Author: Bre McGee

June 19 is Juneteenth—the day on which, in 1865, enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned they were free. On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday through the efforts of Al Edwards, an African American state legislator. The successful passage of this bill marked Juneteenth as the first emancipation celebration granted official state recognition. Edwards has since actively sought to spread the observance of Juneteenth all across America. Early festivities celebrating, Juneteenth — also known as Freedom Day — consisted of baseball, fishing, rodeos, and barbeques. Segregation prohibited African-Americans from using public facilities for celebrations so many were often held at churches or near water. As with many celebrations, sharing food was at center stage, and many of these food are red. The red color symbolizes the struggle, perseverance, and resilience of African slaves.  Red sodas, watermelon, and other red food

Valley Natural Foods Co-op's Commitment to Sustainable Seafood Freshness and flavor may be the most important factors for the food you eat – and we understand that by offering many varieties of fish and shellfish in our frozen and raw fish cases. From snow crab to shrimp, from Canadian walleye to Alaskan sockeye salmon, we’ve got what you need for a tasty seafood feast. Valley Natural Foods also knows that maintaining the health of our world’s fish population is vital to ensure that there will be seafood for generations to come. That is why we only buy seafood that meets standards set by organizations such as Seafood Watch, Seafood Pact, Aquaculture Stewardship Council, and Ocean’s Trust. We check the standards upon bringing in new varieties, and constantly re-check our current offerings to make sure they still rate “good” or better. We prefer all of our

We've compiled a few events honoring the anniversary of George Floyd's death, including in-person and virtual events. Virtual Days of Action Monday, May 24 - Tuesday, May 25 Hosted by George Floyd Memorial Foundation Utilize a resource toolkit provided by the Foundation to use your social media platform to call for justice, contact local officials and support critical legislation. Learn more and access the toolkit on the Foundation event's page. Celebration of Life Tuesday, May 25 - 11:00am - 5:00pm Hosted by George Floyd Memorial Foundation and Visual Black Justice Commons Park - 425 Portland Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN This free event to honor George Floyd with musical performances by local and national artists, healing and art stations, food trucks, and more. Learn more about this event on the Foundation's website. A Week Dedicated to Healing: Anniversary Memorial of Mr. George Floyd's death Monday, May 24 - Friday, May 27 Hosted by

If you've noticed the stellar produce displays when you first enter Valley Natural Foods, you're not alone! In fact, the displays created by our produce team, led by VNF's new produce manager, Blaine Reylek, have recently been promoted from 'stellar' to 'award-winning'! We are pleased to announce that Valley Natural Foods' produce department has won first place for Largest Display in the 2021 Equal Exchange Avocado Display Contest!   This was Blaine's first attempt at making a display of this scale but was excited at the opportunity to show off Equal Exchange and draw shoppers in to take advantage of the tremendous avocado sale (5/$5). In conjunction with VNF's marketing team, "We Will Guac You" signage impacted the overall draw towards the display. Contest rules stipulated that an entry was only valid if only Equal Exchange avocados were used. The competition was local and there were a

While Valley Natural Foods wouldn’t be what it is today without our shoppers and member-owners, it's the leadership of VNF managers that has made us who are today! We're thrilled to introduce our new produce manager, Blaine! This Q&A interview will give you a glimpse into who he is, why he loves VNF, and what he loves to do outside of the co-op. Please meet Blaine— our Propduce Manager!   How long have you been at Valley Natural Foods? Please include any VNF roles you held previously. I have worked at VNF for three and a half years at this moment. I have been a cashier, service desk worker, produce buyer, and interestingly, a vendor.   Why do you love being a part of a co-op? A co-op is a place that aligns with my values; therefore, I am granted a tremendous sense of pride for the

From New Zealand With Love During their honeymoon in New Zealand, Brady and Hannah Barnstable fell in love with muesli. The newlyweds were camping and hiking across New Zealand to celebrate their marriage and ended up discovering something that would change their lives forever. They ate muesli every morning because it offered their active bodies quick and easy nourishment. The cold breakfast cereal is a combination of oats, grains, dried fruits and nuts that are soaked in milk (or other liquid) overnight. Pronounced 'mew-slee', the breakfast blend was first created in Switzerland in the early 20th century and quickly spread across Europe and to the European colonies. A Craving-Fix That Couldn't Be Purchased After returning to New York after their honeymoon, they were unsuccessful in finding the same muesli they began their mornings with in New Zealand. Nothing they found in stores was quite

Small Town, but No Small Feats Established in 2005 in a Viroqua, a rural Wisconsin small town about 80 miles northeast of Madison, Wonderstate has become one of the first coffee roasteries in the world to be 100% solar-powered. That feat alone could name Wonderstate Coffee as an accomplished company and roastery -- but it doesn't stop there. Led by founders Denise & TJ Semanchin and Caleb Nicholes, Wonderstate Coffee is regarded with an industry-leading minimum price guarantee to farmers, more than 80% above the Fair Trade conventional minimum price and over 50% higher than Fair Trade organics prices. Even more so, Wonderstate donates 5% of its annual profits to community-based initiatives that support a more equitable and resilient future -- both in the coffee industry and beyond. Social Change Starts With Us Wonderstate Coffee goes beyond the call to donate money, run an eco-conscious

  According to the U.S. News and World Report, the Mediterranean diet is a smarter, healthier, dietary lifestyle. In fact, it was even named the healthiest dietary lifestyle overall - characterized by consuming plenty of produce, fish, olive oil, and bread. The problem? Many Americans misunderstand carbs, and more specifically, gluten. With the rise of the ketogenic diet and its focus on high-fat foods combined with almost no carbohydrates, breads have been unfairly added to many "Off Limits" food lists. Paired with the rise of the 'wellness' movement that features less-science-backed studies, carbs have been pushed to the back of cupboards or removed from shopping lists altogether. But all carbs aren't bad -- or created equal! And that's exactly the mindset of the husband and wife team behind Angelic Bakehouse have worked to share with the masses. 'Great nutritional benefits' and 'great tasting' shouldn't be

Mushrooms are one of the most polarizing foods on the planet. You either love 'em or you refuse to eat them. We've all seen someone pick mushrooms out of a dish and create a small pile of the superfood fungus. Better yet, we've all seen that same person scoop a second helping onto their plate and rave about the flavor without realizing it contains finely chopped mushrooms! If even you're not a major mushroom fan, the nutritional value of these vitamin-loaded fungi is enough reason to give them another shot. Small Beginnings, Big Growth After living in Shanghai, China for three years and visiting 12 countries to learn what other areas of the world had to offer, Nick Robinson returned to the United States in 2015 with a need to give back to his community in a local and meaningful way. Having worked