Archives for April 2012

  • 2012 International Year of Cooperatives | 04.23.2012

    Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World

    The United Nations has declared 2012 as International Year of Cooperatives and we, along with co-ops around the world, are celebrating the occasion. Each year, the United Nations seeks to raise awareness of ideas or initiatives that truly make the world a better place. And while we may be a little biased (as a cooperative representing a virtual chain of food co-ops), we’re thrilled about the opportunity to highlight the many benefits cooperatives bring to their communities.  According to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “Cooperatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic vitality and social responsibility.”  We couldn’t agree more.

    International Year of Cooperatives was officially launched at the United Nations New York headquarters in October 2011 with the theme, “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.”  “Cooperation is a real solution for today’s challenges,” said Charles Gould, the director general of the International Cooperative Alliance.  United Nations “year of” designations may come and go, but for cooperatives, the 2012 spotlight represents an opportunity for co-ops to build on their global presence.

    Cooperatives are all around us—in the U.S. and around the world.  More than a billion people are members of cooperatives and the international cooperative movement has a strong global impact. If the world’s cooperatives were a country, it would be the size of Spain, represent $1 trillion in revenues, and rank as the tenth largest Gross Domestic Product in the world.  This economic activity is all the more impressive because it is generated by people working together in a democratic fashion to meet their own needs while benefiting the local economy and the community.  The United Nations’ acknowledgment of the value of cooperatives is important recognition for of the positive contributions co-ops deliver to our nation and our world.

    The cooperative model is a business model that is based on values and focuses on fairness, transparency and democracy. This values-based focus doesn’t mean standard business practices–like efficiency, effectiveness and profitability—take a back seat. Far from it.  Cooperatives seek excellence in all aspects of their business while upholding their values and principles.

    In addition to cooperative values, most cooperatives adopt a set of seven cooperative principles.  The sixth principle, cooperation among co-ops, is one that will be highlighted in 2012 as co-ops celebrate the year together.

    The International Cooperative Alliance has a goal that by 2020, cooperatives will be the fastest-growing business model worldwide. Indicators so far are positive; interest in cooperatives is already growing.  People around the world play an important role in this development by supporting their local co-ops with their investment and patronage, taking part in creating businesses that serve the greater good and build a better world.

    Be sure to check out or for more information about the world’s cooperatives and their activities, along with the National Cooperative Grocers Assocation Co-op Video Series.

    Article courtesy of

  • Are rising global food prices affecting your Co-op? | 04.12.2012

    Global food prices rose in March for the third straight month this year, after coming down from a February 2011 record peak, the UN’s food agency recently said.  The rise in prices is mostly due to rising gas prices and global weather fluctuations.  So what does this mean for your local Co-op?

    Good news!  Your food Co-op hasn’t raised prices on products purchased through our primary distributor, United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) since August 2011!  These products make up almost half of all the products that we carry.  Since joining the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), we have seen a decreased cost of goods, which we are passing on to our members by not raising prices for the past eight months.  Also, Co+op Deals, another NCGA program, has offered an additional assortment of competitively priced sale items.  It’s becoming easier to save at your local co-op!

    Local products have also seen very little fluctuation in price.  Buying fresh local food is the easiest step to take in securing our food future.  As we build a sustainable regional food system, we become less dependent on food supplied from other regions, and less subject to rising gas prices affecting cost of food.

    What steps have you taken to save money on your groceries?

  • What’s the deal with raspberry ketone? | 04.05.2012

    From Dolly, GEM Wellness Guru

    I’m sure many of you have heard of it by now – raspberry ketone, as seen on the Dr. Oz Show, seems to be the new miracle fat-burner, the cure-all for those stubborn spots. Here’s some great info that I found helpful and I hope you will too!

    According to supplement company Wellgenix, raspberry ketone “is the primary aroma compound of red raspberries, and is a safe and healthy supplement with no side effects. This compound regulates adiponectin, a hormone that causes your body to boost metabolism. In turn, the fat within your cells gets broken up more effectively, helping your body burn fat faster and more efficiently. In order to get enough ketone to have an effect on the way your body burns excess fat, you would need to consume 90 pounds of raspberries! But, just 100mg of the supplement per day is enough to get your body burning fat the way you want it to.”

    Here’s more – the ingredients list on the new hormone-free HCG Amino Support + Raspberry Ketones boasts a nice range of metabolism boosting amino acids, along with herbal support for the immune system, stress reduction, and energy production.

    I wanted to share these simple facts and tidbits with you, and let you know that we now have this product in stock now in the Wellness Department!


    Photo Courtesy of zole4.

  • Get your favorite recipe published! | 04.04.2012

    As you may have heard, GEM recently partnered with Dr. Sarah Keller’s Media for Social Change class at MSUB for a variety of exciting projects. One of those projects gave us a great start on an official GEM cookbook and it looking fantastic! We’re set to include lots of great information about seasonal availability and local producers.

    What we really need now, though, are your recipes. After seeing countless loads of groceries leave through the doors of GEM, we now want focus on what happens in the kitchen. Whether it’s a family favorite passed down through the generations, or an experiment gone right, we’d love to share it.

    Recipes can be submitted to  If you’d like to submit a photo, they are best in .jpeg format. 

    Recipes will be considered for the cookbook and may be used in the future in the store and our website.  Recipes submitted will be entered in a drawing to win a $50 gift certificate and one of 10 cookbooks.  Deadline May 1.

    *Recipes, unless merely a list of ingredients, reprinted word-for-word are subject to copyright infringement. Adaptations, however, are acceptable for reprint. Please personalize your recipe.