Bread: We offer Rudi’s breads from Denver, CO as well as local bread from Taos (Fun Bun) and Santa Fe (Sage Bread, Plaza Bakery, & Shure Bakehouse).
Bulk: We offer an abundant selection of bulk foods—from nuts, beans, and cereals to mixes, flours, sugars and nut butters. Purchasing from the bulk department can help you save money and reduce packaging. Bring in your own bulk containers and further reduce the impact to the environment. Scoop up bulk teas, medicinal herbs, baking ingredients and spices while saving money and packaging.
Grocery & Frozen: We strive to source only the finest natural and organic foods, ethnic products, and gourmet choices for our customers. We offer green cleaning & paper products, healthy pet foods, and specialty baking spices and other ingredients. We have many gluten free products, low/no-salt items, and vegan and vegetarian products.
Dairy: Butter, cottage cheese, yogurt and juice in organic and natural varieties, plus eggs that are free range, veggie-fed, and/or local. Our milk selection is hugely popular with offerings from Organic Valley plus Straus milk in glass returnable bottles and our favorite, Rasband from the south valley of Albuquerque. A broad selection of meat and cheese alternatives, Bubbies fermented foods, tortillas and pita breads round out our offerings.
Building Heart Health
On March 2nd we’ll be celebrating our 2nd anniversary! And since Valentine’s time is here, and well, February is even heart health month, I wanted to express some heartfelt gratitude to the Los Alamos community for supporting your local food Co-op! We care deeply about what we do and about your heart health too. Which is why, for example, you’ll find ZERO hydrogenated fats in any products on our shelves. Hydrogenated fats, in particular their trans isomers, are a proven contributing factor to heart disease. So naturally, we don’t carry it. It makes you wonder why anyone does. We like to focus on healthy fats! Yes, fats are good for you.
I’m sure you’re nibbling on some fine dark chocolate this Valentine’s day. Well chocolate has some heart healthy benefits in its flavanols, oleic fatty acids (also found in olive oil), and stearic fatty acids (also found in coconut oil). I mean, we’re talking about just nibbling here. O the temptation! You have to remember with fatty foods, a little goes a long way. Fats get you 9 calories per gram vs. 4 per gram for carbs or proteins. If you use oils as supplements, we’ve got a great selection of hemp, borage, primrose, and fish oils. If you’re after the omega fatty acids in your food, then flax seeds are still the champ in my opinion. They have the best ratio of omega 3, 6. But you can find omega 3’s in hemp and chia seed as well, both of which are excellent sources. Hemp is definitely a super food.
What about oils with long-standing histories of health benefits like olive oil? This oil just cannot be beat. Not only is it versatile, it’s always one of the first oils mentioned when discussing health. Olive oil can be made into fabulous soaps (the traditional castile soap), skin oils, and of course a whole plethora of uses in the kitchen. But olive oil is a delicate monounsaturated oil, and the source of its heart-healthy benefits, namely its polyphenol content, can be significantly reduced if it is heated to a high temperature. Also, when buying an olive oil, extra-virgin is the only way to go. We’ve got a great selection! “Light” olive oils are processed, most probably with heat and/or chemicals. So love your oils, and they will love you right back!
This brings me to the humble and prolific coconut. Once thought to be unhealthy because of its saturated fat content, new research keeps confirming what the Polynesians have known for centuries. Coconuts rule! Whether using the meat, the oil, or the water from this amazing fruit (technically a drupe), it’s wholly nutritious, especially when applied to the skin. These healthy qualities are due to the particular type of fatty acids found in coconuts including medium chain fatty acids, lauric fatty acids and stearic fatty acids. Lauric fatty acids are naturally anti-microbial too. How cool is that! When it comes down to it, stress and inflammation are at the root of heart disease. So if you have a good diet full of healthy foods and exercise, then obviously the next step is to share your love with others. It makes for a strong heart!
New Products for the New Year
Tis the season! This is the time of year for reflection. A time to sit back, swig some eggnog and think about the road ahead. It’s been a busy year in the industry, and I look forward to 2013. Speaking of eggnog, if you haven’t had Straus eggnog you need to get it while it lasts, and if you have, you’re welcome! We’ve been focusing our attention on bringing in the best quality foods that we can find. It’s a process stemming from our commitment to supply clean and wholesome foods to our community. There seems to be confusion in the media currently (massively funded by Big Ag) trying to muddy the waters of mono-cropping and conventional food production/transportation by focusing on seemingly irrelevant comparisons between “conventional” and “organic” foods with not a peep about dangerous long-term externalities. Even Dr. Oz has lost his way, for some nominal fee I’m sure. For one thing, “organic” foods are the old way, the natural way. “Conventional” foods have invited a whole host of chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs into our foods over the years. And it’s taken years of hard work just to force these industrial giants to show a little decency and label their food products honestly. So while you might cringe when you read through our nation’s farm bill, or witness reckless appointments to the USDA and FDA, know that locally you can vote for change with your food dollars just as we vote for change with our purchasing. In that spirit I want to highlight some outstanding new products you can find in the Co-op’s grocery department. After some rearranging we were able to increase our bulk coffee selection to include Equal Exchange coffee. We’ve had their packaged coffee for some time, but now you can get as much as you like while paying less per pound! We’ve also picked up Desert Sun coffee from Durango, after several requests from our customers. Their smooth “La Fem” roast is my favorite. In November we were fortunate enough to forge a relationship with Columbia Gorge juices from Hood River, Oregon. We now have a fine selection of their products, which has replaced Odwalla in our refrigerated juice set. Columbia Gorge has a line of bottled veggie juices which I enjoy even more than the fruit varieties. They’re delicious and great when you’re really on the go, and they’re all organic! If you’re into granola, you simply must try Ambrosial granolas which you can find in our cereal set. Ambrosial produces some of the best granolas I’ve ever tried. The owner of the company, Hariclia, puts in subtle touches like orange oils and goji berries. On top of that, every single ingredient is organic! She really nailed it with this product. Likewise, up in Idaho is a small company that produces organic kale chips that trump all others I have tried. The owner of It Takes A Village Foods has crafted four distinct flavors that I find irresistible. If you love kale, try these. You can thank me later! Finally, for those of you who have discovered fish sauce and its distinctive contribution as a secret ingredient, we’ve found a company that bottles the real deal: fish and salt, those are the only ingredients. No extracts. Real fermented fish sauce is packed full of flavor and very high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Once we cracked open a bottle of Red Boat’s fish sauce we knew we had a winner! We’re thrilled to carry products from these upstanding companies. As you stroll the aisles of our Co-op, know that we’re here to answer any questions you have about the foods we carry. We’re really into food. That’s why we do what we do! Happy Holidays!
You may have noticed the large variety of items we carry in our bulk department. The title “bulk” is rather misleading because it does not mean you need to buy a large quantity. Buying in bulk actually enables you to buy the exact amount you need whether it be large or small. Buying in bulk also dramatically reduces the amount of packaging waste. You can reduce the amount of packaging waste even further by bringing your own bag, bottle or jar. We currently carry cloth bags, plastic bottles and mason jars that you can bring back and fill with bulk items every time you shop! If you are curious about how to tare your jars and or bottles, the front desk clerks are more than happy to help. To top it off, buying in bulk also saves you money! Buying in bulk is convenient, environmentally friendly, and easy on your food budget.
-Samantha Hammon, Outreach Intern
2012 is the International Year of Cooperatives, and we’re celebrating cooperatives this year more than ever. October is also Co-op month, so I know everyone must be asking “Where’s the party?” Well, we bring the party to you every day! We just had our most recent Member Appreciation Day, giving members 10% off on their purchases (if you’re not a Co-op member, joining is easy). We’re good at what we do and we’re proud of that. We’re also proud to stand behind the cooperative business model. Did you know there are more than 29,000 cooperatives here in the U.S.? This is the business model of the 21st century, obviously. Look at the world economy. The current state of affairs shows a complete dismissal of public, economic, and environmental health. Co-ops offer a fresh alternative by directly empowering their local communities. I know it must seem difficult to figure out what’s what and who’s who in the retail food industry these days, with big box stores putting more natural and organic packaged foods on their shelves and adding a “local” spin to their marketing campaigns. Well you can try, but you just can’t copy a co-op! And you can’t fake operational integrity just by acquiring an organic foods company or throwing a handful of clean food products on your shelves. Folks are becoming more aware of the effects of their food choices. Right on! So while the conventional food industry is busy changing hats, we want you to know that as a co-op, we’ve been here all along. Let’s finish the year strong. The holidays are right around the corner, and we’ll have all the offerings and accoutrements for your holiday kitchen. Also, check out our selection of local holiday pies from Chocolate Maven! Thanks for your support Los Alamos!
Gluten Free Revolution!
Gluten-free folks have reason to rejoice! Beginning in August, we’ll be carrying fresh baked gluten-free (GF) breads from Revolution Bakery in Santa Fe, a dedicated GF bakery. From what we’ve sampled thus far, we’re excited about their products and we look forward to expanding our GF selection. We’ll roll out our fresh gluten-free baked goods with a few breads and mini-loaves to start with. Revolution has quite a selection of breads in production. In August, you will find a bread list on the display along with samples. Deliveries will be on Tuesdays and Fridays.
You’ll also find another local baker’s goods on our shelves: Matt’s GF bakery from Taos. Matt is always thinking of new gluten-free goodies to create in his kitchen. We currently carry his cupcakes and individual cake slices, and we look forward to what he produces next! (His canela coffee cake is awesome, by the way.) Enjoy.
Summer is here! And we’ve got grab n’ go ice cream up front to cool those hot summer days. Try our new hemp ice cream sandwiches made in Boulder, CO. They’re made with hemp milk, so they’re dairy free! We now also carry single-serve Van Rixel Bros gelatos and sorbets in a wide array of flavors. Made in Taos, the Van Rixel Bros do an amazing job of combining fresh and unique flavors to create wonderful gelatos and sorbets, such as their smoked sea salt honey caramel gelato. I know! How about English cucumber and key lime sorbet? So tempting, we carry close to a dozen awesome flavors. Give them a try next time the sun’s got you craving a cool and sweet local treat!
As many of you may already know, Matt is heading back east to Columbia, Missouri. I wish him the best. I’ve moved up here from Santa Fe to manage the Los Alamos Co-op’s grocery department, so I’ll be a new face at the co-op. If you see me in the aisle, say hello! I’ve been in the industry for 14+ years, seven of that with La Montanita Food Co-op down south. This is an impressive community startup made possible by all of you. Job well done! I look forward to meeting all of the member owners throughout the year and expanding on the hard work Matt and his team have put into the grocery department. Let me know if I can be of any assistance.