We recently made the decision to raise the price of Organic Bananas to $1.19/pound.
The banana industry is infamous for unfair labor practices, dangerous working conditions, and perpetuation of global inequalities. The Co-op has long rejected being a part of the conventional banana trade. Instead, we only stock Organic Fair Trade bananas from Equal Exchange. Equal Exchange bananas come from three farmer co-ops in Ecuador and Peru where 1,162 small-scale farmers own and farm 5,000 acres of land.
Over the last decade, conventional banana prices have fallen, with increasing costs passed back to plantations and their workers, rather than to consumers or retailers. According to a study by Fair Trade International, about $6.70 per 40-pound wholesale box of conventional bananas is externalized onto smallholder farmers and the employees of banana plantations, as well as onto the land itself.
Unlike the conventional banana trade, Equal Exchange banana farmers earn a reliable income year-round which supports farmer families and creates local employment opportunities. As democratically-run cooperatives, Equal Exchange co-ops use the Fair Trade Premium Fund and vote on how money is used for community development projects. Equal Exchange banana farmers also receive healthcare, women’s entrepreneurship education, and environmental stewardship resources.
“Invisible” costs really aren’t invisible. We won’t be passing those costs back to the farmers who grow our food or to the land that nourishes all of us. Instead, we hope you’ll join us in supporting small farmers growing the food on our tables knowing that you’re strengthening supply chains and relationships that truly benefit people and planet.
A Brief & Delightfully Weird History of Chartreuse
By Sterling Carlton, Beer, Wine & Spirits Specialist
In 1605, Francois Hannibal d’Estrees discovered an already ancient manuscript that allegedly held the secrets to make the elixir of long life. He brought the manuscript to monks near Paris and they sent it to La Grande Chartreuse Abbey. The Abbey was founded in 1084 when a Chateau in the Chartreuse mountains north of the city of Grenoble was gifted to the Hermit Saint Bruno by Saint Hugh du Châteauneuf, Bishop of Grenoble. Saint Hugh made this gift to Saint Bruno as a result of a dream he had prior to Saint Bruno’s arrival. After seeing a banner of seven stars in his dream, it seemed like destiny when Bruno and his six friends arrived searching for a home to start their silent order of monks.
After many years trying to decipher the manuscript, the Carthusian monks at the Abbey eventually tested the recipe in 1737. Sixty years in, the monks tweaked the recipe and the liquor we know as Green Chartreuse was born. I can’t vouch for any longevity it may add to your lifespan, but it is quite delicious to be sure.
After the French Revolution in the late 1700s, the French government nationalized the Abbey, or at least its distillery, as the monks were turning quite a profit on their elixirs. The monks fled, eventually landing in Spain, and produced Chartreuse there for a roughly 86 year period from 1903-1989. The French government tried to replicate the naturally green drink, but never managed the same magic.
The Chartreuse that we have access to in the United States comes in 4 bottlings. Green and Yellow Chartreuse and VEP Green and Yellow Chartreuse. There are several other bottlings such as Elixir de Vegetal, Liqueur du 9° Centenaire and Genepi which are not imported into the United States. The reason being? The powers that be want to know exactly what goes into every bottle of Chartreuse, but the Carthusian order charged with guarding the recipe will not disclose the 130 alpine botanicals, quantities, and maceration times used to create this delicious liquor. As a result we are left with only the 4 base level bottlings.
Only 2-3 monks in the world know the recipe composed of 130 alpine botanicals at any given time and, being a silent order, they are sworn to secrecy. Many have tried to mimic the beverage and pick it apart in a lab. Alas, some may have been close but no one has truly been able to replicate the recipe that is so closely guarded.
One of the more interesting aspects of this spirit is its ability to age. It will develop and evolve much like wine can when cellared properly, morphing into something unique and special. One of the ways to determine the age of a bottle of Chartreuse is the 6 digit code on the side of the screw cap. The first three digits will give you the year it was bottled if you add them to the year 1084. The second set of three digits will tell you on which day of that year the Chartreuse was bottled.
Needless to say it’s a unique liquor with a remarkable history. A few of my favorite ways to enjoy Chartreuse is straight up or on the rocks as a sipping beverage, in various cocktails (See the Last Word cocktail recipe below), or drizzled over some vanilla ice cream to end the night. Cheers.
Green and Yellow Chartreuse are on sale now through 5/31/22! Find them in our Beer, Wine, and Spirits Department.
The Last Word
Chartreuse Day is celebrated on May 16th (05/16) to commemorate the year (1605) the recipe found its way to the Abbey. You can celebrate with this delicious cocktail!
- 3/4 ounce gin
- 3/4 ounce Green Chartreuse
- 3/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
- 3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- Garnish: brandied cherry (optional)
Add the gin, Green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and lime juice into a shaker with ice and shake until well chilled.
Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Garnish with a brandied cherry (optional).
This blog contains quick and easy weeknight dinner recipes featuring Co+op Basics items. They’ll feed at least 4 and come together in 30 minutes or less – and they’ll be delicious!
The Co+op Basics Program
The Co+op Basics program highlights everyday low prices on a wide variety of products, food and non-food, at the Co-op. By shopping Co+op Basics items you can save on the essentials that you need with consistently low prices.
Although there are many brands that are a part of the program, most Field Day products are Co+op Basics. Field Day products are certified organic and are made with high quality, simple ingredients.
Look for the purple signs in store to find Co+op Basics!
First, stock your pantry with Basics! Start with olive oil, salt, and spices – it’s all you really need to take protein and veg to the next level. Having rice, beans, canned tuna, and a couple of frozen or canned veggie options will make last-minute dinners even easier! Bonus: you’ll be less likely to opt for take out, which means you’ve saved even more money.
Blistered Summer Vegetable Pasta
- Field Day Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce ($2.99/26 oz.)
- Field Day Traditional or Brown Rice Fusilli ($1.99/16 oz.)
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 lb. mixed summer squash (such as zucchini, crockneck or straightneck squash), cut into 1/4 inch thick half moons
- 2 cups packed sturdy greens (spinach, kale, chard, collards), chopped
- olive oil, salt, pepper
- Turn your oven’s broiler on HI. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss cherry tomatoes and squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Broil until the tomatoes burst and everything is looking a little charred, about 7-10 minutes.
- In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once a rolling boil is achieved, add pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than the package instructions state. Drain.
- Heat sauce in a deep pan until simmering. Add veggies and al dente pasta to the simmering sauce and stir. Cook for at least 2 minutes, check pasta doneness, and serve.
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons Field Day Olive Oil ($6.99/16.9 fl. oz.)
- 1 medium-large sweet potato, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons Field Day Chili Powder ($3.49/2 oz.)
- 4 teaspoons Field Day Ground Cumin ($3.99/1.7 oz.)
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- ¼ teaspoon Field Day Fine Mediterranean Salt ($1.99/26.45 oz.)
- 2 ½ cups water
- 2 15-ounce cans Field Day Black Beans, drained and rinsed ($1.49/15 oz.)
- 1 14-ounce can Field Day Diced Tomatoes ($2.39/14.5 oz.)
- 4 teaspoons lime juice
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften, about 4 minutes.
Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the sweet potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Serve as is or with tortilla chips and sour cream.
Tuna Cakes with Sriracha Mayo & Avocado
- 3 5-ounce cans Field Day Wild Caught Skipjack Tuna No Salt Added ($1.99/5 oz.)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon Field Day Mediterranean Sea Salt ($1.99/26.45 oz.)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Field Day Olive Oil ($6.99/16.9 fl. oz.)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2-4 teaspoons Sriracha sauce or chili garlic paste
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon Field Day Mediterranean Sea Salt ($1.99/26.45 oz.)
- avocado slices
- lemon wedges
- cooked brown rice (Field Day Organic Brown Rice for $3.99/32 oz.)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together sriracha mayo ingredients and place, covered, in the fridge.
- In a large bowl, mix together all of the tuna cake ingredients, except the olive oil, with a fork, flaking fish as needed, until combined.
- Pack tuna mixture into 1/3 cup measuring cup, to form cakes. Gently remove and flatten slightly. Repeat to form 8 cakes.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add cakes without crowding the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy. Keep warm in a 200 degree oven while you cook the rest.
- Serve with Sriracha aioli, avocado slices, and extra chives over cooked brown rice.
Pumpkin Chorizo Mac and Cheese
- 1-2 box(es) Field Day Deluxe Mild Cheddar Macaroni Shells and Cheese ($3.99/12 oz.)
- 3/4 lb. traditional or vegetarian chorizo, casings removed
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1/2 cup Field Day Organic Pure Pumpkin ($1.99/15 oz.)
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
- In the meantime, sauté chorizo over medium-high heat until cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside. Return the pan to the stove. Add peppers and onions. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chorizo back in with the veggies. Turn heat to low.
- When the shells are cooked, finish according to package instructions. Stir in the pumpkin puree at the same time. When the noodles are sufficiently cheesy and pumpkiny, add them to the pan and stir until chorizo, noodles, and veggies are well mixed. Serve.
Smoky Chilaquiles with Eggs
- 8 small yellow corn tortillas
- 3 tablespoons Field Day Olive Oil, divided ($6.99/16.9 fl. oz.)
- 1/2 large white onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15-ounce can Field Day Tomato Sauce ($1.69/15 oz.)
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce from can
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce also from can
- 1/2 cup Field Day Chicken or Vegetable Stock ($2.99/32 oz.)
- 4 eggs
- For serving: cotija cheese, sliced green onions, avocado slices, lime wedges, sour cream, Field Day California Sliced Ripe California Balck Olives ($1.79/3.8 oz.)
- Slice tortillas into 2-inch wide strips. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add tortilla strips to hot oil and fry 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Continue until all of the strips have been fried.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add tomato sauce, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, and chicken or veggie stock. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat, and cook for 5 minutes longer. At this point, you can blend for a smooth sauce or use as is. If blending, cool for 15 minutes before attempting to blend.
- Fry up your eggs.
- Return tortilla strips and sauce to the pan. Heat until the strips are coated and the sauce is well heated. Divide among serving bowls and top each chilaquiles mound with a fried egg. Finish with cotija cheese, green onions, avocado, lime, black olive, and/or sour cream.
Use these tips to keep yourself and your house cool this summer.
Be sure to drink plenty of water. Your body needs moisture to sweat in order to maintain homeostasis. You can boost your hydration by eating foods with a high water content. Try snacking on watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, oranges, cucumber, lettuce, zucchini, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, grapefruit, and coconut water.
COOL DOWN YOUR BODY
Focus on cooling your body rather than cooling the house. Wrap an ice pack or frozen water bottle in a clean kitchen towel. You can also wet a washcloth, wring it out, and stick it in the fridge. Applying the ice pack or washcloth to your pulse points will cool your body down fast! Apply to your:
- behind the knees
- elbow bends
EAT SOMETHING SPICY
This may not be for everyone, but eating spicy foods will increase your circulation, which will get you extra sweaty. Sweating may be unpleasant, but it is a very efficient way of cooling down!
KEEP OUT THE SUNLIGHT
According to the Department of Energy, about 76% of sunlight that hits standard double-pane windows turns into heat and raises the temperature of your home. East and west facing windows allow in the most heat, so focus efforts on these.
Close your curtains and blinds. Light or medium colored fabric is ideal for reflecting sunlight. If you have dark curtains, you can line them with light fabric. Old bed sheets or thrifted curtains/fabric would totally do the trick. Exterior shutters, shades, and awnings are even more effective. If you have those, definitely keep them shut.
EAT A POPSICLE
According to researchers in New Zealand, runners were able to extend their endurance by 10 minutes on a hot summer day if they ate a popsicle before exercising. You don’t have to go running any marathons, but eating a popsicle before running errands or doing household chores will make the experience much more pleasant.
GoodPop popsicles are oragnic, dairy and gluten free, and are made with fairly traded ingredients. They’re free from high fructose corn syrup, GMOs, refined sugar, sugar alcohols, and artifical dyes!
TURN OFF ELECTRONICS BEFORE BED
If you have a house or room full of tech, turn everything off before bed to keep the room cool. All of that soft electric buzzing generates heat. Unplug your TV, computer, wifi, etc.
HANG A WET SHEET BY AN OPEN WINDOW
If you don’t have AC or have a room that just gets so much hotter than the house, open up a window (or two to create a cross breeze) and hang a wet bed sheet in front of it. As the breeze rolls in, the wet sheet will cool the air flowing through it.
PUT YOUR HAIR UP FOR BED
If you have long hair, tying it up (with a scrunchie to prevent breakage) will expose your neck and temples, which will help keep you cool.
CLOSE THE DOORS
Keep the doors to unused or little used rooms closed to keep the cool air where the action is.
OPEN THE WINDOWS AT NIGHT
You can pre-cool your house or apartment by opening the windows at night (after 10 pm). It gets pretty cool overnight in Davis, so this is an effective way to cool the house down. When temperatures begin to rise again, close up the house, curtains and all.
When you do leave the house, be sure to protect yourself with water resistant broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30+. Everyone needs to protect themselves from the sun, regardless of skin type and age. For your face and neck, a ½ tsp amount will do – that’s about a nickel-sized dollop. For the rest of your body, 1 ounce (a full shot glass) will do the trick.
Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before sun exposure even if it is cloudy. If you’re walking, standing, or doing a low-intensity activity outdoors, reapply every 2 hours. If you’re getting sweaty, swimming, or it’s windy, apply more frequently – after 40 or 80 minutes depending on your sunscreen’s water resistance.
Consider applying more frequently if you’re experiencing any of the following conditions:
- playing or swimming in water
- latitude (Closer to the equator? Apply more sunscreen!)
- higher altitude
- spending time on sand or concrete
- Limit midday sun. Avoid exposure between 10am and 2pm when the sun’s rays have the most potential to cause harm.
- Wear a sun hat. Baseball hats leave cancer-prone ears and the back of the neck exposed, so a wide-brimmed hat (at least a 3 inch brim) is recommended.
- Wear long sleeves and pants if possible. Look for clothes made from tightly woven materials. Some clothing, like rash guards, are made for increased sun protection.
- Protect your ears, nose, cheeks, lips, and hands. The majority of skin cancers occur in these areas. Protect with sunscreen, hats, and gloves.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and the delicate skin around your eyes. Choose sunglasses with UV protection.
You know, in a good way!
They’re called beneficial bugs, after all, because they’re a boon to your garden and the planet. Beneficial bugs fall into one or more of three categories
- pollinators: these bugaboos are an essential component in the reproduction of about 80% of flowering plant species (150 food crops in the US, including most grains and fruits, rely on pollination!)
- predators: some insects eliminate pests by eating them
- parasitoids: these bugs lay their eggs in or on pests, which the larvae eventually eat
Predators and parasitoids keep populations of aphids, leafhoppers, mites, thrips, and more potentially damaging pests in your garden under control.
Pollinators are essential
You probably know that pollinators are responsible for the reproduction of most flowering plants (about $10 billion worth of food annually). But there are additional benefits to having these bugs around too.
- clean air: pollinators are an essential part of the reproduction of flowering plants. These plants, which breath in carbon dioxide, are a vital part of Earth’s carbon cycle, drawing carbon out of the atmosphere and into our soils.
- clean water: pollinators are similarly involved in Earth’s water cycle and in preventing erosion of Earth’s soils by maintaining plant populations.
- ethnobotany: the role of pollinators in our lives is culturally important to many communities, including Indigenous communities. Pollinators play a role in food plants, medicinal plants, plant-based dyes, and in cultural symbolism.
Bees, butterflies, flies, and moths are the pollinators you want to bring to your yard.
Bring on the bugs!
There are a few steps you can take to make your yard attractive and safe for beneficial bugs.
1. Create habitat
These Beneficial Bug Houses provide insects a place to nest and rest. By placing these houses near existing insect hotspots (think hedges, nectar-rich flower beds, ponds or streams) you can give them a chance to thrive and, in return, they will maintain a healthy equilibrium in your yard. Look for these in the Green Patch and in-store.
2. Plant the right plants
There are many pollinator-friendly plants at the Co-op. Floral Specialist Jennifer has brought in three varieties of sunflowers, foxglove, and herbs including Thai basil, culinary select sage, stevia, and French thyme just last week.
Starts arriving this week (Thursday 5/5) include lavender, margarita yellow osteospermum, cosmos, asclepias red butterfly bush, marigolds, nasturtiums, zinnias, and more!
These five plant families will pack the most punch when it comes to attracting beneficial insects to your garden:
- Aster Family (Asteraceae): ageratums, asters, chrysanthemums, cosmos, dahlias, marigolds, and zinnias
- Carrot family (Apiaceae): Angelica, caraway, carrot, celery, chervil, cowbane, cumin, fennel, parsley, parsnip, Queen Anne’s lace
- Legume family (Fabaceae): green bean, lima bean, scarlet runner bean, chickpea, fenugreek, lentil, lupine, pagoda tree, smoke tree, soybean, tamarind, wisteria
- Mustard family (Brassicaceae): arugula, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard, kale, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnip, horseradish, rocket, shepherd’s purse, watercress, white mustard, wild radish
- Verbena family (Verbenaceae): Verbena (also known as vervain) family, includes 31 genera and nearly 920 species including lemon verbena, blue vervain, lollipop, meteor shower, Greystone Daphne, homestead purple, and Texas rose.
3. Provide a water source
Most beneficial bugs have wings, so they’ll take off in search of water if they can’t find any in your garden. If you use sprinklers, the puddles that form from use should be enough to keep your garden friends hydrated. If you use a drip system or water by hand, you’ll need to provide additional water. Fill up a saucer with water and some rocks. Refill on dry days (maybe twice during scorching summer days). To keep these bugaboos working in your garden, be sure to maintain their water source!
4. Creepy crawlies need love too
Some beneficial bugs keep low to the ground in search of pests that live in the soil. During hot daytime hours, these insects need protection and rest. Mulching your garden beds gives them protection while keeping the soil moist (good for beneficial bugs and plants). Stepping stones, especially with flat surfaces, are a favorite of creepy crawlies too.
Questions? Ask Jennifer!
Jennifer is our new Floral Specialist and an excellent resource for home gardeners! You can find her watering plants on the Green Patch most days or ask any Co-op employee if Jennifer is in.
Celebrate AAPI Heritage
May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander individuals and communities in the United States. Asian/Pacific is a broad term. It encompases people from the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia), and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).
On May 7th, 1843 Manjiro, a 14-year old fisherman, arrived in the United States via whaling ship. He is considered the first Japanese immigrant to come to the United States. May 10th, 1869 marks the completion of the transcontinental railroad, which was built largely by Chinese immigrants in very poor conditions. For these reasons, Congress chose May to celebrate AAPI heritage.
In this blog, you can find information on ways to support and celebrate the AAPI community. In addition to the virtual and non-virtual celebrations below, you can also celebrate AAPI heritage with books for kids and adults and movies – sharing with your family is encouraged!
Stop AAPI Hate
Between March 2020 and March 2021 there were 6,603 anti-Asian racist incidents, mostly against women, reported in the United States. Although we saw an increase in AAPI hate during the first year of the pandemic, discrimination against the AAPI community isn’t new or isolated; rather, it has deep roots in systemic racism and white supremacy. Xenophobia and widespread disinformation during the Covid-19 pandemic have led to an increase in racist incidents, including violence, against the AAPI community. The Davis Food Co-op condemns attacks against Asian/Pacific Americans and stands in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community members.
Support the AAPI Community
Support Asian/Pacific American folks in our community by regularly patronizing AAPI-owned restaurants, business, and by buying from AAPI artisans.
You can also support AAPI business by buying Asian/Pacific American owned brands. Here are some of the Asian/Pacific American owned brands we carry at the Co-op.
- Kimino (sparkling juices)
- Mother in Law’s (gochujang paste and sauce)
- Dang (sticky rice chips)
- Red Boat Fish Sauce
- Maya Kaimal (Indian pantry staples)
- ALO (aloe vera beverages)
- World Centric (compostable picnicware)
- Monsoon Kitchens (frozen Indian food)
- Sun Tropics (juice & mochi snacks)
- Catalina Snacks (keto cereal)
- Nutpods (non-dairy creamer)
- Happy Pho/Star Anise Foods (instant noodles)
- Mylk Labs (oatmeal cups)
- Miyoko’s (vegan butter and cheese)
- Cocokind (skincare)
- Nona Lim (bone broth sippers)
- Masala Blends (spice blends)
- Numi (tea)
AAPI Heritage Month Events
- 5/2 Virtual Korean Language and Culture Class from the Yolo County Library
- 5/4 Virtual Kids Storytime Featuring Asian American Children’s Authors from the Chinese American Museum
- 5/7 AAPI Kommunity Market in Stockton
- 5/7 AAPI Culturefest in Elk Grove
- 5/9 Virtual Korean Language and Culture Class from the Yolo County Library
- 5/12 Virtual cooking class with Chef George Chen from the Asia Society of NorCal
- 5/13 AAPI Heritage Month Night Market in Sacramento
- 5/19 Four Consuls General on Emerging Tech in Asia Talk in San Francisco
- 5/24 Virtual Kids Storytime Featuring Asian American Children’s Authors from the Chinese American Museum
- 5/26 Racial Healing Circle for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month from UC Davis
- 5/27 AAPI Heritage Night at Devil’s Canyon Brewing in San Carlos
Places To Go
- Visit Historical Locke Town, the only town in the United States built exclusively by Chinese Americans for Chinese Americans
- Explore the East Asian Collection at the Arboretum/UC Davis Public Garden
- Visit the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco or explore their Museum From Home programs
- Stop by The Viet Museum in San Jose
Hello, People with Periods!
Hello to you folks without periods as well! In this blog you’ll find information about the zero waste menstrual products we carry at the Co-op and how to care for them for less-stress plastic-free periods.
Here are some reasons why you may want to switch to using reusable period products:
- Convenience: nothing like having to run out *just* for tampons, especially when you’ve *just* started your period. Having reusables means you won’t have to do any emergency shopping.
- Health: Unfortunately, the FDA does not require manufacturers to disclose ingredients and materials in menstrual products (this is changing in CA in 2023 – yay!). Cotton, a common ingredient in tampons, is one of the most insecticide-intensive crops, which means those chemicals are coming in contact with one of our most permeable and absorptive skin barriers. If you choose not to switch to reusables, please consider switching to 100% organic tampons to at least limit your exposure to these chemicals.
- Waste: Conventional period products are single use, which means periods can generate a lot of waste. Pads are basically 100% plastic too (they’re made from polypropylene, Super Absorbent Polymers (SAPs), and polyethylene). About 41 million pounds of menstrual products go to the landfill in the US each year.
- Money: Reusable period products require more of an upfront investment than a box of tampons, but will last much much longer. Most people will save $1,200 to $2,500 over their period-having lifetime.
The Diva Cup
The Co-op currently carries The DivaCup, one of many menstrual cups on the market. We have it in 2 sizes: Model 1 and Model 2. The Model 1 is for folks 19-30 with a medium flow and the Model 2 is for folks 30+ and/or with a heavy flow.
- Wear for up to 12 hours
- 100% medical grade silicone
- No chemicals, plastic or dyes
Now, speaking from personal experience, it takes a few cycles to get used to the DivaCup. When I went off hormonal birth control, I had to get reacquainted with my period, and DivaCup, all over again. I recommend patience and (physical and emotional) gentleness with yourself.
That being said, bodies are different! The DivaCup may just not work as well as other cups with your anatomy. If the DivaCup just isn’t working, try one of the others.
Diva Cup Care
Start with clean hands. Wash your DivaCup before each insertion with hot/warm water and a gentle, fragrance free soap. You’ll want to be sure the little holes that create the seal aren’t blocked with any goo either.
We carry DivaWash, a pH balanced soap for cleaning your DivaCup, but soap and water work just fine so it’s up to you how you clean your DivaCup during your period.
At the end of your period, pop your DivaCup in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Medical grade silicone doesn’t absorb any smells so you don’t have to worry about deodorizing. Once it has boiled for 10 minutes, dry completely and store in the bag it came with or a storage container of your choice. That’s it!
Never clean your DivaCup with these cleaning agents (they can cause serious irritation):
- scented/fragranced soap
- oil-based soap
- rubbing alcohol
- anti-bacterial soap
- baking soda
- hydrogen peroxide
- dishwashing soap
GladRags Pantyliners are the perfect pair to your DivaCup! Especially during your first few cycles with the DivaCup and on heavy flow days, you’ll want a little back up protection. Enter, GladRags Pantyliners!
- made from 100% organic cotton
- breathable and comfortable
GradRags Pantyliner Care
After use, soak in cold water to help prevent staining (light staining may occur; don’t worry – this doesn’t mean your liners aren’t clean). Use the presoak function on your washing machine or soak in a rust-proof container. Soak for at least 30 minutes.
Machine wash on cold using a gentle, all natural detergent. Hang or line dry to make them last! You can tumble dry on low in a pinch. Once dry, store until you need them again.
Avoid using detergents with fabric softeners or whiteners/brighteners as these can inhibit the absorbency of the liners. Be aware that soaking your cloth pads in water with additives such as hydrogen peroxide can degrade the fabric and lead to holes.
GladRags does not recommend the use of castile soap, facial soap, or other soaps not intended for textile laundering. Excess detergent may lead to build up, which can limit the absorbency of your liners.
One additional benefit of switching to reusable period products is Period Positivity! Period Positivity happens when you feel good about your period and your period’s impact on the world.
My ND recently shared with me that the each person’s relationship with their period directly affects how menopause will go for that person. Since hearing this, I have 100% tried to embrace Period Positivty and incubate warm fuzzy feelings toward my period. It’s a work in progress.
The original title of this blog was “Tips for a Stress Free Spring,” but if you’re here reading this, you probably know zero stress really isn’t a thing. As someone who often feels like the Queen of Stress, I’ll say this blog aims to share strategies to help you cope with stress and anxiety during the Spring season (and beyond).
Please go get some sunshine
Soaking up the sun does a few things for our bodies. Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is linked to calmness, focus and low levels of depression. Sunshine is also important in our body’s production of Vitamin D, which has been linked to regulating mood.
The benefits of sunshine should still be weighed against the risks. You’ll want to apply sunscreen for longer periods of sun exposure or limit your exposure time (read all about sun protection here). I like to keep a sun hat and a short-sleeved shirt stashed at my desk so I can get some sun on a 15 minute walk during my lunch break.
Appreciate the greenery
Since it’s Spring and everything is either blooming or buzzing, you might as well go outside and enjoy it if you can. This may be tough for serious sufferers of seasonal allergies, so consider bringing the green inside with a houseplant or two (read our Cacti, Succulent, and Houseplant Care Guide). Studies show that even looking at fake plants eases body and mind!
Now is also a great time to get a garden up and running! Yes, even if you only have a tiny apartment balcony. Learn how to start a container garden here.
Go for a walk
Psst, you can do these first three tips at the same time! Wow, you’re going to feel so rested and ready to take on anything. Davis has plenty of good nature walks including the Arboretum and North Davis Greenbelts. I have been enjoying strolls through West Davis’ Village Homes paths lately as well.
If you want to go on an adventure, Lake Berryessa (be mindful, no shade on the Ridge Trail), Rockville Hills Regional Park (pictured above), and the Putah Creek Wildlife Area (also limited shade) are all great spots for a nature walk. Of course, even a 10 minute walk around your apartment, office building, or campus will get the good vibes flowing too.
Practice some gratitude
One of my favorite gratitude practices is actually the easiest. When you wake up, before you get out of bed or even open your eyes, make a list in your head of 5 things (anything!) you are grateful for. After you’ve completed your list, smile really big and really cheesy as you get out of bed. That’s it!
Practicing gratitude improves mood and sleep and can even reduce symptoms of illness.
Get a little help from your friends
And by friends, I definitely mean vegetables! Spring brings a bounty to our gardens and kitchens: asparagus, peas, leeks, beets, artichokes, leafy greens, all the alliums, the list goes on. Get these veggies back in the mix, especially those dark leafies. Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and chard are high in folic acid, a nutrient shown to reduce depression and fatigue. These greens also contain magnesium (helps improve sleep and stress management) and antioxidants (protects cells from free-radical damage).
If you need a little inspiration, check out this guide we wrote featuring an easy veggie-forward recipe for every day of the month.
Get a little help from your other friends
Okay, this time I’m talking about CBD. CBD has been shown to help some folks with anxiety and is pretty safe, but check with your doctor if you’re taking any other medications or have questions about dosage. Wyld CBD Gummies, which are vegan, gluten free, and THC-free, are Owner Extras this month which means Co-op Owners can save big on the CBD gummies. Stock up now and ride those calm waves all the way till Summer.