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New Mexico Organic

FARMING CONFERENCE FEBRUARY 15-16 BY HEATHER ESQUEDA, NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ORGANIC PROGRAM oin the gathering of organic producers, researchers, and those who help move food from farm to fork for the New Mexico Organic Farming Conference at the Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid, February 15-16, 2013. This two-day event will offer practical information for farmers, ranchers, and market gardeners on topics ranging from organic weed management to marketing, and fruit production to livestock health.


Holistic Orchard Management Successful fruit production can’t be confined to managing pests or finding the right fertility practice. Selecting the appropriate varieties, understanding and managing the structure of your trees, achieving good pollination, siting, and many other factors also enter in. Gordon Tooley, 2008 Organic Farming Educator of the Year, will weave the threads together in this session on holistic management. Using Organic Insecticides: When and How Dr. Tess Grasswitz, Integrated Pest Management Specialist at

The keynote address, “Will Organic Farming Save Pollinators or Will Pollinators Save Organic Farming,” will be delivered by Mace Vaughan, Pollinator Program Director, Xerces Society, and Joint Pollinator Conservation Specialist for NRCS West National Technology Support Center in Portland, Oregon. In this talk, Mace Vaughan shares anecdotes from the world of pollinator conservation. He will provide the latest information on the importance and decline of pollinators, and how habitat on and around farms is critical to saving these important animals. You will come away from this talk with a new appreciation for the wide variety of bees that are working hard for farmers all across New Mexico and the US and new ideas for how to help these insects to thrive. In addition to the keynote address, 36 workshop sessions will cover a wide range of topics. Highlights include: Nature’s Chicken Soup: Compost Tea Production and Use Recent research with compost tea shows that it can be effective in fighting plant diseases in addition to providing high quality, readily-assimilated nutrients. Heather Harrell of the certified organic For the Love of Bees farm will report on the system she uses to make compost tea and the results observed from its application. Joining Heather for this presentation will be Brett Bakker, Chief Certifier for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s Organic Program. Brett will review regulations governing the use of manure and compost tea in certified organic production systems. Low-Stress Livestock Handling The New Mexico Organic Farming Conference is honored to have Dr. Temple Grandin join us for a morning of discussion of low-stress livestock handling. Temple Grandin is a doctor of animal science and professor at Colorado State University, best-selling author, and consultant on animal behavior. If you are a livestock producer, this session is a must. Drought in the Southwest: The Outlook Every farmer and rancher seems to agree that assumptions about what the weather will be in any particular season no longer serve as a guide for planting, irrigating, and harvesting. Recent studies indicate that we may be entering a period of severe drought. Dr. Dave Dubois, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University; CLIMAS member; New Mexico State Climatologist and Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow Network State Coordinator, will discuss the outlook for our Southwestern climate.




BOOTS AND ROOTS! The Second Year Begins! his month marks the first anniversary of our Co-op’s Veteran Farmer Project (VFP) and an exciting year it was. Last January began with a series of classes and moved through a year of skills development both in the classroom setting and with hands on learning. Thanks to the Downtown Action Team the VFP produced food in over thirty 12’ by 4’ beds at Alvarado Urban Farm.



Spice It Up—Organic Herb Production Herbs are a welcome addition to any farm. They provide habitat and nectar for pollinators, help diversify a farm’s production, and many are well-suited to the Southwest’s dry and sunny climate. This session brings together two experienced and passionate herb producers who will share their expertise in growing and marketing organic culinary and medicinal herbs. Join Jane Darland

Other workshops include: A Whole Farm Approach to Managing Drought; Playing Chicken—Small Scale Poultry; Who’s There? Pests and the Diseases They Carry; Restoring Pollinator Habitat in the Southwest; From Hoophouses to Hedgerows: Accessing the EQIP Program; Asylum for Avians; Top Bar Bees; Traditional New Mexico: Corn, Beans, and Chile; No Minnie Mouse: IPM for Rodents; Herbal Product Production; Produce Buyers: What They Want; First Steps When Disaster Strikes: Investigating Livestock Disease; Favorite Vegetable Varieties; Digging Deep: Understanding Nematodes and Exploring Biofumigation; Go Nuts!; Home-based Canning; Feed Your Bed; Store It!; Pollinator Conservation Strategies for Organic Seed Producers; Organic Inspectors Bare All; Traditional New Mexico: Acequias; Cover Crops: Tested for New Mexico; Organic Weed Management: Till and No/Low; Plugged-In Technology for Farmers; Four-Legged Reclamation—Goats in Land Restoration; Alternative Health Care for Ruminants; Successful Season Extension—Seed to Market; Traditional New Mexico: Fruit Production; It’s Coming! Preparing for Food Safety Regulation. On Saturday, participants will feast on local and organic food at a luncheon where the New Mexico Organic Farmer of the Year will be recognized. Farm to Table, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, and New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service are organizing the event. La Montanita Co-op Natural Foods Market, Skarsgard Farms, Rio Grande Community Farm, and the Silver City Food Co-op are sponsoring the gathering. Registration for the conference, including Saturday’s luncheon, is $100. For more information call 505-8899921, or look for conference brochures at the Co-op. For hotel reservations, call 877-622-3056 by January 30th. Say you are part of the Organic Conference to get the special room rate. Hope to see you there!




PROJECT Boots on the Ground Taking the lessons learned in the classroom outside, we built our first cold frames last January and began planting seeds in February. Classes continued until early summer and during the spring; Veterans split their time between classes and working in the garden. Thanks to a most generous donor, and with support from the NMDA Organic Program, a number of veterans received scholarships to the Annual NM Farming and Gardening Conference last February. By April, participants were taking home onions, peas, kale, collards, lettuce and other cold weather crops. By June the garden was in full swing and participants were harvesting a variety of vegetables to sell every Wednesday morning at the Farmers’ Market in front of the VA Hospital. This, too, was part of the learning process, as picking, packing, pricing, and marketing, including setting up an attractive farmer’s market stall, are important skills for would-be farmers.


Co-op Community!

Once again, you, our fabulous CO-OP COMMUNITY, have come forward to show just how GREAT you are! THANKS TO YOU, over 600 children in need in our communities had their holiday gift wishes come true. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you again this year for your support of this program. We are proud and honored to be able to serve a community with such a generous heart. You’re the best! YOUR CO-OP MEMBERSHIP DEPARTMENT


Veterans cycled in and out during our year-long process with nearly twenty-five veterans participating at one time or another. While a good number of veterans from the larger community participated, overall, veterans in treatment at the VA Hospital, for a variety of conflict related issues, were the most solidly dedicated to the project. Special thanks to John Shields of the recreation therapy department at the VA, for his dedication to the project and for driving veterans living on the VA campus to our garden site downtown twice a week.


NMSU’s Los Lunas Ag Science Center, and 2012 Organic Farming Educator of the Year, will take on the thorny topic of “natural pesticide” use. Always the choice of last resort, there are times when producers want to turn to a natural insecticide allowed for use in organic production. Tess will discuss the mechanics of some popular pesticides; how to determine the threshold for pesticide use; steps to take to achieve the desired result; and, cautions to observe to protect beneficials and avoid building a resistant population.

of Old Monticello Organic Farms and Sean Ludden of Los Poblanos Organic Farm for some sage advice on organic herb production.

VETERAN FARMER PROJECT CLASSES continue in 2013. This year classes are open to the larger community!

So popular was our stand and the VA staff so supportive, that the VFP has been given special permission to sell veggies all year long at the VA. (Special thanks to VA staff Mary Varnado and Reba Brain for their help in making this happen.) To that end, from October through December, we were busy building more cold frames to cover our production beds, composting beds and planting fall crops. While other Vets selling at the VA farmers’ market experienced frosts in September or early October, the downtown area did not experience a full frost until just before Thanksgiving. VFP participants gathered boxes full of green tomatoes, which were laid out to sell as they ripened through the end of December, along with winter kale, collards, lettuce, beets and carrots. In 2012, in addition to financial and organizational support from La Montanita, the project got off the ground thanks to seed (both literally and figuratively) money from the McCune Foundation. In July of 2012 the New Mexico Department of Agriculture provided a generous grant for the continuation of the project through June 2013. The grant provides funds for cold frame materials, seeds, tools, compost and provides a stipend for up to two Veterans for farm management.

January 31: Introduction to the Business of Farming/John Garlisch, Bernalillo County Extension Service Feb. 7: LandLINK—Finding a Place to Grow/Tiffany Terry, MRCoG Feb.14: Growing Good Soil/Joran Viers, Bernalillo County Extension Service Feb. 21: Organic Approaches to Pest Management/Dr. Tess Grasswitz, N.M .S.U. Feb. 28: Organic Production: The Hows and Whys!/Joanie Quinn, N.M.D.A. Organic Program March 7: Succession Planting for Marketing Success/Sarah Wentzel-Fisher, La Montanita Co-op/edible Magazine March 14: Intro to Biodynamics and Wholistic Farming/Amanda Rich, erda gardens CSA ALL CLASSES will take place at the Albuquerque N.M.S.U. campus at 4501 Indian School Road NE, (just west of San Mateo) in room G106.

2013: Another Round of Seasons This year is shaping up to be as educational, healing and fun as last year. Our classes begin in late January and go though March. Although still in the planning stage at the time of this writing, the tentative schedule has classes every Thursday for six weeks with Tuesdays reserved for hands on work in the garden throughout the late winter and early spring, and selling produce at the VA on Wednesdays from 11am-1pm. All veterans, active service and National Guard people are welcome to come to these FREE farming and gardening skills classes. The VA van will be offering rides to both the classes and garden site from the Albuquerque VA Campus. For more information contact Robin Seydel at 505-217-2027, toll free at 877-775-2667 or e-mail her at or contact John Shields at the VA at 505-256-6499 ext. 5638 or email him

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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

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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 UNM Co-op ’N Go/ 7am-6pm M-F, 10-4pm Sat. Closed Sun., 2301 Central Ave. SE Abq., NM 87131 277-9586


PRODUCE FOR SCHOOL MEALS BY PAM ROY, FARM TO TABLE ave you eaten in your local school cafeteria recently? If you have, you may have noticed a change in the menu. There are more fruits and veggies on the plates, whole wheat pasta items and less chocolate milk. Due to new federal


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 • Controller/John Heckes 217-2029 • Computers/Info Technology/ David Varela 217-2011 • Perishables Coordinator/Bob Tero 217-2028 • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 • Marketing/Edite Cates 217-2024 • Membership/Robin Seydel 217-2027 • CDC/MichelleFranklin 217-2010 Store Team Leaders: • Mark Lane/Nob Hill 265-4631 • John Mulle/Valley 242-8800 • William Prokopiak/Santa Fe 984-2852 • Alisha Valtierra/Gallup 575-863-5383 Co-op Board of Directors: email: • 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 217-2027 • Layout and Design: foxyrock inc • Cover/Centerfold: Co-op Marketing Dept. • Advertising: Sarah Wentzel-Fisher • Editorial Assistant: Sarah Wentzel-Fisher 217-2016 • Printing: Vanguard Press Membership information is available at all four Co-op locations, or call 217-2027 or 877-775-2667 email: website: Membership response to the newsletter is appreciated. Address typed, double-spaced copy to the Managing Editor, Copyright ©2013 La Montanita Co-op Supermarket Reprints by prior permission. The Co-op Connection is printed on 65% post-consumer recycled paper. It is recyclable.



This is good news for New Mexico as we have a plentiful supply of fresh fruits and vegetables produced by our own local farmers. This year alone, 53 of our 89 school districts serving 324,000 students purchased New Mexico grown produce providing students throughout the state with sweet juicy apples and watermelons, ripe tomatoes, crisp carrots, salad greens and sprouts, fresh corn on the cob, and more. In addition, great partnerships have been developed to make the program work. Farm to Table, the American Friends Service Committee, and other organizations provide training and technical assistance to farmers, the NM School Nutrition Association provides educational programs to school food service directors and agencies like the Departments of Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Services Bureau provide critical support. These organizations and agencies along with others are part of the NM Food and Agriculture Policy Council, the statewide group leading the push for the state legislative request. This won’t be the first year the Legislature has heard this bill. It has broad support, but has not been well funded to date. Senator Pete Campos is the 2013 bill sponsor; president of Luna College and a true advocate for health, education, agriculture, and local economic issues, Senator Campos is a steadfast champion of this legislation.

school nutrition rules, schools are required to serve twice as many fruits and vegetables as in the past. These rules were put in place to help stave off the growing obesity epidemic in this country. The challenge is that the federal rules were put in place without enough money to pay for the required increase in fruits and veggies.

In New Mexico alone, 19 percent of our children are considered obese by the age of eight, and in some areas of the State it is as high as 50 percent; one in four children are considered food insecure. School meals can be the most important meal of the day and support life healthy eating habits.

Food for NM Kids To combat the problem, the New Mexico State Legislature will be asked to help support the school lunch program with a bill requesting $1.44 million to help support the purchase of “New Mexico Grown Produce for School Meals.” This is a “win-win” bill. New Mexico students will enjoy the freshest fruits and vegetables grown right here in New Mexico, our farmers will benefit economically, and schools will have much needed funding to meet the new federal rules.

OUR CHILDREN DESERVE OUR SUPPORT OF THIS LEGISLATION To learn more, contact the New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council at 505-473-1004 ext. 11. During the legislative session (that begins January 16) you can call your legislator at 505-986-4600 and ask that they support the “NM Grown Produce for School Meals” legislation – otherwise known as “Healthy Kids – Healthy Economy.” Pam Roy is Executive Director of Farm to Table and coordinator of the NM Food and Agriculture Policy Council based in Santa Fe. Find them at




ismas House New Mexico, a 501(c)(3) organization, was created in 1994 as an answer to the growing need for supportive services for individuals struggling to re-enter society after incarceration. Since that time, Dismas House has developed an effective residential program that provides a comprehensive matrix of services for adults returning to the community after serving time. Dismas House, a beacon of hope and safe passage for adults transitioning from jail or prison into society, is dedicated to providing second chances. More than 10 percent of those entering prisons and jails are homeless in the months before their incarceration. For those with mental illness, the rates are even higher— about 20 percent. NM Department of Corrections spends $31,000 per year to keep one inmate in jail: this equates to $2,583 per month; 46 percent of inmates who leave prison without transitional support return to prison. In contrast only 10 percent of Dismas House program participants return to prison. Dismas House New Mexico currently owns a three-acre campus comprised of five residential buildings that provide 90 to 120 days of service-enriched housing for male residents and a women’s campus that houses six. Onsite residential interns and aides provide supervision, support and assist with evening programs. The mission of Dismas House New Mexico is to assist motivated adults on probation and parole to transition successfully into society. Over the years, they have helped over 1,500 parolees to transition successfully into society and have been able to expand the program with the generous help of the community. The Dismas House Transitional Program is a structured 90-day, progress-oriented curriculum that moves through a series of sup-

portive steps to assist in a successful re-entry into society. The first step in the program includes a detailed orientation of policies and procedures that define Dismas House’s supportive culture, as well as a guided self-examination of personal history, circumstances and needs. This process is supplemented by a series of workshops and group counseling sessions. The program also provides job development support, life skills, housing development, family counseling and after-care plans. The Dismas House Transitional Re-Entry Program consists of the following elements: • An in-depth personal assessment process that includes self-examination of personal history, circumstances and needs; • Education into the nature of addictions, including the long-term health effects of substance abuse on the mind and body; • Relapse prevention awareness; • 12-Step, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Narcotics Anonymous support groups; • Motivational counseling group sessions geared toward encouraging pro-social attitudes, behaviors and responsibilities; • Individualized case management that includes educational opportunities, job development, life skills, housing options, family counseling and health-care referrals; • After-care services provide graduating residents with the support system needed to maintain meaningful employment and ultimately provide graduating residents a place in society that is peaceful and productive. These elements build a comprehensive support system that empowers residents to face life squarely and make the changes needed, empowering participants to achieve a healthier lifestyle that benefits not only the individual but their families and society. For more information, application, or to make a donation go to or call them at 505343-0746.



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A Generation

Pesticide Action Network’s North America’s New Report BY ROBIN SEYDEL t’s no secret that obesity rates continue to climb, even in very young children, including infants. Back in the early 1990s La Montanita Co-op hosted the first national, public conference on what were then called xenoestrogens, as the science at that time showed that chemicals like DDT mimicked estrogen. Now we know that these chemicals and tens of thousands of others (nearly 80,000 on the market today) disrupt a wide variety of our endocrine system functions, upsetting hormonal balance affecting our health in many ways.


Pesticide Action Network of North America’s (PANNA) new report, A Generation in Jeopardy, documents alarming trends in public health, including childhood obestity to these same chemicals, now being called obesogens. As PANNA points out, “some of these obesogens are pesticides acting at very low doses to interfere with all kinds of physiological processes. This includes, it turns out, triggering increased fat cell production.” While public health science catches up, the commercialization of new untested chemicals used in daily life marches on. And much as in the climate change debate, while scientists argue over the links, public health concerns are escalating. A Generation in Jeopardy points out that our children are sicker than they were a generation ago. • From 1980-2004 OBESITY increased 171% in children ages 6–11 • From 1990-2011 DIABETES increased 53% in children ages 0–19 • From 1975-2004 CHILDHOOD CANCERS, 25% increased incidence, ages 0–19 • From 2002-2008 AUTISM increased 78% in children aged 8 • From 1997-2006 ADHD increased 3% every year, ages 6–17, with a 17% increase overall, ages 3–17 With children affected so early in life, it's become increasingly clear that genetic and behavioral factors alone cannot explain the rising rates of obesity. Scientists are now examining the contribution of exposure to man-made chemicals. THE REPORT NOTES “A recent study of triflumizole (TFZ) suggests that this fungicide is a likely obesogen. In 2010, over 40,000 pounds of TFZ's active ingredient was used in over 6,000 agricultural applications in the state of California alone. Researchers found that TFZ treatment of human stem cell cultures acti-



vated the pathway leading to fat cell production. Stem cells have the potential to become different kinds of cells (i.e., a stem cell can become a bone cell or fat cell).” The study also examined pre-birth exposure to TFZ in the drinking water of female mice. The lowest dose produced a significant increase in stored fat, while higher doses had no effect. This type of dose response — when different levels of exposure lead to different effects — is showing up in more and more studies, leading the EPA to rethink how it evaluates toxic dose response risks. “In addition, stem cells prepared from the fat of female mice exposed to TFZ had significant genetic changes. Expression of a genetic marker that inhibits fat cell production was reduced, while genes known to promote fat cell production had increased expression.” “The TFZ paper is just one of many recent studies on pesticides and obesogens. While this is a fairly new field of study, evidence is accumulating that chemicals are likely contributors to the obesity epidemic.”

From learning disabilities and autism to childhood cancers and more, a startling number of diseases and disorders are on the rise. The good news is, this is a problem we can do something about. From kitchen tables to state capitals, from school districts to family farms, people are finding ways to better PROTECT CHILDREN'S HEALTH. -KRISTIN SCHAFER

The Full Story To keep our children a healthy weight, we are told to teach them healthy lifestyle choices, feed them whole food, control their portions and make sure they stay active, getting enough exercise. We are not informed that exposure to persistent organic pollutant (POP) obesogens, even in the womb and especially to girls, can cause physiological changes that lead to obesity. Spanish researchers who studied 344 children from birth to age six and a half found that exposure in the womb to the breakdown product of DDT (DDE) was clearly linked to becoming overweight in later life. The Spanish study showed that after adjusting for factors, including birth weight and whether or not mothers smoked during pregnancy, there was a significant link between the sex of the child, prenatal exposure to DDT, PCBs and other POPs and the likelihood of being overweight by age six and a half. No one quite understands why and Spanish researchers say they were surprised to find that when women of normal weight have higher levels of POPs in their blood during pregnancy their babies are twice as likely to grow quickly during the first six months of life and four times as likely to be overweight when they reach 14 months; but there are plenty of animal studies suggesting that some pollutants at very low levels interfere with normal hormone functions to slow the metabolism and cause obesity. Despite the fact that DDT has been banned for nearly 40 years, there is still a level of background contamination of breakdown products that root crops like carrots and potatoes can take up from the soil, and mothers who were exposed as children before the ban can be passing it on to their children during pregnancy and breastfeeding. In fact DDT and its breakdown products can hang around for decades, and 99% of us carry DDT breakdown products in our blood. Though banned in the US, DDT is still used in some countries for malaria control and has been suggested for use in the US for mosquito control due to West Nile Virus. Canadian scientists are now connecting climate change to a possible increase in our exposures to legacy chemicals, including DDT, as pollutants trapped in ice are being released as temperature rises and glaciers melt; thus putting these endocrine disrupting chemicals back in circulation. Kristin Schafer from PANNA writes ,“From learning disabilities and autism to childhood cancers and more, a startling number of diseases and disorders are on the rise. The good news is, this is a problem we can do something about. From kitchen tables to state capitals, from school districts to family farms, people are finding ways to better protect children's health.”


THE TOP 10 1. Choose kid-safe foods. Whenever possible, shop for organic fruits and veggies free of pesticides that harm children’s health. 2. Keep homes kid-safe. Use safer, alternative methods to control pests in homes, on your pets, and on your lawns and gardens. 3. Create safer child care. Daycare centers should be free of pesticides known to harm children. Ask your daycare facility about the pesticides they use, and urge them to join the Eco-Healthy Child Care program run by the Children's Environmental Health Network. 4. Make schools pesticide-free, inside and out. Learn what communities across the country are doing to create school environments free of neurotoxic pesticides. 5. Link local farms to school plates. Urge your school district to link with a pesticide-free farm-to-school program to protect children from


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pesticide residues and build the family farm economy. 6. Support green and healthy farming. Our policies should better support farmers who grow healthy, pest-free crops without relying on pesticides that can harm children. 7. Spread the word about pesticides and health. Follow and share the science on pesticides and kids’ health with friends, family, parentteacher groups and neighbors. 8. Press policymakers to put children’s health first. Overall, current rules protect the interests of the pesticide corporations much better than they protect our children. Find out how you can help press for policies that put children’s health first at 9. Vote for kids’ health. Hold politicians accountable to vote for kids’ health, not pesticide industry profits. 10. Stay informed by staying connected to Pesticide Action Network at or

JANUARY Bag Credit Donations go to DISMAS HOUSE:


Providing support services for people struggling to re-enter society and create healthy, peaceful lives.


Your NOVEMBER BAG CREDIT DONATIONS totaling $1,842.81 were given to Project Share. Thanks to all of you who donated! Keep up the great work!


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.

eating healthy:

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3. Choose organics as much as possible to avoid the many endocrine and neurotoxic agricultural chemical residues that affect the quality of your food. This will allow you to peel fruit and vegetables less. The highest con-

BY ROBIN SEYDEL s eating better, getting healthier or loosing a few pounds part of your New Year resolution? For many of us it is. I for one, hate diets! Don’t tell me what I can’t have, tell me what I CAN have. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables will go a long way in helping you do all of the above. And staying off processed and high sodium foods will also go a long way in reducing water retention and high blood pressure. Eating more fruits and vegetables, more grains and beans, foods lower in fat and fewer processed foods are key in any healthier future.


Instead of reaching for that candy bar at 3pm to get you through the rest of the work day—how about a cup of hot green tea and a few dates, figs or jumbo flame raisins for an energy boost and to quiet that sweet tooth? After work instead of grabbing some high fat chips to get you through until dinner is ready, how about some carrots or celery? For a special treat dab a bit of peanut or almond butter on it. There you have the nutrients and fiber of the veggies and the protein of the nut butters. And if life on the go makes you reach for the fast food solution, try a quick fix of healthy food from the Co-op deli or pop some almonds or trail mix into your purse, computer bag or briefcase so you always have a quick and healthy snack. 1. Eat plenty of fiber. Fiber is found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Grains are best whole or only coarsely ground. Use rye, rice, barley, millet, quinoa, amaranth and other grains regularly. They help bind with toxins and improve elimination. 2. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy ones. These are high in vitamins, flavonoids, minerals, essential fatty acids and fiber.



centrations of nutrients are often in the peels. Cook only lightly and eat some raw fruits and veggies with their important enzymes each day. 4. Cut down on your fat intake. Use animal products as flavorings and condiments rather than as your main source of protein. Choose fish, poultry, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds rather than red meat and cheese for your major protein sources. Use animal products as condiments and flavorings. Utilize tofu, tempeh and other soy and rice products when possible. 5. Cut down on your sugar intake. Use sugar as a flavoring rather than a food, avoiding cakes, sweets, chocolates, biscuits, puddings, ice cream, jam, fruit canned in syrup, soft drinks, etc.

turous eater, I was challenged to expand my food horizons; the world of vegetables is vast and wide and I have enjoyed exploring new ones!


AMYLEE UDELL few years ago I asked readers to at least CONSIDER the possibility that saturated fat is not what makes people fat. The article received more feedback, positive and negative, than any other I've written to date. Supporters were glad to see a different view than what they usually see in print, detractors touted the ideas presented as irresponsible and referred back to the "established medical fact," supported by "expert" bodies, that a plant-based diet of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes is the only researched diet to help prevent disease and optimize health. In the few years since writing that article, my own experiences and research has affirmed my belief in the benefits of following a traditional diet that includes plenty of saturated fat from clean sources.



Eating as Humans Earlier this year I read Gary Taubes' books, Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It. Extraordinarily well researched and cited, the former was quite an

6. Cut down on your salt intake. Instead of salt use herbs and spices, including ginger, cayenne, cumin, turmeric, curry, rosemary, cardamom, coriander, chile, garam masala, garlic, lemon juice, tomato puree, onions, mustard seeds, pepper, etc. Check out the wide variety of bulk spices and mixed salt-free spice assortments in the bulk and grocery sections of your Co-op. 7. Cut down or end your consumption of processed food to avoid empty calories and artificial everything, including flavors, sweeteners, MSG, preservatives and other additives. 8. Drink only moderate amounts of alcohol and caffeine. Make an afternoon cup of coffee a cup of green tea instead. Utilize Swiss water processed decaf coffee rather than the chemically processed ones. OR better yet switch to green and herbal tea beverages. 9. Drink plenty of filtered water. Eight glasses a day is recommended for good health. 10. Eat more of your calories earlier in the day. A good hearty breakfast, a solid nutritional lunch and a light dinner refuels the body’s nutrients as they are needed more effectively than eating heavy, hard to digest proteins late in the day or close to bedtime. Why store all that fat for use after 6-8 hours of sleep! Utilize it during the day instead. This will help improve digestion, reduce interrupted sleep, reduce heart burn and indigestion, improve metabolism and help with weight loss. 11. Get enough exercise and fresh air. Get up from that computer, TV or study desk and walk, do yoga, hike or whatever exercise you enjoy at least 3-4 times weekly. It will improve both your body and your mind.

endeavor to get through. I admit the science sometimes crossed my eyes. Why We Get Fat was an easier read and helped drive home some ideas that made me reconsider my own beliefs. As someone with a strong family history of diabetes, I have done much reading on the disease, insulin and what I can do to stay healthy. Yet this book gave me MORE food for thought. With these new ideas, I took another look at what is typically dubbed the Paleo or Primal diet (and sometimes other names, such as Hunter-Gatherer or Caveman diet). The very basic tenet is that eating and moving as humankind did before the advent of agriculture is how we are designed to eat and move. Proponents argue that when we do, our bodies respond amazingly well. And so the following guidelines help achieve that: 1. Eat what was once hunted and gathered, including: veggies, fruits, nuts, seafoods and meats. And while you don't actually need to go out and hunt your own meat, finding free range, pastured sources will bring you even closer to what we are designed to eat. 2. Don't eat grains. Not even whole grains! This is counter to what most of us know to be true. I'm greatly simplifying this here, but paleo enthusiasts point to evidence that gluten, lectins and phytates all make grains highly indigestible and even damaging to our bodies. Damage might include gut irritation, leaky gut, overall inflammation and autoimmune issues, which often lead to other health problems. With a healthy vegetable intake, fiber is typically not an issue in a paleo diet. In fact most people report great improvements in overall digestion when adopting this way of eating. 3. Don't eat these, either: legumes, modern vegetable oils, and processed foods—whatever couldn't have been hunted and gathered. When doing some additional research, I came across a frequently mentioned difficulty. Most people thought this approach was too restrictive to maintain. This sincerely surprised me. There is quite a range of foods to eat and people are amazingly creative in coming up with substitutes. While I consider myself a fairly adven-

4. Eliminate dairy. After some consideration, I opted to keep my raw dairy; but dairy is ALWAYS a very individual choice. For the paleo diet to be sustainable, many people abide by an 80/20 rule, allowing some give for the demands and realities of the modern world. For this to be sustainable for me, dairy is my "compromise.” 5. Movement. You'll hear many paleo diet fans discuss Crossfit as their go-to fitness routine. That is because the program emphasizes the type of movement preagricultural humans would have done while hunting and being hunted: sprinting, lifting and squatting. This actually does not fit my life or personality, so I have only moderately changed my very realistic workout routine. Plus, I thoroughly enjoy my exercise, so don't WANT to abandon it! I found the advice given by Mark Sisson of Marks (and author of The Primal Blueprint) to hit home for me. A former world-class athlete, he cautions against what he calls "chronic cardio," or consistently pushing ourselves to maximum physical exertion and heart rate for an hour every day. He asserts that our hunter-gatherer ancestors did not do this. He says. "This kind of training raises cortisol levels, increases oxidative damage, systemic inflammation, depresses the immune system and decreases fat metabolism." Since it is difficult for modern people to imitate our ancestors in spending a few hours each day in low-level activity with brief spurts of higher intensity aerobic activity, Sisson suggests 30-60 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (walking, hiking, cycling) a few times a week. Content with my weight I was more interested in blood sugar stability and its benefits. The idea of body weight setpoints really resonates with me so I was surprised when I got on a scale after putting some effort into this way of eating and moving and found myself about ten pounds lighter. And while that is not a lot of weight by some standards, it's a lot for me, especially considering I was eating plenty and enjoying myself and also saw obvious signs that my digestion was improved, I had more muscle tone and a decrease in minor aches and pains. As I have stated before, my hope is that the ideas I share ignite curiosity so that you will further your own exploration and possibly be healthier for it. AMYLEE UDELL is the co-owner of Inspired Birth and Families.

GOat GREEN ! your Get your locally grown GREEN VEGGIES CO-OP

at any Co-op location. Fresh, fair, organic...

food &


winter squash: honorary ROOTcrop! BY ARI LEVAUX t amazes me when people claim not to know what to do with squash. Because, other than pour milk over it in your cereal bowl, what can't you do with squash? Can you fry it in bacon grease? Check. Toss the resulting browned chunks in a salad? Check. Simmer it in soup? Stuff it into tamales? Flip it in pancakes? Sweeten it into custard? Spice it into curry? Knead it into gnocchi? Check. Eat squash for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and midnight snack? Check. You can eat the skin, the seeds, and everything in between.


January 2013 5

and other watery squashes. They can work, but they add moisture to the pan, which slows the cooking process, and they shrink during cooking more than I like. As a matter of course I recommend avoiding spaghetti squash as well, not just

If that's too overwhelming a list of options, an easy rule of thumb for cooking squash is "do anything you might do with a potato." While squash behaves mostly spud-like, virtually any root vegetable recipe can be applied to squash. That's one reason I believe winter squash deserves to be considered an honorary member of that family. Technically, though, squash is a fruit. So why do the hard shelled varieties, aka the winter squash, deserve a spot in the pantheon of winter storage vegetables alongside carrots, garlic, onions, rutabagas, parsnips, beets and celery root? In addition to behaving much like roots in the kitchen, winter squash will occupy your kitchen and pantry at the same time the roots do— fall and winter, making squash one of the only non-root storage crops. Like its adopted cousins the roots, squash is kept completely unprocessed, alive and dormant. Pirates used to do something similar with tortoises, stacking them in their ship holds for months, where the animals' slow metabolism allowed them to stay alive with no food or water. When the occasion called, a tortoise would be retrieved and eaten, like grabbing a squash from the pantry. Living storage crops like roots, squash and the occasional Galapagos giant tortoise mean fresh food anywhere, any time. Unprocessed foods are also much easier to put away than pickles, salsa, pesto, chutney or other such value-added products. Like root vegetables, squash basically stores itself. Keep them cool, dry and well ventilated, arranged one layer deep with no individual touching another, and periodically inspect for mold, rot and any other form of damage. Remove any offending fruits before the skank spreads. To demonstrate how completely winter squash belongs among the roots, I'll explain how to include it in that most quintessential of root dishes, oven-roasted roots. Starchy winter squashes like buttercup, sunshine, kabocha and blue hubbard roast best, in my opinion, because the starch adds body and the chunks don't wither away. I tend to avoid pumpkin, butternut,

SQUASH: an unprocessed, LIVING STORAGE CROP, can be used in a

VARIETY OF WAYS! In this recipe, but in all recipes. Spaghetti squash is an agricultural aberration that should have been selected against. Bad flavor, no body, weird stringiness. Bizarre gimmick! After removing the stem and blossom ends, a squash can be cut, basically, like a potato. Slice it in half, cut the halves in half, and keep going until you have cubes. Don't bother removing the seeds from the chunks. They add to the finished product. Like most roots, squash can be cooked with or without its skin. All winter squash skin is edible, but some peels make for better eating than others. Since different roots cook at different rates, I add them to the roasting pan in sequence. I cut the squash and potatoes first, tossing them in the pan with olive oil and placing the pan in the oven. While these roast you can cut carrots, celeriac and parsnips, none of which need cooking at all, and certainly can do with less oven time than squash and potatoes. I like to add a few whole garlic cloves with the carrots, tossing and turning the pan's contents at every opportunity.

G R E AT G L U T E N F R E E G R A I N S !

BENEFITS of Millet and Buckwheat

BY ROBIN SEYDEL iets higher in whole grains, such as millet and buckwheat, have been linked to protection against atherosclerosis, ischemic stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, gallstones and premature death. Whole grains are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and hundreds of natural plant compounds, called phytochemicals, which protect cells from the types of damage that may lead to cancer.


The term “whole grain” means that all three parts of the grain kernel (germ, bran and endosperm) are included. Refined grains usually have the bran and germ removed, leaving only the starchy endosperm. Brown rice is a whole grain, white rice is not. Millet Millet is one of the oldest foods known to humans and possibly the first cereal grain to be used for domestic purposes. Today millet sustains a third of the world’s population and is a significant part of the diet in northern China, Japan, Manchuria and various areas of the former Soviet Union, Africa, India and Egypt. While millet has been used primarily for birdseed and livestock fodder in Western Europe and North America, it is now gaining popularity as a delicious and nutritious grain that can be enjoyed for its unique virtues. Millet is tiny in size and round in shape and can vary in color from white to gray to yellow to red. It is used in various cultures in many diverse ways: As a cereal, in

porridge and soups, and for making breads. The most widely available form of millet found in stores is the pearled, hulled type. Traditional couscous is made from cracked millet. Consistency varies depending upon cooking method; it can be creamy like mashed potatoes (if stirred during cooking) or fluffy like rice. Millet does not contain gluten, which makes it a wonderful grain alternative for people who are gluten-sensitive. Buckwheat Buckwheat is native to Northern Europe and Asia. It was widely cultivated in China from the 10th through the 13th centuries. It then spread to Europe and Russia in the 14th and 15th centuries, and was introduced to the United States by the Dutch during the 17th century. Buckwheat is widely produced in Russia and Poland, where it plays an important role in their traditional cuisines. Other commercial cultivators are the United States, Canada and France, a country famous for its buckwheat crepes. Buckwheat is a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel. Common and tartary buckwheat are popular varieties in the United States. Its name is supposedly derived from the Dutch word “bockweit,” which means "beech wheat," reflecting buckwheat's beechnut-like shape and its wheat-like characteristics. Buckwheat is sold either unroasted or roasted, the latter often called "kasha," from which a traditional European dish is made. Unroasted buck-

When the pan is full, stir in your choice of aromatic spices like oregano, rosemary and/or thyme, and a little or a lot of paprika or red chile powder if desired. I also add garlic powder, marking the second time I add a form of garlic to my roasted roots. I also like to add onion powder, the only inclusion of onion in this dish, as raw onions are too watery. I also forego red beets, even though I love them, because I don't love a uniformly purple pile of roots. I also skip turnips, rutabagas and other spicy roots that disrupt the mellow flavor I'm going for. A final spice: the smallest pinch of nutmeg. Bake at 300, 350, or even 400F if you're in a hurry—the hotter you cook the more vigilant you have to be, and the more frequently you should stir the pan. While it's baking, I make a mixture of raw garlic (mashed, pressed, minced or otherwise atomized) and olive oil in which to toss the roots when they're finished. Eventually the pan will stop steaming as the chunks dry out, and then they will start to brown and crisp on the outside, while softening inside. It takes between 30 and 60 minutes to get there, depending on the temperature. Remove the roots and toss them in your garlic oil mixture, season with salt and pepper, and serve with or without mayo on the side. Within the symphony of flavors and textures, the nutty crunch of roasted squash seeds stands out, perfectly in place. Roasted roots—and squash—can be a meal in itself or a starting point for many others. The same raw ingredients can be added to the pan of a half-baked bird as it's coming in for landing. Roasted roots can be mashed together with fresh garlic and butter for a textured but mushy medley. Roasted roots can be added to soup, where their oven crisp offers a hedge against sogginess. Leftover squash and roots can be refried in bacon grease and served alongside eggs. I suppose you could even eat them in a bowl with milk.



can be a meal in itself!

wheat has a soft, subtle flavor, while roasted buckwheat has more of an earthy, nutty taste. Its color ranges from tannish-pink to brown. Buckwheat is often served as a rice alternative or porridge. Buckwheat is also ground into flour, available in either light or dark forms, with the darker variety being more nutritious. Buckwheat does not contain gluten and is frequently mixed with some type of glutencontaining flour (such as wheat) for baking. In the United States, buckwheat flour is often used to make buckwheat pancakes, a real delight, especially for those allergic to wheat. Like all grains, buckwheat and millet should be rinsed thoroughly under running water before cooking, and any dirt or debris should be removed. After rinsing, add one part millet or buckwheat to two parts boiling water or broth. After the liquid has returned to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes and do not stir. The texture of these grains cooked this way will be fluffy like rice. If you want the them to have a more creamy consistency, stir frequently, adding a little water every now and then.




809 Copper NW Albuquerque


Special three-Part Meeting! Part 1: Farmers’ Marketing for the 5 Senses Learn how to attract more customers to your farmers’ market booth! Join John Garlisch and Laura Bittner as they “show and tell” how to leverage the five senses for a rich customer experience that will keep visitors coming back for more! A demonstration booth will be set up so you can see/hear/taste/feel/smell for yourself! Parts 2 + 3 will be optional, special sessions about alternative market opportunities for growers, as well as the action plan to make them happen.

CO-OP news



in the business of selling memberships. Membership is currently $55 a year for an individual and household. Multiply that times 25 million...

or COSTCO? LISA BANWARTH-KUHN, CO-OP BOARD DIRECTORS am a member of La Montanita Co-op because the quality of the food I eat and supporting local businesses are important issues to me. Saving money is also important. When my children were younger we shopped at Costco. We called it “The Two Hundred Dollar Store.” Membership in Costco made it possible to take advantage of all the great prices on THINGS! Many things we never knew existed but we saved a lot of money if we bought them! There was something for everyone and every room in the house, and cars and vacations, and glasses and gas and tires and food and vitamins and everything! One day, I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I did not need to buy six loaves of bread and 24 rolls of toilet paper and a six-month supply of vitamin C tablets, 42 pairs of socks and 10 pounds of gummy bears.




Not a CO-OP! A Costco membership entitles entry into the “membership warehouse club,” dedicated to bringing members the best possible prices on quality brand-name merchandise. With hundreds of locations worldwide, Costco provides a wide selection of merchandise, plus the convenience of specialty departments and exclusive member services, all designed to make your shopping experience a pleasurable one.” Costco’s strategy includes warehousing, limiting variety with a few “Treasure-hunt” items, bulk packaging, and now they offer some organic produce and meats. Low prices keep customers happy. The number of Costco members in the USA increased to 25 million from 18 million just 5 years ago. Costco is



A Little Treasure La Montanita is my little treasure. The Co-op sells memberships, too, but the membership does not exclude non-members from shopping and it certainly does not open the door to a multimillion dollar-worldwide-Wall Street tradinggiant warehouse of consumer goods. Can a Co-op membership co-exist with a Costco membership? It is up to the individual shopper if and how they want to honor a decision to support local business. One reason why I no longer have a Costco membership: after selling bonds and borrowing cheap money Costco announced on November 28, 2012, it would pay $3 billion dollars in special dividends to its worldwide stock holders. Shopping at the Co-op allows members and nonmembers access to products that are grown or manufactured locally. The quality and ingredients of the food can be determined by simply asking a Co-op employee. If products come from “outside” we can easily find out from exactly what farm and/or supplier it comes. Our shopping and/or membership dollars provide the capital (I will call them our “dividends”) to help start local businesses and farms, even new local co-ops, like Sweet Grass Cooperative. Our “dividends” help to support our warehouse that provides




From the White Mountain Farm website


hite Mountain Farm is located in an ancient lakebed called the San Luis Valley. It lies between the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the Southern Colorado Rocky Mountains, at an elevation of about 7,600 feet. The farm has been in the family since the 1930s. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the main crops were organically grown wheat, alfalfa and sheep. In 1984 we started experimenting with quinoa. In 1987, White Mountain Farm started growing certified organically grown quinoa and potatoes. Since then we have added rye and a variety of vegetables to our rotation. In 1987, White Mountain Farm was the first large-scale quinoa operation in North America. Over the past years we have been selecting the best tasting quinoa and potatoes to offer our customers.

a stable, existing marketing and distribution center, supplying regional products to local consumers, restaurants, stores and our Co-op locations. Our “dividends” support the Co-op’s Veterans Farmer Project and encourage members to volunteer in the community and earn discounts. You don’t have to be a member to reap the benefits of the “dividends.” A Co-op membership is only $15 a year for an individual or household, a little more than a $1 a month. This opens the door to Volume Discount shopping, member specials and patronage refunds, our reward for shopping locally. Co-op membership ensures the continued community support and outreach of La Montanita. That is the difference. Our extra dollars benefit the economy of our community. Membership in both Co-op and Costco can coexist. Costco fills a niche in the shopping universe. It supports international and American businesses, borrows lots of money from banks to pay dividends and contributes to the economic success of its investors; it makes Wall Street happy and it does employ local people with an above average wage. But I like a very small shopping universe with local employees and managers, where I can buy what I need when I need it, keep my packaging waste to a minimum and keep my dollar nearby. I like a locally defined universe where I can visit with my neighbors and we know where our food comes from, and we can feel the impact of our dollars cooperating in support of local businesss and the local economy.

than those given above. Dishes ranging from appetizers through desserts can be prepared from quinoa.

QUINOA Quinoa is an annual herb that has been cultivated for thousands of years in the west Andes Mountains of South America. It was a staple food of the ancient Incas and their Empire. Quinoa was such an important food of the ancient Incas that they considered it the "Mother Grain."

In 1982 Dave Cusack was one of the first to introduce quinoa to North America. With the help of Colorado State University, Sierra Blanca Associates, and a few hard working individuals, quinoa is now widely available. Certified organic quinoa that is grown in the high elevations of the San Luis Valley of Colorado has a rich delicate nutty taste that cooks quickly and easily.

Quinoa is a plant that is very hardy and drought resistant. It bears clusters of seed on top of the plant that can range in color from white, orange, red, purple, to black, depending on the variety. The ancestral seed color of quinoa is black and the other colors have been obtained from mutations and breeding. The quinoa seed, about the size of millet, resembles the grain of some cereal grasses, but it is not a grass.

La Montanita offers regionally-sourced, organic quinoa from the San Luis Valley. Find both black and white varieties in the bulk section at your nearest store!

The seeds are coated with a saponin which has a bitter taste. This bitterness is removed by washing in water or by a dry polishing process. Before consumption of quinoa, the seeds should be rinsed to remove any of the saponin dust that may remain on the seeds. The seed of quinoa is an excellent food, rich in protein and high in fiber. The protein is well balanced and is particularly rich in the amino acid lysine, which is difficult to obtain from other vegetable sources. It is also high in calcium, phosphorous, vitamins B and E. Quinoa is a very versatile food plant that can be cooked many ways and tastes excellent. The green leaves can be used in salads or cooked like spinach. The grain can be sprouted, like alfalfa; used as a hot cereal; used in soups, casseroles and souffles; used in the place of almost any other grain, including rice; ground into flour; and toasted. An imaginative chef can find many more uses and ways to prepare quinoa

QUINOA (Basic Recipe) Before cooking, always rinse the grain well, either by using a strainer or by running fresh water over the quinoa in a pot. Drain the excess water. 2 cups water 1 cup quinoa Rinse quinoa thoroughly, either by using a strainer or by running fresh water over the quinoa in a pot. Drain excess water. Place quinoa and water in a quart sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all of the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). For light fluffy quinoa do not stir. You will know that the quinoa is done when all the grains have turned from white to transparent, and the spiral-like germ has separated. Makes 3 cups. Use quinoa in tabbouleh recipes or any jeweled grain recipe, or make up your own jeweled quinoa recipes by adding chopped red onion, red bell pepper, cilantro, parsley, peas, corn, almonds, cashews, etc. A dash of tamari, and a dash of olive oil, lemon juice and/or salt and pepper to taste bring out the flavors.




January 2013 6

• INVESTOR ENROLLMENT PERIOD NOW OPEN • Investment options begin at $250 • Loan repayment terms tailored to the needs of our community of food producers • Loan applications taken on an ongoing basis To set up a meeting to learn more or for a Prospectus, Investor Agreement, Loan Criteria and Applications, call or e-mail Robin at: 505-217-2027, toll free at 877-775-2667 or e-mail her at





co-op news THE INSIDE

January 2013 7

SCOOP current conditions, retaining market share has become increasing difficult. Thanks to the dedication of our staff, we have been able to remain competitive in the marketplace and provide our members with the good food they deserve.

It is with sincere gratitude that we enter our 37th year of service this month. Your steadfast support of your cooperative during our many ups and downs over the years is a remarkable testament to your commitment to this wonderful organization. We look forward to serving you during this New Year, and with your support, for another thirty or forty years!

All of our national chain store competitors are selling organic, natural products. It has become the “in thing” to do. La Montanita was first and still the best supplier of organic, natural foods. None of our competitors go to the extent that we do to ensure that your food is safe, nutritious and provides you with the best value possible. And as you already know, none provides the diversity of local products we do. We are truly the local choice when it comes to good, healthy, safe food.

This past year presented many challenges. Albuquerque and Santa Fe experienced the transition of Sunflower Market to Sprouts Farmers Market; a very strong corporate grocery chain. The landscape of organic/natural foods has become more complex. The ongoing issues of GMOs and the Just Label It campaign gained some momentum and lost some momentum with the defeat of proposition 37 in California. However, these causes will continue to be addressed and there is a movement afoot to bring a labeling bill to our State Legislature as is being done in 23 other states.

I thank you on behalf of all staff at La Montanita for your support and patronage of our stores. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if we fail to exceed your expectations in any way. As always, I can be reached at 217-2020 or -TERRY

The economic conditions are improving but are still not great here in New Mexico. Given all these

January Calendar

of Events 1/15 BOD Meeting, Immanuel Church, 5:30pm 1/31 Veteran Farmer Project classes begin! See page 1.

COMING SOON! Feb. 16, Co-op Rocks youth event at W21! (Santa Fe)

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.


Sustainability Studies Program:


First Semester Update

BY MAGGIE SEELEY “Co-ops Rock” – UNM Sustainability Studies Program (SSP) students have completed their Fall 2012 semester’s work on “An Exploration of Co-ops and Their Impact on the Local Economy.” UNM/SSP students were asked by the La Montanita Board of Directors to study NM co-ops and to provide some market assistance to the UNM Grab & Go and the Nob Hill stores. Case studies of 14 NM co-ops are available at sust/ and As a business model, co-ops re-invest their surpluses (“profits”) in members, staff, their organizational infrastructure and the community. The UNM/SSP students reported on the following New Mexican cooperatives: • Fairfield Farms Co-op – Five young farmer members who use Landlink, growing crops on other’s land, was started by UNM students Mona Angel and Anne Carpenter. • LaCasita Co-op Preschool provides a quality learning environment to 22 families in Santa Fe, fostering a positive attitude toward school to establish a basis for future education. • The Permaculture Credit Union gives low interest loans to members for solar panels, hybrid cars, and helps establish Santa Fe Farmers’ Market vendors. There are 1,000 members. • At Greenbriar and Echo Ridge Housing Co-ops in Albuquerque, you can buy a 2-bedroom town home for $10,500 + monthly fee of $400. Quality, community based, low cost housing, and there’s even a swimming pool. 315 families are served by these housing co-ops. • Yucca Art Gallery in Old Town has 40 local artist members, and returns 85% of the art sales to individual artists. Most galleries take 50% commission. • Plateau Communications in Clovis, N.M., provides cell phone, landline and wi-fi to 85% of New Mexico residents. Originally formed in

1949 under the Rural Electrification Act, the 2011 budget was $30 million. There is hardly any turnover among the 287 staff. • The Los Alamos Co-op Market was started with the help of La Montanita in 2011 and has 1,700 members, employing 19 staff and sending members an enewsletter about health and well being. • New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union pays its members dividends for their savings (instead of charging them). There are 16 locations in New Mexico, one at UNM, serving 133,000 members. • CODECE helps 35 families in Mora, 5 in Pecos and 27 in Truchas to preserve communal land grants and acequias, so that centuries old organic farming can be preserved and practiced. Nature tours and cultural tourism are also offered. • Bountifuel Energies is a biodiesel co-op, started by UNM grad Ragan Matteson. 23 members collect waste veggie oil from restaurants in Albuquerque, recycle it to low-CO2 emission, clean burning fuel. Operating in many garages, it hopes to teach others to make biodiesel on a wider scale. • R. E. I. has 123 sporting goods stores in 31 states including two in New Mexico. 10% of purchases are refunded to members. REI offers many earth stewardship classes and funds a NM Outreach Coordinator. • NM Electric Co-ops is a collaborative of 16 co-ops which serves 210,000 people, employs 975 staff and provides more than $500,000 to high school seniors for their college education in New Mexico. • The Family Farmer’s Seed Cooperative’s thirteen members cultivate hybridized, open pollinated, organic seeds and the cooperative is open to people who live in many western and Central Plains states. This is a unique cooperative organization which just started in 2008. Members of the UNM SSP Co-ops Rock Consulting Team are: Caludia Denton, Noah De St. Croix, Julia Fitzhugh, Robin Hoss, Jill Loniewski, Channell Manglona, Casey Myers, Tyson Ryder, Kyle Stewart, Renae Smith, Peter Tomlinson, Meralyn Werner and Maggie Seeley.


Rock UNM Course SECOND SEMESTER LEARNING COOPERATION The Sustainability Studies Program of the University of New Mexico is pleased to announce the second semester of the Co-ops Rock Practicum. Learn about the co-ops in New Mexico and how they positively impact our local regional economy. Students can register now for: UNM Course CRN#38203, Sust. 334, Section 001 In this groundbreaking course students will: • Become familiar with co-ops in NM and worldwide (food, housing, electricity, farms, credit unions, schools, art, biodiesel, seeds) • Understand business ethics: cooperation, education, sharing, community economic development • Distinguish co-ops from corporations

• Consider “profit” as a surplus which can be shared with members • Master the concept of “economic multiplier” • Become a consultant, advocate, volunteer at La Montanita Co-op • Get the connection between co-ops and the “Triple Bottom Line” (social justice, ecological care and economic stability) • Connect permaculture principles (people care, earth care, fair share) with co-ops • Write a co-op case study; interview co-opers; conduct surveys; work on a small team; listen to guest speakers; watch videos; plan a Localization campaign • Create PSAs for local foods, local purchasing, local products. Register to learn about Cooperatives today: UNM Course CRN#38203, Sust. 334, Section 001. Tuesdays and Thursdays 11am-12:15pm, Maggie Seeley, Instructor. For more information contact: or 505-268-3339. Members of La Montanita Co-op are most welcome to register!

Come check us out and see what we’re about!


Congratulations to Martha, Betsy and Mashall! Also, thank you to Rob for running. The board is finishing up work on our first year of electronic voting. This year was very much a learning experience, and we appreciate your patience while we worked out the kinks. We are looking forward to improving the experience for next year.


RESULTS! Martha Whitman 237 Betsy Vanleit 202 Marshall Kovitz 189 Rob Moore 174

We would love to hear any input on how voting was for you. Please take a minute to email us at

A big THANK YOU to those members who voted! Your participation shows your support of the alternative economic business model that our cooperative represents. GO CO-OP!








of The Los Alamos Cooperative Market, La Montanita Co-op, Warehouse 21, Los Alamos Teen Center, Los Alamos High School, Los Alamos Historical Society, Cornerstones.

A day for teens and young adults to enjoy local entertainment and activities. Workshops, art, food tasting/ sampling, bands, DJs, poetry… Workshops include: Screen printing, break dancing, group mural, comedy improv… Music includes: DJs and both rock and acoustic bands, including; Deep Space Lions, Syzygy and As in We.

A fun, FREE, artistic event for teens and young adults. At: Warehouse 21, 1614 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, (across from the Farmers’ Market Railyard Pavillion) For more information: Sandra in Los Alamos at 505-695-1579,, Robin in Albuquerque at 505-217-2027, or Ana Rose at

Start the new year with

Savin g s!! BIG $5.00 Off! Any Purchase Exceeding $25.00

One Coupon Per Shop


Valid 1/4/13 - 1/31/13

_____________________________________________________________ Validation Signature Date

Arrowhead Mills Pancake Mix


With Purchase of 32 oz Coombs Family Farms Grade B Mayple Syrup

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25-26 oz. Buttermilk, Multigrain, Gluten Free, Sweet Potato, Sprouted Grains

$4.00 Off! Equal Exchange Bulk Coffee Purchase Exceeding $10.00

One Coupon Per Shop .

Valid 1/4/13 - 1/31/13

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winter warm






very newsletter, we try to bring you delicious recipes of things you can make from all the amazing seasonal, local and organic groceries you can find in our stores. This year, we’d like to draw attention to local culinary talent who are Co-op members. Kicking off the year we invited local food writer, blogger, educator Amy White to contribute recipes for hearty winter dishes to get you through the cold weeks of January and February. The following is an excerpt about what inspired Amy to start her food blog, Veggie Obsession. Read her blog and get more recipes at Sarah Wentzel-Fisher Veggie Obsession I'm Amy, and I am totally obsessed with vegetables. OK, fruits, too. There are so many gorgeous varieties and flavors. People ask me if I'm a vegetarian, and I say no—I just love vegetables! I just can't resist them at the farmers' market, I look forward to our local CSA box every week, I grow more in my garden, and I still love to browse through the produce section at the grocery store.

January 2013 10

With a veggie obsession like this, I had to do something ... so I started this blog as an outlet for my constant daydreaming about how to cook and grow veggies. I just want to show people how spectacularly delicious vegetables can be, without cheating by hiding them under loads of breadcrumbs and butter. I think the value of a blog is that the writer genuinely loves the recipe, talks about its history and points out trouble spots—I only write about recipes that I think are really, truly delicious! I don't know quite when this veggie obsession developed, but it started young. My grandmother had a huge vegetable garden on the farm in Illinois—they almost never bought produce, and the basement was stocked full of home-canned goodies. Her sugar snap peas and strawberries were always ready right around my birthday, and I loved just sitting out in the warm dirt eating them, with butterflies floating all around. My mom is a great cook, and she always used lots of vegetables because they were cheaper than meat. The great thing about seasonal produce is that it's cheapest when it's at its peak of freshness and flavor! I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with my husband, Dave, in an old adobe house with two cats and three chickens. Our ever-expanding vegetable garden now fills the front yard as well as the back!



Hearty Winter Soups A really good, flavorful soup makes a fantastic winter meal. I have to admit, I'm not generally a soup lover, because it's so often bland and boring, with tinny-tasting broth. Building a flavorful broth is critical, and vegetarian soups can be just as hearty as meat-based ones. These four recipes really deliver great flavor using a spectacular array of local winter produce. Chicken and Mushroom Stew with White Wine and Turnips Any mushrooms will work in this recipe, but it's especially nice with local oyster mushrooms. Turnips take the place of celery in the mix. 2 teaspoons butter 1 large carrot, diced 1/2 large onion or several shallots, diced 1/2 pound turnips, diced 1 pound mushrooms, sliced 1 cup dry white wine 1 1/2 cups chicken stock 1/2 pound sliced chicken (either cooked or uncooked) 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half Salt and pepper as needed Melt butter in a large pot or wide skillet; add onion, celery and turnips. Cook until soft and slightly browned, then remove vegetables from the pot with a slotted spoon. Add mushrooms and cook until nicely browned. Add wine and the vegetable mixture, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Add stock and chicken. Simmer until the flavors blend, about 20 minutes. Add cream and heat until just warmed again. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Serves 2 to 4.

Lentil and Winter Squash Soup (adapted from The New Spanish Table by Anya Von Bremzen) Lentil soup is awfully misunderstood. It's so often gloppy and bland, and people will add everything under the sun to try to make it better. This version is simple yet packed with flavor. 1 large head of garlic 3 teaspoons olive oil 1 1/2 cup green or brown lentils, washed and picked over 1 pound winter squash or sweet potato, cubed 8 cups water 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or marjoram 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon red chile powder (optional) 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes 2 onions (one cut in half, one diced) 2 roasted red peppers (diced, from a bottle is fine) 1 teaspoon smoked paprika A pinch of saffron (optional) 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar Salt and pepper as needed Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the top off the head of garlic, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil in a small baking dish. Roast until soft, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, bring lentils and water to a boil in a large pot. Skim off any foam and add the marjoram, bay leaf, red chile, half the tomatoes and two onion halves. Simmer about 20 minutes, until lentils are not quite tender. Add squash and simmer another 20 minutes, until it is almost tender. Remove the bay leaf and onion halves. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet on medium heat, and cook diced onions and peppers until soft but not browned. Add tomatoes and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add this mixture to the lentils. Mash the

winter warm


roasted garlic with the saffron and add to the pot. Add vinegar, salt and pepper as desired. Serves 4 to 6 as a main course.

2 8 1 1 1 4 3 2 2 6

Lemony Parsnip Soup with Rosemary and Crispy Leeks Parsnips seem to have something of a bad reputation and I can't imagine why. They are sweet and delicious, like a white carrot. Sometimes garnishes are the key to a really great soup experience. The soup is tasty on its own, but with the garnish it's truly delightful—don't skip the leeks.

January 2013 11

cups flour (half whole wheat is good) tablespoons butter cup sour cream beaten egg head of cabbage tablespoons butter tablespoons sugar teaspoons salt tablespoons vinegar cups chicken or vegetable broth

Cut together the flour and butter, with a fork or a food processor, until its texture resembles cornmeal. Then stir in the sour cream until the dough holds together. Divide the dough into two balls, wrap them in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour.

2 teaspoons olive oil 1/2 cup diced onion 3 cups diced parsnips 1 sprig rosemary 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock Salt 1 leek, thinly sliced white and green parts only Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Slice up the cabbage into thin ribbons (a food processor is great for this). I like to slice it; if you grate it, it ends up having a very different texture. Heat the butter on medium high in a large skillet. Toss in the cabbage, and cover with a lid for 5 to 10 minutes to help it wilt down faster. Add the rest of the ingredients— the salt will cause the cabbage to release some water. Cook on high heat, stirring frequently, until all liquid is absorbed or evaporated, and the cabbage is translucent. How long this takes depends on how finely you cut or grate the cabbage, about 20 to 40 minutes. I like to cook it down a lot, until it is slightly browned.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium flame. Add onion and cook until just softened. Add parsnips, rosemary, pepper and stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer about 15 minutes, until parsnips are tender. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil on medium flame. Add sliced leeks, season with salt and fry, stirring often, until bits begin to brown. Remove from heat and reserve. Remove the rosemary and puree the soup. Add the lemon zest, then add lemon juice and salt to taste. Garnish with leeks. Serves 2 to 4.

Roll out each ball of dough to fit a 9x13-inch pan. Spread the cabbage over the bottom crust. Cover with the top crust, and roll up the edges of both crusts together. Brush the top with the beaten egg. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Cabbage Pie Soup (adapted from The Winter Vegetarian by Darra Goldstein) This is my favorite cabbage recipe of all time! I know, it sounds weird. If you try it, I guarantee you will be amazed by its deliciousness. Cabbage develops a wonderful nutty flavor when sautéed; even more amazing is the flavor it takes on when you add a balance of salt, sugar and vinegar. You might be thinking, the cabbage pie looks pretty good on its own—why make it into soup? Trust me, it really is even better with the broth.

To serve, put a square of pie in a wide bowl and pour the heated broth over it. Serves 6 to 8 as a main course.



from our regional

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New Mexico LOCAL FOOD DAY at the 2013 Legislature on Monday, January 21 from 8am-12pm. Join Farm to Table and many others in support of LOCAL FOODS AND PRODUCTS


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Mary Alice Cooper, MD

January 21 8am-12pm


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summer garden


BY SARAH WENTZEL-FISHER anuary is the month to dream and scheme your summer garden fantasies. While away the short cold days thinking on the fruits of summer—then start making a plan for what you will plant, when and where. A great summer garden really starts at the beginning of the year. You can add compost to your garden beds, build new beds, prune fruit trees, make a planting schedule and perhaps most satisfying, browse seed catalogs to get inspired for spring! But for all its pleasure and innocence, choosing seeds is a deeply rooted political and economic choice.


January 2013 12

SEED CATALOGUE The creation and patenting of hybrid seeds, and now GMO seeds, have impacts on every level, from the biodiversity of the garden, to the preservation of cultural practices related to traditional foods, to economic consequences as a result of legal power garnered through patenting seeds. To learn more about these issues, you can find great articles by Michael Pollan on his blog,

While you can simply pop down to your local big box hardware store for seeds, consider taking the extra time to shop around this year for unique, locally or regionally acclimated, and unusual heirloom seeds. We are fortunate to have a number of great seed sources in New Mexico and the Southwest. A number of local organizations also host early spring seed swaps where gardeners and farmers trade seeds saved from the previous year’s harvest. Most seed catalogs and nurseries offer several different types of seeds. The most common are heirloom, open pollinated, organic and F1 hybrids. Open pollinated seeds are selected from the fruits of plants that have been pollinated by the breeze or critters in the garden, and will produce a similar fruit the next season, but may also have variety, helping to ensure genetic biodiversity. Heirlooms are openly pollinated seeds that have a long track record of producing consistent volume, shape, flavor and size of fruit. Organic seeds, often heirloom varieties, are grown under conditions certified to be organic by a USDA recognized inspector. F1 hybrid seeds are produced annually by intentional cross-pollination of two different plant varieties. Hybrid plants tend to have larger fruit and higher yields than openly pollinated plant varieties. These seeds can be planted and grown one year, but seed saved from those plants may or may not produce the same results the next year, meaning you would need to purchase the same seeds the next year to get the same type of fruit. Further, most F1 hybrid seeds are patented, making seed saving from these plants, technically, an illegal activity.

catalogs Plants of the Southwest 6680 4th St NW, Albuquerque NM 87107/ 3095 Agua Fria Rd, Santa Fe NM 87507, 800-788-7333 Native Seed/SEARCH 3061 N. Campbell Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719, 866-622-5561 Family Farm Seed Cooperative 1710 West Alameda #9, Santa Fe, NM 87501, 541-233-4249 Westwind Seeds and Gardenscapes LLC 6336 N. Oracle #326-246, Tucson, AZ 85704, 520-887-2106 Golden Harvest Organics LLC 404 N. Impala Drive Fort Collins, CO 970-224-4679 Wild Garden Seed PO Box 1509, Philomath, OR 97370 541-929-4068 Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. 2278 Baker Creek Road, Mansfield, MO 65704, 417-924-8917 Fedco Seeds PO Box 520, Waterville, ME 04903 207-873-7333 High Mowing Organic Seeds 76 Quarry Rd, Wolcott, VT 05680 802-472-6174

Johnny’s Selected Seeds 955 Benton Ave, Winslow, ME 04901 877-564-6697 Seed Savers Exchange 3094 N. Winn Rd, Decorah, IA 52101, 563-382-5990 Seeds of Change PO Box 152, Spicer, MN 56288 888-762-7333 Territorial Seed Co. PO Box 158, Cottage Grove, OR 97424, 800-626-0866 Bountiful Gardens 1726-D South Main St, Willits CA 95490, 707-459-6410 One Green World 28696 S. Cramer Rd, Molalla, OR 97038, 877-353-4028 Horizon Herbs PO Box 69, Williams, OR 97544 541-846-6704 Botanical Interests, Inc. 660 Compton St, Broomfield, CO 80020, 877-821-4340 Look for Botanical Interests Seed at your favorite Co-op location.

finding good seed!, on the Seed Savers Exchange website,, and on the Native Harvest website,, by searching “seed sovereignty.” While scheming your spring planting consider weighing your seed choices carefully. Below is a list of seed sources that offer openly pollinated, heirloom and organic seeds. Several offer varieties particularly well acclimated to the Southwest, as well as traditional and indigenous seed varieties. Finally, many of these seed sources have committed to non-GMO seeds by taking the Safe Seed Pledge:



griculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms poses great biological risks, as well as economic, political and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy people and communities." While planning your summer garden, consider buying from companies that have taken the Safe Seed Pledge (for a complete list of seed companies that have taken the pledge visit and ask questions at your local nursery about the different seeds they offer. Know that what you are planting is supporting a diverse ecosystem, a vibrant community, and a thriving and sustainable economy. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, have fun imagining all the delicious fruits of your early garden planning.

While planning your summer garden, consider buying from companies that have taken the SAFE SEED PLEDGE!



BRETT BAKKER rganic Certification is process-based. That is, certifiers and inspectors verify that the organic farm is following the USDA/National Organic Program (NOP) rules; keeping thorough records of all major events (planting, fertilization, pest control, harvest, sales, etc.); and working toward improving the soil while protecting the environment. Most folks are surprised to hear it but there has never been any systematic testing of organic crops for pesticide residue. Organic Certifiers may test if there is reason to believe there is some sort of contamination either unintentionally (spray drift from neighboring farms) or intentionally (fraud), but it has never been a requirement. BY

That is changing in 2013. By order of the NOP, all USDA-Accredited organic certifiers must take samples from at least 5% of their certified organic clients annually. This means everything: potatoes, mangoes, beef, milk, cotton, lip balm, pet treats, you name it. The goal of the NOP is to monitor how much or how little traces of pesticides make it through the organic food chain. Since, by rule, farms must be free from synthetics for a minimum of three years before organic certification, accumulated residue could remain in the soil from as little as four years ago (before the farm went organic) or as far back as fifty (DDT for example). No, organic certification has never been a guarantee of purity although that’s what the general public believes. That would be awfully nice but no farm is immune to contamination from multiple sources that are far out of their control: acid rain, groundwater pollution, upriver spills, a careless neighbor that over-sprayed onto your farm on the day you went to town looking for tractor parts but never told you... A little known clause from the organic rule: “When residue testing detects prohibited substances at levels that are greater than five percent of the Environmental Protection Agency's tolerance for the specific residue detected or unavoidable residual environmental contamination, the agricultural product must not be sold, labeled, or represented as organically produced.” This means that any traces under five percent are not an automatic suspension of organic certification. This protects the honest organic farmer from—in New Mexico for example—problems associated with irrigating from the Rio Grande which is far

from pure. Or the vegetable farmer in California’s Central Valley who is surrounded by agribiz farms that may be polluting the soil or water or air. But any contamination found is instead used as a tool to analyze the situation, find the cause and correct the problem. Uneven contamination at the edges of the farm suggests some sort of drift or off-farm source of contamination and therefore the farm and certifier can work on ways to reduce that risk if not eliminate it altogether. Or if tests reveal high traces of pesticides associated with non-organic corn or cotton it might suggest that fraud is taking place. The NOP’s initial proposal was to only test the final products: harvested produce, crops and packaged products. Organic Certifiers argued that tissue sampling of live plants as well as soil and water analysis are tools that are just as important in assessing risk, identifying unintentional contamination or detecting fraud. This testing will be both random and targeted. It’s only fair to test everyone at some point but it’s always justifiable to test operations that appear questionable or are under suspicion. Too, there are many farms, ranches and food processors that produce both organic and non-organic versions of the same product and the critical control points are many: shared equipment, storage sheds, transport, etc. As always, Washington State Department of Agriculture has been leading the way. By far one of the best organic programs in the country, WSDA has been performing residue tests of organic crops for many years. You can thank a progressive state government for that. In almost twenty years of testing, WSDA has, of course, found contamination, but as the years go by, it is diminishing, which is, of course, the desired result. Given time to get the new mandatory testing program going, expect the same for the rest of the country.




Winter Foodshed Abundance: Look for apples, veggies, goat cheese and other local foods AT ALL CO-OP LOCATIONS!






• Investor enrollment period now open through March 30, 2013 • Investment options begin at $250 • Loan repayment terms tailored to the needs of our community of food producers • Loan applications taken on an ongoing basis To set up a meeting to learn more or for a Prospectus, Investor Agreement, Loan Criteria and Applications, call or e-mail Robin at: 505-217-2027, toll free at 877-775-2667 or e-mail her at or go to

farming &


January 2013 13





study of GMO alfalfa’s impacts under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). During the four-year study, farmers were banned from planting or selling the crop. The USDA study slowed down the release of GMO alfalfa, but ultimately couldn’t stop it. As Mother Jones reports, in 2011, the USDA deregulated the crop.

BY RONNIE CUMMINS AND ALEXIS BADEN-MAYER, ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION ast summer the so-called “Monsanto rider” was quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill. It would require – not just allow, but REQUIRE—the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed.


Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) has sponsored an amendment to kill the rider, whose official name is the “farmers’ assurance provision”. But even if DeFazio’s amendment makes it through the House vote, it still has to survive the Senate. Biotech’s “Legislator of the Year” We can thank agricultural sub-committee chair Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) – who not coincidentally was voted "Legislator of the Year for 2011-2012" by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), whose members include Monsanto and DuPont, for inserting this one-line zinger into the 90-page Agricultural Appropriations bill. Aiding and abetting Kingston is John C. Greenwood, former US Congressman from Pennsylvania and now president of the BIO, who claimed, as reported in Mother Jones, that “a stream of lawsuits” have slowed approvals and “created uncertainties” for companies developing GE crops. Greenwood was referring to several past lawsuits, including one brought in 2007 by the Center for Food Safety challenging the legality of the USDA’s approval of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa. In that case, a federal court ruled that the USDA’s approval of GMO alfalfa violated environmental laws by failing to analyze risks such as the contamination of conventional and organic alfalfa, the evolution of glyphosate-resistant weeds, and increased use of Roundup. The USDA was forced to undertake a four-year

In another case in 2011 the USDA outright defied a federal judge’s order to halt the planting of Monsanto’s controversial Roundup Ready GMO sugar beets until the agency completed an Environmental Impact Statement. The USDA allowed farmers to continue planting the crop even while it was being assessed for safety on the grounds that there were no longer enough non-GMO seeds available to plant. Who loses if Monsanto wins this one? Among the biggest losers if Congress ignores the DeFazio amendment and passes the “farmers’ assurance provision” are thousands of farmers of conventional and organic crops, including those who rely on the export market for their livelihoods. An increasing number of global markets are requiring GMO-free agricultural products or, at the very least, enforcing strict GMO labeling laws. If this provision passes, it will allow unrestricted planting of potentially dangerous crops, exposing other safe and non-GMO crops to risk of contamination. Ultimately, the entire US agriculture market and US economy suffers. There’s a reason we have laws like the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Plant Protection Act of 2000, which was specifically designed “to strengthen the safety net for agricultural producers by providing greater access to more affordable risk management tools and improved protection from produc-

Plants are OUR Allies: Sunflowers

&Radiation BY JESSIE

EMERSON, RN began the “Plants Are Our Allies” series in Jan. 2012, by discussing the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, and how plants can protect us from the dangers of radiation. I agree with many scientists and Dr. Helen Caldicott, there are NO safe doses of radiation.


The BBC News reported that, “Traces of radioactive material from the Japanese nuclear plant are now being detected from coast to coast in the USA and in Iceland.” Reuters newspapers have reported that there seems to be “continous leaking.” Ken Buesseler, senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute wrote in Science (Oct. 26, 2012, Vol. 338, pgs. 480-482) that “Cesium levels in fish have not declined since the accident 18 months ago. This indicates that there are continuing low level leaks and that possibly the ocean sediment is contaminated.” The soil around the area is contaminated, and if the winds had been blowing toward Tokyo instead of out to sea, the story might have been different. Phyto-remediation However, there is a plant ally that is helping decontaminate the soil; Helianthus annus; sunflower. People all over Japan are contributing to sunflower activities with the goal to plant 120 million sunflowers to phyto-remediate the soil. At first the government did not support the idea; however, American researchers helped change their minds. Professor Leon Kachian’s research team pointed out that sunflowers were not “efficient” in collecting cesium as the form of the element makes it unavailable for plant uptake. But the team also discovered that treating the soil with ammonium nitrate increases the availability of cesium for root uptake and accumulation in plant shoots. (See the USDA, Agriculture Research Service paper: “Phytoremediation using plants to clean up soils.) Now you might wonder, what happens to the now highly contaminated sunflowers? A process has been developed

REASONS FOR OUTRAGE! • The Monsanto Rider is an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers. Judicial review is an essential element of US law, maintaining the clear-cut boundary of a Constitutionally-guaranteed separation of powers essential to our government. This provision will blur that line. • Judicial review is a gateway, not a roadblock. Congress should be fully supportive of our nation’s independent judiciary. The ability of courts to review, evaluate and judge an issue that impacts public and environmental health is a strength, not a weakness, of our system. The loss of this fundamental safeguard could put public health, the environment and livelihoods at risk.

Unless the Senate or a citizens’ army of farmers and consumers can stop them, the House of Representatives could have rammed this dangerous rider through before you read this, but the “fiscal cliff” which has obsessed Washington may have bought us some time. In a statement issued this fall, the Center For Food Safety had this to say about the biotech industry’s latest attempt to circumvent legal and regulatory safeguards: “Ceding broad and unprecedented powers to industry, the rider poses a direct threat to the authority of US courts, jettisons the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) established oversight powers on key agriculture issues and puts the nation’s farmers and food supply at risk.”

tion income loss.” The farmers assurance provision” is a thinly disguised attempt by the biotech industry to undermine these protections. Worse yet, it’s an affront to everyone who believes the US judicial system exists to protect US citizens and public health.

that can separate cesium from the biomass. It is then contained in “radiation-tight containers made from TALBOR.” The leftover bio-mass can be made into bio-fuel, to help with clean-up costs. It is estimated that two or three crops in a year’s growing cycle could clean up the contaminated site in 15 years. Close your eyes. Picture 120 million flowers following the sun across the sky. It would be an awesome sight. Beautiful Food Sunflowers provide food as well as beauty. Native Americans domesticated them and they became an important agriculture crop. Russia and China are among the top producers of sunflower seeds and oil. The health benefits of sunflower seeds are many. Their high vitamin E content protects the heart. Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals that can disrupt DNA and cause cancer. They also have anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic excessive inflammation causes such diseases as coronary thrombosis (heart attacks), strokes, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. This vitamin also helps protect the body from cancer by promoting the repair of DNA. Both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are present in abundance and in proper proportion in the seeds; linoleic, a polyunsaturated acid and the monounsaturated oleic acid, lowers LDL cholesterol. Others, including chloragenic acid, quinic acid and caffeic acid are antioxidants. The seeds contain B-complex vitamins and folic acid which contributes to DNA synthesis. They are abundant in: calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium and selenium.

Healing the soil, Keeping us


• It removes the “legal brakes” that prevent fraud and abuse. In recent years, federal courts have ruled that several USDA GE crop approvals violated the law and required further study of their health and environmental impact. The Monsanto rider would prevent a federal court from putting in place court-ordered restrictions, even if the approval were fraudulent or involved bribery. • It’s unnecessary and duplicative. Every court dealing with these issues is supposed to carefully weigh the interests of all affected farmers and consumers, as is already required by law. USDA already has working mechanisms in place to allow partial approvals, and the Department has used them, making this provision completely unnecessary. • It shuts out the USDA. The rider would not merely allow, it would COMPEL the Secretary of Agriculture to immediately grant any requests for permits to allow continued planting and commercialization of an unlawfully approved GE crop. The rider makes a mockery of USDA’s legally mandated review, transforming it into a “rubber stamp” approval process. • It’s a back-door amendment of a statute. This rider, quietly tacked onto an appropriations bill, is in effect a substantial amendment to USDA’s governing statute for GE crops, the Plant Protection Act. If Congress feels the law needs to be changed, it should be done in a transparent manner by holding hearings, soliciting expert testimony and including full opportunity for public debate. If we allow this “Monsanto Rider” to be slipped into the FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill, consumers and farmers will lose what little control we have now over what we plant and what we eat. JOIN the hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens who have already written to Congress in support of the DEFAZIO AMENDMENT, please go to

Sunflower Seed BURGERS 21/2 cups raw seeds 2 cups grated carrots 1/2 cup finely chopped onions garlic cloves, crushed 2 tbls. water 1/2 cup tomato juice Preheat oven to 425°F Grate the seeds in blender. Add to carrots, add onions, garlic and water. Mix well. Add tomato juice for a thinner consistency. Bake 20 minutes per side or place on cookie sheet in your solar oven or dust each patty in flour of your choice and sauté in sunflower oil.

I have always wondered how such small seeds can contain so much nutritional power! Sunflower seed, both raw and roasted, and sunflower oil are staples in my kitchen. The seeds make a healthy and filling low fat snack. Just 1/4 cup or one handful of the seeds gives 90% of the daily requirements of vitamin E, provides 6 grams protein and 3 grams of fiber. Add them to salads and your baked goodies for extra protein. I add sunflower seeds to just about everything from breads to pancakes. One of my favorites is a sunflower burger topped with a tomato, sunflower sprouts and avocado. The above is a basic recipe. Once you try this you may want to experiment using tofu, hummus or sunbutter. The variations are many. HAVE FUN!





hile the “Big 6” pesticide corporations were pouring millions into defeating California’s Prop 37 initiative to label genetically engineered (GE) food, their suite of “next generation” GE seeds continued to move quietly toward USDA approval.

2,4-D Food: An Oxymoron? 2,4-D is best known as one of the ingredients in the infamous Agent Orange; used as a defoliant in Vietnam. This herbicide is toxic to broad leafed plants; when absorbed is translocated in the plant, accumulating at the growing points of roots and shoots where it inhibits growth. Like paraquat, lindane, endosulfan and toxaphene, 2,4-D is a WHO Class II “moderately hazardous” pesticide. Occupational exposure to 2,4-D has produced serious eye and skin irritation. Other symptoms of 2,4-D poisoning include nausea, weakness and fatigue, and in some cases neurotoxic effects including inflammation of nerve endings; with medical reports of victims of acute exposure mentioning severe and sometimes long lasting or even permanent symptoms. These include, as well as those listed above, diarrhea, temporary loss of vision, respiratory tract irritation, confusion, numbness and tingling, bleeding and chemical hypersensitivity. These symptoms have been documented among many Vietnam-era veterans who experienced acute exposures.

MEDITATION retreat from our

STOP THE GE PIPELINE: REJECT DOW’S The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified 2,4-D among the phenoxy acid herbicides as a class 2B possible human carcinogen. US authorities have also been reluctant to declare 2,4-D a potential human carcinogen, but a court case decided that a forestry worker contracted cancer and died as a direct result of his exposure to 2,4-D during the course of his work. There continue to be concerns about longterm adverse effects of 2,4-D on human health and water pollution.

And public HEALT H EFFECTS a re...

Herbicide-resistant seeds in the pipeline — including Dow's 2,4-D corn and Monsanto's dicamba soy — will drive up the use of these hazardous chemicals, destroying neighbor crops and creating unnecessary health risks for farmers and rural communities. Dow’s application for 2,4-D-resistant corn is first in the queue, and 2,4-D soy and Monsanto’s dicamba-resistant soy are not far behind. Scientists warn that 2,4-D corn alone could increase the herbicide's use by 30-fold.

A one to seven day silent retreat, will be held from Jan. 19 to January 26 in a lodge in the National Forest in Tijeras. Participants can attend for the number of days of their choice and fees will be scaled accordingly. Advance registration is required. The retreat brings together people interested in meditation from any tradition, as well as people meditating without any traditional context. For fees and registration contact Jay Cutts at 505-281-0684 or visit: www.

January 2013 14


As with 2,4-D, the introduction of dicamba soy could cause a similarly dramatic surge in use; both herbicides are known to drift, easily destroying other farmers’ crops of tomatoes, grapes, beans, cotton, soy—just about any broadleaf plant.

Santa Fe’s

2 , 4 - D CORN

Just as Monsanto's Roundup Ready seed line led to the emergence of herbicide-resistant "superweeds" across the country, so, too, will this next generation of GE seeds. But instead of abandoning the strategy of stacking seeds with herbicide-resistant traits, Dow, Monsanto and the rest of the Big 6 are introducing more of the same. Say no to this pipeline of bad ideas: Call on the USDA to stop the pipeline of next generation GE seeds, and take a stand for farming communities across the country. The first step? Rejecting Dow's 2,4-D corn. GO TO Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) website and sign the petitions to Stop the GE PIPELINE : Or contact them at 1611 Telegraph Ave. Suite 1200, Oakland, CA 94612, to see how you can help.


E c o n o m y series

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM is more than ECOTOURISM Sustainable tourism and sustainable development is a theme in Santa Fe that is extremely pertinent. Mayor Koss and Dr. Ortego, former President of SFCC, discussed the need for our city to look at the principles of sustainable tourism last year. Crucial to this understanding is the importance of following the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. Guiding an industry based on how it impacts people, the environment and the revenue stream creates a better world that is more sustainable. When people visit New Mexico they have a chance to learn, experience and participate in this unique and rich milieu. We depend on tourism as an industry and the way we address this powerful economic force can make all the difference. Santa Fe is a showcase for many things, including art, culture and progressive ideas, some of which are sustainable living and local, organic food production. The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market is a perfect example of collaboration between farmers, businesses, the City and non-profits, teaming up to produce a weekly cornucopia of fresh food and Santa Fe’s primo social hot spot. Tourism fluctuates between high season and low season making it hard to keep employees and income during the low sea-

son. So what can we do during the low season that could have aggregate value in the long run? In addition, how can we improve finances by reducing waste, increasing efficiency, reducing the amount of inputs and increasing yield? Ecotourism touches on the idea that we must reduce the negative impact of the visitor on the place visited. This perspective is attractive to youth all over the world and a place of unity amongst world citizens. It is only the beginning and we must go beyond ecotourism to sustainable tourism. It is for this reason that when an industry like tourism commits to ZERO waste the impact is enormous. Creating a dynamic synthesis of traditions and the possibility for innovation and creativity is one of the benefits. Tourism in itself offers a series of challenges and opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint. These opportunities can be explored in Santa Fe with the Carbon Economy Series on January 11-14, 2013, at Santa Fe Community College. Maria Boccalandro, PhD, and Daniel Mirabal from Arete Consulting Group will address the challenges in the intensive Sustainable Tourism and Sustainable Development workshop. Mayor David Koss will introduce the weekend workshop on Friday evening. Look at our web page for more information and to register, www.carbon or call 505-819-3828. BY IGINIA




January 2013 15


SNOW POEMS: connecting

PLACE, POETRY and PEOPLE Bridging Artistic and Social

BOUNDARIES BY KIRSTEN MUNDT Three years ago, a few friends were drinking wine together on a rare night when we weren’t on duty with our small children. We talked about art, creativity and the joys and demands of parenting. We were so excited to have found other mothers who were also artists, feeling the same frustrations around being both creative people and mothers. How would we ever make time to make things, or think deeply? We wouldn’t trade being mothers for anything, but neither was it an option to not feed our creative and relational selves. We wondered how we could feed all parts of ourselves, including the desire for an antidote to the alienation we felt as women living our own separate, busy lives. From these gatherings, Edie Tsong formed the Cut + Paste Society, a group of women artists, writers and mothers, who meet once a month to connect and generate ideas across artistic and social boundaries. In 2012 our first collaborative project was born: Snow


that landscape. We are so bombarded by images and text that we often navigate our cities without really seeing or genuinely interacting with what and who is there. Public poetry offers a point of stillness, and provides a venue for exploring and discussing how we want to inhabit our own cities. In fall of 2012 Cut + Paste was awarded $7,000 by popular vote from SITE Santa Fe’s Spread Grant dinner to transform the city of Santa Fe into a “living book.” Starting in late December, Santa F eans saw poems where they least expected them: in restaurants, grocery stores and government buildings. The poems, generated in free community workshops, school workshops and open submissions, will be up until March.

Poems. At the New Mexico School for the Arts, Monika Cassel helped her students generate poems, which were stenciled with spray snow on windows throughout the building. Faculty and staff also participated. Cities as Living Books At the heart of this project is the idea that we as citizens are constantly interacting with the landscape of our cities, and have the power to shape and define

Connecting our community through the beauty of the unexpected encourages us to slow down and bond with public spaces in more intimate ways during mundane moments of our lives. We hope these poems will spark moments of aesthetic and emotional beauty, as well as conversation. We hope that our project will spark citizens to take greater ownership of our city through the experience of creating and experiencing art together. Please visit to learn more about the project. Cut + Paste Society is partnering with the Santa Fe Institute and is working with Story of Place Institute. Kirsten Mundt is a Cut + Paste member and English teacher.




ittleglobe and the Santa Fe Art Institute present a two-day hands-on intensive, exploring best practices in planning and leading community engagement through creative and artistic practices. This workshop is intended for artists, organizations, cultural workers and community members. Participants study the theory and practice that underlies meaningful and successful engagement projects, with a special emphasis on working with southwest communities and learning how to facilitate and practice creative engagement work that builds individual and community capacity. Much of the workshop will be taught in ensemble format. We will explore a wide range of project techniques that includes creative group exercises, writing, movement and storytelling, collaborative filmmaking, creative

facilitation techniques to hold spaces for a diversity of differing perspectives. The group will also learn a range of other multi-arts approaches to create rapport and free exchange within a group. Additionally, participants will learn best practices in the "back end" of this kind of work, exploring methods for planning, fundraising, partnership building, and successful follow-through after community projects are complete. This workshop will be facilitated by Littleglobe artistic team and co-founders Molly Sturges and Chris Jonas. TO REGISTER, contact Cathy Kosak, Santa Fe Art Institute, 505-424-5050 or e-mail her at


SURVIVING OURSELVES MEET THE AUTHOR: Eric Herm at Bookworks On January 16 at 7pm in Albuquerque at Bookworks, 4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW, and on January 17 at 6pm in Santa Fe at Collected Works, 202 Galisteo, Eric Herm will come and discuss his new book, Surviving Ourselves. Surviving Ourselves is about the vital relationship between Mother Nature and the Human Spirit. Herm reveals their parallel behavior – how one affects the other in the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our daily lives – and the increasingly fragmented connection between them. Through



his own personal experiences and poetry, as well as the inspiring stories of others, this fourth-generation farmer relays a message of revolution and evolution that starts within each of us. Eric Herm is a fourth-generation West Texas cotton farmer who has traveled extensively throughout America, Mexico, Europe and North Africa. His previous book, Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth: A Path to Agriculture's Higher Consciousness, examined the strains on the land caused by commercial agriculture.

The 18th annual water conservation conference is an interdisciplinary collaborative effort of the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico and Arid LID. Hosted by both organizations, the conference will attract more than 250 land and water use professionals. The agenda will feature a total of eight expert speakers, networking opportunities, a catered lunch, and more. Held at the Albuquerque Marriott Pyramid North, this conference brings together nationally recognized speakers for an exciting two-day conference, followed by the annual Water Conservation Expo at the N.M. State Fairgrounds in Albuquerque, on March 2-3. To register or for more info call Toll-free: 1-800-262-2043 or 505-821-3333 or go to



2013 INVESTMENT ENROLLMENT PERIOD EXTENDED Loans made throughout the year! For Information call 877-775-2667

La Montanita Coop Connection January, 2013  

The La Montanita Coop Connection is a monthly publication about food and issues affecting our local foodshed. Membership in La Montañita Co-...

La Montanita Coop Connection January, 2013  

The La Montanita Coop Connection is a monthly publication about food and issues affecting our local foodshed. Membership in La Montañita Co-...