grocery

Understanding Food Labels

food-labelsYou can tell lot about a food by its labels. Some of what you see — like the nutritional and ingredients information — is required by law, and other information is allowed under strict guidelines. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) are the agencies that govern food labels. While there's always plenty of controversy surrounding food labeling, knowing how to decipher labels can help you make better purchasing decisions.

Here's what labels must include: product name, manufacturer's name and address, amount of the item in the package (weight or count), list of ingredients (in descending order by weight) and the nutrition facts statement. (Some items — like very small packages of food, foods prepared in the store, and foods made by small manufacturers — don't always need to contain this information.)

Read more: Understanding Food Labels

 

RK Farms Works with GreenStar to Bring Beef to Market

rk_farms.jpgBy Jennifer Wholey,

GreenLeaf Intern

Who doesn’t love a little more variety? The ability to make informed choices has always been an important value for GreenStar shoppers. Now, GreenStar is offering more options to its meat-buying members. RK Farms, owned by Kathy Engel and Bob Preston, is GreenStar’s newest supplier of beef.

In 2003 GreenStar members voted in two referendums to allow and govern the sale of red meat in the store, and in 2004 the “Criteria for the Fair Treatment of Animals” was established. The referendums require a team of GreenStar members to conduct inspections of any farm wishing to sell their products at the Co-op. “GreenStar’s member-owners decided in 2003 that they wanted GreenStar to sell only local, humanely-raised, natural meats,” said Felix Teitelbaum, marketing staff and member of the Inspection Team, which ensures that the strict rules regarding the animals’ living conditions, diet and method of slaughter are being followed.

Read more: RK Farms Works with GreenStar to Bring Beef to Market

nymilk Brings Local Milk to New Yorks Tables

nymilk Brings Local Milk to New York’s Tables

By Alexa Besgen,
GreenLeaf Intern

In the current recession, national organic brands have lowered what they pay their supplying farmers, making it tough for small organic operations to stay in business. What’s the solution? Buy local. nymilk, an organic dairy company selling milk and cheese produced solely in New York state, believes that buying local is better. What’s more, they have made a commitment to their 20 upstate New York farm suppliers to uphold the price they pay for the next two years, in order to keep the farmers going and the consumers happy.

nymilk has only recently appeared on store shelves, but it got its start six years ago, when farmers Dean Sparks and Dan France realized they shared a passion for organic farming. Both wanted to educate farmers about the benefits of farming organically, and also supply consumers with organic foods produced in New York state. They founded Empire Organics, and started educating the agricultural community about organics. The company started out as a distributor, selling product straight out of a refrigerated truck. They would give the farmers orders, pick them up and distribute them to forty-two retailers. Soon, Sparks and France realized that this was too time-consuming, but they didn’t want to give up their passion for organics. “We knew there was a real desire for locally-made, organic products,” Sparks said. “Especially on the part of New York retailers and consumers.”

Read more: nymilk Brings Local Milk to New Yorks Tables

 

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New in Grocery

Boo!

Adam Morris,
Grocery Manager

Pumpkins

Need treats for the little neighborhood ghouls? We've got chocolate, gummies, and more. And — pumpkin ice cream!

It's finally autumn! Leaves are falling, a chill is in the air, the sun is scarce, and visions of hibernation may be floating through your head. But you've gotta stick it out to the end — ready or not, here comes Halloween! We're equipped to provide all your holiday treats this year. Looking for chocolate, gummy thingies, or graham crackers with a seasonal twist? We've got the goodies for you! Stock up on Endangered Species Chocolate Squares, Surf Sweets Fruity Bears and Spooky Spiders (gluten-free and free of corn syrup!), Annie's Halloween Bunny Grahams, and Angie's Holidrizzle Candy Corn Kettle Corn! We've also got Clif Bar's Monster Mint Bars, and our ever-popular organic and vegan chocolate from Sjaak's! And, while it may not work for trick-or-treating, you'll still want to keep an eye out for Alden's Organic Pumpkin Ice Cream — spiced like your favorite pie and absolutely delicious!

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