10. May 2017 · Comments Off on May 2017 Bridge Update · Categories: Blog, local news · Tags:

Our friends at High Falls Conservancy have been keeping us up to date on the progress of the High Falls Route 213 bridge via their Facebook page. Here’s their report from May 8th, 2017:


“Iron is here! After long months of work over the winter, the bridge abutments appear ready to receive the massive spans of steel that will become key support for the new bridge. On Friday May 5, a parade of three trucks loaded with massive steel girders appeared on old Rte 213, waiting to be installed. Here are some pictures of the steel that will soon be a part of our new bridge. Reports tell us that the bridge is on schedule!”


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photos: High Falls Conservancy


Our friends at the BlueStone Press had this news to offer from their April 21, 2017 edition:

“With 10 weeks of construction left to go, construction on the Route 213 bridge in High Falls is progressing on schedule. Project manager for Harrison & Burrowes, Francis Bossolini, said that even in spite of the blizzard that hit the region on March 14, the project should be completed by its expected delivery date of June 30.

‘We’re designing and constructing to minimize any vulnerabilities to scour and other water-related incidents. There are some design elements in there that reduce some of the features that caused vulnerabilities in the bridges in the past,’ Bossolini said during a community meeting in December. The new bridge is expected to reach a lifespan of 50 to 75 years.” -Jodi La Marco, BSP Reporter 


12. April 2017 · Comments Off on Healing And Preventing Lyme With Accord Acupuncture · Categories: Blog, Health & Beauty, Supplements · Tags:


Spring in the Hudson Valley means getting to spend more time enjoying the outdoors. We are so lucky to be surrounded by such picturesque water, sky, and land.  Unfortunately we share this land with ticks… ticks carrying diseases like Lyme. HFFC stocks a variety of products aimed at preventing and treating Lyme disease. We also enjoy the good fortune of having Accord Acupuncture & Herb Shoppe as a neighbor in High Falls. We asked them to give us some guidance on preventing and treating Lyme naturally.

High Falls Food Co-op: What can one do to prevent Lyme?

Accord Acupuncture: Well, there are a few ways to avoid getting bitten by ticks, short of staying inside, which isn’t really a very healthy option. Choose what’s best for you!

-Wear lightweight, long-sleeve shirts and long pants tucked into socks when gardening or hiking in known tick-infested places.

-Wear light colored clothing so you are more likely to see a tick crawling on your clothes.

-Pay attention to minor itches and crawling sensations on your skin – check it out to make sure it’s not a tick.

-Wear natural insect repellants, the co-op has some great local options. Apply it frequently, as in every couple of hours, if you are outside for an extended period of time. Also, clove essential oil is great for preventing ticks bites. Wear it behind your ears and around your ankles or even soak a pair of shoe strings or old socks.

-Once inside, remove all clothing and put them into the wash, and more importantly, dry them on high heat to kill any ticks that may be attached to them. Then take a shower if possible.

-Check your body for ticks twice per day, especially the groin area, within the hairline of the head, and all around the torso where the body heat is higher.

-Teach your children (by the age of 3 or 4 at the latest) how to identify a tick so that if they see one on their body or yours, they know to seek an adults’ assistance to remove it safely and swiftly.

HFFC: What should a person do when they find a tick attached to them?

AA: Many people follow all of the best practices to avoid getting bit by a tick, and still discover ticks on them in the act of latching on, or at some point in the feeding process. Yuck! So, what to do when you find a tick on your body?

Tick removal—

-Keep handy – in your medicine cabinet, car, camping gear, purse, etc. – a good pair of tick removal tweezers, we love ones that have a small magnifying glass attached to them, so you can see what you’re doing when trying to remove even the tiny nymph ticks, and the heads, which brings us to the next point.

-The key to successful, safe tick removal is removing the tick by its head, which is where it has embedded itself into your skin. The trick is to grab hold of the head of the tick, not the body, as you might pull off the body and leave the head behind, which may be strongly attached into the skin. Slide one side of the tweezers under the head of the tick, and peel the head and body of the tick up and away.

-If the tick body is engorged and you were able to remove it in one piece, you may want to send it to a lab to find out if the tick was carrying the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria that causes Lyme disease, in which case you’ll want to preserve the tick in a plastic Ziploc (keep these handy with your tweezers).

Treatment of the bite to prevent Lyme disease—

-After removing the tick, unless it was barely attached to the skin at all, you’ll want to put clove essential oil directly onto the skin, and all around the surrounding area, well beyond the circle of redness at the bite.

If the Borellia spirochete enters your body, it remains initially superficial in the tissue layers of the skin at first. The clove oil is absorbed into the layers of the skin and is a powerful antibiotic and anti-spirochete agent. This is much more effective than washing the bite with soap or alcohol, as is often recommended.

Based on my personal and clinical experience, the prompt use of clove oil is the #1 way to reduce incidence of Lyme disease from a tick bite, even one that looks very angry and infected. Within 12-24 hours, the redness, swelling, itching, and rash is greatly diminished. Our patients have used this technique 100’s of times, and we’ve never known a tick bite that was treated with clove oil to lead to Lyme disease. Be sure to continue applying the clove oil twice per day until all signs of infection and irritation from the bite have cleared.

Other Natural Prophylactic Measures—

-Take an immune system booster such as Echinacea tincture, which activates your acute immune response against pathogenic invaders such as bacteria and viruses (including Borrelia spirochetes).

-Take an Anti-Lyme Herbal Formula. If you do get bit by a tick and it was on you long enough to carry a threat of Lyme disease, then getting herbs into your bloodstream that kill the spirochete and make your body inhospitable ahead of time is a smart way to head off the potential for infection to develop.

-Take extra measures to alkalize your blood (like drinking water with lemon, and green vegetable juices), strengthen your immune system (by getting enough rest, for example) and minimize intake of bacteria-feeding sugar, white flours, and alcohol.

HFFC: What should a person take after being diagnosed with Lyme?

AA: Colloidal silver (available at the co-op,) an acute Lyme tincture which may contain herbs such as artemisia, Japanese knotweed, Andrographis, cat’s claw, bupleurum, gardenia, forsythia, echinacea, astragalus, white peony and cinnamon twig or taking a combination of these herbs. Fights Lyme infection within approximately 3 months of the tick bite. Addresses the fever, aches and pains, mental fog, general malaise, skin rash, and other symptoms typical of the Lyme infection. Ok to take with current antibiotic treatment.

HFFC: What should someone with chronic Lyme be taking that can improve their day to day?

AA: Ok, here are our recommendations in five parts.

1. Detoxify

This word gets tossed around like a pizza pie, but many detox strategies don’t really work.

You have to take this one deep and wide.

Detox practices include things like becoming fully hydrated with quality water, juicing and other nutrient-dense food routines, colon cleansing, sweating, and more.

2. Heal the Gut

I know, I know – you’ve heard all about it!  But doing it right is an art form, a dance in which you must learn to partner with your body, sources of nourishment, and the forces of health generation (such as probiotics).

Lyme is a disease of toxicity, and it’s a disease of inflammation. Both of these health problems can be rooted in the gut, then further exacerbated and triggered by the Borreliosis and other infections.

The 4R’s of gut repair sum up the process: Remove inflammatory, toxic, and allergenic food; Repair the gut lining; Restore a healthy gut flora; Replace enzymes, bile salts, or hydrochloric acid temporarily to strengthen digestion if they are low.

The more your gut is obviously disturbed (with symptoms of frequent diarrhea or constipation, gas, bloating, pain, etc.), the more central this piece becomes to your recovery from Lyme disease.

3. Regulate Immunity

In response to infection, the immune system kicks into high gear, inflammation spikes, and thus lots of symptoms are generated within the body. Ideally, the immune system then works to diminish the inflammation, and complete the cycle.

Yet when infection persists, as it often does with Lyme disease, and this inflammation becomes chronic, you won’t feel better until you effectively manage and reduce the inflammation.

From the holistic perspective, it’s also crucial to support and strengthen the immune system’s ability to protect, defend, and eliminate the disease-causing bacteria.

Inflammation reduction and immune system stabilization can be done at the same time.

The good news is, effective cleansing and healing the gut (our first 2 non-negotiables) both support this process, that’s why we put them into place first.

In addition, herbal formulas that contain herbs such as turmeric, astragalus, ashwaganda, Siberian ginseng, Japanese knotweed (to name a few) work to successfully regulate inflammation and immune function.

4. Natural Anti-Microbials

Strong pharmaceutical antibiotics are a necessary part of many people’s recovery process. As powerful as they are, they alone are often not enough to actually heal and recover. In addition, there are downsides such as liver toxicity, damage to gut flora and function, immune system overload, intolerable Herx reactions, and others.

Natural anti-microbials, of which there are many, have numerous advantages.

They are gentler and more harmonious with the body, rarely causing side-effects. They are more complex, broad-spectrum, and do not induce bacterial antibiotic resistance. They have additional beneficial properties, such as reducing inflammation, strengthening the immune system, and helping the body to repair certain body tissues.

They are ideal for all phases of Lyme disease and should be employed throughout the recovery process, helping to minimize the use of the big-gun pharmaceutical antibiotics.

5. Energy Management

Have you ever been feeling better, then something stressful happens, and your symptoms flare?

How about feeling stuck in your healing process – you know all the things you ”should” do for yourself but don’t – because you’re continually overwhelmed by life?

Or perhaps you’re stuck in your head – and it’s not a happy positive place – with anxiety, depression, mood swings, or anger a dominant part of your days.

We often say, your suffering does not make you unique – but how you handle it does. And that’s what energy management is all about.

In order to successfully heal from Lyme and its associated diseases, you need to strengthen every part of you – not just your immune system, your gut and detox pathways. You also need to strengthen your spirit, and your muscles of hope, forgiveness, praise, acceptance, and love.

Energy management practices build the muscle of your spiritual, emotional, and mental strengths so that these aspects of your being can come into alignment to support and accelerate your healing process.

6. Hormonal Balance

With all the attention paid to issues of infection and immunity, toxins and inflammation in Lyme disease, we find the hormonal layer of body function is often a forgotten piece of the puzzle.

Yet adrenal and thyroid hormones are commonly out of balance in people with persistent Lyme, and this can be the underlying cause of many of Lyme’s common symptoms, such as immune dysfunction, temperature de-regulation, insomnia, fatigue, and more.

It’s best to have your cortisol levels checked with a 24-hour saliva test. Your thyroid hormone levels can be checked as part of blood work through your doctor, but make sure the full panel is ordered to look at TSH as well as free T3, free T4, and reverse T3.

If these hormonal systems prove to be mal-effected by the chronic stress of life, illness, and Lyme disease, there are several good options for natural treatment, including glandulars and adaptogenic herbs such as ginseng, ashwaganda, holy basil, and others.

We thank Accord Acupuncture for giving us this lesson in Lyme. Additionally, we’d like to let our members and shoppers dealing with chronic Lyme to know that Accord Acupuncture, lead by the incomparable Hillary Thing, is offering a special opportunity to sign up to be a patient in their Uprooting Lyme Holistic Teaching Clinic. Information posted below. We hope you all have a healthy, tick-free spring and summer.



12. April 2017 · Comments Off on We Love Local: Süperkrauts · Categories: Blog, Events, local food · Tags:


It’s no secret that we love locally made foods here at High Falls Food Co-op. That’s why we’re excited to carry Süperkrauts; sauerkraut made in New Paltz, NY. Süperkrauts are always raw, organic, and fermented without heating. They’re unpasteurized and full of vitamins, minerals and fresh pro-biotics. Is it any wonder why we love them?

Süperkrauts was founded by Moni Schifler after a journey to heal her son’s IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) lead her to her great grandmother’s sauerkraut recipe. Moni’s great grandmother with a farmer and sauerkraut maker in Vienna, Austria. She used this knowledge and fermented food legacy to ultimately heal her son through the use of raw vegetables and probiotics. Moni then made it her mission to heal others with her fermented foods, and a business was born.

When making Süperkrauts, Modi adheres to her company’s mission which is to make authentic sauerkraut that is only fermented in glass. Süperkrauts is committed to respecting our planet by using local produce and local suppliers while creating zero waste. 100% of Süperkrauts’ kitchen scraps are composted and sent back to their organic farmers. Süperkrauts is a name you can feel good about purchasing.

Aside from their efforts to heal people through food and to be an ethical, environmentally friendly brand, Süperkrauts is also helping the local community by providing women with employment. Süperkrauts is powered and run nearly 100% by women. That coupled with their use of only the finest certified organic produce New York’s Hudson Valley has to offer, makes us love Süperkrauts even more.

In 2015, Süperkrauts moved into a state of the art dedicated kitchen facility in a certified organic, certified gluten free, certified vegan, certified non-gmo, and certified kosher building. They never produce anything but Süperkraut in their kitchen, so you can count on always getting nothing but this pure probiotic product. Do something “güt for your gut,” pick up a jar of Süperkraut next time you’re at High Falls Food Co-op, or join us on April 21st from 2pm to 5pm and you can sample it in the store!


12. March 2017 · Comments Off on Spring Ahead with Hudson Valley Seed Co. · Categories: Blog, Local Farms · Tags: ,


The Hudson Valley Seed Company is one of our greatest resources here in New York State. We are honored to sell their seeds at HFFC. Hudson Valley Seed Co. is our go to  “source for heirloom and open-pollinated garden seeds and beautiful garden-themed contemporary art.” They offer heirloom and open-pollinated seeds for vegetable, flower, and herb varieties.  

Many of their seeds are produced on their small farm; the rest are sourced from ‘other local farmers, farmers in other regions, and from trustworthy wholesale seed houses that are not owned by or affiliated with multi-national biotech companies. Hudson Valley Seed Co. is both a Certified Organic farm and a Certified Organic Handler.’

As we approach spring and plan our home gardens, we look to HVSC for resources, information, and inspiration. That’s why we asked one of their seed packers, Marybeth Wehrung for any helpful hints she might have for getting our 2017 garden going.

A flower farmer in her own right, the owner of Stars of the Meadow farm, Marybeth knows a thing or two about sewing and growing. We asked when we should start our gardens. “Well, St. Patrick’s day is the traditional day that many begin planting seeds,” she says. “Things like peas and kale which can handle the the freezing, thawing, and refreezing we experience in March. Annual poppies are also pretty safe to plant now. Hearty veggies and flowers. The same things that do well in fall do well in early spring.” Great. Got it. But we had one more question. Especially for novice gardeners… How does one ensure the seeds they sew— well— grow?! A wealth of information Marybeth gave use some tips.

“The number one thing is to make sure that the seeds you’re planting do well in your region. Certainly you’re going to do better with things meant to grow in the northeast than in the southwest if you’re planting in Ulster County. Do a little research. Find out what the thing you’re planting wants to germinate and try to recreate those conditions. Feed and water each plant as the plant desires. Some are more high maintenance than others.” Ain’t that the truth.

Thanks to Marybeth for giving us some tips for starting our home gardens with Hudson Valley Seed Company seeds. Be on the lookout for Stars of the Meadow flower bouquets later in the season at High Falls Food Co-op. Happy gardening, everyone!

12. February 2017 · Comments Off on Featured Vendor: Zelda Duke · Categories: Blog, Kitchen · Tags:

Zelda Duke is a magician in the kitchen. As a vendor to High Falls Food Co-op, Zelda provides us with a stunning array of healthy, wholesome, organic meals week after week. You may have had one of her decadent desserts, satisfying soups, or delectable vegan dinners. Packaged with colorful labels and care, of course.

Because there’s just something about Ms. Duke that aligns so well with Valentine’s Day, we decided to catch up with the elusive  culinarian for this February newsletter.

Zelda Duke has been cooking for HFFC for three years. She recalls, “It all started with deviled eggs. My daughter’s partner had an egg farm at the time, so I was flush with all these beautiful eggs. I had some spare time on my hands, and I wanted to start a new project. One day it dawned on my that people love deviled eggs, but who in the world has the time to make them? Well… I did! And plenty of eggs. So I whipped up a batch, brought them down to the co-op, and the rest is history.” It’s true, we loved those deviled eggs. In fact, they are still regularly in our deli case today.

Of course all of Zelda’s offerings available at the co-op are organic, her favorite to make, she says– her prepared, organic, vegan dinners. “I love it because I can be creative. I really put a lot of thought into what I’ll be making. I don’t want people to be eating the same thing every time they grab one of my dinners. I’ll rotate favorites, but I like to keep it fresh. Keep offering something new.”

Considering that we’re in Valentine’s season, we asked Zelda Duke for any tips she might have for making the perfect meal for that special someone. “Don’t overcook the vegetables,” she tells us with a smile. “Keep it simple. You know, everybody loves a baked potato, and that couldn’t be simpler!” She continues, “Or salmon. Salmon is easy. Listen. everybody’s got YouTube. Figure out what you want to make and watch a video about how to do it. It’s great. We all have access to so much information. Use it.” Before we wrap up she remembers one more vital tip, “Oh! I almost forgot! It’s very important to make everything with love. That’s the secret ingredient.”

We are so fortunate to have Zelda Duke in our lives to prepare the healthy, organic, delicious foods that keep this community running. Thank you Zelda Duke. Will you be our Valentine?

12. February 2017 · Comments Off on Cooking Organic for LESS? Yes! You! Can! · Categories: Blog, recipes · Tags:


There’s a lot of debate over the cost associated with shopping organic. Certainly some products can be more expensive due to availability or sourcing, but in general, one doesn’t have to break the bank in order to eat organic. One of our assistant grocery managers, Kristen Avery, set out to prove it.

Kristen’s background in event planning and the culinary arts makes her a perfect candidate for just such a challenge. With a little help from our vintage copy of the 1984 High Falls Food Co-op Cookbook, Kristen selected a recipe and determined the cost to make it with organic ingredients from High Falls Food Co-op, versus the cost to make it with non-organic ingredients from a chain supermarket. Which will be more budget friendly??? Let’s find out!

HFFC’s Classic Pierogies


Price per unit Non-Organic/ Organic    Price Non-Organic/ Organic

2 cups all purpose flour                     $.0.10oz/ $0.10oz                    $1.60/ $1.60

2 eggs                                               $0.17ea/ $0.49ea                    $0.34/ $0.98

1/2 cup sour cream                            $0.22oz/ $0.33oz                    $0.88/ $1.32

1tsp oz salt                                         $0.05oz/ $0.04oz                   $0.01/ $0.01

6 cups baking potatoes                      $0.10oz/ $0.10oz                    $4.80/ $4.80

1 cup anchor cheddar                        $0.53oz/ $0.39oz                    $4.24/ $3.12

1 tsp garlic powder                            $0.96oz/ $1.32oz                    $0.15/ $0.21

1 tsp black pepper                            $1.33oz/ $1.32oz                    $0.21/ $0.21

6 tbsp butter                                        $0.45oz/ $0.53oz                   $1.35/ $1.59

1.5 cups yellow onions                        $0.12oz/ $0.08oz                   $1.44/ $0.96



-Peel, cook, dice, mash potatoes

-Add cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, 1 tbsp butter and stir until smooth


-Mix flour, eggs, and sour cream together until a ball is formed

-Roll out dough dough ball until 1/8” thick

-Cut 3” circles (about 24)

Fill each circle with 1 tbsp of filling. Fold over and seal with fingers.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add pierogis.

The pierogis are ready when they float to the top.

Cut onions into strips and caramelize them in a pan with the remaining butter.

Combine pierogis with onions to serve.

Total cost ORGANIC: $15.02

Total cost Non-Organic: $14.89


HFFC non-working member 2% discount: $14.79

HFFC working member 10% discount: $13.97


Thanks to Kristen for showing us that is pay to shop smart and shop organic at High Falls Food Co-op.

19. December 2016 · Comments Off on Sybille’s Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate · Categories: Blog, Kitchen, recipes · Tags: ,


Everybody wants to hang out at Sybille’s house for the holidays. Why? VEGAN MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE!!! Our Kitchen Manager, Sybille, doesn’t just work her magic with scones; she’s also a wiz with beverages and cocktails, creating some truly cozy, comforting brews. We can’t wait to try this one!


13 oz can organic coconut milk

Taza organic Mexican chocolate

Tiny Pinch salt

Tiny pinch cayenne

Serves 2 teacups


Heat and whisk coconut milk in a saucepan and remove from heat just before boiling. Add salt and cayenne and 4 tablespoons grated Taza chocolate, whisk and serve immediately.

(May also be enjoyed with a splash of rum, framboise or gran marnier … *wink)

Many Taza chocolate flavors available at the co op, vanilla, cinnamon, salted almond.

A fun vegan and gluten free version of hot chocolate and a festive treat for the winter season!

10. December 2016 · Comments Off on Meet Your Local Soap Makers: MEOW MEOW TWEET · Categories: Blog, Health & Beauty, Uncategorized · Tags:


One of the best things about being at the co-op is meeting all of the interesting and creative folks who pass through our doors. Over the past year, we’ve gotten to know Tara Pelletier and Jeff Kurosaki as two of our friendly co-op members who stop by on a regular basis. As we got to know them, we learned that not only are they great people, but they also own a great company! Meow Meow Tweet, a hand crafted skin care line made with raw, organic ingredients; located right here in the Hudson Valley. Always looking to carry a wider array of locally made products, we tried Jeff and Tara’s soaps… and we fell in love. Now, Meow Meow Tweet is available at the co-op! We stopped by MMT headquarters recently, to learn a bit more about Tara, Jeff, and their whimsical, vegan, soaps and deodorants.

The Meow Meow Tweet story begins in Brooklyn, 2009. Jeff and Tara were artists looking for an income source with a flexible schedule. That, combined with a mutually piqued interest in handcrafted soaps lead to the birth of their very own small business. Tara’s background as a chef served the couple  well while developing their formulas in their Brooklyn kitchen. “All of our scent combinations are inspired by taste combinations,” Tara says, “We thoughtfully source all ingredients for the highest level of efficacy.” Together, Jeff and Tara have created an organic, cruelty-free, eco-friendly product that just so happens to have the cutest packaging ever (featuring illustrations by Jeff.)


So what exactly are Meow Meow Tweet products made out of, we asked. “Everything is made with organic, raw plant oils and butters, steam-distilled and cold-pressedessential oils and organic or wild-crafted botanicals,” Jeff says, “We pride ourselves on being a vegan brand. We us no animal-derived ingredients, so all formulas are free of carmine, beeswax, honey, palm oil, lanolin and tallow.” Tara continues, “We start with raw fair trade ingredients and formulate for lather and skin feel. Our soaps feel good, and leave your skin feeling good. Because we don’t use conventional detergent bases that strip the skin of moisture, we can taylor a bar of soap to specific needs. In our Rosemary Avocado Shampoo Bar for instance, we add rosemary and hops flowers to promote shiny, bright hair and scalp health.” “We’re really proud of Meow Meow Tweet, the way we make our products, and what we’ve accomplished,” says Jeff.

Last year, when Tara and Jeff’s business outgrew their Brooklyn apartment, the pair decided to move north to Ulster County, and we’re so happy they did. “We would come hiking here a lot, so we loved the area. We found a little place to set up shop on Rt. 209, and the rest is history,” Jeff remembers. “We actually lived in the back of the factory for a moment when we were still splitting time between upstate and Brooklyn. We’d grab food at the co-op, work all day, and essentially bathe in Deep Hole. It was kind of fun and kind of challenging,” Tara says, “but it was worth it. We’ve got a house now and the business is doing well here.”

“We love being here in the Hudson Valley, and honestly the High Falls Co-op accounts for about 10% of that feeling. That’s a big margin!” Tara kindly informed us. “We really like the co-op,” Jeff adds. “A friend of ours who grew up in this area told us about the co-op when we were moving up. They said we had to go. Best advice we got while moving.”

Thank you Tara and Jeff for sharing your story with us. We are proud to carry Meow Meow Tweet soaps, shampoo, and deodorant in our Health and Beauty department. We are also equally pleased to have you as members of our community. Visit Meow Meow Tweet’s website for more information. Also… Tara and Jeff are musicians! What can’t these kids do? Hear their music HERE and HERE.


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