14. June 2017 · Comments Off on Olive Standards · Categories: Food Standards, Standards · Tags:


High Falls Food Co-op has a deep love and appreciation for the natural gifts given to us by the Earth, especially the gifts you can eat– like olives! In their raw form olives can be a delicious snacks or a flavor and texture enhancer for meals. We carry a wide variety of olives from all over the world. Divina, La Medina, and Frutto d’Italia provide a beautiful variety to us on a weekly basis. Did you know there are laws regulating & banning the spraying of pesticides on olive trees all over the world? We take special care to provide our members and shoppers with olives from farms which follow these laws and sustainable practices. Below is a guide to the types and providers of the quality olives available at High Falls Food Co-op in our fresh meat and cheese case.


Divina olives represent the core values of the Co-op; authentic taste, traceable, & superb quality. They harvest and cure their olives according to centuries old methods. They have an organic line produced with out pesticides, colorings, or additives. They also have an all-natural line which is 100% non-gmo an free of pesticides.

Greek Mix (Greece)- a beautiful blend of Mt. Athos Green, Mt. Pelion black and blond, Kalamata Gordel, and Nafplian. Seasoned with wild herbs this blend creates a delightful medley of flavors.

Kalamata (Greece)- delightfully fruity, full-bodied olive grown in Greece Peloponnese Peninsula. Essential for Greek salads and perfect for olive bread, pizzas, and pasta sauces.

Castelvetrano (Italy)- named after a town in the Northwestern coast of Sicily, naturally bright apple green with no additives. This meaty, buttery, juicy olive has a mild and sweet flavor with undertones of artichoke.

Tapenade- this wonderful chopped Tapenade is made with Halkidiki Green olives, Kalamata’s, sweet Florina peppers, zesty capers, garlic, sunflower oil, Red wine vinegar, grape must, sea salt, & citric acid. YUM

La Medina

La Medina olives imported from all over the whole are an all-natural healthy distributor. We are very grateful for their curing processes and clean practices.

Ascolana (Peru)- the authentic flavors of Peruvian cuisine are captured in this fiery olive marinade made with traditional Chile peppers  (Limo, Rococo Aji and paprika) the mild, buttery green olive provides balance to the blend of fruity and spicy peppers.

Beldi (Morocco)- earthy rich olive will warm your palette with their bold, fruity filled flavor, superb alongside roasted meats and in coucous.

Frutto d’Italia

Frutto d’Italia happily provides us with our Italian olives. Italian olive farmers follow admirable agricultural practices. Country-wide they do not spray their olives with pesticides.

Antipasto (Italy)- dry and flavorful mix of olives with garlic and peppers, great for any bbq or before dinner.

Gaeta (Italy)- earthy & fruity, great for salads and snacking

11. February 2017 · Comments Off on High Falls Food Co-op Egg Farm Guide · Categories: Food Standards, Local Farms · Tags:

High Falls Food Coop Eggs

At High Falls Food Co-op, we strive to offer our customers and members the highest quality, most responsibly sourced eggs available in New York State. If you’ve ever wondered about where our eggs come from, or about differences between them, here’s a helpful guide to our farmers.

Depuy Farm– Chickens are free range and cooped at night/ in harsh weather. They are fed organic layer feed and organic vegetable scraps. The feed and the land are pesticide and antibiotic free.

Dewitt Farm– Chickens are fed hormone free and antibiotic free feed. Chickens are free range and kept in a barn during the night/ in harsh weather.

Feather Ridge Farm– Chickens are fed all natural, antibiotic and pesticide free feed consisting of grains and vegetables. Chickens are free range with a barn to nest in. Eggs reach the sales floor within two days of being laid.

Hidden Camp Farm– Chickens are fed organic and soy free feed. Hidden Camp believes their chickens’ soy free diet makes for a better tasting egg. Chickens are free range and pasture raised.

Grass & Gritt Farm– Chickens are free range with coop access for nesting and protection from the elements. Chickens are given GMO free, antibiotic free, hormone free feed and vegetable scraps.

Muddy Farm– Chickens are free range. Chickens are fed poulin feed and organic feed made from grains grown on Mudy Farm.

Campanelli Farm– Chickens are fed hormone free, antibiotic free feed. Chickens are free range, they are only coop when nesting or during bad weather.

11. October 2016 · Comments Off on HFFC Food Standards Part 2: Comparing Organic and Non-GMO Food by Adriana Magaña · Categories: Blog, Food Standards · Tags: , ,


In September’s HFFC Newsletter, I wrote an article outlining The High Falls Food Co-op’s food standards; basically what our buyers prioritize when choosing products to sell under our roof. After writing that article, and getting feedback from others, I felt like there was so much more to say and that I should expand the topic by exploring on the details of our food standards. In this HFFC Food Standards installment I wanted to train my researcher’s eye on clarifying the differences between the labels “Organic” and “Non-GMO”.

The High Falls Food Co-op was born, like many other food co-ops at the time, from the desire to access fresh, healthy, organic food. So it’s not surprising that choosing organic products is at the top of our food standards list. Right up there with organic is our decision to not knowingly stock any products with Genetically Modified Organisms. In 2010 the Non-GMO Project was launched and a Non-GMO Project Verified seal started appearing on products that met their standards. This labeling is a great way for people to make sure they aren’t purchasing GMO products. But is there a difference between organic and Non-GMO? Let’s compare Non-GMO Project Verified and USDA Organic.

Non-GMO Project Verified

• Prohibits GMO’s in all aspects of farming and processing
• Trustworthy way to avoid GMO’s
• Verification is maintained
• Tests for GMO residue at multiple levels of production

USDA Organic

• Includes all of the criteria above AND
• Prohibits use of chemical/synthetic fertilizers and pesticides
• Prohibits antibiotic and synthetic hormone use for animals
• Regulated by federal law
• Prohibits artificial coloring, flavoring and preservatives
• Requires animals eat only organic feed and pasture

With the criteria laid out the differences between the two are clear: Organic has always been GMO free and the only difference between non-GMO and conventionally grown crops is whether they contain Genetically Modified Organisms. Is the organic movement loosing advocates because of this alternative? Mark Kastel, a pro-organic advocate, says that that there is a lot of concern from organic food producers that they’ve created a monster. “This is a potent marketing vehicle designed to blur the lines between organic and nonorganic, “ he says. People are buying non-GMO and thinking that they are buying foods that have been grown in a more ecological way. Is this true? What is the ecological impact of non-GMOs?

Just this last month the online magazine Resilience published an article titled The ‘Non-GMO Label Doesn’t Go Far Enough: Taking Stock of Non-GMOs and Glyphosate in which the authors bring to light the large amounts of glyphosate, also known as Roundup, found on non- GMO crops and urge the Non-GMO Project to add ‘Glyphosate-Free’ to it’s label. Despite glyphosate being listed as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization and the State of California and banned for use on food in Europe, the EPA raised the amount of glyphosate that could be included in human and animal food and still be considered safe. This information is clearly not getting enough attention by the press and we citizens are left in the dark.

Consumers deserve to know what’s in their food and labeling GMOs is a great way to start. But we need to revisit our organic roots and pay attention to the toxic herbicides and pesticides that GMO crops are engineered to withstand. We must consider their effects on the entire ecological community that includes humans, plants, and animals. The Non-GMO Project label looks cute with it’s cheerful orange butterfly implying ecological health for even the most vulnerable species, but writing this article has made one thing very clear: to advocate for the ecological health of our earth we need to advocate for organic food from organic farmers.!

Learn more here…
‘GMO free’ myth busting: Labeling movement leading farmers to use more toxic chemicals!

Why The ‘Non-GMO’ Label Is Organic’s Frenemy

Organic Food Fights Back Against ‘Non-GMO’ Rival

Non-GMO Doesn’t Mean No Pesticides

11. September 2016 · Comments Off on HIGH FALLS FOOD CO-OP PRODUCT STANDARDS · Categories: Blog, Food Standards · Tags: ,

For 40 years the High Falls Food Co-op has been committed to providing it’s members and shopping community with the healthiest, most environmentally safe, and animal welfare friendly products.

Our product standards reflect our by-laws which state that the HFFC “make(s) directly available foods that are wholesome, economical and are as organic and additive free as possible, and represent alternative nutritional sources. Other goods will be made accessible which reflect similar concern for their effect on the health and environment during production and disposal. Local and regional networks will be supported, particularly for ecological and economical reasons that further our purposes.”

In line with our by-laws our department buyers research and seek out products that meet these standards:

  • Organic
  • Locally produced
  • Non-GMO
  • Sustainably produced
  • Ethically produced
  • Fair trade and ethical labor practices
  • Grass fed, free range, antibiotic & hormone free animal products
  • Wild caught fish
  • No processed white sugar
  • No high fructose corn syrup
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • No bleached or bromated flours
  • No artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colorings, flavorings or additives

The world of food ingredients is increasingly a complex and confusing place. We’ve seen the word “natural” used to sell foods that are anything but, as well as the continuing battle over labeling GMO’s. Our buyers and management team strive to stay on top of these changes and are open to suggestions and product recommendations.

As member-owners and shoppers you are always welcome to drop us a message in our suggestion box at the entrance to the store or talk to one of the department heads in person. We are a consumer driven co-op and rely on our educated members and shoppers to suggest items that we should carry that meet our product standards. Let us know what you think!

by: Adriana Magaña