PROTECTING ORGANIC INTEGRITY LA MONTAÑITA JOINS NATIONAL ACTION TO CHALLENGE USDA CHANGE TO ORGANIC RULE BY PAIGE TOMASELLI, CENTER
n April 8, organic stakeholders, including La Montañita Co-op, filed a lawsuit in federal court protesting a USDA change to the sunset of allowed synthetics in the organic rule, bypassing the public input process. The lawsuit maintains that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) violated the federal rulemaking process when it changed established procedures for reviewing the potential hazards and need for allowed synthetic and prohibited natural substances used in producing organic food. La Montañita was honored to be one of only two co-ops nationally invited to join a coalition of 15 organic food producers and farmer, consumer, environmental, and certification groups asking the court to require USDA to reconsider its decision on the rule change and to reinstitute the agency’s customary public hearing and comment process.
Organic consumers and producers expect a high level of scrutiny and are willing to pay a premium with the knowledge that a third-party certifier is evaluating compliance with organic health and safety food production standards. The burgeoning thirty-five plus billion dollar organic market relies heavily on a system of public review and input regarding decisions that affect organic production systems and the organic label. The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is a 15-member multistakeholder board comprised of farmers, consumers, environmentalists, retailers, certifiers, and food producers who advise the Secretary of Agriculture and the National Organic Program on all matters related to organic food and agriculture policy. Board members, appointed to a 5-year term by the Secretary of Agriculture, hold semi-annual meetings to solicit public input and to write recommendations to the Secretary on organic policy matters, including the allowance of synthetic and non-organic agricultural materials and ingredients. Maintain Public Process The organic label is built on a history and solid foundation of holding public hearings and soliciting extensive public participation. Many of us remember when the original proposed rule—which would have allowed GMOs, sewage sludge, and irradiation—resulted in a large outpouring of public input. It was important that the public had an opportunity to be heard before the rule was adopted. This opportunity created the public belief that the process behind the organic label was something that could be trusted. Ever since then, whether there was agreement on a decision or not, we could believe in the decision-making process and the integrity of the organic label. We, the plaintiffs in this case, maintain that the USDA organic rule establishes a public process that creates public trust in the USDA organic label, which has resulted in exponential growth in organic sales over the last two decades. We believe The UDSA’s action to adopt a major policy change without a public process violates one of the foundational principles and practices of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA), that of public participation in organic policy-making. Sunset the Sunset Rule? In adopting the OFPA, Congress created standards for organic certification and established the NOSB to oversee the allowance of synthetic materials, given a lack of alternatives, based on a determination that they do not cause harm to human health and the environment, and are necessary in organic food production and processing. At issue is a rule that implements the organic law’s “sunset provision,” which since its origins has been interpreted to require all listed materials to
Cooperative and Fair Trade Values:
One and the Same at La Montañita BY ROBIN SEYDEL resh, Fair, Local and Organic” has long been La Montañita’s slogan. And for us, it’s not just image marketing hype to jump on the foodie bandwagon. These words and the concepts they represent, based on the Cooperative Principles and Values, have shaped decision-making at La Montañita Co-op for
In September, 2014, without any public input, and in a complete reversal of accepted process, USDA announced a definitive change in the rule it had been operating under since the inception of the organic program. Now, a material can remain on the National List in perpetuity unless the NOSB takes initiative to vote it OFF the List. The failure of USDA to comply with public hearing and comment procedures on the sunset rule change serves to usurp a process and label that the organic community began building long before the agency even recognized the legitimacy of organic systems as a viable and productive form of agriculture. It is our hope that the filing of our lawsuit will help maintain respect for the process as the organic sector faces important questions of practices and synthetic material use in the future. Public Voice, Public Trust We believe in the value of the public voice in the process, as we seek to grow the organic sector through public trust in the organic label. Consumers and farmers working together have helped to grow organic from the beginning. We are at a critical and historic moment when stakeholders must lead in ensuring that our government respects what we have built and remains true to the public process and the legal framework that gives organic its integrity. In a joint statement, we the plaintiffs, who represent a broad cross section of interests in organic food, said: “We are filing this lawsuit today because we are deeply concerned that the organic decision making process is being undermined by USDA. The complaint challenges the unilateral agency action on the sunset procedure for synthetic materials review, which represents a dramatic departure from the organic community’s commitment to an open and fair decision making process, subject to public input. Legally, the agency’s decision represents a rule change and therefore must be subject to public comment. But equally important, it is a departure from the public process that we have built as a community. This process has created a unique opportunity within government for a community of stakeholders to come together, hear all points of view, and chart a course for the future of organic. It is a process that continually strengthens organic, supports its rapid growth, and builds the integrity of the USDA certified label in the marketplace.”
La Montañita Co-op is honored to be included in the coalition of plaintiffs and be represented by counsel from Center for Food Safety. The organizations filing the suit include: Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety, Equal Exchange, Food and Water Watch, Frey Vineyards, La Montañita Coop, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, New Natives, Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance, Northeast Organic Farmers Association Massachusetts, Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Organic Consumers Association, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, PCC Natural Markets, and The Cornucopia Institute. Taking a Stand We must stand together, and in true democratic fashion, hold USDA accountable to the public process that helped establish and grow the organic food industry. If we do not hold the line on public process, we are concerned that in decision after decision, organic will lose its meaning. In taking this collaborative legal action we seek to prevent USDA activities from possibly causing the demise of this treasured sector, built by farmers, food producers, and the public at large, with a vision that embodies the values and principles that have made the organic label trusted and strong. For more information, to see the lawsuit filing and to make a donation to keep organic strong, go to www.centerforfoodsafety.org.
almost forty years. Our commitment to “fair” relates to all our May 9 social and economic structures and ecological work. We believe that the cooperative model is more fair than the corporate businessas-usual model, as each memberowner can only have one vote. In the conventional corporate model, the more money you have, the more shares of stock you can purchase, the more votes you buy. The one person, one vote system is why the co-op model is true economic
BEES + SEEDS FESTIVAL BY CHRIS PERKINS Join the people of Albuquerque on May 23 for the fourth March Against Monsanto and Albuquerque’s first ever Bees + Seeds Festival! Monsanto has been developing dangerous chemicals and chemical weapons since WWI and now creates genetically engineered seeds (typically corn, soya, and sugar beets), the weed killer RoundUp™, and petroleum-based fertilizers. All of which are harmful to humans, animals, and planet Earth. The March will begin at the Downtown Growers’ Market (DGM). The march will depart the
cycle off the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances every five years unless the NOSB votes by a two-thirds majority to relist them. In making its decision, the NOSB is charged with considering public input, new science, and new information on available alternatives.
CELEBRATE World Fair Trade Day
DGM at 11:30am to arrive at Tiguex Park at noon. The Bees + Seeds Festival is a family-friendly learning and interactive environment open to all. The festival will feature information and education on pollinators, seeds, food sustainability, and environmental awareness. The Seed Broadcast Truck will be on site to record your seed story and be sure to bring extra seeds for a seed exchange. The event also includes live music by Element37 with very special guests Mondo Vibrations! go toFacebook.com/GMOFREENM F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N
JOIN THE MARCH AGAINST MONSANTO
Our deepest thanks to you, our wonderful Co-op community for coming out year after year and helping to grow our community Earth Fest! We know how lucky we are to be a part of our very special New Mexican community. Because of you Earth Fest has grown in size and popularity over the past 25 years. It is inspiring to see the environment and farming community growing by leaps and bounds with over 100 activist, farming, and ranching organizations joining the fun. A special thanks to all our artists for sharing their gifts and wares, our volunteers who offer so much help, and, of course, hats off to our wonderful staff for all they do at Earth Fest and every day to make the Co-op the amazing place that it is—you are terrific! Once again our most sincere thanks for making our 25th Annual Earth Fest the amazing day it was. WITH LOVE, YOUR MEMBERSHIP DEPARTMENT
A 25TH ANNUAL EARTH FEST THANKS! YOU
democracy. Our commitment to “fair” extends to the marketplace, too, as we work to ensure that economic justice is part of the equation at every level of the food value chain: from the microbiota in the soil, to the farmer, distributor, and consumer. It is this commitment to “fair” that makes us kin with the values of the worldwide Fair Trade movement. The World Fair Trade Organization writes, “Fair Trade is a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty and exploitation, climate change and the economic crisis that has the greatest impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations. Fair Trade is a transparent trading system that supports economically marginalised people, pays fair prices, promotes good working conditions, and longterm partnership through trade.” It is with great pride that we are partnering as an affiliate on World Fair Trade Day, May 9, to raise awareness of the importance of Fair Trade. World Fair Trade Day partner companies include Dr. Bronner’s, Alaffia, Alter Eco, Guayaki, Ca’naan, and Equal Exchange Farmer Direct Cooperative. La Montañita Co-op carries thousands of Fair Trade products every day all year long. Enjoy some special sales and try a newto-you Fair Trade product in celebration of World Fair Trade Day. Check out the special sales on May 9 and throughout the month and enjoy the taste and feeling of “FAIR.”
happenings La Montañita Cooperative A Community-Owned Natural Foods Grocery Store Nob Hill 7am – 10pm M – Sa, 8am – 10pm Su 3500 Central SE, ABQ, NM 87106 505-265-4631 Rio Grande 7am – 10pm M – Su 2400 Rio Grande NW, ABQ, NM 87104 505-242-8800 Gallup 8am – 8pm M – Sa, 10am – 6pm Su 105 E Coal, Gallup, NM 87301 505-863-5383 Santa Fe 7am – 10pm M – Sa, 8am – 10pm Su 913 West Alameda, Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-984-2852 Grab n’ Go 8am – 6pm M – F, 11am – 4pm Sa UNM Bookstore, 2301 Central SW, ABQ, NM 87131 505-277-9586 Westside 7am – 9pm M – Su 3601 Old Airport Ave, ABQ, NM 87114 505-503-2550 Cooperative Distribution Center 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2010 Administration Offices 9am – 5pm, M – F 901 Menaul NE, ABQ, NM 87107 505-217-2001 Administrative Staff: 217-2001 TOLL FREE: 877-775-2667 (COOP) • General Manager/Terry Bowling 217-2020 firstname.lastname@example.org • Controller/John Heckes 217-2029 email@example.com • Computers/Info Technology David Varela 217-2011 firstname.lastname@example.org • Operations Manager/Bob Tero 217-2028 email@example.com • Human Resources/Sharret Rose 217-2023 firstname.lastname@example.org • Marketing/Karolyn Cannata-Winge 217-2024 email@example.com • Membership/Robin Seydel 217-2027 firstname.lastname@example.org • CDC/MichelleFranklin 217-2010 email@example.com Store Team Leaders: • Valerie Smith/Nob Hill 265-4631 firstname.lastname@example.org • John Mulle/Rio Grande 242-8800 email@example.com • William Prokopiak/Santa Fe 984-2852 firstname.lastname@example.org • John Philpott/Gallup 575-863-5383 email@example.com • Joe Phy/Westside 505-503-2550 firstname.lastname@example.org Co-op Board of Directors: email: email@example.com • President: Ariana Marchello • Secretary: Marshall Kovitz • Lisa Banwarth-Kuhn • Jeff Ethan au Green • Leah Roco • Jessica Rowland • Rosemary Romero • Tracy Sprouls
ENJOY AND PROTECT ALBUQUERQUE’S NATURAL PLACES BY KENT SWANSON, CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE OPEN SPACE DIVISION ithin and around our rapidly growing desert city we are blessed with over 29,000 acres of Major Public Open Space. The City of Albuquerque Open Space Division, part of Parks and Recreation, is the agency charged with caring for these special places. The Open Space system includes nearly 100 miles of multi-use trails that provide opportunities for low impact recreation, including hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Open Space trails vary widely in terrain and offer access to some of the most unique scenery in and around Albuquerque. Citizens can find Open Space trails in the Sandia Foothills, the east side of the Sandia Mountains, Sandoval County, in Albuquerque's riverside cottonwood bosque, and on the West Mesa. Some of the most visited places in the Open Space system include the Rio Grande Valley State Park (RGVSP) and the Sandia Foothills Open Space.
The RGVSP is a 4,300-acre green ribbon of cottonwood forest which extends from Sandia Pueblo in the north through Albuquerque and south to Isleta Pueblo. Popular trail access points on the east side of the Rio Grande include the Alameda/Bachechi Open Space, the Rio del Norte Picnic Area at the Central Avenue Bridge, and the Rio Bravo Riverside Picnic Area. You may also reach the bosque at several points along Tingley Drive. On the west side of the river, the Open Space Visitor Center, located at 6500 Coors Rd. NW, offers access to a series of beautiful, shaded trails that lead to stunning views of the Rio Grande and Sandia Mountains. The Sandia Foothills Open Space consists of about 2,650 acres of piñon-juniper woodland at the base of the Sandia Mountains. The Elena Gallegos/Albert G. Simms Park, north of Academy and east of Tramway, is a popular destination for hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders who wish to explore the extensive Foothills trail system. On the north side
CORRALES ANNUAL GARDEN
BY NANCY RENNER ark your calendars for the 6th Annual Corrales Garden Tour on Sunday, June 7. Sponsored by Corrales MainStreet in cooperation with the Sandoval County Master Gardeners, the selfguided tour includes six outstanding gardens scattered throughout Corrales.
The homeowners have been intimately involved in the creation or revitalization of their gardens. Each garden is unique and adapted to the garden’s physical location, reflecting the homeowner’s personal interests. Waterwise xeric plantings are integrated in the gardens.
Membership Costs: $15 for 1 year/ $200 Lifetime Membership + tax Co-op Connection Staff: • Managing Editor: Robin Seydel firstname.lastname@example.org 217-2027 • Layout and Design: foxyrock inc • Cover/Centerfold: Co-op Marketing Dept. • Advertising: JR Riegel • Editorial Assistant: JR Riegel email@example.com 217-2016 • Editorial Intern: Katherine Mulle • Printing: Vanguard Press Membership information is available at all four Co-op locations, or call 217-2027 or 877-775-2667 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.lamontanita.coop Membership response to the newsletter is appreciated. Email the Managing Editor, email@example.com Copyright ©2015 La Montañita Co-op Supermarket Reprints by prior permission. The Co-op Connection is printed on 65% post-consumer recycled paper. It is recyclable.
May 2015 2
There’s something for everyone. A colorful little oasis in the sand dunes describes a delightful garden where native plants provide a stunning background for the artist homeowners’ handsome metal work. A shaded property near the bosque features an extraordinary labyrinth, seating designed to optimize views, and raised beds cultivated as square-foot vegetable gardens. Still another, once the place to pick wild asparagus, has been rejuvenated with a variety of areas using drip, sprinklers, and traditional flood irrigation to accommodate the different microclimates from sunny to full shade. Homeowners who started with a barren sandhill property achieved their goal of integrating the
of the picnic area is the Cottonwood Springs Trail, a wheelchair accessible trail that ends at a wetland and wildlife blind. The Sandia Foothills has additional parking areas and trailheads located east of Tramway from Copper north to Candelaria Road. FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF ALBUQUERQUE OPEN SPACE TRAILS AND TRAIL MAPS, check out www.cabq.gov/openspace. Trail maps are also available at the Open Space Visitor Center and at many local bike shops.
PROTECT YOUR FAVORITE
OPEN SPACE Each spring and summer the Open Space Division, along with our non-profit partners including the Open Space Alliance, REI, and other local organizations, host two volunteer events that honor and protect our city’s natural places. National River Clean Up When: Saturday, May 16th, from 8am until 1pm. What: During this one-day event volunteers help remove trash from the Rio Grande and its bosque. For more details see www.cabq.gov/openspace. The event is free. Where: The event hub is on the northeast side of the Central Avenue Bridge at Central and Tingley. Parking spaces are limited, so please carpool! Registration: All volunteers must register with REI at www.rei.com/albuquerque or by calling 247-1191. All River Cleanup volunteers are treated to morning refreshments, a door prize drawing and a free after-event picnic. Please carpool as parking is limited! National Trails Day When: June 6 from 8am until 1pm. Where: The Elena Gallegos/Albert G. Simms Park in the Sandia Foothills. Elena Gallegos is located east of Tramway just north of Academy. What: Volunteers work on over 10 different projects in the Sandia Foothills Open Space trail systems including vegetation restoration, trash removal, and trail maintenance. The event is free. Registration: Registration is required. To register see www.rei.com/albu querque, call 247-1191, or stop by the store located at 1550 Mercantile Ave. (I-25 and Montano). The first 100 people to register for NTD will receive a free T-shirt! For more information on other volunteer opportunities with Open Space, call 505-452-5200 or visit www.cabq.gov/openspace.
inside and outside living spaces with an attached free flight greenhouse, a rose garden, vineyard, an outdoor kitchen, and a native plant area providing food for wildlife. Intimate, quiet spaces in a garden near the bosque have evolved through 40 years of tender nurturing. Serene living spaces are bordered by blossoms humming with bees and butterflies. A wealth of ideas includes a rainwater catchment system, a compost bin, and a pond with a variety of water plants, which together invite you to walk around or to dawdle and meditate. Sandoval County Master Gardeners will be at each garden to answer questions. Two lovely quilts will be raffled to benefit SCMG. Plein air artists wil be painting in the gardens. The tickets are $10, available beginning May 1, from the Frontier Mart and Village Mercantile in Corrales, at local garden centers throughout the area, and online at www.Corrales-gardentour.com. Tickets can be purchased on June 7 at tents on Corrales Road. Funds raised from the tour will be used for a landscaping project in Corrales. Information: contact MainStreet at 350-3955 or info@corrales-garden tour.com. Pictures of gardens and gardening tips are available on the Corrales Garden Tour website, www.corrales-gardentour.com.
Ampersand Sustainable Living Center: Learning for the Future Ampersand is an off-grid working demonstration site that hosts residencies, retreats, internships, and classes. They focus on sustainable systems including permaculture, land restoration, organic gardening, passive solar design, and wise water techniques. • May 24, 10am to 4pm, Sustainable Kitchens and Solar Cooking We will cook together in our favorite solar cookers, explore solar dehydration, alternative refrigeration methods, and vegetable fermentation. • May 31, 10am to 4pm, High Desert Gardening Appropriate permaculture strategies and details: how to prepare your soil, extend your growing season, harvest rainwater, stage plantings, inter-cropping, and much more!
YOU OWN IT
To register: www.ampersandproject.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
AMPERSAND SUSTAINABLE LIVING CENTER
LEARNING FOR THE FUTURE
concern for community
May 2015 3
SHARING WEALTH, HEALTH,
raised beds. If you've never been up on Pajarito Mesa, it's like another world up there. Good people, and most grateful for help. There are other possibilities, including Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Bernalillo and one or more elementary schools that might serve as distribution centers.
BY SUSAN REED, LA ORILLA FARM ast spring and summer, La Orilla Farm and RoadRunner Food Bank collaborated on a seedling project that supplied conWe could really use help with this endeavor. tainers of food starts that were given to people So here's our request of the gardeners that who came for supplementary boxes of food at are getting into their planting modes. Please, Christ United Methodist Church. We gave away please, if you have extra seedlings of any more than 100 containers of tomatoes, peppers, kind, or are starting your seedlings under salad greens, and herb seedlings. In addition, we THE SEEDLING grow lights, add a few extras that we could provided seeds and starts for raised beds at include in our containers or send to be plantRoadRunner Food Bank that were available for ed in beds at the various sites. If you have harvesting when clients came to food distribuseeds left over, even from last year, we'll give tions later in the summer. It was a marvelous sucthem a chance to live in our little bathroom cess, partly because of the gardeners who shared greenhouse under grow lights. If you can help, call us at 877-2877, their excess seedlings and seeds. Many of those came via or email us at email@example.com. Alternatively, you could drop the Co-op Connection news article. Thank you to all off seedlings or seeds at the RoadRunner Food Bank main site at those who gave us their excess plants and seeds. They 5840 Office Boulevard. It's over by the Journal Center. Ask for Liz went to feed people real food. or Jason Riggs or call 247-2052. Here we go again! Only this year, there are more sites The joy of real food, and the pleasure of growing it, provides here in Albuquerque that would like to be included in the an opportunity for sharing. Thank you in advance for sharing seedling project. Christ United Methodist Church will your wealth and health! still be one of the sites. We will add Pajarito Mesa Community Center, for both containers and plants for
any Mothers (MM) is an all-volunteer organization that works to contribute to a healthy and vital community by providing free, inhome care and support to any Santa Fe family with a newborn. Helping families from the very start is preventative and reduces the need for future intervention with its higher societal costs. The degree of a mother’s postpartum depression is inversely related to the amount of support she receives. A new baby thrives on love and attention. So does a new mother. Providing support for families with newborns is hardly a new idea. It has been a way of life the world over for millennia. However, in the last twenty-five years the support provided by extended families has changed as more and more women must work away from the home, and families, in our mobile society, often live far from each another. Today families with newborn babies often do not get the help they need. MM knows how exhausted and overwhelmed mothers and families can feel after the birth of a baby. New mothers usually leave the hospital 24-48 hours after giving birth. Extended families are often no longer available to offer consistent and needed support. New research on women and stress, such as the study by Laura Cousino Klein, Ph.D, demonstrates the effectiveness of woman-to-woman interaction. The natural stress reliever, oxytocin, is released when women are together. When acts of service are incorporated, stress is further reduced, providing the mother the opportunity for healthy bonding with the baby. The Many Mothers program of women-to-women care is designed to ensure that new mothers are afforded every opportunity to appropriately attach to their infants. Bonding and attachment are essential for a baby’s development. Mothering the mother ensures she is more available to mother her infant. With all the joy and excitement that accompanies the birth of a baby, there can also be isolation, a sense of being overwhelmed, exhaustion, and, sometimes, postpartum depression.
MM has served approximately 600 moms, nearly 700 newborns, including 43 sets of twins, 2 sets of triplets and 2 older adopted children, in the 18 years they have served the Santa Fe community. MM works with our diverse New Mexican population: Anglo, Latino, Native American, Asian, and African American families. Many mothers seeking MM support are single moms (28%) raising their children alone. Half of the families MM works with have annual incomes below $30,000. All of MM services are completely free and your bag credit donations this month will help keep it that way. Its Hoop House program is a collaboration with Ken Kuhne of Grow Y’Own. It has been providing fresh produce, education, and community connections to its recipients since 2010. Families participating in this program receive a 4”x 8” raised bed garden with soil, a cover, water system, heating system, set-up, and starter seeds and plants. Hoop houses are offered currently to eight families per year. The “Many Mothers Circle” is a free monthly gathering for moms to learn from educational presentations and to network for peer support and self empowerment. Home visiting programs are proven to improve children’s ability to form healthy relationships, succeed at school and earn higher paying jobs, and to increase life expectancy, while reducing juvenile delinquency and substance abuse. If you are a family with a newborn and want to request a volunteer or wish to make a donation, please contact them at 505-983-5984, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.manymothers.org. WESTSIDE
MANY MOTHERS HELPING NEW MOTHERS HELPS UPCOMING GENERATIONS “Nearly all of us receive our first lessons in peaceful living from our mothers.” -THE DALAI LAMA
3601 Old Airport Ave. NW 505-503-2550
Alamed a Blvd. Coors Blvd.
OF THE MONTH: MONTH
SANTA FE’S MANY MOTHERS
Old A irport Ave.
Old Airport Ave. Co-op Values Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, 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.
DONATE E your BAG CREDIT! donate
THIS MONTH BAG CREDIT
DONATIONS GO TO MANY MOTHERS:
Supporting new mothers and newborn babies for healthier outcomes.
your bag credit donations totaling $2,685.75 went to the Open Space Alliance. THANK YOU!!!!
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 Montañita Co-op Supermarket to provide information on La Montañita 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.
new normal MAKING A
DIFFERENCE BY COURTNEY WHITE, QUIVIRA COALITION The first part of this article was reprinted with permission from the author in the March issue of the Co-op Connection news. To see it check out the digital issue at www.lamontanita.coop/connection. “Let’s be clear…We will still have to radically reduce carbon emissions, and do so quickly. We will still have to eliminate the use of fossil fuels and adopt substantially more sustainable agricultural methods. We will still have to deal with the effects of ecosystems damaged by carbon overload.” -WALL STREET JOURNAL (2009)
May 2015 4
SOIL CARBON RANCHING PART 2 notation is negative. That’s because the public has conflated a natural biological process—belching cows— with fossil fuel-intensive industrial livestock production activities, including chemical fertilizer production, deforestation for pasture, cultivation of feed crops (corn), and the transportation of feed and animal products. As a result, there is an impression among the public at large that one answer to the climate crisis is to “eat less red meat”—an opinion that I have heard repeatedly at conferences and meetings. I think an answer is to eat more meat—from a carbon ranch. For the purposes of a carbon ranch, the methane
eality check: the increased sequestration of CO2 in soils won’t solve climate change by itself. It won’t even be close if the emissions of greenhouse gases are not dramatically reduced at the same time. According to experts, this reduction must be on the order of 50–80% of current emissions levels within fifty years. Accomplishing this goal will require a massive rearrangement of our energy sector toward low-carbon technologies as well as big changes in agriculture and the everyday lives of Americans. A carbon ranch can help in three ways: by measuring and then reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions an agricultural operation contributes to the atmosphere; by producing renewable energy “on-ranch” which it can use itself and/or sell to a local or regional power grid; and by participating in local food and restoration activities that lower our economy’s dependence on fossil fuels. A carbon ranch can also help by confronting the controversy over “offsets” and carbon “credits”—the two strategies most frequently touted by governments, businesses, and others for encouraging the creation of a so-called “carbon marketplace.” In this marketplace, “credits” created by the sequestration of CO2 in one place can be “sold” or traded to “offset” a CO2 polluting entity, such as a coal plant or airline company, supposedly to the benefit of all. In reality, these schemes appear to mostly offset our guilty feelings rather than actually affect atmospheric levels of CO2. Here are more details: Reducing the “footprint” of a carbon ranch. This is a two-step process: Assess the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are rising from a particular landscape or operation; and second, follow this assessment with a concerted effort to reduce these emissions. One way to measure this carbon footprint is to conduct a Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) of an enterprise, which is an inventory of the material and energy inputs and outputs characteristic of each stage of a product’s life cycle. This is a well-recognized procedure for tracking the ecological impacts of, say, a television set or a refrigerator, and different types of LCAs exist for different types of products. For a carbon ranch, there are four important measures of its LCA: • Cumulative energy use; • Ecological footprint; • Greenhouse gas emissions; • Eutrophying emissions. The first three measurements are relatively straightforward and there are many credible methodologies today to calculate energy use, ecological footprints, and emissions, though most are designed for urban contexts or industrial agriculture. However, the fourth measurement—eutrophying emissions—has been the source of considerable controversy in recent years. It refers to the amount of methane produced by the digestive system of livestock during its time on the ranch, farm, or feedlot—and in the public’s mind the con-
set concept at regional or national scales. Objections include: • We need actual net reductions of atmospheric CO2, not just the neutralizing “offset” of a polluter by a sequesterer. And we need these net reductions quickly. • It is not acceptable to let a big, industrial polluter off the hook with an offset. • It is unrealistic to expect the same system that created the climate problem in the first place—i.e., our current economy and specifically its energy and financial sector—to solve this problem and to do so with the same financial tools. • At best, offsets may be illusory; at worst they’re fraudulent —thus imperiling the whole purpose of the approach. While offsets and carbon credits may not be the economic engine of the future, they highlight an important challenge for carbon ranching: profitability. If not offsets, then how can a landowner who desires to mitigate climate change earn a paycheck, without which there will no carbon ranching?
Rewarding Carbon Ranching One idea is to include “climate-friendly” practices as an added value to the marketing of ranch products, such as its beef. Another is to create a “carbon market” at the local level. A county government, for example, could help to create a local carbon market to help offset its judicial buildings or schools or prisons. It could possibly do so through its ability to tax, zone, and otherwise regulate at the county level. It would still have to deal with some of the other challenges confronting offsets, but at least it would keep the marketplace local.
emission issue is just one part of the overall “footprint” assessment. The goal of a Life-Cycle Analysis is to measure an operation’s energy use and emissions so that it can reduce both over time. Ultimately, the goal is to become carbon-neutral or, ideally, carbon-negative – meaning, the amount of CO2 sequestered in the soil is greater than the ranch’s carbon footprint. Producing renewable energy. Anything that a carbon ranch can do to produce energy on-site will help balance its energy “footprint” and could reduce the economy’s overall dependence on fossil fuels. This includes: wind and solar farms, the production of biodiesel from certain on-site crops for use in ranch vehicles, biomass for cogeneration projects (this is especially attractive if it uses the woody debris being removed from the ranch anyway), micro-hydro, microwind and solar for domestic use, and perhaps other as yet unrealized renewable energy alternatives. Participating in a local economy. A carbon ranch should carefully consider its role in the “footprint” of the greater economy. Are its products traveling long distances or otherwise burning large amounts of fossil fuels? It is generally accepted that involvement in a local food market, where the distances between producer and eater are short, shrinks the fossil “footprint” of a ranch considerably. There is some contradictory research on this point, however. In my opinion, the technical issues of local vs. global food systems in terms of food miles traveled is largely neutralized by the wide variety of co-benefits that local food brings economically and ecologically. The trouble with offsets. Many observers—myself included—have become increasingly skeptical of the off-
Another idea might be to reward landowners financially for meeting sequestration and emissions goals. The federal government routinely subsidizes rural economic development enterprises, such as the ongoing effort to bring high-speed broadband Internet to rural communities. Additionally, the government often provides incentives to businesses for market-based approaches, including corn-based ethanol production, solar power development, and wind technology (and don’t forget the federal government’s catalyzing role in the birth of the Internet). It would be perfectly logical, therefore, to reward early adopters of carbon ranching with a direct financial payment as a means to stir up new markets. None of this will be easy. In fact, the obstacles standing in the way of implementing a carbon ranch and sharing its many co-benefits are large and diverse. Is it worth trying anyway? Absolutely. If a carbon ranch could make a difference in the fight against climate change—now developing as the overarching crisis of the 21st century—then we must try. The alternative—not trying—means we consign our future to politics, technology, and wishful thinking, none of which have made a difference so far. Best of all, a carbon ranch doesn’t need to be invented. It already exists. We know how to grow grass with animals. We’ve learned how to fix creeks and heal wetlands. We’re getting good at producing local grassfed food. We’ll figure out how to reduce our carbon footprint, and develop local renewable energy sources profitably. We don’t need high technology—we have the miracle of photosynthesis already. Answers to anguished questions exist, but too often our eyes seem fixed on the stars and our minds dazzled by distant horizons, blinding us to possibilities closer to home. A carbon ranch teaches us that we should be looking down, not up. At the grass and the roots.
THE AGE OF
CONSEQUENCES BY COURTNEY WHITE, REVIEWED BY ROBIN SEYDEL “Solutions exist if we are willing to work together and try new ideas (and some old ones).”
Courtney, I, too, have gone in and out of feeling that my tilting at windmills was silly, hopeless idealism followed by times of exuberance, believing that our cooperative efforts could, would, and are making a difference. Although late night discussions around campfires or early morning walks with like-minded friends remind me I am not alone; reading Courtney’s pages full of love for family, friends, and the land, and his experiences working to chart “common ground” to create the “radical center” was one of the most cathartic reading experiences I have had in a long time!
ll around us are the results of what Courtney White, in A CHRONICLE OF The second half of the book, “Hope” is a his newest book, calls the CONCERN AND HOPE chronicle of many positive ideas and solu“Fiesta;” a party-time period of human tions that ranchers, farmers, food distribuexcess that he sees as beginning after tors, community activists, and other WWII. He has coined a most apt phrase “resilient” salt of the earth folks around the both for this, the early part of the twenty nation have put into action. Throughout the first century, and the title of his newest book are phrases that keep rattling around book, The Age of Consequences. If you my head: “thinking like a creek, heal with nature, evoluhave not yet read any of Courtney’s writings, this book is tion favors grit, justice makes us come alive,” and so a perfect place to start. If you are already familiar with many more that make the Age of Consequences an Courtney’s thinking and writing, you will again be moved important, inspiring, and fun read. This book is chock by the grace and accessibility with which he dances full of ideas that we can each adapt to our individual sitbetween a deeply personal account of his lifelong commituations and unique communities for a restorative and ment to an “adaptive, restorative and resilient future,” and sustainable way of life. Unquestionably we live in the on-the-ground facts of both our environmental and politi“Age of Consequences!” With this brilliant book cal atmosphere and the actions (and non-actions) that are Courtney lets us see a trail of solutions that can help chart determining our shared fate. a positive approach to shape the future we face. The book is broken up into two sections, “Concerns” and With summer reading season coming on strong, this is “Hope,” but the vignettes in both sections are peppered a don’t-miss book to bounce to the top of your list. with humor, inspiration, and an understanding of our Look for The Age of Consequences and Courtney’s human condition. They openly depict both our ability to other books, Revolution on the Range and Soil, Grass, and difficulty with change and this era’s unquestionable Hope, at your favorite locally-owned bookstore. necessity for it. Reading the chapter called “Windmill” was for me deeply affecting. As a lifelong activist, like
resilient future DEALING WITH THE
May 2015 5 ON
moved out of state to Texas. We can make the Rio Grande more hospitable to all the species it’s historically been a home to if we all do our part and reduce our water consumption as much as possible.
The Personal and the Political Educating oneself and adopting more environmentally responsible buying habits is only one part of the solution. Encouraging action at a governmental level is very important as well. Thanks to quick citizen action back in February, we were able to halt the premature bulldozing and development along the bosque. The bosque is very important for the well-being of native species such as the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, so your continued participation in local government is more important than ever. A perfect example you can get involved with today is the community action against the ill-conceived Santolina development plan.
BY JR RIEGEL alifornia’s new water rules have made quite a splash in the news recently, and though they have been hailed by many as a great change, they only impact a portion of California’s water usage. Roughly 80% of water used in the state goes to the agriculture industry. Cutting only the urban portion of California’s water usage by 25% is a laudable step, but the mandate may have come too late for some species in the state.
The delta smelt is a small fish endemic only to California, and the most recent survey of their population size suggests that they might be very near extinct in the wild. In previous years, intensive spring surveys of the delta smelt found hundreds of the fish in their native Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. Last month, the survey found only six. Your Water Footprint These days, almonds invariably come up when discussing the agricultural use of limited water resources in the Southwest’s ongoing drought. They’ve become a whipping boy for the criticism of agricultural water use, and though they deserve their reputation, it’s important not to get too fixated on one crop in particular. By weight, roasted coffee beans, chocolate, and sesame oil each use up even more water than almonds. It takes about a gallon of water to make an almond, but a head of broccoli requires more than five gallons. The place a food is grown makes a large difference in its relative environmental impact; it’s important to educate one’s self on both the water demands and the origins of your food. California farmers grow so much of the food we consume that it’s nearly impossible to avoid using some of their limited water every time we sit down to eat, but being mindful of the impact of what we choose to eat can make a big difference. If you’re interested in water footprints or would like to see how thirsty your favorite foods are, you can learn more at www.bit.ly/waterfootprints.
Another way we can help improve our personal WATER FOOTPRINTS is by managing our yards in harmony with the LOCAL ECOSYSTEM. Though almonds use up about as much water as beef, meat is the larger problem because of the sheer amount the average American eats. California’s alfalfa crop uses more water than any other single plant in the state, and unfortunately a large portion of that water-hungry alfalfa is being shipped out of the country. Due to cheap shipping costs stemming from our trade deficit with China, it’s often more profitable to ship alfalfa across the Pacific Ocean than it is to sell it to a rancher in the state. In today’s complex world economy, everything is interconnected so that something as simple as buying a locally-made mug rather than an imported one can be related to water resources and the near-extinct delta smelt. The Albuquerque–Santa Fe stretch of the Rio Grande is very sensitive. Due to human activity along the river, the Rio Grande Silvery Minnow is now endangered and occupies only about five percent of its historic range. They used to be common in our stretch of the Rio Grande, but now they are at such risk here that efforts to restore their numbers have largely
AVOIDING ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS
CLEANING UP OUR
Yet another way we can help improve our personal water footprints is by managing our yards in harmony with the local ecosystem. Utilizing xeriscape or permaculture principles can dramatically cut your water requirements. There are extensive resources available to help anyone interested; the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority has published a complete regional guide to xeriscaping that you can access at www.bit.ly/NMxeric and has rebates available to defray the costs. Their xeriscaping rebate is detailed at www.abcwua.org/Xeriscape.aspx, and you can find out about their other money-saving programs there as well. Conserve, Conserve, CONSERVE! No matter what, we will eventually have no choice but to dramatically cut our water use. By getting actively involved and self-educating on the issues now, we can make the transition much easier and more enjoyable. In addition to reading up on the foods you eat, getting involved in local policymaking, and re-designing your yard, you can become a member of one of many local organizations that deal with water issues in our area. Agua es Vida Action Team, Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping, Transition Albuquerque, the New Mexico Acequia Assocation, and so many more organizations are all actively trying to help improve water issues in the state, and they can always use more help. Native New Mexico species are being pushed to the brink by our current water practices. We don’t have time to wait for something to change—if we can all make even a little change in our own lives, we’ll be well on the way to a water wise future and a sustainable new normal for New Mexico! If you’d like any help finding or connecting with a local organization, or if you’d like to see more information on this topic, I’m here to help! You can reach me at email@example.com. Next month, I’ll be getting into native pollinators and invasive species.
Getting and Staying Healthy BY KATHERINE MULLÉ et’s be honest—as women, we all have moments where we fuss over our appearance. Whether it’s over frizzy flyaway hair, dark under-eye circles, or some inevitable skin imperfection, we stare at the mirror with feelings of discontent as we pick and prod. While there are a plethora of beauty products out there readily available to us, the reality is this; by the time we walk out the door in the morning, after carefully applying moisturizer, makeup, hair spray, and all our other favorite products, while we may have helped our appearance (at least, according to society’s standards), the amount of chemicals we’ve likely applied to our bodies can be disastrous for our health.
Among the most lethal of these chemicals are endocrine disruptors, chemicals that interfere with the body’s endocrine (or hormone) system, and can have catastrophic effects on one’s health. Phthalates, for instance, a group of chemicals commonly found in nail polish and fragrances, have been linked to breast cancer and early puberty in girls as they directly affect hormone receptors.
According to the Breast Cancer Fund, “In the US, major loopholes in federal law allow the cosmetics industry to put thousands of synthetic chemicals into personal care products, even if those chemicals are linked to cancer, infertility or birth defects. At the same time as untested chemicals have been steadily introduced into our environment, breast cancer incidence has risen dramatically.” There are approximately 80,000 chemicals in commercial use, many of which have not been tested, and there have been few if any tests on the synergistic effects as we experience a diversity of multiple exposures. Unfortunately, the cosmetic industry is not the only industry taking full advantage of these loopholes, which means that endocrine disruptors are not only found in cosmetics; they’re found in common household products including detergents, disinfectants, and plastics, and also appear in much of America’s food from pesticide and herbicide usage. But no matter their source, they can all be detrimental when they come into contact with the body.
Beth Greer, an award-winning journalist, green holistic health educator, and impassioned champion of toxin-free living, learned this truth the hard way in 2002 when she discovered, after three unsuccessful sessions with a chiropractor, that the pain she was feeling in her shoulder was caused by a tennis-ballsized tumor in her chest. “I thought I was healthy. I was also exercising and eating right [mostly organic foods]. I had a successful business, a great marriage, and a meditation practice. It came as a complete shock,” Greer said in an interview with Awareness Magazine. Rather than undergoing surgery—a surgery that three different surgeons insisted upon—she opted for a different method: undergoing a serious detox. “I began my cleanse with raw vegetable juices and wheatgrass. Within three days, the pain started going away. So I decided to stay on the path of cleansing and simplifying. I ate raw, pure whole foods that had no labels. I also bought a juicer and a dehydrator.” But Greer knew that her cleanse wouldn’t be complete if she only addressed what was going in her body, so she also looked at the products going on and surrounding her body. As she became more aware of the staggering number of unpronounceable chemicals found in the ingredient lists of many of her household and cosmetic products, she began working to find natural replacements. “For example, instead of using deodorant, I took a glass salt shaker—the kind found in restaurants—and filled it with baking soda. After my shower, I sprinkled baking soda in my hand and applied it. Right after a shower, your armpits are slightly moist, so it sticks. It works great.” As for household products, Greer questions, “Why use toxic stuff? I switched to hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and baking soda—things my grandmother used.” After six months, not only was Greer’s pain completely gone, but an MRI scan showed that her tumor had remarkably disappeared.
To the west where winter’s left They fling open their windows and doors And sweep the floors of earthen homes To whisk away worries and more. They work those brooms to stir up dust Into a beast they send churning east. On a menacing march under a yellow moon Haunting our sleepy shallow valley. To tease its coming torment His fingertips tousle the treetops. His shuffling feet send plastic bags to flight And kick cans clattering down the streets. He rousts our quiet house with a gust that busts Through the hollow head of my spouse And like a verbose ventriloquist Works and jerks her jaw convulsively. My sleeping child’s whisked from bed; Led by some phantom’s limb to Brush against the walls and Wander the halls lost to all. And me? He swirls around my fretful sleep Conjuring unsettling, empty dreams. I wake to catch him but he’s gone Leapt over the mountain towards dawn. BY TERRY BRUNNER
So what’s the takeaway from all this? Being aware of what’s in the products you use every day and taking steps to avoid harmful chemicals is key. Greer’s story also teaches us that it’s never too late to turn your health around. To find out more about using safe products, visit: www.safecos metics.org and www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners. You can also find natural cosmetics, household products, and (of course) awesome food at your favorite Co-op location.
co-op news ALIGNING OUR STATEGIC
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
to gain a vision of how the Co-op could look in the future. As a result of this process, concepts such as sustainability, sound environmental practices, and a strong local economy have been added to our stated goals. Management creates a shortterm strategy to lead to the achievement of our goals and the staff implements the plan in the daily operations of the stores and warehouse. Then the cycle begins again.
BY ARIANA MARCHELLO, BOARD OF DIRECTORS, PRESIDENT n a beautiful, spring-like day in February the board, support staff, and senior management of our Co-op gathered at Albuquerque Open Space Visitors Center for the board’s annual retreat. Art Sherwood, our consultant from Cooperative Development Services was the facilitator. Aligning together in a strategic vision of the future was the theme for the daylong event.
La Montañita approaches its 40th anniversary having undergone a sustained period of change and growth. We have weathered growing competition, among other economic conditions, that many co-ops our age are just beginning to face and we have come out strong. This strength is the foundation to support us through the inevitable changes to come. We stand on the knowledge gained and the experience of our past history. The future, which we can never quite grasp, is shaped in the here and now. Members, the board, management, and staff each have unique roles in shaping the future of the Co-op and the alignment of their unique visions will help the Co-op progress in achieving our goals and the impact we have in the community. In the morning session of the retreat we looked at our Co-op’s direction through the lens of its governance structure. Don’t run away now because
governance–steering, articulating direction and movement, making decisions, and working together for a common purpose happens on all levels of the Co-op. Indeed, meaningful participation by the four entities mentioned above is what distinguishes co-ops from other businesses. For example, the original members of La Montañita formed the Co-op to meet their need for access to natural and organic products and to provide an economic and social benefit to the community through cooperation. Current members constantly grow and “reform” the Co-op with the diversity of their needs. The Board looks at these needs and engages in study
P R O D U C T S P O T L I G H T: B L O O M I N T O S P R I N G !
BY ULONDA FAYE MILLS, SANTA FE CO-OP o you know that our Co-op sells flower essences from Flower Essence Services (FES) and Siddha Flower Essences in California as well as Healing Herbs Ltd. and Bach Flower Remedies Ltd. of the UK? Many of you might already be familiar with the Bach Rescue Remedy for stress relief in all of its many forms; however, are you aware of all the other flower essence products our Co-op offers?
What are flower essences and exactly what can they do to support our health and well-being? Here’s a quick overview to assist us in better understanding exactly how these amazing flowers, found in various products and forms, can help us all bloom into our full potential this spring! What are flower essences? Flower essences contain the high vibrational healing energy of plants. While creating them, our trusted formulators place the specific flowers in a base of either pure spring water or local water acquired from a flowing stream near where the plant has been growing. This allows for the complete energetic imprint of the flower to fully and deeply penetrate all of the water molecules. During this process, the flowers are placed directly in sunlight, the source of all life, while the energetic imprint of the plant is completely encapsulated into the water. These essences are used to address emotional and mental imbalances that can manifest in the physical body. Why is this important to address? Imbalances and blockages in our bodies may lead to disease and illness. This is because there is a direct link from our emotions and mental state to the way we feel. When supporting our emotional and mental well-being, we ultimately support our physical health.
THE SIDDHA FLOWER ESSENCES WEBSITE OFFERS A MORE INDEPTH DESCRIPTION: “These remedies work by making an individual’s nervous system aware of blockages or discrepancies in a person’s overall electromagnetic field. These blockages, having been brought to the attention of the central nervous system, are then subjected to the natural and balancing forces of the body.” (http://siddhaflowers.com/faqs/) How to incorporate the essences of flowers into your life. In selecting a flower essence or a specific flower essence formula, it is important for us to reflect upon lifestyle and environment as well as emotional and mental states of mind we need to address. Flower essences can help us get unstuck from feelings of inadequacy, anger, resentment, jealousy, and anxiety, which are a few among a long list of emotions that can create mental states that lock in our energy, preventing a free-flowing self. When we are free-flowing and allowing, we are at our full potential in so many ways! Once the right essence is found, how are they taken? There are individual flower essences in dropper bottles that you can begin by taking individually. You can start by placing 4 drops in a glass of water or under the tongue 4 times a day. Some of these essences can be applied directly onto the skin at the pulse points and anywhere there is fast absorption into the skin. If choosing a formula in a spray bottle, simply spray either directly into the mouth, around the body, or on pulse points. Can we benefit from flower essences in conjunction with other supplements? Absolutely! Since flower essences function and operate at a vibrational level addressing the electromagnetic fields of the central nervous system, they can be taken in conjunction with other supplements operating at the biochemical level of the physical body.
Who benefits? Not only do humans, adults, and children alike benefit from incorporating flower essences into a wellness routine, but our pets can also greatly benefit from the remedies. For example, do you have a cat or dog that undergoes separation anxiety when left alone or is terrified of thunderstorms? Try flower essences. Our pets have feelings too, and often need assistance in accepting boundaries as well as other temperament challenges.
Our deepest thanks to you, our wonderful Co-op community for coming out year after year and helping to grow our community Earth Fest! We know how lucky we are to be a part of our very special New Mexican community!
The afternoon session of the retreat saw the beginning of a conversation about articulating and implementing our strategy for the future and how to achieve continued alignment on all levels of the Co-op. It will be ongoing. Since the retreat, the Board has brainstormed the study topics for the remainder of the year. You are invited to also participate in our study, which takes place in the second half of the monthly board meetings, held the third Tuesday of the month at 5:30pm at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church on Silver and Carlisle near the Nob Hill store.
O W N E R S H I P! Nearly all of the flower essence companies have specific formulas for our pets (e.g. Animal Relief Formula from FES). To love up your pet, simply mist a specific formula around its body or on their favorite area for nap time. When using a dropper bottle, simply put drops of it in the water bowl, then fill it with water, allowing the flower essences to penetrate all the water molecules. As with us humans, you can also put drops or sprays directly on areas of their body that will provide for maximum absorbency. You could begin with these: SELF-HEAL: FES – Assists us in recognizing areas in need of attention for optimal health. FIVE-FLOWER-FORMULA: HEALING HERBS – For transitional and highstress times in life. EMOTIONAL DETOX: SIDDHA – Lets us breath, release, and let go of non-beneficial emotions. BACH RESCUE REMEDY: BACH FLOWER REMEDIES – for adults, kids, and pets – stress relief. My personal favorites: Flower Essence Services and Healing Herbs are both Demeter certified, which is a method of organic farming based on Rudolf Steiner’s biodynamic farming principles. A true imprint of the flower, our earth, sun, moon and sky are put into the tincture with these intentional practices while hand-harvesting flowers for essence creation. "Now a farm comes closest to its own essence when it can be conceived of as a kind of independent individuality, a self-contained entity. In reality, every farm ought to aspire to this state of being a self-contained individuality.” -RUDOLF STEINER Please see the following links for more information, and stop into our Co-op’s Wellness Department for more information. Personally, I am forever grateful for all the support flower essences have provided me in my growth and spiritual blossoming. Happy spring flowering and harvesting to come! RESOURCES: Demeter USA: www.demeterusa.org/ downloads/Demeter-Farm Standard.pdf Flower Essence Services (FES): www.fesflowers.com/ Healing Herbs Ltd.: www.healingherbs.co.uk/ Siddha Flower Essences: http://siddhaflowers.com/ Bach Flower Remedies Ltd.: www.bachflower.com/
GENERAL MANAGER POSITION OPEN!
With love, Your Membership Department
LA MONTAÑITA CO-OP is seeking applicants for our general manager position!
May 2015 6
We are looking for the right person who wants to help grow the cooperative economy in New Mexico and throughout the Southwest. If you are interested in applying for this position please go to www.lamontanita.coop/GMopening.
The Board of Directors page will have the details. Terry Bowling, our current general manager will be leaving La Montañita to accept a position working with the National Co-op Grocers. We have greatly appreciated his tenure with us, and wish him well in his new position. w w w. l a m o n t a n i t a . c o o p / G M o p e n i n g
May 2015 7
GENERAL MANAGER’S COLUMN Time to Say Goodbye wrote my first newsletter article in February 2008; today April 2, 2015, I am writing my last. I have been offered and accepted a new opportunity with NCG (National Cooperative Grocers). My decision in no way reflects any dissatisfaction with my position as General Manager but reflects my desire to further the cooperative business model in an ever-changing environment.
There are more people to thank than I have space. Being chosen to serve as General Manager of La Montañita changed my life and I will be forever grateful. Our staff is the absolute best, our co-op is in a strong position, and I expect we will keep moving forward. Our Board of Directors will be hiring a new General Manager in due time; they will do their due diligence as usual, and the next General Manager will take La Montañita to the next level. My thanks to you, our members. You are La Montañita Co-op. THE INSIDE SCOOP
The cooperative model, as we know, is on the decline in many parts of the country. While La Montañita has done well, many co-ops are under pressure from competition, rising cost, etc., and need assistance to move forward. It is going to become more difficult to compete and I see no end to these constant pressures in the future. I have been hired by NCG to support 64 co-op stores and facilitate and create success. I am looking forward to the challenge and know the work will be both difficult and rewarding. My family and I will be relocating to North Carolina this summer.
As I have informed our staff and Board of Directors, I don’t want my departure to be a dramatic event. I am not into long goodbyes but would rather come in my last day and work as hard on the last day as the first day, exit quietly, and begin the new chapter in my life. I am sure my travels will bring me to Albuquerque occasionally. I look forward to those visits; La Montañita is a special place, and I am honored to have had a place in its history. -TERRY B
of Events 5/9
WORLD FAIR TRADE DAY Special sales at each store! see page 1
5/19 BOD Meeting Immanuel Church, 5:30pm 5/22 Cowspiracy, THE MOVIE see page 4 5/23 Bees + Seeds Festival see page 1 5/26 Wireless Technology: Practical Solutions see below
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. S A N TA F E C O - O P
Practical SOLUTIONS FOR THE SAFE USE OF
NEW LOCAL PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: HEALTH AND BEAUTY DEPT.
DIVINE LUXURY SOAP! BY VAN LEGG, DIVINE LUXURY SOAP new and exciting, all-natural body soap, Divine Luxury Soap can now be found at La Montañita’s Nob Hill, Rio Grande, and Santa Fe locations. This is a pure treasure for people with sensitive skin and anybody who is ready for a change in their body care. Divine Luxury Soap can be used as a shampoo as well, and is gentle for children and babies.
At Divine Luxury Soap, we never use cheap-filler oils such as soy, corn, or canola because of the GMO controversy. No palm oil either, since this industry is unfortunately engaged in deforestation (Borneo, Sumatra, and Amazon forests) and cruelly affects animals, with victims like orangutans and their habitat. It also has a terrible impact on indigenous rights. By boycotting palm oil, we are part of the solution. We also never use artificial colors and fragrances. This is not a “show-soap.”
“So what’s left?” you ask. Plenty of goodness for your family and friends. Divine Luxury is a biomedically engineered mix of divine oils such as olive, coconut, avocado, shea (15%), argan (5%), safflower, castor, and jojoba. Unlike commercial soap, which has no glycerin in the soap, Divine Luxury Soap keeps it in for its excellent moisturizing qualities. Divine Luxury bars are super-fatted for a smoother lather. No chelating agents, dyes, whiteners, or synthetic fragrances are used; only natural essential oils are added, like lavender and Bulgarian rose. We offer a range of four products which include a lavender bar, a rose bar, an unscented bar (perfect for people who are allergic to different smells), and an Aleppo bar. The Aleppo bar (also known as Syrian soap) deserves a little bit more attention. It is classified as a castile soap, distinguished by the inclusion of
FA I R T R A D E
RUNA TEAS BY SEAN MAKAU una works directly with over 3,000 indigenous farming families to source guayusa, and bring it to market. Runa is made from guayusa, an Amazonian tree whose leaves are dried and brewed like tea. Runa is Fair Trade certified and pay 15% on top of each sale into a social premium fund for the communities to use toward their own vision of sustainable development. Runa’s mission is to build an economically and environmentally sustainable value chain around guayusa to help build livelihoods in the Amazon, protect the rainforest, and share the benefits of this super-leaf with the world.
Runa was created to support sustainable livelihoods for indigenous families in Ecuador. Mari Gefa’s family used to make less than $2 per day from logging and migrant labor. By selling organic guayusa to Runa, her family and over 2,000 others have been able to raise their incomes. This additional income is used to buy food and pay for their children’s education. With the new trees these families are planting they will more than triple their annual income within three years, and help mitigate the effects of climate change. Runa was specifi-
cally created to support sustainable livelihoods for indigenous families in Ecuador. The Runa Foundation looks for new ways to value tropical forests that can benefit local people and protect the forest ecosystem. Current projects include: Guayusa Agro-forestry, a long-term research project focusing on improving production and conservation and sustainable forest management in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon. The Foundation is working with 3,000 indigenous farmers to conduct participatory research to improve guayusa yields under certified organic systems. Our mission also includes support for traditional medicines, cooperative farmer development, and environmental education. Fair Trade is beyond important to Runa; it’s fundamental to our mission. The land and the people of the Amazon have suffered exploitative land and labor practices in the past and present. We are especially sensitive to this history and we’re working hard to build a system that respects the land and the people. The relationship we have with farming families is the seed from which everything Runa grows. Look for Runa tea bags in the grocery department and make your own Runa sun tea, or find their convenient bottled teas in a variety of flavors.
La Montañita Co-op is proud to offer a new local product made with organic ingredients. CORDERO’S FLOUR TORTILLAS are made by hand in Taos, NM, by Matthew Cordero. Matthew is an enthusiastic young entrepreneur who has crafted an excellent white flour tortilla recipe which he makes several times a week in small batches in two sizes: Homestyle 6” and Burrito Sized 10”. La Montañita’s Distribution Center is sourcing ingredients for Cordero’s, and our trucks deliver raw materials and pick up the finished product weekly in Taos, then we distribute the tortillas to our retailers and foodservice customers around the state. Matthew will be doing in-store demos of his fine products. Be on the lookout for him!
Santa Fe Co-op Community Room: Learn about the health issues associated with wireless pollution and common sense MAY solutions. Patented products to neutralize electromagnetic radiation will be on 7:30PM display and available for purchase. Info: Jennifer 505-780-8283 or Info Desk at
Co-op for confirmation.
laurel oil. The ancient city of Aleppo has been home to some of the finest olive oil soap producers in the Middle East for the past approximately 1,300 years. Due to the current war, the Aleppo factories are shutting down. We are pleased to offer this fine luxury soap with its delicate spicy scent. All our soaps are designed for you. At Divine Luxury Soap, we want you to have affordable luxury. Once you have tried your new bathing experience, bring others the same beautiful treasure. By choosing our Divine Luxury Soap products, you will make an outstanding choice for your body and treat your divine self with luxury! At Divine Luxury Soap, your bliss is our wish. Look for Divine Luxury Soaps at select Co-op locations.
May is for Mom Super Gifts for the Superhero
Hugs and whispered “I love yous” are nice but, this year, here’s a way to get a bit more creative in showing appreciation for MOM and the special woman in your life. We have gathered up a few suggestions from our fair trade and handmade products to applaud your favorite SUPERHERO. Matr Boomie Batik Art Scarves A wholesale fair trade collection from India, hand-made,100% lightweight cotton, with symmetric geometric patterns, measures 75” x 25”, various colors. Ask Jen at Nob Hill.
Bass Natural Hairbrushes Short Hair, long hair, wet or dry, natural and anti-static hairbrushes for every type. Solid wood handles with wooden bristles. Ask Katherine on the Westside.
Mineral Fusion Nail Polish Formaldehyde, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate free! All products are made in the USA and many are still handmade. Ask Katherine on the Westisde.
ROCKnSOCKS Fresh, brilliant and rockin’ patterns in these knee-high and over-the-knee socks. Dress up a favorite skirt. Eco-friendly and fashionable. Ask Katherine on the Westside.
CocoLoco Earrings (left) Tribal earrings are all hand carved from recycled, reclaimed and sustainable materials such as: coconut, wood, bone and horn. An alternative for people who are sensitive to metallic earrings. Innovative Glass Designs (Right) by LOCAL Edgewood, NM artist Cindi Allen. Ask Aneshia at Rio Grande.
Planetary Design French Press You can take it with you. These stainless steel French Presses are perfect for home, office and outdoors. Various sizes and colors. Ask Aneshia at Rio Grande. Ceramic Mug and Spoon Looks like enamel but it is natual ceramic for a solid feel. Ceramic spoon compliment. Ask Jen at Nob Hill.
SpaRoom UltraMist Air Diffuser Create a spa-like setting at home with restorative humidification and soothing aromatherapy. A perfect combination of fragrance, style and healthy living. Ask Mike in Santa Fe.
Nature’s Emporium Cherokee Soap Co. Natural soaps, candles and lotions created by a group of LOCAL Cherokee artists now located in the mountains of Taos, NM. Colorful, seasonal, humorous lotions and potions. Relax! Ask Jen at Nob Hill.
ALLAFIA African Baskets Shop the market with handwoven, natural, grass baskets made in Ghana. Responsible, sustainable, fair and beautiful. Many sizes, shapes and colors from which to choose. Ask Jen at Nob Hill.
CALM For the multi-tasker! Even tho moms can do it all, sometimes it’s time to slow down. Restore a healthy magnesium level and balance your calcium intake—the result is natural stress relief. Vegan and certified non-GMO. Choose from three flavors; Original, Orange and Raspberry-Lemon. Ask Katherine on the Westside.
Earth Therapeutics Footsie Massager Rock your foot in this cradle of comfort. Specially designed grooves stimulate the critical points along the sole, delivering a massage that resounds throughout the body. Ask Aneshia at Rio Grande. More info and details can be optained on the individual product websites.
Light Moisture Replenishing Fluid (left) By EvanHealy, an antioxidant moisturizing treatment for normal, oily or sensitive skin with organic Argan oil from Morocco, energized with Flower Essences. Ask Mike in Santa Fe. Sweet Medicine Bath Salts (right) LOCAL aromatherapy bath salts from Santa Fe, NM. Specially formulated blends of exotic oils and mineral salts to detoxify, relax and rejuvenate. Ask Aneshia at Rio Grande. Photos by Austin Mye
May is for Mom
Bed & Bagels and Other Breakfast Delights GLUTEN FREE PANCAKES
LA MONTAÑITA DELI BREAKFASTS
Yield: 12-14 Pancakes
Second to none, our fresh, local and organic Deli breakfast selections have something for everyone’s taste.
Courtesy of Giuditta Paci, Westside Store, Deli Department Team Leader
3/4 cup organic gluten-free flour
(Recommendation: Gluten-Free Flour Blend)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum or 1/2 teaspoon guar gum 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon cane sugar or for lowglycemic index option, use xylitol and follow package instructions for exact amounts 2/3 cup milk or non-dairy option, like rice milk or almond milk 2 organic eggs 2 tablespoons of organic grape seed oil Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, eggs and cooking oil. Add milk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until well blended. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
Check out a few on the menu: • Ready-to-go Breakfast Burritos • Breakfast Biscuit Sandwiches • Homemade salsas • Bagels and organic Cream Cheeses • Vegan Cheeses • Wild Caught Smoked Salmon • Gluten free eclairs • Fresh fruit cups • Fair trade Avocado Guacamole • Mousse Vegan Chocolate with Raspberry Coconut Whip • Assorted muffins, vegan available • Regular and gluten free brownies • Organic Coffee, juices and smoothies
Preheat ungreased, non-stick frying pan to medium heat. Pour batter by the spoonful onto the hot pan. Pancakes are ready to be turned over when the edges are no longer glossy and the bubbles that pop stay open. To check the second side for doneness, you just have to lift an edge of the pancake up with a spatula and take a peek.
GLUTEN FREE VEGAN PANCAKES
There is nothing like being served breakfast in bed to make you feel extraordinary. And, a great way to show your love to Courtesy of MOMables.com the person who fed you from the cradle is taking the time and Yield: 10-12 4” Pancakes energy to plan something fresh and nurturing. 1 cup gluten-free flour Pick from our local, organic, healthy ingredients and get poetic with food from the simple toasted bagel, smoked salmon and cheese spreads to gourmet crepes or omelettes, paired with rich organic coffees and fresh fruit mimosas.
SPANISH OMELETTE Courtesy of Eli Brown, La Montañita Co-op Scanning Department
Yield: serves two 1/2 pint of olive oil 5 medium Yukon potatoes, peeled, sliced & sprinkled with salt 1/2 yellow onion, chopped 3 cloves of garlic, minced 5 eggs 2 Roma tomatoes, cubed 1/2 lemon Salt, pepper & oregano Heat the olive oil in a 9-inch skillet and add the potato slices carefully; the salt will make the oil splatter. Keep the potato slices separated as they will stick together. Cook, over medium heat for 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs with 1/2 tablespoon of salt, 1/2 tablespoon of oregano and a few shakes of pepper. Add the potatoes, onions and garlic, and stir and coat with the egg. Try to keep most of the olive oil in the skillet when doing this. Add the egg-coated potatoes to the very hot oil in the skillet, spreading them evenly to completely cover the base of the skillet. Lower the heat to medium and continue to cook, shaking the pan frequently, until the mixture is half set. Use a plate to cover the skillet and invert the omelette away from the hand holding the plate (so you won’t burn your hand with any escaping oil). Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and slide the omelette into the pan on the uncooked side. Cook until completely set, then transfer to a plate and cut into wedges. Squeeze lemon juice completely over omelette and serve with cubed Roma tomatoes on top.
LA MONTAÑITA FAMOUS BREAKFAST BURRITO, ORGANIC ORANGE JUICE
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (flax meal) 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or sugar or honey) 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 1 cup milk (or nondairy substitute) Grease a griddle, and preheat over medium heat. (Or you can use a pan on your stove top.) In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, flax meal, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup, vanilla, applesauce and milk.
SMOKED SALMON, ORGANIC CREAM CHEESE, BAGEL
Slowly mix half of the liquid into the dry ingredients, stirring continuously, and the rest 1/4 cup at a time to avoid a runny batter. Mix until you get the lumps out of the batter. On your griddle, begin to cook the pancakes, using about 1/4 cup of the batter for each one. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until they start to bubble around the edges, and flip. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the griddle and serve. Note: Not all gluten free flours are the same. For this recipe, the Co-op recommends Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour.
GLUTEN FREE ECLAIRS
Photos by Austin Mye
spring into deliciousness Mary Alice Cooper, MD
A Flowering of
MEDITERRANEAN-STYLE CASHEWCUCUMBER DIP FROM ISA CHANDRA MOSKOWITZ Serves: 6 to 8 / Time: 15 minutes For a lovely spring luncheon or picnic, this thick and fresh tasting dip is a dairy-free variation on the classic Greek cucumber yogurt dip, tzatziki. Cool and zippy, it is great paired with fresh raw veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, bell pepper, and carrots as well as with blanched ones like green beans and asparagus. It's wonderful alongside Greek-Style Tomato-Zucchini Fritters (recipe follows). 1 pound seedless cucumber, peeled and grated (about 1 2/3 cups, loosely packed) 1 cup raw cashews 2 large cloves garlic, peeled 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 pinch ground white pepper 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill A few Kalamata olives for garnish Squeeze handfuls of grated cucumber over medium-size bowl to remove as much juice as possible. Or, wrap grated cucumber in cheesecloth or white terry kitchen towel. Set aside juice and place squeezed cucumber in large bowl. Combine cashews, garlic, olive oil, oregano, lemon juice, half of the grated cucumber, salt, and pepper in food processor. Blend until creamy, frequently scraping down sides. Add 1 to 3 tablespoons reserved cucumber juice, only if necessary. The final consistency should resemble a not-too-thick hummus. Scrape into mediumsize bowl and stir in remaining grated cucumber and chopped dill. Cover and chill until ready to use. To serve, drizzle small amount of olive oil on top and add a few Kalamata olives. TOMATO-ZUCCHINI FRITTERS Served with above cashew dip as a lovely spring or summertime appetizer, these tender and light fritters can also be a meal served with salad greens dressed
May 2015 10 with olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Bursting with chunks of fresh tomato, dill, and mint, they are delightful. 1 pound package firm tofu, squeezed to remove extra water, then crumbled (Pressing under a heavy object such as a cast iron pan for at least 15 minutes helps a great deal.) 1/4 cup ground walnuts 1 clove garlic, crushed 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon salt Generous pinch ground black pepper 1/2 cup bread crumbs plus additional 1/3 cup for coating 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint 1/2 pound zucchini, grated and squeezed well to remove excess water (about 1 cup) 1 pound seeded, finely chopped tomatoes (about 1 heaping cup), drained to remove excess liquid Olive oil for frying Have ready layers of paper towels or clean brown bags for absorbing oil after frying. In food processor, blend together tofu, ground walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, tomato paste, oregano, salt, and pepper until almost smooth (some small lumps are okay). Taste and add more salt or pepper if necessary. Scrape mixture into large bowl, using spatula, and mix in bread crumbs, dill, and mint. Mixture should have consistency of thick cookie dough. If too moist, add more bread crumbs by the tablespoon. Gently fold in grated zucchini and chopped tomatoes. Heat 1/4 inch layer of olive oil in large heavy-bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Using 2 heaping tablespoons mixture per fritter, drop each into bread crumbs and gently roll to coat. Flatten to about 1 inch thick and fry for 4 to 6 minutes on each side or until golden brown, turning carefully with spatula (these are delicate). Drain on paper towels or bags and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve sprinkled with more fresh dill or dusted with a little dried oregano. Alternative Baking Option: Instead of frying, bake the fritters in preheated 350 degree oven for at least 50 minutes, or until sufficiently browned and crisp. Oil a parchment paper-covered or plain cookie sheet and arrange fritters, not touching, and spray or brush generously with olive oil. Flip halfway through baking, spraying or brushing other side with oil. TIP: Uncooked fritters can be shaped a day in advance and kept covered in refrigerator. Bake or fry just prior to serving.
spring into deliciousness VIETNAMESE RICE NOODLE SALAD with BLACKENED TOFU FROM ADRIENNE WEISS Serves: 6 / Time: 50 minutes (without recommended option of freezing tofu)
wise into 3 equal rectangles. Repeat with other block. Cut diagonally into triangles, yielding 24 pieces in all. Place in single layer on platter or baking dish and spoon 7 tablespoons dressing plus 3 teaspoons tamari over slices to coat. Gently flip occasionally while preparing salad.
Silky rice noodles, cool cucumbers, seasonal asparagus, and refreshing mint are spiced up with chili garlic sauce for a great simple springtime meal or special occasion gathering. Featuring crispy blackened tofu and sprinkled with a gremolata of peanut, mint, and lime for added flavor and texture, this dish will delight the tastebuds.
Cook rice according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water for about a minute until fully cooled. Set aside to drain further. Mix all vegetables and mint leaves with noodles. Mixing by hand is actually the best way to incorporate all ingredients. Refrigerate. Combine gremolata ingredients in small bowl. Pre-heat cast iron skillet and coat with thin layer of oil. Place marinated tofu triangles in pan over medium-high heat. Cook until both sides are crisp and nicely blackened. Add any excess marinade to noodles.
For Dressing: 1/2 cup warm water 4 tablespoons agave nectar 4 tablespoons chili garlic sauce (Kinna's Vegan Chile Paste, available at the Co-op, works beautifully) 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce (GF tamari for gluten-free) 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (3 or so limes) 1/3 teaspoon salt For Salad: 2 12- or 14-ounce packages extra firm tofu 3 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce 1 8-ounce package thin rice noodles 1 medium-size cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced in half moons 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 2 baby bok choy, thinly sliced 1 bunch asparagus spears with bottoms trimmed, quickly blanched in boiling water and shocked in ice water, then drained and cut into 1-inch pieces 2 cups mixed greens 1 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts 1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves
To serve, scoop noodle mixture into 6 individual bowls. Wedge 3 to 4 tofu pieces on side of each bowl. Sprinkle with gremolata and serve with lime wedges and extra chile garlic sauce. This recipe can easily be multiplied for a larger gathering. If there's any remaining tofu, use for delicious sandwiches or stir fry dishes. Timing Tips: Put water on to boil, make dressing and marinate tofu, cook noodles, prep veggies, drain noodles, assemble salad, make gremolata, cook tofu, assemble servings.
For Peanut-Mint Gremolata: 1/2 cup peanuts, very well chopped 6 tablespoons finely chopped mint Zest of 2 small or 1 large lime To make dressing, mix together all ingredients and whisk or stir vigorously. Set aside. Recommended: Drain tofu, wrap in paper towel and then in terry kitchen towel. Place under heavy object such as cast iron skillet and drain for at least 15 minutes. Proceed with recipe or, for a chewy tofu that will better absorb marinade, drain and place in air-tight freezer bag and freeze overnight. Completely defrost and drain any excess water. Tofu will last up to 5 months in the freezer. Slice tofu through middle of each block for 4 blocks total. Holding 2 together, one atop other, slice width
May 2015 11
food health & environment SUGAR: THE NEW TOBACCO
May 2015 12
THE CASE AGAINST
naturally in a food product. For example, a sixounce container of plain yogurt has 7 grams of the sugar lactose, while a pomegranate yogurt has 19 grams of sugar, including 12 grams of added sugar, explains Robert Lustig, a specialist in pediatric obesity, in a March 20 op-ed in the LA Times.
BY ARI LEVAUX e know foods like donuts and soda can make you fat, but the effects of sugar on the liver and brain are less well-known. Dietary sugar can fry your liver in much the same way that alcohol can. This in turn can hurt your brain, leaving you with dementia-like symptoms decades too soon.
Added sugar is another way of saying "Big Sugar's bottom line," and on March 24 the Sugar Association requested that the added sugar recommendations be removed. In a bitter irony, its letter to DGAC complained that the committee "selected science to support its predetermined conclusions."
Most people associate liver disease with alcohol abuse or hepatitis. But another type, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)—which barely existed three decades ago—has quickly become the most common liver disease in America. It isn't caused by booze or a nasty virus, but by dietary sugar, which causes a buildup of fat in your liver. Overweight people are likely candidates for NAFLD. Memory loss and diminished cognitive function are often the first symptoms, as the liver loses its ability to filter toxins that compromise the brain. According to the American Liver Foundation, at least a quarter of the US population now suffers from NAFLD, and that number is expected to swell to 40 percent by 2030, apace with an accompanying swelling of the American body that's expected, thanks to the insatiable American sweet tooth and the corporate interests that feed it. A study published on March 25 further solidified the connection between sugar and NAFLD. It found that even moderate amounts of sugary drinks will stimulate the production of enzymes that deposit fat in the liver. These are sour times at the Sugar Association, a DC-based trade group with a mission that appears increasingly impossible: "to promote the consumption of sugar through sound scientific principles..." Alas for Big Sugar, it's becoming ever more difficult to use even the most convoluted scientific principles to defend sugar consumption, much less promote it. The Sugar Association once touted sugar as "a sensible approach to weight control," something we now know is roughly the polar opposite of the truth. In addition to non-alcohol fatty liver disease, sugar promotes a variety of other ailments, including heart disease, tooth decay, and diabetes.
THE JOY OF GELATIN: FROM MOTHER TO
BY AMYLEE UDALL y mom's standard picnic and potluck dish was what came to be known as jello jigglers: Not the soft, scoopable, jagged, yet jiggly mini-mountains of hospital food fame, but solid little squares of finger food, brightly colored for summer. I know they're not everyone's thing, but they are wonderful little treats for young and old kids and CAN be packed with nutrition.
Gelatin is derived from collagen, found in animal bones. Collagen is a structural protein composed of about 1,400 amino acids that contribute to our body's bone, skin, joint, and digestive health. Gelatin is dentured collagen and meant to be added to other foods to improve digestability or taken as a supplement to improve hair, nails, skin, and joints. If you have issues with any of these or would like a little digestion boost, this whole food source of protein might be a convenient way. Make sure your gelatin is derived from cows or pigs raised in sunshine and on grass, without antibiotics. Most of us are familiar with gelatin that gels desserts and thickens sauces. Add it to pie fillings, ice cream, yogurt, puddings, or pannacotta. You can even try your hand at making homemade
Meanwhile, new research is mounting that suggests sugar is behind Alzheimer's disease, which has been dubbed “Type 3 Diabetes,” aka diabetes of the brain. The case against sugar has grown steadily but quietly in the last four decades, in the shadow of dietary fat, which has widely been blamed for these ailments. Meanwhile, the Sugar Association has engaged in tactics reminiscent of those of the tobacco industry during the height of its denial, including the funding of sugar-friendly research, the installation of sugar-friendly (and sugar-funded) scientists on government advisory panels, and even threats to scientists and politicians who question the place of sugar in a healthy diet. But despite these efforts, as with tobacco, this cat is proving too big for the bag. In February, the recommendations of USDA's Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) were published. They include several significant sugar-related proposals, including a sugar tax. The recommendations take specific aim at added sugars, suggesting they be labeled as such, and kept below 10 percent of total caloric intake. Identifying added sugar would distinguish it from sugar that's
In his op-ed, Lustig compared Big Sugar to a wild animal that has been cornered, and will fight with everything it has. But as with tobacco, the evidence against it is just too damning. "Sugar starts to fry your liver at about 35 pounds per year, just like alcohol would at the same dosage. This is because fructose—the sweet molecule of sugar—is metabolized in the liver just like alcohol." Americans, Lustig notes, consume an average of 100 pounds of sugar per year. "That is why children now get the diseases of alcohol consumption— type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease—without ever drinking alcohol." Big Sugar's last chance, he says, is by way of intraagency dysfunction. "There are 51 separate agencies in charge of our food supply. That suits the sugar industry just fine. Their strategy is to divide and conquer. It's time for us to unite to tame this wild animal before it can sicken another generation of children. " While the dust settles and sugar consumption and labeling guidelines are inevitably restructured, you don't have to wait for any final word from government agencies. Research at MIT, published in January, suggests that compulsive sugar consumption follows a different neural pathway than healthy eating. It's encouraging that your brain's sweet tooth can be retrained, before your memory deteriorates to the point where you forget where you stashed the gummy bears.
marshmallows with it. All of these are kid-friendly grownup ways to consume this nutritional secret weapon. That gel on the top of your homemade bone broth (see the article in the April Co-op Connection news) is your best source of gelatin, but if your homemade bone broth didn't gel up, add powdered gelatin.
gummies! When you make your gummy, you simply substitute the water for the tea, vinegar, or other liquid, or add the supplement to the liquid while the liquid is warm and then let it set up.
This brings us to the fun and usually fruity gummy snacks category. They are great for summer potlucks or little snacks for the kids. You can make them as plain or frilly as you like. I've made them with kombucha, fruit juice, coconut milk, and lime juice, a family favorite. I've seen them made with coffee, cream, chocolate, fruit pieces, and essential oils. You can use your favorite sweeteners, including stevia. The easiest way to make them is to put them in a square or rectangular pan and then slice them into squares. But you could also have fun with silicone molds and make little gummy bears, gummy stars, gummy flowers, or gummy hearts.
Creamscicle Gummy Fruit Snacks from TheCoconutMama.com
In addition to making little desserts, you could also make little gummy vitamins to treat and heal whatever health issues might affect your family. I've made them with herbal teas, tinctures, magnesium, and elderberries. Been trying to get more apple cider vinegar in your diet? Try it in a gummy. Need more vitamin C? Can't get enough probiotics in the kids? Low vitamin D? All these can be added to your
Gelatin has many health benefits, but can also be fun and appeal to the kid in all of us!
1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed juice (orange juice and cherry juice work well) 1/2 cup coconut cream or whole cream 1 cup honey (or other natural sweeteners) 1/2 cup gelatin 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon vanilla Heat juice and cream over medium heat in a medium size saucepan. Pour gelatin over liquid. Whisk gelatin into mixture. Add honey and salt and continue to stir until the gelatin dissolves. Bring the mixture to a light boil, stirring constantly. Turn off heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour mixture into a 8” x 8” square pan. Cover pan and refrigerate until gummy snacks are set, about 4 hours. Cut into small squares and store in air tight container, then refrigerate.
FARMING AND GARDENING
SQUASH BUG EXCLUSION TECHNIQUE FOR HOME GARDENERS
BY DR. TESS GRASSWITZ, NMSU pilot project conducted at New Mexico State University’s Los Lunas Agricultural Science Center has demonstrated that exclusion is a viable technique for non-chemical management of squash bug—at least on a small scale. The suggested approach combines raised beds with a covering of UV-stabilized plastic mesh with 1/8th inch holes—small enough to exclude adult squash bugs as they emerge from over-wintering, but large enough to allow various native bee species access to pollinate the flowers and so increase fruit set.
The approach involves attaching boards at right-angles to the walls of a raised bed so that six-inch spring clamps can be used to secure the mesh covering. This gives relatively easy access to the plants for weeding and harvesting. The number of clamps could be reduced by gluing or riveting the inner surface of the upper “jaw” of each clamp to a short length of board (e.g. 12” x 3” x 1/4”) so that the force exerted by each
clamp is spread over a larger area without creating any gaps large enough to allow squash bugs to pass through. For those interested in using this technique, it is important to note that the covers must be in place as soon as the seeds are up (or the transplants put in). In addition, ALL cucurbits (including melons and cucumbers) grown in the immediate area should be covered, as any unprotected plants in the vicinity can become “nurseries” for squash bug nymphs which will migrate away from dying host plants and which are small enough to pass through the mesh. The raised beds themselves should be at least five feet wide, and care should be taken to center the squash plants in the bed when they are sown or transplanted. This is to minimize the risk of leaves eventually coming into contact with the
mesh as the plants grow; squash bugs attracted by the scent of the plants will aggregate on the outside of the mesh, and will feed through it if the leaves are close enough— with the associated risk of transmitting the bacterium that causes cucurbit yellow vine disease. The technique worked well in last year’s demonstration plots, with the covered plants persisting until the end of September and producing approximately 9 lbs. of squash per plant. MATERIALS AND SUPPLIERS: 1. Netting: Product code: OV 6200 1/8 inch UVstabilized mesh ($50 minimum order) Industrial Netting Co., 7681 Setzler Pkwy N., Minneapolis, MN 55445, 1-800-328-8456. Phone: 763-496-6355, Fax: 763496-6356. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.industrialnetting.com/pest.htm 2. Six-inch spring clamps: Available from numerous suppliers, but it pays to shop around as prices vary widely. For more information contact: email@example.com
farming & gardening
May 2015 13
COMMON SENSE AND
FOCUS ON THE
BY BRETT BAKKER We enviro-freaks can tend to focus on the doom and gloom so let’s go for three good things this time around. STRIPPING DOWN he old romantic notion of waving fields of prairie grasses is more than nostalgia or a backdrop for breakfast cereal ads. After all, it supported up to 50 million buffalo before European settlement began. An uncultivated self-sustaining plant population has to be pretty hardy as well as nutritious to support that many beasts, ones that can weigh over a thousand pounds each. Efficient recycling of natural elements and compounds in the soil through decaying grass and deep roots kept the soil dense and packed with nutrition. That’s no news to people who believe that, if left alone, the planet can take care of itself. Once again, here comes science to prove common sense and observation.
Since 2008, Iowa State University has been reintroducing prairie in strip form—via research at the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge under the name STRIPS, Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips. Yep, that’s just what it sounds like: strips of prairie planted within farmland. This year, the STRIPS project is underway in almost twenty-five farms as well as the Refuge.
MEDICINE FROM THE
SCRAPES, CUTS, AND
SEEDS OF MORE CHANGE GMOs have been used most often in livestock feed crops, more so than for human consumption. Besides all the pesticide resistant varieties, a few (very few) GMO crops are experiments in nutritional increase (Golden Rice for Vitamin A and bananas). There is a strong turn, however, toward nutrient-enhanced nonTHE GMO crops. Most of these are for livestock feed, but it’s a step in the right direction, specifically, one away from GMOs. Still, those of us that eat animals should raise the demand for pasture-raised. In any case, says Charles Brown of Brownseed Genetics: “Common sense will tell you livestock respond to enhanced oil and protein, not insect or herbicide resistance.” To that end, Brownseed is developing corn with just those attributes. Another outfit called Schiller is doing the same with soy. itchy green There are a few veggie breeeders doing the same for us hominids, and it’s a safe bet that more will head in the same direction. Since many are breeding specifically for organic growers, it’s almost de facto. Common sense will also tell you that a soil dense with nutrition will grow a crop with the same. With 10% of a field planted to strips alongside corn and soy, the results are noteworthy: 40% less water EU – GMO = A+ runoff, 95% less soil loss, four times the amount of Both the German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks and wild plant species and twice the bird species, while Hungarian Farm Minister Sandor Fazekas are calling for a full-on unconincreasing habitat for many other animals and plants. ditional GMO ban within their borders, with Hungary’s minister Fazekas This is not only a tree-hugger, feel-good story, but a initiating an alliance that will advocate for the whole of the European win for reducing groundwater pollution while lowerUnion being a GMO-free zone. Meanwhile the EU Parliament passed leging the farmer’s cost by reducing fertilizer runoff by islation to allow member countries to restrict or ban GMOs in their own 84% for nitrogen and 90% for phosphorus. And territory even if the EU as a governing body allows them. Health and that’s with non-organic farms that use highly soluble environmental risks can be cited as justification, but even more encournutrients. An organic farm without soluble inputs aging, so can socio-economic impacts and unintentional GMO cross polshould see even further benefit. lination. How is it that disparate countries can agree and work together better on some things than our entire “united” set of states?
BY JESSE EMERSON f you have children, you will have cuts, scrapes, and abrasions. One thing you don’t want is infection. A minor cut can turn into major infection and a nightmare overnight. First, stop the tears and clean the wound. Reach for the apple cider vinegar instead of the alcohol. Mix a half and half solution of vinegar and water. Undiluted vinegar may cause more irritation and make the situation worse. You can also wash with soap and water.
A kitchen is not complete unless it has a bottle of organic, unheated, unfiltered, and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (ACV). ACV is made by crushing fresh apples and allowing the natural process of fermentation to occur. Not all bacteria are harmful—in fact, most are beneficial and, like us, want to live in peace. Apple cider is broken down by the vinegar bacillus and yeast and converted to alcohol and eventually to vinegar. Vinegar can be made using almost any fruit or can also be made using petroleum; read those labels carefully. Unless the bottle says “made from grain” it could be made with a petroleum “starter:” this is especially true of white distilled vinegar. When the vinegar is mature you will see a dark cloudy foam called “mother.” This product contains digestive enzymes, minerals, and trace minerals.
Bike to Work Day, May 15
WORK DAY MAY 15
Join us in celebrating Bike to Work Day in Albuquerque on May 15th from 6:30am-8:30am! We invite YOU to give your car a rest, Switch gears and try riding your bike as a healthy and fun alternative to driving. This fun and enlightening community event will introduce you to the wider world of bicycle commuting through staffed cycle-stops; where you can find bicycle information, a Bike to Work Day T-Shirt, a cup of coffee, and many other items! For all of the details, please visit www.biketoworkabq.com
It is like eating an apple. The difference is the acids it contains. Although in diluted form, it is the acids that are responsible for its antibiotic qualities. The lowered Ph creates an environment hostile to bacteria, either killing them and/or preventing reproduction. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used vinegar to clean wounds. Studies show it inhibits E. coli in food (wash your veggies using ACV).
garden. Pick a handful of dandelion leaves, wash, crush, and add water to make them goopy. Apply to the wound area. Leave on for 15 minutes and gently wash off. It will draw out the infection. When calendula flowers are not adding color and nutrition to my salad, I use them to make a salve. Apply after the drawing poultice. It is soothing, antiseptic, and promotes healing.
A warm, wet compress of any of the anti-bacteria spices or teas is useful. A clove compress is both germicidal and anesthetic. Do you have a kitchen garden? Fresh herbs and flowers are essential in a well stocked kitchen. I always have calendula and dandelions in my
Remember, wash your hands before and after working with wounds and wear gloves if they are available. There will always be cuts and scrapes, but there doesn’t have to be infection!
food & environment ocean-based
FISH FARMING not
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POLLUTION, PATHOGENS, AND ENVIRONMENTAL bility of preventing fish escapes from farms in the open ocean, regardless of system design or containment management plan. Over 24 million escapes have been documented around the world in a little over two decades. When farmed salmon escape and interbreed with wild salmon, their offspring experience diminished survival skills,
EDITOR’S NOTE: Center for Food Safety (CFS) released its report “Like Water and Oil: Ocean-Based Fish Farming and Organic Don’t Mix” in October at the National Organic Standards Board Meeting. The National Organic Program (NOP) plans to release its draft organic aquaFA C T O R Y culture regulations and, unfortunately, still plans to FARMED FISH? allow fish farmed at sea to be certified organic despite the overwhelming evidence of detrimental impacts to marine ecosystems and fisheries. The following is reprinted with permission from CFS’s fact sheet on fish farming, taken from its larger report. BY CAMERON HARSH, CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY hile some assert that farming fish in cages at sea is the only sustainable way to meet the growing global demand for seafood, the reality is that the practice is far from sustainable. Producing fish in nets and cages in the open ocean contributes to the degradation of the world’s seas, marine life, and ecosystems. These cramped facilities—akin to industrial animal factories on land— pollute the environment far beyond the places where they are located. The egregious harms caused by fish farms at sea demonstrate their unacceptability as an organic system of production.
In the densely packed sea cages of homogenous fish, which are the norm for ocean-based fish farms, diseases emerge and rapidly spread. In Norway, for example, the highly contagious furunculosis skin disease quickly spread to roughly 70 percent of its ocean-based fish farms after the industry received infected juveniles from Scotland. Not only do crowded conditions enhance opportunities for the transmission of common pathogens and disease, but they also create the optimum conditions for the evolution of more virulent strains. Farms Reduce the Survivability of Wild Fish Wild fish often linger near fish farms because they can obtain relatively easy access to food without the need to forage. Manufactured feed pellets, partially digested food, and feces freely flow through fish farms at sea providing a convenient source of food without the need to scavenge. This ultimately makes these wild fish less fit for survival. Processed diets also impact fish physiology by changing the fat content and fatty acid composition of their tissues. Such synthetic diets can also interfere with reproduction of wild fish and adversely affect their egg quality. Fish Inevitably Escape into the Ocean In the tumultuous ocean environment, fish farms are highly susceptible to breakages and breaches from predator attacks, storms, and strong currents, allowing millions of farmed fish to escape annually. Vandalism, equipment failure, and human handling errors also cause regular escapes. Decades of experience have demonstrated the impossi-
for example, the Infectious Salmon Anemia virus was transmitted from fish farms to nearby river ecosystems by escaped fish. In Norway, escapees found in nearby rivers were the suspected cause of the furunculosis skin disease epidemic among wild populations. In Scotland, three out of four salmon escapes occur from farms impacted by Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis, a contagious viral infection associated with intensive farming conditions. In the US, little data on fish farm escapes is collected and none on the spread of pathogens and disease. Farms Create Risks for Marine Predators Large marine species are at risk when they swim near fish farms, attracted by the high density of fish, fish feed, and waste. Sea birds can become trapped in farm nets, exhaust themselves trying to break free, and die. Seals and sea lions have drowned after becoming caught in nets. In 2006, at least 46 sea lions died at a salmon farm in British Columbia, Canada, after they failed to escape entanglement. Sharks and other predators have been killed by farm owners wanting to protect their fish and facility against predation. Thousands of seals have been shot in Scotland in the name of protecting the welfare of farmed salmon.
Ocean-based fish farms can be an enormous source of untreated fish feces, uneaten feed, and dead fish. They all directly dump into the ocean—as much as several thousands of pounds a day—and eventually settle on the ocean floor, dramatically altering oxygen levels and reducing populations of bottom-dwelling mollusks, crustaceans, and plants. In Scotland, 350 salmon farms generate more sewage than the country’s entire human population.
reduced fitness, and potentially altered timing of developmental stages. Overall, escaped farmed salmon and offspring of interbred salmon are less likely to survive past juvenile stages than wild salmon. However, due to the genetic selection for increased growth rate and size, the farmed fish that do survive soon outcompete wild salmon for resources. Escaped Fish Restructure Food Webs Escaped farmed fish increase predation in marine ecosystems and compete with wild species for food. They also migrate and inhabit areas where they were previously absent, significantly changing regional food webs. In Japan, for example, escaped farmed trout invaded streams and adversely impacted riverbank ecosystems that connect the stream to nearby forests. Invading trout out-competed native charr for insects on the stream surface, causing the charr to alter their diets and consume bottom-dwelling aquatic insects instead. This reduced the aquatic insect population, which normally feed on algae, and increased algal blooms. Algal blooms decrease oxygen levels in aquatic systems. Increased predation of insects from charr decreased the number of adult insects that emerged from the river—the primary prey of spiders living on the stream banks. This subsequently decreased spider populations. Thus, the impacts from a single ecosystem change created a trophic cascade of multiple and interconnected impacts that extended beyond the ocean, to streams and forest species, including birds that rely on spiders for prey. Escaped Fish Spread Disease Diseases and pathogens spread well beyond fish farms once fish escape into the ocean. In Canada,
Ocean-Based Fish Farming and Organic Don’t Mix Despite this track record of ecological harm, the US Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program is poised to release standards for raising certified organic fish and it is seriously considering allowing fish farmed at sea to be certified organic. Yet, based upon Center for Food Safety’s extensive research of ocean-based fish farms, it is clear such facilities can never be certified organic because of the ecological damage they cause. Food production systems must not demonstrably harm the environment or human health and ocean-based fish farms cannot meet that high bar. Organic Farmers Steward the Environment Organic is a system of farming and food processing that combines traditional knowledge, experience, modern innovation, and scientific research to optimize food production, quality, and taste. Organic farmers tap into the best of what nature has to offer by controlling weeds, pests, pathogens, and disease with products derived from nature. Synthetic, toxic materials are largely prohibited, and allowed only under certain prescribed conditions until alternatives are found. Genetically modified seeds and plants (GMOs) are strictly prohibited under all circumstances. Each aspect of this intentionally-managed system comes together to produce healthy, nutritious, and flavorful organic food. To allow organic certification of fish grown in farms that pollute the ocean in so many ways would breach consumer trust in the integrity of organically grown food and the organic label.
To access CFS’s full report, go to: www.centerforfoodsafety.org or contact Cameron at: Cameron@CenterforFoodSafety.org
GLYPHOSATE FINALLY RECOGNIZED AS A CARCINOGEN
Exposures Linked to Diverse Health Problems BY STEPHANIE DAVIO AND THE BEYOND PESTICIDES STAFF eyond Pesticides, a national public health and environmental group, is calling on the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to stop the use of the country’s most popular herbicide, glyphosate, in the wake of an international ruling that it causes cancer in humans. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released its finding in March, concluding that there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity based on laboratory studies.
Glyphosate is touted by EPA and industry as a “low toxicity” chemical and “safer” than other chemicals and is widely used in food production and on lawns, gardens, parks, and children’s playing fields. However, IARC’s new classification of glyphosate as a Group 2A “probable” carcinogen finds that glyphosate is anything but safe. According to IARC, Group 2A means that the chemical is probably carcinogenic to humans based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. The agency considered the findings from an EPA Scientific Advisory Panel report, along with several recent studies, in making its conclusion. The agency also notes that glyphosate caused DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells. Further, epidemiologic studies have found that exposure to glyphosate is significantly associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL). Ironically, EPA in 1985 originally classified glyphosate as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” based on tumors in laboratory animals, but
Geological Survey (USGS) routinely finds glyphosate in US waterways, especially in the Midwestern states and the Mississippi River Valley. Ecological data also reports that glyphosate and glyphosate-formulated products are toxic to aquatic organisms, and are extremely lethal to amphibians.
DAMAGE changed its classification to evidence of non-carcinogenicity in humans years later, most likely due to indusBut the US regulatory agencies have try influence, allowing the chemical to be the most widely—used herbicide in the US. ignored questions about its hazards and its necessity in USDA has contributed to its growth by deregulat- crop production. Last year, cotton growers applied for an ing crops, including the vast majority of corn and emergency exemption for the use of propazine on three soybeans, that are genetically engineered to be tol- million acres of cotton because glyphosate was no longer erant to the chemical. In recent years, weeds have effective. Now that IARC has classified the world’s most exhibited resistance to glyphosate and its efficacy widely used herbicide as a probable human carcinogen, has been called into question. Additionally, the US EPA must quickly reevaluate its widespread use and registration status.
ALL PEOPLES’ GRANDMOTHER’S
SPEAKING UP FOR THE NEXT GENERATIONS
The newly formed Albuquerque Grandmothers Council had its first official meeting on January 10. The grassroots volunteer group represents the diverse population of Albuquerque. Our mission is to provide service to the community by contributing the wisdom of female elders over fifty. Our members are over 50, but not all have grandchildren. We are inspired by the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers. The Albuquerque Grandmothers Council is religion neutral and as diverse as Albuquerque itself. For information email Caite at Caitemaya@yahoo.com or Susan at woolfpath@swcp, or call 505-967-2865.
community forum Kids, Music, and Summer
Many students enriched by the experience of attending Summer Sessions continue musical instruction through Rock 101 Academy year-round. I wouldn’t be writing this article if my family had not experienced first-hand the benefits of what Kevin and his team have to offer. My daughter attended her first Summer Session in the summer of 2014. She chose to play guitar, and had never played a stringed instrument. She had the time of her life, which led to her participation in two more sessions as a bass guitarist/vocalist. We observed her confidence levels skyrocket, and she inspired me to pick up my old guitar and begin lessons myself. Now, on occasion, she will join Kevin with his band on-stage at local gigs to help promote Rock 101.
BY JOSEPH PHY o you have a child that is interested in learning to play music or sing? Did you know that music lessons for children are proven to enhance academic, motor, and social skills? Learning to play music is great exercise for young and developing minds. Performing in front of an audience can provide a boost of confidence at a young age that may last a lifetime. Most importantly, playing music is just plain fun, and a local musician is living his dream of empowering youth through music.
Kevin Herig, a local singer/songwriter, established Rock 101 Academy in 2011. Rock 101 consists of Kevin and his team of musicians, who have worked with hundreds of kids (and adults) over the years, teaching the fundamentals of playing and performing music. Kevin and his team provide lessons and rehearsals year-round at Rock 101 Academy, but a truly special part of what this program provides is the Rock 101 Summer Sessions. Kids are grouped by age into two categories: Young Guns (age 6-11) and Old School (age 12-17). Some bring a level of experience, some have never touched an instrument. Within these categories bands are
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formed. First, kids choose an instrument, usually guitar, piano, bass, ukulele, percussion, and/or vocals. Daily sessions provide instruction and practice time, interspersed with fun games and exercises for several hours per day over a weeklong period. At the end of the week, all of the bands perform a song or two in front of an audience of supportive friends and family. Bands are given the chance to perform other artists’ material or original tunes.
Albuquerque is rich with artistic talent, and Kevin and his fellow musicians are helping to ensure that the next generation continues this tradition. If your kids are interested in music, please visit Rock101nm.com to learn more about what Rock 101 has to offer. Scholarships are available. Registration for Summer Sessions are open and filling up fast! Give your child the gift of music, a gift that will continue to provide lifelong enrichment. EMPOWERING
FOLK FESTIVAL LOW PRICES! FREE PARKING! FREE CAMPING! FREE ADMITTANCE TO THE BALLOON MUSEUM BY ROSE DAY, ALBUQUERQUE FOLK FESTIVAL This year the 17th Annual Albuquerque Folk Festival is pleased to present 120 non-stop music, dance, and education events at 15 different locations at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum on Saturday, June 6, 10:30am to 11pm. The Cajun-Creole Connection with Ed Poullard and Blake Miller, and Cathy Barton and Dave Para of the Handsome Family headline the Folk Festival. Back by popular demand are Spencer & Rains as well as Notorious. Also performing are Ryan Hood, Run Boy Run, the Zuni Mountain Boys, Truckstop Honeymoon, and Cactus Tractor. A favorite, Polyphony Marimba, is returning. New Mexican and regional performers
M AY 1 6
BY KATIE SCHULTHEISS bility Connection is gearing up to bring disability awareness to the Albuquerque community at its 4th annual Ability Walk on May 16. The Ability Walk is a fun, non-competitive walk held at El Oso Grande Park to celebrate people of all abilities. Participants, walking alone or in teams, raise money for Ability Connection, a leading organization for adults and children with disabilities.
It is estimated that one in five people will experience a disability in their lifetime, from children born with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, or spina bifida to adults with acquired disabilities that are the result of disease, accident, or military service. The money raised through the Ability Walk is vital to Ability Connection’s funding of programs and services in New Mexico. Assistive technology is an important element in fulfilling the organization’s mission to enable people with disabilities to achieve their highest level of independence. Services like the Technology Initiative give a voice to children and adults who cannot speak. It is a remarkable gift for a child to tell a parent they love them for the first time. The Tech 4 Tots initiative offers infants and toddlers the tools to develop social skills at an early age. Any walker can tell you that the Walk is fun, celebratory, and incredibly rewarding. It's an easy way to become part of the movement to honor the concept of unconditional respect for others, regardless of their level of abilities. Walkers and team leaders often create individualized fundraising projects to promote their participation. Ability Connection offers support every step of the way with fundraising tips and tools, like their online Tool Kit. There is information and coaching available to train participants to comfortably ask family and friends for their support. The event will include a special performance by Expressions of Joy, an organization that brings the joy of singing to adults with developmental disabilities. Tim Harris, owner of Tim’s Place, will make a special appearance and speak before the Walk kicks off. The event will also include a Zumba warm-up, food, community resources and exhibitors, and even a photo opportunity with Orbit the Isotopes mascot and the Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Blue Bear. Come walk, roll, or stroll and celebrate people of all abilities in your community! For more information or to register, please visit www.AbilityWalk.org or call 505-268-5076.
include The Rifters from Taos, Albuquerque’s Adobe Brothers, Squash Blossom Boys, Sage and Jared’s Happy Gland Band, and others. The quintessential Irish-American band Solas is featured at a fundraising kick-off concert Friday evening at the Museum. Solas continues to define the path for the Celtic music world and drive the genre forward. Non-profits AMP concerts and the Albuquerque Folk Festival are collaborating to present Solas. Designed to be fully participatory and family-oriented, the Festival expects to attract up to 5,000 attendees who will have a myriad of opportunities to learn how to sing, dance, play instruments, to jam with other musicians, and to simply enjoy the extensive variety of
entertainment offerings. A childrens’ instrument petting zoo, “The Explora” activity tent, and participatory workshops in song, play, dance, and storytelling offer a full day for the entire family. Local vendors will be available with food and beverages, including beer from two local breweries. Saturday evening dances include a barn dance and a contradance. The barn dance features the Rifters from Taos. The contradance features the award-winning Albuquerque MegaBand. And back by popular demand is the Saturday-evening Sing-along; in 2010, the sing-along was inaugurated with a tribute to Pete Seeger. This year, we will celebrate other songs for such joyful sharing again. More information available at www. abqfolkfest.org, or by calling 505-301-2822.