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Food For Change is a feature-length documentary film focusing on food co-ops as a force for dynamic social and economic change in American culture. The movie tells the story of the cooperative movement in the U.S. through interviews, rare archival footage, and commentary by the filmmaker and social historians. This is the first film to examine the important historical role played by food co-ops, their pioneering quest for organic foods, and their current efforts to create regional food systems. Additionally, the film shows how the co-op movement strengthens communities where they are located, enhancing local economies and food security. The goal is to educate a wide national audience about the principles of cooperation with a focus on food. Source: Food For Change

I was fortunate to get a sneak peak of this film and it’s fantastic! I hope to see the Fargo Theatre full on November 3rd. As we try to get the Prairie Roots Food Co-op up and running, this is an important film for our community to view.

Food for Change

Book your tickets now for Food for Change, the new co-op movie premiering in Fargo on November 3rd, 2 pm at the Fargo Theater. www.food4change.eventbrite.com. After the film, there will be a panel discussion moderated by the awesome Christopher Gabriel.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Get involved in your local food co-op. Food co-ops are people working together for better food, Local, organic saladstronger communities and a healthier world.

A new study, Healthy Foods Healthy Communities: The Social and Economic Impacts of Food Co-ops (commissioned by the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) and the ICA Group), quantifies the impact food co-ops have as compared to conventional grocery stores. The study’s compelling results demonstrate the many ways that food co-ops do well while doing good.

Some ways food co-ops make a stronger community and a healthier world:

  • They strengthen the local economy
    • The economic impact that a grocery store has on its local economy is greater than just the sum of its local spending, because a portion of money spent locally recirculates. For example, food co-ops purchase from local farmers who, in turn, buy supplies from local sources, hire local technicians to repair equipment, and purchase goods and services from local retailers. According to the study, for every $1,000 a shopper spends at their local food co-op, $1,604 in economic activity is generated in their local economy—$239 more than if they had spent that same $1,000 at a conventional grocer.
  • They create community
  • They provide a reliable marketplace for local farmers, artists, and other entrepreneurs
  • They are an educational center
    • Locally as we work together to build Prairie Roots Food Co-op there are already educational opportunities like the upcoming class: Food Preservation Skills: Make Your Own Pectin. If you’re interested, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/368386999957342/ for more information.
  • They promote healthy eating
  • They engage in environmental stewardship
    • Grocery stores—co-ops and conventional alike—generate a significant amount of waste. What sets retail food co-ops apart is what they do with that waste. According to the study results, co-ops recycle 96 percent of cardboard, 74 percent of food waste and 81 percent of plastics compared to 91 percent, 36 percent and 29 percent, respectively, recycled by conventional grocers.

How Does Your Grocery Store Checkout

Infographic Source: Stronger Together.coop

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:Prairie Roots Co-op

Prairie Roots Food Cooperative

In the Fargo Moorhead area, Prairie Roots Food Cooperative is dedicated to building a healthy community by providing access to natural, organic, and locally produced food. A lifetime membership is $300 per household with a variety of payment plans to suit every budget. More information, including an online membership application, is available at their website: www.prairie-roots.coop.

On July 7th, the Prairie Roots Online Market opened for business. Each week local producers list items for sale on Prairie Roots Food Cooperative’s website. Members can log on and shop at their convenience from Sunday through Wednesday and then pick up their natural, organic and local food, produce and other items on Thursday evening.

The future food co-op grocery store will be a member-owned natural foods, full-service, retail grocery store in the Fargo-Moorhead area that will be open to both members and the public. Prairie Roots seeks to provide educational opportunities to members of our community and support producers who utilize sustainable and socially responsible production methods.

UPCOMING

Food Preservation Skills: Make Your Own Pectin with Kaye Kirsch

Pectin is what makes jams and jellies thick. It is naturally occurring in some fruits and is required in many jam recipes. Pectin can be purchased in many forms, but why buy it when you can make your own? In this class you’ll see a demonstration of making pectin (aka: green apple jelly) from start to finish. I’ll touch on the basics of water bath canning using the standard metal lids, Tattler reusable lids and Weck jars. All three methods will also be demonstrated. Attendees will receive recipes for green apple jelly and other jams made using this form of pectin. We’ll also sample some jams made with green apple jelly and you’ll get some pectin to take home with you. LOCATION: Dakota Medical Foundation, 4334 18th Ave S, Fargo DATE: Monday, August 12 from 7 – 9 PM.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/368386999957342/ and check out Prairie Roots other upcoming events.

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This is such awesome news, I had to share it right away!Prairie Roots Co-op

Press Release

Prairie Roots Food Cooperative Receives $30,000 Grant

FARGO, ND

Prairie Roots Food Cooperative was awarded a $30,000 Marketing and Utilization grant from the North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Commission (APUC) at its quarterly meeting held July 18th in Medora. The grant will support the ongoing membership drive and capital campaign of the start-up food co-op with marketing and consulting funds. Grants were given to organizations that showed a high probability of jobs and wealth creation, substantial market potential, and rapid commercialization.

A typical food co-op has 157 local suppliers and each million dollars in sales produces $1.6 million in local economic impact. Prairie Roots has already started connecting consumers and local producers through their recently launched virtual market, Prairie Roots Online.  Each week local producers list items for sale on their website, www.localfoodsmarketplace.com/prairieroots. Members can log on and shop at their convenience from Sunday through Wednesday and then pick up their natural, organic and local food, produce and other items on Thursday evening.

Prairie Roots Food Co-op is member owned and is now recruiting new members in order to build a broad base of community support prior to store opening.  A lifetime membership is $300 per household with a variety of payment plans to suit every budget.  More information, including an online membership application, is available at their website: www.prairie-roots.coop.

Prairie Roots Food Cooperative is dedicated to building a healthy community by providing access to natural, organic, Picking up our food co-op orderand locally produced food.  The future food co-op will be a member-owned natural foods, full-service, retail grocery store in the Fargo-Moorhead area that will be open to both members and the public.  Prairie Roots seeks to provide educational opportunities to members of our community and support producers who utilize sustainable and socially responsible production methods.

APUC is a program of the North Dakota Department of Commerce which administers grant programs for researching and developing new and expanded uses for North Dakota agricultural products. The grants can be used for basic and applied research, marketing and utilization, farm diversification, nature based agri-tourism, prototype and technology, and technical assistance.

For more information, visit http://prairie-roots.coop/.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Try to plan a more sustainable Thanksgiving. Start by planning your meal based on local ingredients. Choosing a more sustainable way of eating supports your local farming community, is healthier and reduces your carbon footprint. 

Plan ahead for perfect portions and leftover packaging. At least 28 billion pounds of edible food is wasted each year – more than 100 pounds per person.

Use Less Stuff has 42 Ways to Watch Your Holiday Wasteline (pun intended). They’ve created a convenient list of approximate food portions for your Thanksgiving meal:

  • Turkey- 1 pound per person
  • Stuffing- ¼ pound per person
  • Sweet potato casserole- ¼ pound per person
  • Green beans- ¼ pound per person
  • Cranberry relish- 3 tablespoons per person
  • Pumpkin pie- 1/8 of a 9 inch pie per person

100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers Market

Locally, you can find a number of wonderful ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal and celebrate local foods at Concordia College in Moorhead. This year marks the 4th annual 100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers Market at Concordia.

Where: the Atrium, Knutson Campus Center at Concordia College
When:  Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 at 330pm to 7pm

For more information, visit http://www.cord.edu/About/sustainability/food1.php

For more Thanksgiving ingredients and organic milk, meats and produce all year long, visit Sydney’s Health Market in Moorhead.

Talking turkey:

According to Sustinable Table, the traditional Thanksgiving turkey is different today than it was 50 years ago. Today, 99% of all turkeys raised in the U.S. are the “Broadbreasted White” variety (sometimes also referred to as the “Large White”).

These birds are raised in confinement in extremely crowded conditions on factory farms. They live in unnatural, uncomfortable conditions and are fed a steady diet of grain and supplements like antibiotics, rather than the grubs, bugs and grasses they should eat.

They are produced because of their large, white meaty breast. The breasts of these turkeys are so large that they are unable to reproduce naturally. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, without artificial insemination performed by humans, this variety of bird would become extinct in just one generation.

Industrial turkeys are often injected with saline solution and vegetable oils in an attempt to help improve the taste and texture of the meat. These factory farmed birds tend to be dry and tasteless, so cooks have developed a variety of methods to try to improve the taste. Turkeys are now marinated, brined, deep fried and covered with syrups, spices and herbs.

You have other options. You can order a heritage turkey, or you can look for organic and/or sustainable birds at butchers, specialty shops and at farmers markets around the country.

On to the leftovers:

You know you’re going to have them so make a plan. The Alternative Consumer has a wonderful suggestion in their green Thanksgiving guide.

Avoid plastic wrap. Most plastic wraps contain PVC which quickly winds up in landfills and has been linked to harmful environmental consequences. Use aluminum foil or, even better, send family home with glass or ceramic storage containers that they can return to you.

Or, call your guests and ask them to bring their own container if they’d like leftovers.

Above all, take time to enjoy the day!

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Eat Wild

Eatwild.com is an excellent source for finding safe, healthy, natural and nutritious grass-fed beef, lamb, goats, bison, poultry, pork, dairy and other wild edibles.

The site provides:

Comprehensive, accurate information about the benefits of raising animals on pasture.

A direct link to local farms that sell all-natural, delicious, grass-fed products.

Support for farmers who raise their livestock on pasture from birth to market and who actively promote the welfare of their animals and the health of the land.

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by Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP: When purchasing a new clothing item, keep these simple tips Green your closetto a greener closet in mind. Buy local, buy natural and buy organic.

Buy local. Just like with our food, the less distance your clothes travel to get to you, the less they contribute to green house gases. Look at the labels, if the clothes or the fabric come from overseas, think about the added impact on the environment from the use of petroleum and additional greenhouse gases generated in transporting those goods. Also, if we buy goods made and produced locally, we are helping support our workers and our economy (which means there is a better chance that labor laws, fair trade and healthy working conditions are followed).

Buy Natural. Avoid synthetic materials. Polyester fiber is made from the same petrochemical compound as plastic water bottles (polyethylene terephthalate). It’s made from nonrenewable crude oil that often creates pollution in both its mining and manufacturing, and there are many toxic and harmful chemicals used in it’s production. In general, buy natural fibers – it will keep the chemicals away from our workers, away from our kids, out of our environment (water, ground and air) and it will reduce our use of petroleum – a non-renewable resource.

Buy Organic. While natural fibers, cotton, bamboo, and so on are better than man made, it is important to buy organic whenever possible.

According to BigGreenPurse.com:

  • Approximately 25% of all insecticides and more than 10% of the pesticides used in the world are used to grow cotton.
  • It takes 1/3 lb. of pesticides and fertilizers to produce enough cotton to make just one t-shirt.
  • Organically grown cotton uses beneficial insects and biological and cultural practices to control pests and build strong soil.

In addition to the concern about chemicals entering the air, ground and water from conventional cotton farming, cotton also enters our diets through cottonseed and cottonseed oil, and is also used in animal feeds.

We all can make a difference. Being informed about the new clothes you buy and the effect they have on the environment is important. You might only buy one organic cotton shirt, but if we all made a similar purchase, our cumulative impact would be huge.

Source: Green Living Tips

My Green Side’s weekly web pick:

Organic Consumers Association
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children’s health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics.

Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1020am (CDT) every Wednesday at WDAY.com.

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by Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP: Buy local and organic produce whenever possible. WDAY Green TipsSwitch to local and organic produce to improve your health, support your local economy and lessen adverse environmental impacts.

Organic agriculture is a sustainable way to farm that does not permit the following:

  • Toxic pesticides
  • Chemical fertilizers
  • Genetically modified organisms
  • Antibiotics
  • Sewage sludge
  • Irradiation

Instead organic agriculture utilizes techniques such as cover cropping, crop rotation, and composting to produce healthy soil, prevent pest and disease problems, and grow healthy food and fiber.

The most important organic food products to purchase for children are not only those that contain high residues in conventional form (see Guide below), but those that they consume in great quantity. For example, if children drink a lot of juice, purchasing organic juice is particularly important to reduce their pesticide exposure.

Source: Beyond Pesticides

My Green Side’s weekly web pick:

Environmental Working Group

The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment.

EWG specializes in providing useful resources (like Skin Deep and the Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce) to consumers while simultaneously pushing for national policy change.

EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides

Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1020am (CDT) every Wednesday at WDAY.com.

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