By Joe Damiano,
Bulk Department Manager
If you're like me, you like to do the right thing. Most of us do. So for a couple of decades now, I've been trying to do the right thing by putting my money where my mouth is — in the form of buying local and organic food. I've bought CSA shares, I've been an organic farmer, and for the past twenty years I've eaten almost exclusively locally grown, organic food. Having grown up in a low-income household in Cleveland, I've had to come a long way to get to that place. Where there is an abundance of great, fresh, local food choices, as here in Tompkins County, it's a bit easier for a person to do the right thing. It's easier to know that you have an ethical relationship with your farmer because you can actually get to know your farmer. But for foods that cannot be grown locally, it gets more challenging.
I've worked exclusively in the organic foods industry in one way or another for over 20 years. In 1993, I started my first job at a co-op, in Arcata, California. By 1995, I was a bulk department buyer at the Cleveland Food Co-op, and a new phrase came to my knowledge — Fair Trade. Fair Trade is defined as "a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency, and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers. Fair Trade organizations, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade." Then, as now at GreenStar, I was the person in charge of ordering coffee. I wanted to do the right thing, so whenever available, I ordered organic Fair Trade coffee beans from a cooperative called Equal Exchange.
New in Bulk
|Try Bulk Organic Coconut Oil for Holiday Baking and More|
By Joe Damiano,
We've got bulk organic extra-virgin coconut oil, one of the healthiest fats around, and new Fair Trade hot cocoa mix!
One of my favorite products in the Bulk Department is Nutiva's organic extra-virgin coconut oil. This is the highest quality coconut oil on the market, period. Organic coconut oil is a rich and healthy source of saturated fats. These healthy fats have immune-boosting properties, as well as antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Research has shown that the lauric acid found in coconut oil helps reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure. And your entire system benefits from good fats as the weather gets colder. On the more decadent side, also just in time for winter, we're now carrying Fair Trade organic hot cocoa mix from Equal Exchange in Bulk. It's on sale all through December, so now is a great time to give it a try. You won't be disappointed!