Archives for January 2014

  • New Members of our Board of Directors | 01.20.2014

    Congratulations to our recently elected Board Members!  During the month of October, with voting results announced at our Annual Meeting, you, the members, co-operatively elected Adam Cassie (newly appointed Treasurer), Maggie Zaback, and Theresa Keaveny (Secretary) to our board.

    These three board members join the following individuals on the Good Earth Market board of directors – Carol Beam, President; Kevin Dowling, newly appointed Vice President; Greg Jahn; Heide Mankin; Jeff Kreidler; and Diane Brien.   Learn more about our board of directors here.

    We would also like to thank those who have resigned from the board – Dana Pulis, Peter Tolton and Alan Ostby (former Treasurer).  We greatly appreciate your years of dedicated service to the Co-op, helping to grow our Co-op to where it is today.

    Our board of directors

    Front row left to right:  Greg Jahn, Jeff Kreidler

    Middle row, left to right:  Adam Cassie, Joshua Jackson (General Manager), Carol Beam, Perry McNeese (former General Manager), Diane Brien, Maggie Zaback

    Back row:  Kevin Dowling

  • Wine Spotlight: Liquid Transportations | 01.15.2014

    The grapevine is most cherished for its ability to capture the complexity of its surroundings. A growing grape is made up of all things that surround it. It is the water that runs through the soil, the aromas of the air, even the vegetation sharing an elemental exchange while they grow side by side. In the right expression, a wine will serve as a gateway, much as smell connects to memory. It is why so many return home from traveling and have a heightened taste for the local wines that filled their glass while away.

    The Locations project started with a simple idea; to search the world for the best sights to make the best wine. Winemaker Dave Phinny has applied his out of the box blending ideas to the world’s most notable wine regions, offering up a liquid world tour. Smell and taste the world from the comfort of your living room.

    Find them at the Co-op:

    Wine logo2

    I-1 Italy
    Location: Piedmont, Puglia
    Grapes: Negroamaro, Nero d’Avola, Barbera, and native varietals
    Italy – the land of 1,000 grapes, so named for its numerous indigenous grape varietals – offered a diverse palate of choice for this blend. The result is a vibrant wine that captures the spirit of Italy with a new world bravado.
    ON SALE for members $11.99.  SAVE $5

    E-2 España
    Location: Priorat, Jumilla, Toro, Rioja, and Ribera del Duero
    Grapes: Grenache, Tempranillo, Monastrell, and Carignan
    Truly sourcing from all of Spain’s most prized wine regions. Concentrated fruit from old vines with low yields are accented with a judicious oak program for a balanced and distinctive wine.

    F-2 France
    Location: Roussillon, Rhone, Bordeaux
    Grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Bordeaux Varietals*
    Sensibly blended in an original style that showcases the best of what this historic land has to offer.

    AR-2 Argentina
    Location: Mendoza
    Grapes: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tannat
    At the foot of the Andes Mountains, this perfect plot of extremely well drained soil offers low yields and small berries for a vibrant and complex blend.


    Written by Lena Olson, Winegardner’s Wines. Learn more at
    *Bordeaux Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot


  • Meet our New GM | 01.13.2014

    Joshua JacksonHello GEM family and thank you for the warm welcome! I can’t tell you how excited I am about joining the GEM Team, as I believe that the co-op has a lot of opportunity for growth in the Billings community. To start, I would like to provide a little background on myself.

    I believe that I am an energetic, ethical, innovative and egalitarian cooperative manager who values the Triple Bottom Line and believe that profits should serve to support people and place. I also believe that cooperatives are a viable and innovative sector of the economy, which serve to mobilize the skills and savings of all members of the community towards socially beneficial ends – and I personally treasure the values of community, sustainability, education, democracy and autonomy.

    From my experience running a natural food cooperative in Durango, Colorado, as well as over ten years of restaurant management, I have accumulated a number of critical skills needed to be a successful co-op leader. My accomplishments include partnership cultivation, team building, sound financial management, outstanding customer service, strong systems of communication, and clean and consistent branding. With my passion and experience, I feel competent to lead GEM to a fruitful and successful future.

    I truly believe that GEM is already a very successful organization, mainly due to the outstanding support of the community and devoted staff. I don’t think that any major or immediate changes are necessary, although I believe that refining a few areas could prove to provide more for the community and the staff.

    I envision GEM putting more energy into Outreach & Education, including: partnership cultivation with local organizations, building a strong and consistent brand that successfully communicates our vision for community support and success, and strengthening education for our staff and the community. In the store, I would like to build upon systems of efficiency and communication, as well as provide more products and services for our members, including a larger selection of fresh items (deli, produce, meat and cheese) and an expanded assortment of locally produced goods. I also believe that there is some opportunity to fix up the façade of the store including some new signage in the store, some improvement to the floors and more landscaping outside (in the spring, of course).

    With all of that, I can’t tell you how excited I am to work with each and every one of you in accomplishing these goals. I truly believe that there is a lot of opportunity for GEM to be a very influential organization in the Billings community, and I believe that the co-op should not only be trusted for its food, but also be expected to provide education and support for the Billings community – and I can’t wait to get started!

    – Joshua Jackson

    P.S.  I was born in Houston, Texas, in the 70’s, went to Texas A&M University and soon after, moved to Durango, Colorado.  For ten years prior to getting involved with co-ops, I managed restaurant and catering businesses.  Aside from my professional aspirations and love for cooperatives, I enjoy travelling, reading, whitewater rafting, snowboarding, surfing, backpacking, music, and long walks on the beach.

  • Anti-Cancer Foods: Can Food Be Your Medicine? | 01.09.2014

    You may have more control over your health than you thought!  Whether you have a family history of cancer or are currently battling the disease, there are lifestyle choices which can boost your immune system and minimize your risk of developing cancer and other diseases.

    The consensus of numerous studies is that eating more fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk for developing all types of cancers. Fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals, compounds found in plants that may help your body fight cancer.  Remember, it is unlikely that any single compound will protect you against cancer; a balanced diet that includes five or more servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables per day will be the most effective way to reduce your risk of developing cancer and here’s why:

    1. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, radishes, turnips, watercress, brussel sprouts): Cruciferous vegetables contain a variety of compounds (Indole-3-Carbinol, glucosinolates, sulforaphanes) that have been shown in research studies to slow cancer growth and development.

    2. Citrus fruits (lemon, grapefruit, orange): Citrus fruits contain Vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids and ellagic acid; these phytochemicals act as antioxidants, enhancing detoxification and the immune system. High intake of Vitamin C is associated with a decreased incidence of intestinal cancers – vitamin C can block the formation of these cancer-causing compounds.

    3. Dark berries and grapes: Berries contain bioflavonoids (anthocyanidins and ellagic acid), which are two most researched cancer-fighting compounds found in berries. Resveratrol, high in red or purple grapes, is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and is thought to prevent cell damage before it begins, preventing tumor formation.

    4. Whole grains: Whole grains contain a variety of anti-cancer compounds: fiber, antioxidants, lignans, selenium, zinc and vitamin E which support elimination and detoxification pathways in the body while enhancing the immune system.

    5. Green tea (regular or decaf): A rich source of polyphenols, like epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) may slow or prevent the development of a variety of cancers.

    6.  Garlic and onions (scallions, leeks, and chives): Garlic contains allicin, diallyl disulfide, cysteine, selenium and flavonoids (quercetin), thought to block the formation of cancer-causing agents and slow or stop the growth of tumors.

    7. Spices (especially ginger, rosemary and turmeric): Spices contain many compounds, like curcumin, that act as potent antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and enhance the immune system and detoxification pathways.

    8. Tomatoes: Lycopene is the anti-cancer agent found in tomatoes that has been shown to combat prostate cancer.

    9. Legumes and beans (especially soybeans, garbanzo and kidney): Phytochemicals in beans, isoflavones and genistein, act as hormonal modulators and estrogen receptor blockers. These may be protective in some hormonally-based cancers and are associated with a decreased incidence of digestive cancers.

    10. Nuts and seeds: Essential fatty acids and many nutrients like vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and zinc are found in nuts and seeds.

    11. Mushrooms: Mushrooms contain polysaccharides and beta-glucans, phytochemicals that promote specific immune cells, like natural killer cells.

    12. Cold-water fish (salmon, cod, halibut):  These are great sources vitamin D and essential fatty acids (EFA’s) like EPA and DHA which enhance immune function and inhibit tumor formation in the body.

    Pic - Dr.  Jeane13. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables: Excellent sources of the carotenoid family of antioxidants, romaine, spinach, mustard greens, parsley, and Swiss are also rich in folate, a vitamin shown to reduce the risk of cervical, breast and lung cancers.

    By Dr. La Deana Jeane, ND, Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic.  Learn more about making smart food choices to reduce your risk of developing cancer.  Join Dr. Jeane on Thursday January 15th, 2014 for a free workshop at Good Earth Market and visit

  • A Goodbye from Perry | 01.03.2014


    It is with a heavy heart and mixed emotions, that I write my comments this month.  As you may have heard, I have decided to retire from GEM at the end of the calendar year.  While I won’t be at the Market on a daily basis, I am still going to be an active member of the Co-op and will stay in close contact with the new General Manager and staff.

    Looking back, I can easily say the last 6 ½ years have been the highlight of my working career.  Not only has the Co-op grown exceptionally in both sales and membership, but it has changed me forever.  There in lies what has been truly satisfying.  I have learned the true importance of sustainable local food in our communities and our own lives.  You, the Members and producers, have taught me a whole new set of values that I will carry the rest of my life.  I have made many new relationships/friends that will be with me always.  GEM has become a real community, with cause and purpose, and is having a positive, accumulative impact on the communities we live in.  Please keep it moving forward, I know you will.

    Looking forward I see a bright future for the Co-op, one of both growth and challenges.   I am confident that we have a strong management team and Board in place to meet those challenges.  The Board is well on the way to finding a strong and qualified GM.  Sales so far thisfiscal year are on track to beat not only last year, but to surpass the record sales of the year before Natural Grocers opened.   We are half way to raising the funds for the new produce case remodel.  If you haven’t “Given an Inch”, please consider it soon, as the remodel is a critical part of getting ready for our newest competitor, Lucky’s, coming in February.  As for me, I will be focusing on my family and fencing business with an eye on the Co-op.  I will be available to consult with the Board and new GM, and can see some working member projects that I haven’t gotten around to, and will run for the Board next fall.

    I will ask you all to keep in mind that Good Earth Market is a “Cooperative” and is only as strong as its loyal shopping, supporting, participating Members.  I will count on you to do your part in the years to come and commit to doing mine.

    So to my many newly found friends, and all of the Members, Producers and Staff I wish you well!

    Hope to see you in the coming months,


  • Book Spotlights: Grain Brain and Wheat Belly | 01.01.2014

    Pic- Grain Brain

    Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, M.D.
    Member Price – $19.99
    Reg. $27

    Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, blows the lid off a topic that’s been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more. Dr. Perlmutter explains what happens when the brain encounters common ingredients in your daily bread and fruit bowls, why your brain thrives on fat and cholesterol, and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age. He offers an in-depth look at how we can take control of our “smart genes” through specific dietary choices and lifestyle habits, demonstrating how to remedy our most feared maladies without drugs. With a revolutionary 30-day plan, GRAIN BRAIN teaches us how we can reprogram our genetic destiny for the better.


    Pic - Wheat Belly
    Wheat Belly by William Davis, M.D.
    Member Price- $19.99
    Reb. – $25.99

    Every day, over 200 million Americans consume food products made of wheat. As a result, over 100 million of them experience some form of adverse health effect, ranging from minor rashes and high blood sugar to the unattractive stomach bulges that preventive cardiologist William Davis calls “wheat bellies.” According to Davis, that excess fat has nothing to do with gluttony, sloth, or too much butter: It’s due to the whole grain wraps we eat for lunch