April 2010

As you may know,  Paul Nutting, our beloved Meat and Seafood manager passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, April 22nd.  Paul was special. He followed his father’s footsteps, becoming a grocery store butcher. He knew the old-fashioned techniques that small-town and neighborhood grocers employed. He introduced our co-op to one of those techniques—hanging beef. That’s what got us started on the Bubba’s Natural beef. He was talking to our board director about it and that’s when Tom Koskovich said he had a place to raise a small herd. Paul had to call up his brother Steve because we couldn’t find the rails needed for hanging beef. Steve found us some in somebody’s basement and we also had to build a unique meat refrigeration unit for the process. Paul ended up teaching many new hires how to cut meat. As we grew, he found farm partners

Every day is Earth Day at Valley Natural Foods. As far back as 1977, the people who started our co-op had that goal in mind and over the decades we continue to strive for ways to reduce waste. In the beginning, we built our business around a bulk department that offered food in the amounts a person would use with less packaging. Our bulk department thrives today and is a great way for households to reduce waste, especially if shoppers commit to bringing in their own containers. From an operational standpoint, our co-op has made great strides as a business. In 2007, Valley Natural Foods participated in Dakota Electric’s Rate 70 program and installed a backup generator. Not only does this reduce the co-op’s electric rate, it also reduces the store’s connection load during times of peak energy demand. When the

Nine Things We Can Do to Improve Our Health and Our Food System 1. Consider signing up for a CSA share. Community Supported Agriculture is a simple way to eat local, support a small farm. Generally, a CSA share can be picked up once a week during the growing season, giving you a box of fresh produce straight from the farm. Valley Natural Foods is a drop-off point for two. Contact the farm directly. Featherstone Farm, Rushford, MN: featherstonefarm.com 2. Eat more at home instead of eating out. People consume almost twice as many calories when eating food prepared outside the home. A shared meal at home can replace “eating on the run” with a healthier family and community. 3. Commit to at least one “meatless day” a week. Livestock production is responsible for 20 percent of the greenhouse gases that are part