Prairie Roots Food Cooperative

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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. STARTING OCTOBER 13, 2014 A NEW TIME FOR THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM MEANS A NEW TIME FOR THIS SEGMENT… YOU CAN NOW STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 835AM (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 MarketEnjoying Autumn

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 6th annual 100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers Market at Concordia.

Where: the Atrium, Knutson Campus Center at Concordia College, 901 8th Street S., Moorhead MN 46462
When:  Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 at 3pm to 630pm

Each year more and more people celebrate a 100-Mile Thanksgiving by making their meal using only locally-produced food that is good for you and for the environment. The 100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers Market will be an opportunity to fill your Thanksgiving table with products that are freshly harvested, locally sourced and sustainable.

The market is co-hosted with Prairie Roots Food Co-op. Their online market at https://www.localfoodmarketplace.com/prairieroots/ will be open to the public November 22nd – 24th, 2014 and pre-ordered items will be available for pickup at the 100-Mile Thanksgiving Market. Additionally, several vendors will have items for sale on site.

For more information, contact Dr. Gretchen Harvey at harvey@cord.edu.Prairie Roots Food Co-op volunteers

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

Talking turkey:

According to Sustainable 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 atLovely leaf pile 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, relax and enjoy your Thanksgiving, remember why we are celebrating.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Sustainable Table
Sustainable Table
 was launched in 2003 to educate consumers about issues surrounding the food supply. Sustainable Table celebrates sustainable food, educates consumers about food-related issues and works to build community through food.

Sustainable Table is also home to the Eat Well Guide, an online directory of sustainable products in the U.S. and Canada.

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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: Eating organic produce, meat and dairy is healthier for your family and the environment (and it tastes better). Products with a USDA Organic label were grown and processed without toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.  

Here are some money saving tips to help you eat healthier and stay within your budget:

  • Comparison Shop. You may be able to find less-expensive alternatives at different stores. Many major chains are coming out with their own organic brands but make sure it’s certified organic. According to Mark Kastel, the senior farm policy analyst at The Cornucopia Institute, ”Major food processors have recognized the meteoric rise of the organic industry, and profit potential, and want to create what is in essence ‘organic light,’ taking advantage of the market cachet but not being willing to do the heavy lifting required to earn the valuable USDA organic seal”. Products with a USDA Organic label were grown and processed without toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Certified organic production also prohibits sewage sludge, antibiotics, ionizing radiation, synthetic growth hormones and genetically modified organisms.
  • Check out the 2014 Environmental Working Group’s Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce and find out what produce is highest in pesticide residue.
  • Grow One Thing. Unless you have a lot of land, you’re probably not going to feed your family only from yourPeppers home-grown harvest, but you will find that growing a tomato plant can produce a lot of tomatoes. Pick one (or three) things to grow in your yarn, on a balcony or in a sunny window.
  • Cook More. The more convenient the food is, the more expensive it is. For example, buying an organic frozen dinner may save you time in the same way a conventional frozen dinner would, but it costs quite a bit more than its non-organic counterpart and much more than a homemade meal. Buy organic items that are lower in price (such as produce), and make your own dishes from scratch.
  • Stock Up. Stock up on your favorite items when they go on sale. Or try something new that is on sale or is priced well, and you may find a new favorite.
  • Buy in Bulk. Buying in bulk will keep costs down. Look for many pantry staples often available in bulk, such as beans, legumes, rice, flour, nuts, chocolate chips and so on.
  • Organic Coupons. Keep an eye out in the Sunday paper and grocery circulars for coupons and, again, stock up to take best advantage of the savings. Organic bargains are everywhere so click on About.com’s Frugal Living page where you will find All Organic Links.
  • Shop in Season and Buy Local. Shop farm stands and farmers’ markets for the freshest produce and support local farmers at the same time. Purchasing in season produce from your grocer may also keep costs down. And you can also save money by becoming a member of your local food co-op.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Prairie Roots Food Cooperative at http://prairie-roots.coop/

Prairie Roots Food Co-Op is dedicated to building a healthy community by providing access to natural, organic and local food. A food co-op is a member-owned, member-controlled grocery store that operates for the mutual benefit of all members and according to common principles established for cooperatives. A food co-op provides community members with access to local, all natural, organic, and specialty foods. In turn, local producers gain broader access to the local market. Food cooperatives play an important role in helping to foster the relationship between local producers and community members.

THIS WEEKEND: Find Prairie Roots at Eco Chic’s Junk Market and Alley Fair

Find out more information about Eco Chic’s Junk Market at http://beingecochic.com/junk-market/.

Eco Chic Junk Market 2014 Find out more information about Alley Fair at http://www.alleyfair.com/. The Alley Fair is Saturday, September 20th, 2014 (Daytime Events) from 11am to 7pm and include an Artist and Makers’ Market, Harvest Market, food, games, live art demonstrations, music and performers.

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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 TIPIf you want to do one simple thing on Earth Day that will have a positive long-term impact on the planet, become a member of a food co-op.  

Treehuggers... in every sense of the word

Food co-op members live lightly on the planet every day.  Most food co-ops offer many items in bulk bins, so you can buy exactly as much as you need, reducing food waste.  Bulk buying also allows you to reuse your own storage containers.  This reduces the packaging cost to producers, creating a cost savings that can be passed on to members, and minimizes the amount of packing materials entering the waste stream.

Food co-ops feature food grown locally, which means less energy is spent getting the food from the field to your plate and means you are getting fresh food picked at the peak of ripeness.  They feature seasonal and local food from farmers using sustainable agriculture methods, which means the air, water and land surrounding our community is clean and healthy.  Though “local” has popped up in conventional grocery stores in recent years, retail food co-ops are leaps and bounds ahead of the pack. Where conventional grocers work with an average of 65 local farmers and food producers, food co-ops work with an average of 157. Likewise, locally sourced products make up an average of 20 percent of co-op sales compared to 6 percent at conventional stores.

Years after creating the market for organic foods, co-ops are still the place to find them. Of produce sales at food co-ops, 82 percent are organic, compared to 12 percent for conventional grocers. And, organics make up 48 percent of grocery sales in food co-ops, compared to just 2 percent in conventional stores.

If you only have time to do one thing to celebrate Earth Day, take two minutes and become a member of the Prairie Roots Food Co-opnew Prairie Roots Food Co-op.

  • In honor of the 44th anniversary of Earth Day, the first 44 new members on April 22, 2014 will get a free burlap co-op tote bag
  • All new members in April will be entered in a drawing to win one of two $50 Visa gift cards
  • You can sign up online at http://prairie-roots.coop/ or visit with Prairie Roots volunteers on Earth Day at MSUM’s Sustainable Lunch from 11 AM – 1 PM outside Hagen Hall
  • Or at the Fargo Theater before and after Adam Rome’s lecture about the history of Earth Day at 7:30 PM
  • Prairie Roots will also be hosting a reception at Ecce Art Gallery from 3 – 7:30 PM where you can take a whirl at grinding your own breakfast with our people-powered grain grinder, register to win a free gift bag full of products from Prairie Roots Online Market, and learn more about the new food co-op coming to our community.

Prairie Roots Food Cooperative is dedicated to building a healthy community by providing access to natural, organic, and 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.  Their weekly online market provides over 250 local products from 15 area farmers.  Prairie Roots needs 200 more members to reach their initial membership target in July and stay on schedule to open a retail food co-op in 2015.  More information at http://prairie-roots.coop/.

Source: Kaye Kirsch from Prairie Root Food Cooperative

For information about what is happening for Earth Day and Earth Week all around the Fargo Moorhead area, visit Valley Earth Resource at http://valleyearthresource.org/.

Instead of a web pick of the week, this week My Green Side is having a GIVEAWAY.My Green Side Giveaway

One listener during the Simple Tips for Green Living radio segment (today only, April 22nd, 2014) on The Christopher Gabriel Program will be chosen at random to win a gift package with includes two Early Bird tickets to the upcoming Eco Chic’s Junk Market, a burlap Prairie Roots Food Co-op reusable bag and a sample pack of The Honey Bee Soap Company’s amazing soap.

The Christopher Gabriel Program is a live radio show that airs from 11am to 2pm (central) every Monday through Friday.

  • Listen online at http://www.wday.com/pages/AM970Radio. Click on “Click Here to Listen Live.”
  • Listen on your radio in Fargo Moorhead and the surrounding areas at AM 970 WDAY.
  • Listen via your WDAY radio app. Free for iPhone and Droid platforms at your App Store.

HAPPY EARTH DAY!

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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: Surprise your Valentine with an experience, handmade gift or card, fair trade chocolate, PVC-Crayon Heartsfree gift certificate or organic flowers this Valentine’s Day. Show your love (or like) this year with a gift that says you care about the long-term impact of your actions.

Too often we buy things just to buy things on “holidays” like Valentine’s Day. If you feel like giving your sweetie something meaningful this year, I have some suggestions:

EXPERIENCES

  • Any busy person would appreciate a handmade certificate for a homemade dinner, doing laundry for a week (hint, hint) or any other task you know would be a delight to have done by someone else.
  • Dinner and a movie. Either take your sweetie out or have a theme dinner and a movie at home. Dinner at Mezzaluna in Fargo would be an excellent local selection. For more information and menu offerings, visit http://dinemezzaluna.com/.
  • Plan a trip to an art gallery or museum. Some local options: Plains Art Museum in Fargo, for more information visit http://plainsart.org/ and the Rourke Art Museum in Moorhead, for more information visit http://www.therourke.org/.
  • Get creative. You know your loved one better than anyone so really make the day special.

Some local experiences to consider:

The Fourth Annual Unglued Craft Fest is coming up on February 21st and 22nd, 2014. Getting tickets for Friday’s Unglued Craft FestGala event would be a wonderful gift for your crafty, artistic Valentine (hint, hint). For more information, visit http://www.ungluedmarket.com/.

A membership to the Prairie Roots Food Cooperative is a gift that lasts a lifetime. With very affordable membership options, this would be a perfect gift for your sustainable Valentine. For more information, visit http://prairie-roots.coop/.

The Fargo Film Festival is coming up on March 4th through 8th, 2014. Great gift idea for your Valentine. For more information, visit http://www.fargofilmfestival.org/.

GIFT CERTIFICATES

  • A gift certificate for an experience like a trip to a local spa or restaurant. Most local (non-chain) stores and restaurant still use paper gift certificates instead of plastic cards made from PVC.

The folks at GiftZip.com have a wonderful tip. The next time you’re purchasing a gift card go for the electronic (and paperless) option, an eGift card. Each year, 75 million pounds of PVC is dumped into landfills from plastic gift card waste (Plenty Magazine). That’s an astronomical amount of waste for something that can easily and conveniently be sent virtually. We’ve talked about PVC before. PVC is notoriously difficult to recycle and cannot be tossed into the recycling bin along side your other household items. You must send those pesky plastic cards to a PVC recycling plant, the only one I know of is EarthWorks. For a directory of retailers that offer an eGift card, go to GiftZip.com.

CHOCOLATE

If you’re buying your Valentine some chocolates, make sure they are fairly traded and organic. This way you can be certain you are supporting sustainable agriculture and worker health and rights and, at the same time, giving your Valentine a eco-sweet treat.

ORGANIC FLOWERS

Organic flowers, organic chocolate and even organic baked goods. Thanks to my friend Melissa Hincha-Ownby, I discovered OrganicBouquet.com.

Organic Bouquet offers sustainably grown flowers fresh from their partner farms. They promote and live up to the highest social and environmental standards—developing the most eco-friendly floral packaging, initiating the industry’s first carbon offset program, and growing their flowers in a way that is gentle on the earth and that safeguards the ecology and the well-being of wildlife and farm workers.

Do you have any other ideas for greening someone’s Valentine’s Day?

My Green Side’s weekly web pick:

The Daily Green

TheDailyGreen.com is a consumer’s guide to green living. The site is packed with daily news, tips, recipes, features and more. In 2011, TheDailyGreen.com joined forces with Good Housekeeping.

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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: Growing crops in healthy organic soil results in food products that offer healthy nutrients. Organically grown fruits, vegetables and grains may offer more of some nutrients, including vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and less exposure to nitrates and pesticide residues than their counterparts grown using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
Source: Nutritional Considerations, Organic Trade Association

TEN GOOD REASONS TO BUY ORGANIC

1.  Organic products meet stringent standards

Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs.

2.  Organic food tastes great!

It’s common sense – well-balanced soils produce strong, healthy plants that become nourishing food for people and animals.

3.  Organic production reduces health risks

Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth and water that sustain us.

4.  Organic farms respect our water resources

The elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen leaching, done in combination with soil building, protects and conserves water resources.

5.  Organic farmers build healthy soil

Soil is the foundation of the food chain. The primary focus of organic farming is to use practices that build healthy soils.

6.  Organic farmers work in harmony with nature

Organic agricultural respects the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem: wildlife is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fence rows, wetlands, and other natural areas.

7.  Organic producers are leaders in innovative research

Organic farmers have led the way, largely at their own expense, with innovative on-farm research aimed at reducing pesticide use and minimizing agriculture’s impact on the environment.

8.  Organic producers strive to preserve diversity

The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties for decades.

9.  Organic farming helps keep rural communities healthy

USDA reported that in 1997, half of U.S. farm production came from only 2% of farms. Organic agriculture can be a lifeline for small farms because it offers an alternative market where sellers can command fair prices for crops.

10. Organic abundance – Foods and non-foods alike!

Now every food category has an organic alternative. And non-food agricultural products are being grown organically – even cotton, which most experts felt could not be grown this way.

Source: Organic Trade Association

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

StrongerTogether.coop

StrongerTogether.coop is a consumer website developed by the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) for their “virtual chain” of 136 retail food co-ops, operating over 170 storefronts, nationwide.

StrongerTogether.coop is a place for people to gather on their food journeys. It’s a place to find out more about what’s in your food, where it comes from, where to find great food, how to prepare it and a whole lot more. It’s also a place to talk with others about food topics you’re exploring, are passionate about, and even want to get involved in.

Locally, check out:

Prairie Roots Food Co-op at http://prairie-roots.coop/

If you live in Fargo, Moorhead or any of the surrounding areas, and our concerned about healthy eating, join the Prairie Roots Food Co-op. We need members to get a physical building but members are already getting the benefits of healthy food via our online market.

The Prairie Roots Food Cooperative is dedicated to building a healthy community by providing access to natural, organic, and locally produced food.

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If you’re in the Fargo Moorhead area, plan to visit the 100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers Market

100 Mile Thanksgiving

Student’s from Concordia’s capstone history course and members of the Prairie Roots Food Co-op invite you to attend: THE REAL ROOTS OF THANKSGIVING – Bringing neighbors together to celebrate the local harvest

This year marks the 5th annual 100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers Market at Concordia.

Where: the Atrium, Knutson Campus Center at Concordia College
When:  TODAY – Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 at 4pm to 7pm

For more information, visit http://prairie-roots.coop/?page_id=346

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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 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: As you start thinking about Halloween this year, make a conscience effort to make this fun holiday aHalloween 2010 little more healthy for your family and less scary for the planet.  

I don’t need to tell anyone how unhealthy and expensive Halloween can be. According to the National Retail Federation, “average spending on Halloween has increased 54.7 percent since 2005, with total spending estimated to reach $6.9 billion in 2013.”

Some really scary facts:

  • This generation of kids has a life expectancy that is shorter than their parents.
  • The EPA considers that 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides and 30% of all insecticides found in non-organically grown foods are carcinogenic.
  • Over 6,000 synthetic chemicals are used in the processed-food industry.
  • A 2004 study found that children’s behavior measurably improved after a one week diet without preservatives and artificial colors and dramatically worsened on the weeks they were given preservatives and artificial colors.
  • Coco beans used for chocolate that are grown in full sun (as opposed to shade) are susceptible to disease and therefore require heavy doses of toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
  • The chocolate industry has engaged in the use of child slaves and other unethical treatments of growers.
  • Store-bought costumes, makeup and accessories may contain phthalates, cadmium, lead and other toxins.

Source: Green Halloween

Here are some ways to make your Halloween a little more “EEK-o-friendly” this year. Focus on one area you could make a difference or freak out your family and do it all:

The Costumes:

Don’t spend money on poorly made plastic, unnatural fiber costumes that are thrown away before the last candy corn is devoured. Instead create your own costume with items you already own. Or, take a trip to your local resale shop and let your imagination run wild. Once Upon A Child, for example, has gently-used costumes for sale.

You could also plan a costume swap. National Costume Swap Day is Saturday, October 12th this year. Check http://www.greenhalloween.org/CostumeSwap/ for a Costume Swap near you or organize your own with family and friends.

More resources:
I blogged about making your own costumes, Make Your Halloween Green.
Jenn Savedge with Mother Nature Network has some great ideas for easy eco-costumes, Green Halloween costumes.
Greenfeet has some great ideas for a Green Halloween including some great homemade costume ideas.

The Treats:

To lessen the possibility of a sugar overload, before you head out for tricks and treats, give your kids a full, healthy meal. And, when you’re handing out the treats, instead of unhealthy candy, hand out organic candies, pencils, stickers, crayons, fake tattoos or small toys.

Local places to find organic treats and fun alternatives:

More resources:

Beth Swanson at Kiwi Magazine unmasks The Scary Side of Halloween.
Halloween’s Hidden Impacts by Julie Starkel, MS, MBA, RD

The Trick or Treating Bags:

Your Trick or Treat bag could be anything. Use your imagination. You could use a bucket, purse, basket or cloth bag that you decorate to enhance your costume. For example, one year my littlest went as an adorable piggy (note: costume was a gift from Grandma for our oldest daughter many years ago). The treat “bag” she used was a little decorative silver bucket that we use for storage, it looks like a farmer’s feed bucket. Perfect.

The Decorations:

Use natural decorations like pumpkins, squash, gourds and hay bales. And when, for example, your pumpkin has The Great Pumpkindone it’s duty as a jack-o-lantern, toss it in the compost bin. Or buy decorations that can be used year after year. You’ll save money and the environment.

Join the Prairie Roots Food Co-op and ensure that every year you, your family and our community will be able to buy local and organic pumpkins and squash.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Green Halloween
Green Halloween.org is dedicated to offering fun, healthy, affordable, not-too-time consuming ideas that will support your goal of creating a Halloween that is happy and healthy for your kids and the planet we all share.

In 2010, Green Halloween became a program of EcoMom Alliance, a 501 (c) 3 with members worldwide. EcoMom Alliance works to inspire and empower women to reduce global warming and propel an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable future. To do this, EcoMom Alliance utilizes the historically proven power of education, mothers and community action, and in this way create a global network of change leaders – an EcoMom Alliance.

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PRESS RELEASE — From September 22 through October 3, 2013,  Prairie Roots Food Co-op will celebrate the launch of their online market Prairie Roots Food Co-op Volunteerswith a Grand Opening by extending access to this online market to the public for two weeks.  Co-op Membership Coordinator Kaye Kirsch says, “This is a great opportunity to try out our online market before you become a co-op member.  It’s an easy way to buy natural, organic and local food from a variety of local farmers from the convenience of your own home.”

Prairie Roots Food Cooperative has opened this online marketplace in concert with their mission to build a healthy community by providing access to natural, organic and locally produced food.  This summer the market had a soft launch for all co-op members.  The market is now open every week and provides a variety of fresh local produce, grains, bread, honey, meat, soap and much more.

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 from 5-7 PM at Gethsemane Cathedral in south Fargo.

The Honey B Soap CompanyCo-op members are finding Prairie Roots Online a convenient and easy way to access local food.  Co-op member Beth Bradley said “I picked up my first food order from Prairie Roots Food Co-op’s virtual market and everything was delicious!  It’s such a convenient way to buy locally grown organic food from several farmers all from one convenient pick up place.”

They plan to continue to add producers. This is a first step toward opening a full-line retail grocery store in the metro area which will also be open to the public.

Prairie Roots Food Co-op is member owned and is now recruiting new Doubting Thomas Farmsmembers 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 starting at $25 every six months.  More information, including an online membership application, is available at their website: www.prairie-roots.coop.

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Prairie Roots Food Cooperative is dedicated to building a healthy community by providing access to natural, organic, and 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.

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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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