors to the south: corn. disease “bunchy top”.
Corn was first domesticated in Mexico, which is the home of at least 60 local varieties, most in danger of disappearing as transgenic varieties from the North pollute local genomes. As corn is wind pollinated, it’s particularly vulnerable to acquiring undesirable genetic traits. To make matters worse, NAFTA has made it easier for American producers to flood the market with bland tasting, high production varieties (subsidized by our tax dollars) to the South. When you talk to people in Mexico about how the flavor of corn has changed, they complain that tortillas taste lousy when made with American corn, but that it’s cheaper than local varieties and is thus used in increasing frequency. The double whammy of cheap corn and genetic pollution from the North is driving many local varieties
The reason that commercial producers have chosen the two presently in production is because they ship well, not that they taste great. Unfortunately, most research is centered on finding a way to make these familiar if tasteless varieties more resistant through genetic modification in the laboratory, instead of simply looking at some of the hundreds of other varieties already in existence for an alternative. For the sake of both variety in flavor and to stave off food security disasters, local varieties should be preserved, whether they are commercially viable or not. Contact JOE FRANKE at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Symbiotic Aggregations R US The human gut contains more than 100 trillion individual bacterium, from more than 500 different species, and ten bacterial cells for every human cell. Of the 5 million genes identified in the human body, only 30,000 are found in human DNA; the rest are microbial genes. This drives home the idea that our bodies are not single autonomous creatures but symbiotic aggregations of multiple organisms. The intricacies of how human health is influenced by the microbiome is a huge field of inquiry, the surface of which has barely been scratched. As Scientific American recently put it, "The recent literature on human symbionts is wondrous but still groping at the edge of understanding." To help shed light on what these microbes are and how they influence human health, the National Institutes of Health launched the Human Microbiome Project in 2008. The purpose of the five-year, $157 million project is "to characterize microbial communities found at multiple human body sites and to look for correlations between changes in the microbiome and human health." Antibiotics are crucial, lifesaving components of our medical system, but what this emerging field is telling us should lead to a more balanced level of respect for their powers. We may be going nuclear on our microbiomes unintentionally, as we gun for the bad guys, creating even badder guys in the process. And we may be giving ourselves obesity via subtherapeutic antibiotic therapy, thanks to residue in the environment and the animal products we eat. Personally, I'll take my antibiotics as seldom as possible, and skip the fecal transplants.
Understanding CHANGES in the microbiome and HUMAN HEALTH
October 2012 14
MEMBER TO MEMBER
10-YEAR water CONSERVATION
It is a realistic goal, even though it will likely require more emphasis on rules and penalties and less reliance on incentives and voluntary efforts. One reason to push for a significantly lower per capita usage is because we know the region will continue to grow. Lowering per capita usage means that the overall total production of water from the
MICHAEL JENSEN, AMIGOS BRAVOS s I discussed in last month’s article, the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (WUA), which provides water and sewer services to most of the urban area of Bernalillo County, met its per capita water usage goal of 150 gallons per capita (person) per NEW day (gpcd) in 2011, three years early. CONSERVATION
Now, the WUA is developing a new Ten-Year Water Conservation Plan. They are collecting ideas from various stakeholders (Amigos Bravos sat down with them for a conversation) and will draft a plan to take to the public in spring 2013. Public input into the plan will be very important. Water Conservation Success The WUA was formed in 1994, shortly after new studies confirmed that there was much less drinkable and accessible water in the aquifer than many public officials and the building industry wanted to believe. Conservation efforts had some effect during the mid-’90s drought, but really significant conservation came during the years from 2000 – 2006, when customers of the WUA lowered their gpcd an average of 10gpcd every year, even as the population as a whole was still growing. More recent conservation has averaged 3gpcd less per year— although almost the entire drop in gpcd after 2006 came in just two years: 2008 and 2011. The WUA admits that it achieved its conservation goal by relying largely on volunteer efforts by its customers and using incentives like subsidized low-flow toilets and low-flow showerheads and rebates for taking conservation courses. Amigos Bravos has urged the WUA to aim for a significantly lower target in the Ten-Year Water Conservation Plan: 125gpcd. This is slightly more than the drop in water usage per person that the WUA customers achieved from 2005-2011.
aquifer and the river—through the San Juan Chama Drinking Water Project—will still drop for a number of years. This will ease pressure on the aquifer, which has been pumped from too much. Recent data shows that since the river diversions started under the San Juan Chama Drinking Water Project, the aquifer levels have started to rise a small amount. Lowered overall production will also ease pressure on the Rio Grande, which has probably reached the limit of what it can sustainably supply. Earlier this year, the WUA was caught diverting water from the river that it did not have the right to divert because river flows had dropped. In August, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District announced an earlier end to the irrigation season and the WUA announced that it had curtailed diversions, both because flows were too low in the river. Water Conservation and Water Rates Water conservation is a problem for the WUA. Like every utility, it gets revenue by selling to its customers. In the case of the WUA, it sells water for indoor and outdoor use and it sells wastewater
treatment. When customers use less water—when total production goes down—then the WUA gets less revenue from both the water it sells and the wastewater it treats. This is such a large problem that a whole industry has built up around working with water utilities to find solutions. At the same time that revenues are becoming limited, the WUA, like water providers everywhere, has a growing problem with infrastructure in critical need of repair or replacement. The pipe system delivering water and taking away sewage has a large percentage of pipes already in the “critical” category, meaning they could (and do) break at any time. The wastewater treatment plant in the South Valley has been in need of replacement for many years; the WUA has just begun to implement a decade-long plan to replace every major component at the site. In the past, the WUA avoided raising rates through bond issues, but this increased its debt ratio to the point that major rating agencies have started to lower its credit rating. Using the bond market is not an option for the time being. Compounding the problem, as customers become better conservers of our limited water resource, revenues fail to keep up with the growing infrastructure problem. Raising rates is the only viable option for the WUA to get needed revenue in the short- to medium-term. In fact, the WUA has begun to raise rates and has announced plans for a series of rate increases over the next decade. This seems unfair to many people who have worked hard to conserve, but it is an absolutely necessary measure if we are going to maintain the system we have. The best thing people can do is realize that there is this trade-off between conservation and revenues and work to keep pressure on the WUA to become more efficient and more fiscally sound. That way, we can conserve both the water resource and the funds we use to deliver it. For more information, contact Michael Jensen at email@example.com.
KIRTLAND’S JET FUEL PLUME DRINKING EDB
BY DAVID MCCOY, CITIZEN ACTION n October 17th at 5pm, the Albuquerque Water Utility Authority will be meeting in the Vincent Griego Council Chambers to consider a resolution to protect ABQ drinking water from the KAFB spill.
away. Drilling of the monitoring wells is now delayed for three months because a drilling subcontractor went bankrupt.
Citizen Action has asked the US Environmental Protection Agency to exercise oversight and furnish expertise for the 24,000,000-gallon Kirtland AFB jet fuel spill threatening Albuquerque’s drinking water wells. The request asks EPA to place Kirtland on the National Priorities List as a Superfund site. The Air Force has contaminated dozens of community water supplies around the nation (http://veteransinfo. org/epa.html). Citizen Action alleges that there are numerous violations of federal hazardous waste laws and environmental justice considerations for the surrounding minority, low income neighborhoods in the Albuquerque area. After 13 years of research, the Air Force says it still doesn’t know how far the contamination has traveled. Monitoring wells need to be installed close to the City’s wells. The nearest groundwater monitoring well to the City’s supply wells is planned to be 2,000 feet TELL
The Air Force does not have the clean-up plan that the New Mexico Environment Department ordered to be immediately produced—three years ago. There is no remediation planned for the three- mile-long dissolved plume of the carcinogen Ethylene Dibromide (EDB) headed for the municipal drinking water wells. Not one gallon of the liquid pool of jet fuel trapped near the aquifer has been removed since it was discovered. It is dissolving into the groundwater and will be an “indefinite source” of contamination. There are no plans for water treatment facilities even though the EDB plume could hit the drinking water wells in under five years. An environmental disaster is on its way and there is inadequate planning, as well as no real commitment of financial or technical resources to prevent or ameliorate coming contamination.
W AT E R U T I L I T Y : “ W E
D O N ’ T WA N T T O D R I N K
Take action today: 1. Community emails to support putting Kirtland Air Force Base on the National Priorities List as a Superfund site can be sent to David Kling, kling.dave@ epa.gov or Anne Heard at firstname.lastname@example.org. 2. Come to the Albuquerque Water Utility Authority Meeting on October 17 at 5PM in the Vincent Griego Council Chambers, at One Civic Plaza, and voice your concern. Further information: Contact Dave McCoy, Citizen Action, 505-262-1862.
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS:
PARADE! 20TH ANNUAL SOUTH VALLEY DIA DE LOS MUERTOS AND MARIGOLD PARADE NOV. 4TH, AT 2PM
ia de Los Muertos is an ancient tradition rooted in the strict rituals of Native Americans of South and Central Americas, which celebrates life and honors those who have passed on. This year’s theme is “Revelemos los Mitos: Unmasking the Dream.” Come in your best Calavera dress, laugh and perhaps cry, and frolic with friends and neighbors. The parade leaves promptly at 2pm from the South Valley Sheriff’s Substation, at Isleta and Centro Familiar. The celebration continues at the Westside Community Center, at 1250 Isleta Blvd. SW, with music, altars, food and art vendors. Groups or organizations can bring their own tables and items to set up an altar in the Westside Community Center. To help create a deeper understanding of Dia de Los Muertos and prepare your float, art, dress or altar, a series of FREE workshops will be held. For more information call 363-1326 or 244-0120. To participate with a float, an altar or as a vendor go to www.muertos ymarigolds.org for applications.
FREE Dia de Los Muertos Workshops at 803 La Vega SW (corner of Armijo): 1-4pm. All ages welcome! More info call: 3631326 or 244-0120 OCTOBER 6TH: Help make official Dia de los Muertos t-shirts. Bring your own t-shirt to make a souvenir. OCTOBER 13TH: Learn to make sugar skulls. OCTOBER 20TH: Learn the history, and symbols of Dia de los Muertos altars and other traditions. OCTOBER 27: Get your float or costume ready.
October 2012 15
THE D O G G I E
ANIMALS! It’s a FUNDraiser! Nov. 4 8AM-1PM
IN ALBUQUERQUE: ANIMAL HUMANE
NM PRESENTS: 30th Doggie Dash & Dawdle
vent organizers of Animal Humane New Mexico’s Doggie Dash & Dawdle are prepping for the 30th anniversary of New Mexico’s premier social event for dogs and their families. The event is Animal Humane’s signature event and largest fundraiser of the year. It takes place November 4th from 8am-1pm at Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque. Registrations are now being accepted for the 5K Dash and the 2-mile Dawdle, a leisurely stroll through Balloon Fiesta Park with more than 2,000 pet lovers. Throughout the event enjoy more than 70 vendors, entertainment from local musicians and variety groups, doggie carnival games, food trucks and more! Event attendees may rent a Doggie friend as a dash or dawdling partner, or to simply enjoy
the event with, for only $10! You’ll be doing a good deed by giving a homeless dog a memorable experience. The event is essential for the continuing care of the homeless dogs and cats at Animal Humane as it provides care for more than 5,000 pets and supports 20 programs annually. For details, registration, entry fee and fundraising team information, go to www.animalhumanenm. org or call 505-255-5523. In-person registration is available at REI at 1550 Mercantile Ave. NE and all Animal Humane locations until November 3rd. Day of event registration is available at Balloon Fiesta Park at 4401 Alameda Blvd. NE. Suggested donation for attendance is $5.
SANTA FE ANIMAL SHELTER’S
Saturday, October 6th It’s the annual Barkin’ Ball!
Have great fun! Enjoy a country supper, carnival style games, music by the Buckarettes and a Parade of Pets all to benefit the Santa Fe Humane Society’s Animal Shelter. Held at the Santa Fe Convention Center, fair festivities and happy hour begin at 5pm. Come dressed in your favorite Country Fair with a Western Flair attire. For more information call 983-4309 x202 or go to www.sfhumanesociety.org.
I NEED A