Author: Evan Friedley

Join us on Thursday, September 13 for our second Community Dinner at the co-op! We will be serving a $3 Smoked Polish Sausage Dinner and fixings, served with salad and chips, from 5 – 7 p.m. A vegan option will be available. Enjoy your meal at the co-op and enter our drawing for a chance to win prizes. There will be plenty of additional room outside, so feel free to bring your picnic blankets and lawn chairs! Join the discussion on our Facebook Event Page! (Must be logged in to Facebook to connect to link)

Garden Center 2018 Our annual garden center opens its doors on Thursday, May 10 at 10:00 am. Especially fun to note - it's the sixth year making an appearance in our parking lot! Once again, Rush Creek Growers (Spring Valley, WI), Green Earth Growers (Prior Lake, MN) and Glacial Ridge Growers (Glenwood, MN) are providing us with a wide selection of locally-grown, robust garden plants. The shelves are filled with cool and warm season vegetable crops, several varieties of heirloom tomato plants and dozens of pepper plants. Interesting varieties of herbs, berries, melons, native perennials, pollinator plants and so much more keep arriving! Beautiful floral, mixed herb and succulent hanging baskets hang right above the rows of garden plants. New plant varieties and replenishment shipments will continue to arrive throughout the month of May. Plan to visit several times to see what's new on our garden center shelves.  Fill Your Own Bucket Just outside the garden center is a mound of Harvest Moon Blend from

Beans, peas, pasta, nuts,  lentils, soup mixes,  dried fruit, granola, cooking oils, flour and more! The bulk trail at Valley Natural Foods has pretty much everything you need for snacks and meals, usually at a deeper discount than packaged grocery items. So what is stopping you from shopping bulk? Maybe you are overwhelmed by the over 300 choices, maybe you are not sure how to cook those beans or lentils or maybe you don't know how shopping the bulk trail works. Buying in bulk has economic and environmental benefits. A Portland State University Food Industry Leadership study found that, on average, organic bulk food items are less expensive than their organic packaged counterparts. Manufacturers also save, on average, on bulk foods materials and delivery costs, helping reduce the amount of product packaging going into landfills. So why shop bulk? -You can buy only what

By Valley Natural Foods Staff When I first learned about B Corp Certification, I thought oh no, another certification on top of non-GMO, USDA Organic and Fair-Trade labels that will confuse people. However, after doing a bit of research, I realized that B Corp Certification is the creme de la creme of third-party validation, focusing not just on whether a product is organic, fair trade or non-GMO, but on the organizational level too. This certification reflects analyzing a company's environmental performance, how it treats its workers, its governance in regards to transparency and engagement practices and how well its products and services improve the lives of its customers. To receive B Corp certification, a company must fill out a lengthy assessment that measures its success in the areas mentioned: worker impact, environment, governance and customers. Companies that receive at least an 80 out of 200 points, qualify

This post is from our April/May 2012 issue of Living Naturally when our Produce Manager Kim Dvorak visited Equal Exchange banana producers in Peru. Written by Susan Budig Banana bread, banana splits, bananas straight from the peel, banana mashed for the baby, banana muffins with nuts, and sliced on morning cereal; the list keeps going: don’t forget the smoothies and pudding, too! Bananas, as an edible commodity, are sold more than any other fruit worldwide. Its importance as a food crop ranks after rice, wheat and corn. Unique to crop production of bananas, however, is that their growth is exclusive to the tropics. [caption id="attachment_30182" align="alignright" width="366"] "I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything,” -Produce Manager Kim Dvorak on her experience in Peru. Photos by Kim Dvorak.[/caption] Scott Patterson, Midwest sales manager and worker-owner at Equal Exchange, which supplies Valley Natural Foods with bananas, said,

March marks the start of an annual program to benefit local food shelves called Minnesota FoodShare. Valley Natural Foods will be raising funds and collecting donations for local organization The Open Door Pantry. Keep reading to learn more about these two programs and about how you can make a difference in the local community. Our goal this year is to raise $5,000 for the March Campaign! Minnesota FoodShare Minnesota FoodShare works to fight food insecurity throughout the state by providing donations to keep food shelves stocked by collaborating with other local groups and businesses. The organization also educates the community about hunger and advocates for legislation to help combat this issue. [caption id="attachment_30145" align="alignright" width="271"] Minnesota FoodShare's March Campaign works to provide resources to local food shelves.[/caption] Since 1982, MFS has donated funds to local food shelves. The following data is from the MFS website: 2017 March

Valentine's Day is here! Valley Natural Foods has got you covered and has plenty of options of thoughtful last-minute Valentine's Day gifts for the people in your life. Flowers This one is a classic. Giving flowers to someone special is bound to light up their day. We currently have a variety of bouquets of flowers from the vibrant to classic roses. We also have single roses available. Find these lovelies in our produce section as well as the demo kiosk for a limited time. Chocolate Another time-honored gift is chocolate. At Valley, we have a great variety of chocolate, perfect for any type of connoisseur on your list. We carry milk and dark chocolate in many forms from fair-trade to vegan. Sweet Treats If you are in need of a gift to share, Valentine's Day cakes are a great option. We also have heart-shaped brownies, cookies and cookie

Family owned and operated since 1989, Kadejan has been raising and processing poultry through hard work and an honest approach. Today they provide markets with free-range chickens that are antibiotic free, minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients of fillers. Kadejan chickens are air-chilled—meaning they contain no added water or solutions—and then cut, trimmed and packaged by hand. The end result is a more tender and flavorful product for your table. Kadejan's farm is located in Northwestern Minnesota in Glenwood. Find Kadejan chicken in our meat department. For more on Kadejan chicken head to the following links: http://www.kadejan.com/chicken/ https://www.facebook.com/kadejanmarket/

Valley Natural Foods carries fair-trade avocados from Equal Exchange. Keep reading to find out more about Equal Exchange and why fair trade matters. What is Equal Exchange? [caption id="attachment_30018" align="alignright" width="447"] Statistics from the 2016 impact of Equal Exchange avocados.[/caption] Equal Exchange works to create "a trade model that respects farmers, builds communities, and supports the environment." The company started in 1986 and initially began working to try to fix the food system with fair-trade coffee in Nicaragua. They have since provided support for small farmers of crops like bananas, chocolate, cocoa, nuts, dried fruits, olive oil and tea. Equal Exchange was founded on the ideas of being (from the Equal Exchange website): A social change organization that would help farmers and their families gain more control over their economic futures. A group that would educate consumers about trade issues affecting farmers. A provider