- Co-op (34)
- Eat Seasonally (19)
- Good Food (8)
- Green Living (10)
- Kitchen Tips (7)
- Local (19)
- News (33)
- Recipes (18)
- Wellness (20)
Introducing the Co+op Explorers | 08.23.2016
Kids ages 12 and under are invited to become a Good Earth Market Co+op Explorer and be eligible to receive one free banana per visit! To become a card-carrying Co+op Explorer, kids simply need to bring a parent or supervising adult to the customer service counter and ask to become a Co+op Explorer. Each child will be issued their very own super official Co+op Explorers card!
Then, once kids are signed up, here’s how it works:
Kids and parents stop by the customer service counter, where we keep the designated Co+op Explorers banana basket. Next to the banana basket, you’ll find a smaller basket containing Co+op Explorers stickers. Take a sticker and put it on your child’s shirt or jacket (that’s so staff will know your child or children are banana eating Co+op Explorers, and they can account for it at the checkout counter. Then, each child is eligible to take one banana and enjoy eating it while you shop.
When you check out, please remind the cashier that your child or children ate a free banana as part of Co+op Explorers so that we can track participation in the program.
That’s all there is to it! If you have any questions, please ask any staff member.
Why the Comparison between Sitting & Smoking? | 07.12.2016
Already feel like you are doing everything for your health, but unaware of the impact of one our most seemingly innocuous habits of the day? Turns out our sedentary lifestyles are impacting our health more significantly than previously recognized and these negative health consequences are not reversed with a few hours at the gym!!
Researcher Dr. James Levine, from the Mayo Clinic, is credited with coining the phrase “sitting is the new smoking.” He is a leading endocrinologist, who has studied the effects of sitting on our metabolism and overall health. Prolonged sitting, like long-term smoking, increases our risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression and all-cause mortality (a term for any cause of death). Yes, you read that right, according to several large population studies, all of us weekend warriors and gym rats are still at increased risk as long as we continue to sit for several hours per day at our desk, on the couch or driving.
So, you say, thank you doomsayer Dr. Phillips-Dorsett, what am I supposed to do about that??
Thankfully, short of returning to life as we knew it 100 years ago, when we were 5 times more active in our daily routine than now, there are several strategies to combat our sedentary habits. I have listed a few below.
Move throughout the day. A recent study published in Diabetes Care presented evidence that periodic light walking or ‘simple resistance activities,’ like half squats and knee raises, improves after meal levels of blood sugar, insulin and triglycerides (a type of fat measured in the blood). Reducing these markers means improved heart and blood vessel health. Do anything that increases the amount of steps throughout your day: use the bathroom on another floor and take the stairs, or park your car at the far end of the parking lot (also reduces risk of getting hit by or hitting the other cars jockeying for the closest spot), then walk to the store.
Modify your work environment. Standing desks are often prescribed for and sometimes covered by insurance for back pain and other musculoskeletal ailments. See your primary care doctor for more information. There are now even treadmill desks, which have been shown to increase memory and information retention. Ask your clients or staff if some meetings can be held during a walking session. Get a headset for your phone and walk around your office while speaking with clients.
Walk to work, school, the grocery store, etc. If you are within a mile of work or your favorite shopping center, strongly consider walking or biking there. It’s easy to get in the habit of driving everywhere, but perhaps the next time you reach for your keys, think about getting out your sneakers and a backpack instead.
Developing new habits is always a challenge. Start with something you see yourself doing regularly, instead of something that you commit to for a week or two and then don’t find you are able to continue. Creating a new routine will undoubtedly take some trial and error and the type of activity will likely need to be modified with the seasons. The key is to stay consistent. So if you have avoided smoking for your health or are a former smoker, this new information is timely. Don’t hesitate to take the next step (many steps) to ensure you are doing all you can to remain healthy.
Dr. Phillips-Dorsett received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine in 2015 from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. She places emphasis on understanding the underlying cause of disturbance in a person that leads to physical and emotional discomfort. Using this as a foundation, she helps patients by bolstering their own defense systems to not only return the body to health, but to optimize well being.
Dr. Phillips-Dorsett joined Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic in November 2015 as one of the Family Medicine/Naturopathic Oncology residents. She sees patients at both St. Vincent Frontier Cancer Center and Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic.
For more on wellness, please attend a free Lunchtime Food for Thought with Dr. Audrey Schenewerk at the Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic on Tuesday, July 19th; and, with Dr. Jennifer Krieger (“How to Handle Stress by Living in the Moment“) at Good Earth Market on Wednesday, July 20, 12:05-12:50pm.
With the flurry of the “New Year” behind us, I want to challenge you to start each day fresh, with a New-Day/New-Start attitude. Every day is a new opportunity, and the options are endless! I don’t mean anything huge like painting the house, rebuilding an engine, or starting a new business. Try something new, make a progressive change in your daily routine, or just tackle a task using a new method. Each of the small new things can be milestones! It all depends on your perspective or mindset.
Not a breakfast eater? Having protein at the beginning of your day (seriously, shoot for 20 grams) has been proven to increase brain power. Forget the sugar and carb breakfast – who really wants that 10:00am brain fog?
Does your job require you to sit for hours at a time? Get up and move or stretch for a few minutes every hour, get that blood moving! And yes, it’s chilly outside, but go out anyway for a quick lunchtime walk– the fresh air and sunshine will do you a world of good.
Exhausted at the end of the day? Before turning in, take 10 minutes to stretch – your neck, shoulders, back, and hips will thank you with a better night’s sleep.
I recently read a quote that said, “If you don’t take care of your body, then where are you going to live?” If that doesn’t get you thinking, read it again. Then start making changes as needed, a little at a time. Trade the cookie for apple slices, add greens to your smoothie, walk for 5 more minutes. Take a break from Netflix to walk your dog, or throw a frisbee with your kids. Eat a lighter meal in the evening. Swap out that creamy salad dressing for a lighter vinaigrette, almonds instead of croutons, red wine instead of white. Try out that new yoga class, and invite a friend along. Go to bed earlier.
Keep it simple. Do what inspires you. Make one change at a time (multitasking is overrated, not to mention overwhelming!). If you love what you do, that one little thing, you will keep doing it. If you feel good because of that one little shift in your routine, you will be inspired to make other little changes…and it will perpetuate! You just might become addicted to shaking things up. Pretty soon you will be doing what inspires you, things you love, all in line with your mindset.
The biggest trend now is to pay attention to you, what suits you, what feels not just good, but RIGHT for you. The options are endless (did I already say that?). Not to steal a slogan, but Nike was right on track when they coined the phrase JUST DO IT! Seriously, just do it.
Dolly’s Product Picks:
Garden of Life Wild Rose D-Tox – If you’re looking for support for your health goals or to begin a new health habit, this cleanse offers a healthy, balanced and complete detoxification.
Chico Bags – These nifty little bags are easy and compact to store and carry and have so many uses! Check out the Bottle Slings, Original Bags, Sidekicks, Vita Bags.
Klean Kanteen! Insulated, non-insulated, many sizes & options….these reusable, stainless steel bottles are awesome!
written by Dolly Fansler, GEM’s Wellness & Front End Manager
Melatonin & Children | 01.04.2016
I have asked myself many times whether to use melatonin with children in a clinical setting. Many times, lifestyle and dietary changes make such an impact on sleep that supplements may not be necessary. For children and adults, a bedtime routine is a very important step in sleep hygiene. A bedtime routine sets the stage for sleep. Finding a pattern that best fits your family can be a challenge, but this could include: brushing teeth, story time, sleepy time tea, followed by an appropriate bedtime.
Other general sleep guidelines include:
– Decreasing mental activity after dinner (including computer and television).
– Avoiding caffeine after lunch.
– Keeping the bedroom quiet and dark while sleeping.
– Dealing with anxieties & worries before bed.
– Taking a hot bath with Epsom salts or essential oils.
– Avoiding large snacks or meals before bed.
The list could go on and on, but if the night time ritual is not working, is there another option? Is there a way to work with the body’s natural ability to fall asleep versus causing a drugged sleep? The answer is “yes”, based on current research, melatonin can play a role in the sleep puzzle.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone made in the pineal gland in the brain. When melatonin function is healthy, it is released in a pulse-like pattern throughout the day; lower in the morning and higher at night. Melatonin works as our internal clock; it changes with the season based on light cycles. As we age, melatonin levels begin to decrease. Melatonin levels are highest in infancy and drop in the adolescent and elderly age groups.
Melatonin has been found to be safe for long term use in children. Based on a large Dutch study, there was found to be no statistically significant pubertal change between the group taking melatonin and a matched group of the same age and sex. On average, melatonin had been taken for three years at an average dose of 2.69mg. Other long range studies have also been published showing the safety of melatonin in children.
So how does melatonin work?
Melatonin works in children with delayed onset of sleep. This means that some children likely have a dim light onset melatonin (DLOM) occurring later than other children who fall asleep easily at bed time. Melatonin has been shown to move the DLOM earlier when it is taken 1-2 hours before bedtime. At the recommended dosage, minimal side effects were seen. The most common side effects seem to be headache and grogginess.
For children with delayed onset of sleep and night awakenings, melatonin may be a great option when given under the supervision of a physician. Taken at appropriate times, it can support the body’s ability to make melatonin earlier and help the body fall asleep easily and at an appropriate time.
Rachel Day N.D., is a family practice physician at Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic. She can be reached at (406) 259-5096. Learn more at www.yncnaturally.com.
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.
13. 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 www.yncnaturally.com.
Eat Seasonally: Sprouts | 12.25.2013
Sprouts are that rare superfood that hits the sweet spot between flavor and nutrition. In addition to classic alfalfa sprouts, look for zesty radish, peppery broccoli or savory onion sprouts, as well as crisp and crunchy mung bean sprouts.
At Good Earth Market, local producer The Growing Business, owned by Daphne Zortman, provides us these delicious greens. Daphne started growing sprouts with her sister back in 1984, and she’s still the type of person who likes to get in there and get her hands dirty. She enjoys eating her own sprouts and is convinced of their powerful health benefits. “They’re a powerhouse of nutrients,” she exclaims, adding that her sprouts are very natural, too, being grown in well water and then cleaned – there’s very little processing that goes on.
It’s hard to improve on the classic sandwich combo of turkey, avocado and sprouts, but how about radish sprouts, fresh goat cheese, and tomato on multigrain bread? Or onion sprouts, cream cheese and cucumber on rye? Sprouts go beyond sandwiches, too – use mild-flavored mung bean sprouts to garnish everything from stir-fries to soups.
Quick Vegetable Bibimbap
This recipe is a delicious signature Korean dish, literally meaning “mixed rice”.
Serves 6, ready in 1 hour
- 1 cup uncooked medium-grain brown rice
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 c. carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 c. zucchini, cut into matchsticks
- ¼ lb button mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 6 oz fresh spinach
- 4 green onions, sliced
- ½ lb baked or fried tofu, cut into 1-2 inch squares
- 1 c. cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- 2 oz mung bean sprouts
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of ground black pepper
- 6 large eggs
- ¼ c. hot sauce (Gochujang, Sriracha or other hot chili paste)2 tsp tamari
- 1 T. water
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. rice vinegar
- ½ tsp sesame seeds
Start cooking the rice according to package directions. In a small bowl, mix together all sauce ingredients. Set aside.
In a wok or large skillet, heat the sesame and vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add garlic, zucchini, and mushrooms and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add spinach, and stir-fry just until it’s wilted and tender (about a minute). Remove from heat and toss the vegetables with the tofu, cucumber, bean sprouts, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside vegetables, and fry 6 eggs over easy.
To serve, place a scoop of rice in each bowl, top with some stir-fried vegetables, place a cooked egg on top, and garnish with sliced green onions. Serve the sauce on the side for drizzling.
NCGA Resources for YOU! | 07.25.2013
In the spring of 2011, we became a member of the National Cooperative Grocers Association (a.k.a NCGA). Your little Co-op is growing up! Joining NCGA has given us access to numerous resources, helping our Co-op remain competitive in the marketplace.
You’ve probably noticed many changes already: more competitive pricing, new Co+op Deals sales program, an overall step-up in our operations, the little Co+op Stronger Together logo that peeked its little head and has now become a store foundation. The staff is working very hard to use the resources and implement the programs that work for the uniqueness and individuality of our own cooperative.
But along with the resources that have improved your shopping experience in the store, NCGA has numerous resources developed specifically for you, the member-owner!
NCGA’s consumer website. Check it out! You’ll find a plethora of helpful articles – seasonal recipes, how-to’s on gardening and making smart food choices, how to cook just about anything. For you travelers, you can search co-ops anywhere in the nation to ensure you get to eat the tastiest, healthiest food while on vacation. Visit www.strongertogether.coop and “Like” Co+op Stronger Together on Facebook.
A brand new NCGA release – 55 how-to videos by co-op experts from around the country, with more on the way! When it comes to cooking at home, choosing the right ingredients and understanding basic kitchen skills can make the difference between a good meal and an amazing one. In the video series, Co+op Kitchen, you’ll find handy hints from chefs and food enthusiasts who love sharing their passion for great food, plus easy recipes for delicious homemade meals.
And, be sure to check out the FREE Co+op Kitchen iPad app for iOs6 on iTunes.
Co+op Deals Ads
Two flyers monthly! Not only do these ads feature the top sales at your Co-op (with big savings!), look inside for tips and information on your food and where it comes from. Check out each issue for information on seasonal produce, cheese, cooking tips; as well as recipes!
NCGA is providing more resources all the time in an effort to support and build local food and local communities. At the heart of the mission is taking care of the individual member-owner, that’s you!, and building the value around your food choices at the Co-op and the impact it has in our community.
Summer is well upon us with warmth and sunshine. Our skin takes a beating with the elements of dry hot wind, pool water, and too much sun. How can we continue to have beautiful glowing, hydrated skin all summer long?
The season of summer has its own special foods, color, elements, and influence. The element of summer is fire and this element rules the heart and small intestine. The heart represents not only the actual heart organ, but the emotional state and memory. When our hearts are healthy, we are able to solve problems effortlessly and arrive at brilliant solutions. The emotion for the summer heart is joy, and the sound is laughter.
The fire element is associated with the color red, so all foods that are red in color, including tomatoes, red peppers, beets, strawberries and cranberries benefit the heart and small intestine. Lycopine, an antioxidant, is very beneficial for the heart organ.
Some foods that are calming include mushrooms, brown rice, oats, and jujube. Herbs such as chamomile, catnip, skullcap, passion flower, and valerian are calming and very helpful when your mind is racing and you cannot go to sleep.
The summer skin can have too much redness, such as having flushed faces, rosecea, eczema, and psoriasis. Where there is too much redness in the face, the foods that are bitter can combat chronic congestion in the nose, lungs or face, as well as yeast overgrowth, obesity and skin eruptions. Bitter foods are very good for anybody who suffers with congestion on the face. The bitter taste also increases intestinal muscle contraction, which helps with the peristalsis movement in the intestines. This means good movement in the digestive system, and good digestive movement removes toxins in the body and helps clear the skin. Some bitter foods include rhubarb, kale, watercress and celery.
Other great foods for summertime are roasted red peppers, watermelon, or chilled tomato soups to bring back the fluids lost during perspiration. Of course, drink plenty of water and use sunscreen.
Managing the hydration levels in the body and skin is very important for having beautiful skin. As mentioned above, eating foods that have a water content is the best way to get that extra water into our systems.
Watermelon, our most famous summer food, is amazing and in my next workshop, we will explore just how amazing watermelon is and how it benefits our skin and body.
During the summer months, nature is at its most expansive, abundant manifestation. The sun is at its highest, food is plentiful, and all plant life is full of vital life force. So eat healthy summer foods, be filled with summer Joy, laugh a lot, and infuse the energy of the color red. All this will enhance the summer glow with your skin that the vital life force produces.
Learn more about summer foods and protecting your skin at Susan’s next workshop, Saturday, July 13, 1:00pm-2:00pm. Susan Reddig, B.S., is a Licensed Esthetician at Clinical Skin Solutions of Billings, and Holistic Healthy Eating Coach. Susan’s focus is on beautiful skin through safe product and healthy eating.
The Mediterranean Diet | 06.20.2013
Every nutrition expert wants to tell us the next new diet for healthy living based on current research. Amusingly, it is usually some variation of how people of the Mediterranean have been eating for centuries.
Special dietary needs aside; the Mediterranean diet has been shown over and over again, in the research, to account for longevity and happy hearts across international borders. So, what’s so special about it? How does this help us in the nether regions where temperatures get well below zero?
Part of the magic that is the Mediterranean diet is that it can be adapted to anywhere you live! After all, the Mediterranean itself consists of more than a dozen countries with disparate traditional cuisines, yet the health outcomes are similar.
This way of eating is more a set of principles than telling us exactly which foods to eat. It helps us because right here in Montana we have a wealth of farms that cultivate and raise the type of food we can adapt for the heart healthy benefits this diet offers. It helps to remind us of our connection to where food comes from and its importance on our health. It helps us be mindful of what we are putting in our bodies.
The foundation of the Mediterranean diet includes the following: every meal should be made up primarily of whole grains, vegetables and fruits, legumes and nuts; an increased amount of unsaturated fats (olive oil and canola oil) when cooking, marinating or making sauces; a limited amount of red meat, sweets and processed foods; and exercise!
A glass of red wine is an optional component to dinners; and fruit is suggested for desserts. Each meal, or as often as possible, should be savored with friends and family. This is an omega-3, antioxidant, fiber and mineral rich diet. That’s it! There are hundreds of books and plenty of online resources to learn more about how this style of eating is sustaining and healthful.
Join Danielle Phillips-Dorsett on Wednesday, June 26, 5:30pm – 7:30pm, to learn more about the Mediterranean diet and how locally-grown Montana foods seamlessly adapts to the diet. The $15 fee includes the demonstration and a family-style dinner, along with recipes and handouts. Danielle is a former employee of ours, and is now studying naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.
The Goat and I | 05.20.2013
By Alexis Bonogofsky
Seven years ago, I moved back to the family farm south of Billings and decided to raise goats for meat and weed control. Goats are amazing, versatile creatures that can provide high quality lean meat, milk, fiber and control weeds. Goat meat, or chevon, is the most widely eaten meat in the world and well-managed goats are easy on the land.
But there are moments – ok, many moments – where I question the wisdom of this decision. As one Wyoming goat rancher put it, “if you can build a fence to keep in water, you’ve found yourself a fence that will keep in a goat 80% of the time.” I tell most people that our fences are more like suggested guidelines.
The Wandering Goats
Goats are unique. They are different than any other type of livestock and will test your patience daily. Why? Goats are browsers, not grazers and act more like bison than cattle. In fact, when looking for a fence that could keep them in I found that goats have the same electric fence requirements as bison.
Browse makes up about 60% of a goat’s diet but only about 10 to 15% of a cow’s diet. That means that my goats take a few bites from a plant, move five to ten yards, take another bite and so on. If they had their way, they would be three miles up river by sundown. The neighbor to the west of me came home numerous time last summer to see my goats lounging on his porch with his newly planted flowers eaten and the goats contentedly chewing their cud in the shade, feet dangling off the side. The neighbor to the west of us has at least benefited from the goats quite voracious appetite for leafy spurge.
But this very characteristic is the reason that goats will continue to grow as a livestock of choice for many producers, large and small. Their browsing characteristics make them ideal for land rehabilitation and weed control without having to use herbicides or other heavy-handed methods. Seven years ago, leafy spurge was taking over in many places on our property. Now, we can’t find a single plant. They also love Russian Olive trees that use tremendous amounts of water and choke out native cottonwoods. They strip the bark and will eat the new shoots until nothing comes back.
But on top of all of the benefits to the land when goats are properly managed, the meat quality and characteristics are phenomenal. It is low in fat, cholesterol, calories, and saturated fat and high in protein. But I’m not going to lie. This part of the business has been the hardest for me. The first time we took a group of goats to the butcher, I cried the entire way home and thought about it for weeks. I kept waiting for that day to get easier but it hasn’t. There is a struggle that I think many producers face on shipping day but there is a need for sustainably and locally produced meat.
And that is what we can promise our customers. Our goats are happy, healthy and definitely free-ranging. If you would like more information about raising goats or goat meat, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
How I Learned to Love Goat Meat http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/01/dining/01goat.html?
Editor’s Note: GEM does not carry goat meat due to low demand, but you can meet Alexis and have a taste of got meat at the Early Season Farmer’s Market this June!
Organic vs. Sustainable | 05.06.2013
The word “organic” itself tells the consumer how the farmer grew the piece of produce. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution. Farmers who grow organic produce don’t use conventional methods like herbicides, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or GMO seeds. When raising cattle or poultry, the farmer does not use antibiotics or hormones and the animals must be organic-fed. Rather than using chemical weed killers, organic farmers may conduct a more sophisticated crop rotation and spread mulch or manure to keep weeks at bay among more guidelines.
To be an organic farmer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established a certification program that requires all organic foods to meet government standards. Any product labeled as organic must be USDA certified. This certification also is regulated to ensure quality in the food.
Sustainability is fundamentally about our relationship to the world around us and our responsibility to future generations. Sustainable is not regulated but it still addresses the whole system. Three essential elements to being sustainable are economic prosperity environmental stewardship and community well-being. For produce production, the farmer does not use pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers or GMO seeds. In the case of meat production the sustainable farmer does not use antibiotics or hormones and the animals must be free range fed.
Organic and sustainable may have their similarities and differences, but they are always a good choice for you. These foods have fewer toxins in them than conventionally farmed foods, making your life a healthier one. Organic and sustainable may seem a little more expensive when it comes to grocery shopping, but you, the consumer, can decide – pay now or pay later. If you don’t know where to start fitting these healthier choices into your budget, start small with produce, then dairy and after that choose organic or sustainable meats and poultry.
My name is Andi Buckley! I am your Good Earth Market intern! I have been running around doing a lot of fun things at GEM but of course working hard. I am organizing some pieces of the Early Season Farmer’s Market (June) and am getting the Local Producer Map out into our community and all around the state! Be sure to keep your eyes open and grab a free copy around town!
I have been very blessed with the opportunity Good Earth Market has given me and I hope I can help them out as much as possible with a couple projects!
Container Gardening | 04.24.2013
Growing your own food is fun, satisfying and delicious—and it’s easy to do even if you don’t have traditional garden space! Fact is, if you have a patio, balcony, or even just a windowsill or doorstep, you can grow your own little vegetable garden in containers.
It doesn’t take much horticultural savvy to grow produce in pots, either. Here’s what you’ll need to know—about container plants, pots, soil, and care and feeding—to get started.
What to Grow: Keep growing habits in mind. Read plant tags, seed packets, and catalog descriptions with an eye towards words like “compact”, “bush”, “small”, “mini”, “dwarf”, and “tiny”, or “well suited for container growing”. You can grow a variety of vegetables and flowers, even fruits. You might also place a small fruit tree (like a dwarf apple) in a big pot. When combining plants in the same container, keep in mind that partners need to have compatible needs for water and sunlight!
Containers: You can purchase a variety of functional—and beautiful—pots, but anything that can hold soil can be used for growing your bounty. You’ll need to match the size of the container to what you’re planning to grow.
If the pot doesn’t have holes near the bottom, ensure proper drainage by drilling some yourself (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter). To prevent soil from washing out, add mesh to the bottom of the pot. Clean your containers well with soap and hot water or a natural disinfectant before planting in them.
Light & Temperature: Most vegetables like plenty of sunlight, but some (like leafy greens) can tolerate partial shade. If a plant calls for full sun, that means it needs between 6 and 8 hours of direct sun per day. Partial sun means 4 to 6 hours of sun daily.
The best temperature range for most plants is between 55 and 75 degrees F. You’ll want to wait to plant your containers outdoors until after the danger of frost, but one of the advantages of container growing is that you can haul the pots indoors (or easily cover them) if the temperatures dip.
Soil: Fill your containers with good, organic, sterile potting soil (to 3/4 inches below the rim or lower to allow for watering). Do not use “topsoil” or soil from a garden, which will become too compact and may contain disease or insects. You can also make your own customized potting soil.
Water: You’ll want to keep the soil around your plants moist but not soggy. Plants dry out more quickly in pots than they do in the ground, so depending on the type of container you’ve chosen, the plant, and the environment, you may need to water it every day—or even twice a day. Water the soil, and occasionally the leaves, until the water runs out the bottom of the pot (this will ensure plant roots have access to sufficient water and helps wash away any buildup of salts).
Nutrients: Whenever you water your container, nutrients are leached from the soil, so you’ll want to add fertilizer every week or two or use a diluted fertilizer with every watering. There are plenty of good organic fertilizers; these will provide macro and micronutrients, minerals, amino acids and vitamins. Compost or compost tea, fish emulsion, liquid seaweed, kelp meal, and worm castings all provide excellent organic fertilizer for container plants.
Whether you’re adding an array of containers to your already bountiful garden plot or a single potted tomato to your doorstep, you’ll find container gardening fun and rewarding.
7 Easy Ways to Nourish the Earth at GEM | 04.17.2013
Green may be the new black, but it’s more than a trend—it’s a permanent shift towards creating a sustainable planet. In fact, taking steps to live a greener life—one that leaves as small an environmental footprint as possible—is part and parcel of living responsibly.
Sustainable living is serious business, but many effective changes require thoughtfulness more than sacrifice, good habits more than financial investment. In fact, you’ll find that acting with the environment in mind often has a positive impact on your budget, too.
“Reduce, reuse, and recycle” is the green-living mantra. Let these three words steer you in the right direction—with your purchases, at home and at work, even while traveling. It’s fun to see how many opportunities there are for greener choices.
For starters, here are some simple ways to make a big impact while shopping at your co-op:
1. Bring your own bags when you shop. Tied end-to-end, the nearly 4 billion plastic bags discarded around the world each year would circle the earth 63 times. When you do use plastic, be sure to recycle it. But get in the habit of bringing your own cloth bag when you head to the store. Five years ago on Earth Day, we stopped buying plastic bags, and thanks to all of our members returning plastic bags to us, we continue to keep them out of the landfill. If you prefer not to use plastic, use a box available by the registers!
2. Buy in bulk to eliminate wasteful packaging and save money. Check out the bulk section, where you’ll find everything from beans to grains, nuts and granola, soaps and shampoos. Bring your own jar in, have a cashier weigh it before filling, or use one of our reused, sterilized jars. Ask a staff person to show you the ropes if you’re new to bulk buying.
3. Choose products with the least amount of waste – produce without wrapping and trays (or bring your own bags for produce), and a large jar of juice (or concentrate) rather than a dozen juice boxes, for example.
4. Use your own container in the deli for coffee or a salad. Save a plastic container from ending up in the landfill.
5. Support green businesses with your purchasing dollars. Sustainable business practices are marketable these days, but so is greenwashing, so be selective. Co-ops have a long-standing tradition of conscientiously supporting ethical business practices.
6. Choose nontoxic. Replace chemical cleansers and cosmetics with natural products. Nontoxic cleaners—which you’ll find at your co-op—won’t hurt the water supply, your family, or wildlife. When decorating, explore nontoxic paints, fabrics, carpeting, and flooring. Before remodeling, look into using nontoxic, recycled building materials.
7. Purchase locally. Shop at community-owned stores and purchase locally grown food, available all year round. You’ll support neighboring farmers and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. Co-ops are a great source for locally produced food.
8. Choose organic food whenever possible. In addition to health and taste benefits, your selection of organic over conventionally grown food contributes to cleaner air and water; soil enrichment; the reduction of pesticide, growth hormone and antibiotic use; and safer working environments for farmers and their families.
Small steps can make a big impact. What small steps have you taken? Do you have a green living resolution this year?
Food for Skin: Spring Foods for Clear Skin | 03.29.2013
Spring Fever’s bite is just around the corner. We are anxious to smell the fresh air, feel the warm breeze and enjoy the promise of new life and rejuvenation. During the Winter season, the cocooning and self reflection can now give way to the creative and bursting energy of Spring. This energy is reaching from the depths of the earth and pushes with an upward rising movement stretching to the Heavens. The very thought of Spring with its many colors and clean fragrance will refresh, nourish, and stimulate. The color of Green is the energetic life color of the trees, plants, leaves, and grasses.
In Spring, the element of Wood is symbolized by the tree that has roots planted in the earth and branches reaching to the Heavens. The trunk holds life between the two worlds. The human organs that correlate with the Wood Element are the liver and gallbladder. The liver is the organ in charge of helping the body break down toxins and when it is functioning properly peace and harmony are felt and there is focused direction and self-responsibility. When it is stagnated, there is anger, depression, and frustration.
The Spring skin is the acne skin. This skin is red, inflamed, and congested. There may be rashes, allergic reactions, and eczema flare ups. This is a good time to do a liver detoxification and eat simple dishes with lots of green vegetables. Sour foods also stimulate the liver and gallbladder. The sour taste has an absorbing astringent function, stopping abnormal discharges of fluid from the body, like excessive sebum on the face. Examples of sour foods are vinegar and lemons. Anybody who has papules and congestion on the face should drink a hot cup of water with one-half a lemon first thing in the morning. The hot water and lemon stimulate the liver to release bile and break up fats. Other examples of sour foods are limes , pickles ,sour apples, sour plums, leeks, blackberries, grapes, mangoes. olives, raspberries, tangerines, tomatoes, sourdough bread, adzuki beans. Vegetables include broccoli, parsley, lettuce, carrots, alfalfa, beets, zucchini, shitake mushrooms, artichokes, cucumbers, celery, endive, and watercress. The liver can be nourished and assisted in healing by eating foods and herbs that enhance the wood element. Drinking a tea with dandelion, beet greens, and lemon will go far and is so simple to do.
This Spring is a great time to get some healthy nutrition through green smoothies. Smoothies are fun and easy to make in your blender or nutibullet type of mixer. An awesome green smoothie is one made with green vegetables and green fruits along with a small amount of antioxidant berries. By helping the liver and gall bladder be strong, the skin will become clearer and healthier.
Your Spring challenge is to stand tall, stretch for the heavens and keep your feet grounded to the earth. Join me for our next class on seasonal foods that promote healthy skin!
Learn more about spring skin solutions at Susan’s workshop, Food and Skin: Spring Detox and Clarity on Saturday, April 13, 1-2pm. Susan Reddig, B.S. is a licensed esthetician at Clinical Skin Solutions of Billings, focusing on beautiful skin from the inside out. www.billingsclinicalskinsolutions.com.
Food and Skin: Winter Skin Survival | 01.09.2013
Replenish, Build, Conserve, Hydrate
It’s the new year – time to burrow in and begin to replenish the skin, body, mind, and spirit. Winter means shoveling snow, bitter winds, bundling up with layers, and dry, scratchy skin. Winter also is a time for the crackling sound of the fireplace, cuddling up in a warm electric throw, or cooking a favorite soup or stew that will warm the insides and relieve the bone-cold chill.
In the season of winter, the element is Water and the color is black. Water energy is flowing, deeply internal, and the base of life. Water energy encourages hibernation and self-reflection. One can consider this a time of storing energy and replenishing so that when spring comes there will be bursting of new energy and growth! Winter skin has a tendency to be dry and itchy. We may notice wrinkles, a pale complexion, dark circles under the eyes, hyper pigmentation, red blotchiness, fluid retention, and clogged congested pores.
Which is the best way to thrive in winter and save our skin? First, for survival is the need to honor the winter quietness and stillness that is deep within all, to have a place of fulfillment and peace. Next, eat foods that nourish the Water Element. Some suggestions are watermelon, blackberries, blueberries, eggs, cloves, ginger, cinnamon bark, everything in the onion family, chicken, salmon, caviar and seaweeds. Salty and spicy flavors encourage health, but use sea salt rather than regular table salt. Making soups or stews will be warming and will help us tolerate the frosty days. Soups continue to be easy on the digestive tract, helping the body maintain its quietness.
Now for the skin. An excellent supplement for skin health is taking a fish oil supplement and eating non-white fish, like salmon. Fish oil lubricates, helps relieve the winter aches and pains, reduces inflammation, and can help to relieve that dry itchiness. Topically, it is very important that ingredients such as hyaluronic acid are in your moisturizer or lotion. Another soothing skin option right from our kitchen cupboard is olive oil. Nothing could be easier! Use your olive oil to blend with regular moisturizers, apply right after showering, or add some sugar to exfoliate. Do something fun, like indulging your skin in a berries mask and eating dark chocolate. Your skin will love you. And you will love your skin.
This winter avoid the itchies, the flakies, and the reddies by eating healthy warming soups and foods, applying topical soothing oils, and finding time to retreat for self-reflection, meditation and energy conservation. These simple steps will do more for your skin than you can imagine. In January of the new year, take the challenge to change your approach of skin health care to nourish your whole person. Winter is the time to Replenish, Conserve, Build, and Hydrate.
Learn more about winter skin solutions at Susan’s workshop, Food and Skin: Winter Skin Survival on Saturday, January 12, 1-2pm. Susan Reddig, B.S. is a licensed esthetician at Clinical Skin Solutions of Billings, focusing on beautiful skin from the inside out. www.billingsclinicalskinsolutions.com.
Protecting Your Skin | 07.24.2012
Summer poses great challenges with managing our skin care. We love the warm sun and how comforting it feels on our skin. We feel the freedom of unencumbered movement due to less clothing or, at the least, lighter weight clothing. The smell of fresh air seduces us out from behind our walls of our homes or places of work. Oh, it feels so good to be free!
How do we enjoy the sun, which is natural and integral to the function of life, yet protect ourselves from its dangerous and life-threatening rays? The first way to protect ourselves is to be well informed of the types of ultraviolet rays and how they affect our skin. The second way is to educate ourselves on what the SPF ratings really mean. The third way is to know what ingredients are most effective.
Understanding the UV Rays
UVA = Aging, UVB = Burning and cancer. We know there are two main ultraviolet rays that we need to be aware of. They are the UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays have less energy, but penetrate deeper into the skin, causing damage to the connective tissue and creating aging, sun spots, hyper pigmentation, wrinkles, and leathery skin. UVA is always emitting, even on cloudy days. These rays increase the risk of skin cancer.
UVB rays are damaging, but only on the surface. Don’t let that fool you. UVB rays are the burning, redness, sunburn, blistering, and dryness that often causes skin cancer. They are strongest during the mid-day and are able to reflect off of water and snow.
SPF ratings can be confusing and are relevant only to the UVB rays. SPF is a measure of how sunscreen works against UVB rays. We are prone to think that the higher a reading is, the more protection there is. In reality, the higher rating diminishes in effectiveness. The difference between SPF levels gets small as the numbers go higher. For instance, the difference between 15 and 30 is bigger than between 30 and 45, therefore, using an SPF of 45 is not much more effective than SPF 30.
Which ingredients should you look for?
- Look for sun protection that includes zinc oxide. Zinc Oxide is a physical block and is the most effective. Titanium Dioxide, is also a physical block but less effective than zinc oxide, and Avobenzone is a chemical screen. Both Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are the most important to have in the list.
- Look for the words “Broad Spectrum”. A Broad Spectrum will protect from both the UVA and UVB rays.
The best way to apply sunblock is very liberal. Some doctors say to be a “grease monkey”. Reapply every two hours and, if you are in the water, apply every hour. Wearing a hat and other protective clothing is advised. And don’t forget the little areas, such as, ears, back of neck, tops of feet, and scalp.
That area of skin that didn’t get covered? Add the back of hands to the list of little areas. Ouch!
Susan Reddig, B.S., L.E., is a licensed esthetician and owner of Clinical Skincare Solutions. located at 2900 12th Avenue North.