35th Annual Holiday Meal

Traditions were made to stand the test of time and persevere, even in the most difficult of circumstances. They bring people together to accomplish a common goal of upholding the values and beliefs that are passed on through each generation. For each tradition there is a story to tell, and many more stories to come, about the positive impact that it has had on the people who take part in it. This Holiday Season, this rings especially true for the Davis Food Co-op’s 35th Annual Holiday Meal.

The Holidays are a time for people to gather and enjoy food with loved ones but for many, they simply have no place to go. It was for this reason that the Holiday Meal was started in 1985. An LGBTQ couple who were both employees of the Co-op had nowhere to go during the Holidays because neither of their families would take them. The couple, recognizing that there were others facing the same dilemma, organized a meal for any and all to attend. The event has evolved into a community wide effort every Christmas Eve to provide a free and warm meal for as many as 700 people. It brings together a broad spectrum of people from those in our Homeless community, UC Davis Students, Co-op Owners and anyone else looking for some Holiday cheer and good food.

As we look towards this monumental 35th Anniversary of the Holiday Meal, we cannot ignore the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our community. For many, this year’s meal is more important than ever and that is why it is so important to keep this tradition alive. To ensure the safety of everyone involved, and to comply with current health guidelines, this year’s Holiday Meal will be a takeout only option instead of the traditional sit down gathering. While it is difficult to envision a Holiday Meal without live music gracing long tables full of people from our community, these necessary changes will provide a safe alternative to keep this tradition alive.

The Davis Food Co-op is offering this free takeout Holiday Meal on Thursday December 24th from 5-8pm at the Davis Veterans Memorial Center at 203 E 14th St in Davis. The meal is a traditional Holiday Meal with the option of turkey or a vegan bake, stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce, and a dinner roll. There will also be multiple dessert items to choose from that are donated by members of the community. Any leftover food from the Holiday Meal will be promptly donated to the Yolo Food Bank. The Davis Food Co-op is also accepting clothing donations in store up until 12/23 to be available for anyone in need at the Holiday Meal. Any leftover clothing will be donated to HOPE at Davis, an organization of students at UC Davis that help provide resources for our Homeless population.

While the majority of this event will be coordinated and run by Davis Food Co-op employees, this event can only succeed because of the broad spectrum of people who support it. The Holiday Meal is also made possible by generous contributions from The City of Davis, The Davis Veterans Center, Sysco Foods, Putman Farms, Earl’s Organics, General Produce, Upper Crust Baking and others. Limited volunteer spots will also be available as needed to help run the event on the day of. As mentioned, the Co-op will also be accepting monetary, clothing and dessert donations from the public for the Holiday Meal.

Monetary donations can be made at the Co-op’s Eventbrite page or through a check sent to:
Davis Food Co-op
Attn: Vincent Marchese
620 G St
Davis, CA 95616

Clothing donations can be dropped off at the Co-op from 11/28 – 12/23. Information for volunteer sign ups and dessert donations will be available starting on Tuesday 12/8. Anybody that has questions about volunteering or donating can send an email to marketing@davisfood.coop or call Marketing Manager Vince Marchese at (530) 758-2667 ext. 152 for more information.

This free and festive dinner for the entire community is a remarkable Davis tradition and has become an important part of the Holiday celebrations of local people from all walks of life. Although this year’s meal will look different, one thing that will not change is the strength and ability of our community to pull together to provide a warm meal on Christmas Eve for all to enjoy.

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Answering your Questions About COVID-19 and the Co-op

Please check back for regular updates on this page.

Here for You

We understand that our shoppers and owners are rightly concerned about the Novel Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, and have asked how the virus is affecting the Co-op. We wanted to share how we are responding to the COVID-19, as well as provide updates as they become available. 

8/14/20

As of 8/14/20, we have been notified that a second employee that works out of the office located in the Davis Food Co-op Teaching Kitchen building has tested positive for COVID-19. The positive test results remain confined to the Teaching Kitchen building and the Health Department has advised that there is still no need for a store closure. This employee’s last day of work was Friday 8/7/20. All staff who have been in direct contact with either employee who has tested positive have already been advised to get tested and self-quarantine. We are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to release updates as necessary.

8/12/20

The Davis Food Co-op has always been a community institution led by its values and integrity. As such, transparency and information sharing are key components of our day-to-day operations. The trust that our staff, Owners and community as a whole have placed in us to remain open and honest is of the utmost importance and something that we will always work hard to maintain.

On Wednesday 8/12/20, we were informed that an employee of ours has tested positive for COVID-19. This employee works out of the office space attached to the Teaching Kitchen across the street from the Co-op.

Per CDC requirements and our in-store positive test protocol, we immediately called the Yolo County Public Health Office to notify them of the situation. We have followed standard guidance for closure of that space and a deep clean with disinfection of the entire Teaching Kitchen and adjacent offices. Any Co-op staff from the Teaching Kitchen building who have been in direct contact with the employee have also been sent home to self-isolate until they reach the end of their quarantine period, a total of 14 days.

The Co-op has been proactive and continuously committed to providing a safe shopping experience by minimizing worker contact, maintaining 6 feet distances as best possible, wearing masks, and constantly sanitizing all areas of the Co-op that workers and customers access. We take pride in our commitment to the safety of our store and community, and will continue to review and adapt our standards to best serve everyone in Davis, and beyond, that visit the Co-op.

8/10/20

The Bulk Department is open. All scoop bins have been prepacked. Customers have the option of a small paper bag or larger plastic bag for the gravity bins. The gravity bins are sanitized frequently. Outside bulk containers are still not permitted in the store. We are currently exploring compostable options for our bulk packaging.

6/22/20

We have reopened our full-service meat counter.

6/15/20

Per guidelines set forth by the California Department of Health, we are allowing the use of reusable bags. Customers must bag their own groceries and we encourage anyone using a reusable bag to frequently wash it. Cashiers will continue sanitizing the bagging area after each use.

6/4/20

Our Bulk department has been transitioning to prepacked items, instead of scoop-style bins, with the exception of the gravity bins. We are currently exploring more sustainable options for packaging.

Thank you for you patience

5/8/20

We have introduced Curbside Pickup for a contactless shopping experience. Click here to place a Curbside Pickup order.

4/27/20

Following Yolo County guidelines, all shoppers must be wearing a facial covering in the store. We have a staff member at the front entrance to ensure this is followed. The staff member also sanitizes all carts and baskets as they are returned.

Thank you for you cooperation

4/20/20

Measures Your Co-op is Taking to Keep the Community Safe:

  • Frequent sanitizing of all touch surfaces (doors, card scanners, etc.) and restrooms with a medical-grade virucide.
  • Hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes and gloves available to all shoppers upon request.
  • Staff member assistance in bulk.
  • We are supplying and requiring all staff members to wear masks or facial coverings. 
  • Prohibiting outside containers and bags in the store.
  • Adhering to social distancing guidelines and signage in-store. We are here to help you, please be mindful of employee’s space.
  • Store Signage reminding shoppers to only touch what you intend to buy.
  • Plexiglass shields and bright yellow social distancing reminders at registers.

4/16/20

Hello Co-op Shoppers!

We are now requiring staff members to wear masks. We hope that you will do the same!

4/13/20

We are currently not allowing reusable bags in the store. If you like to use your own bags please leave them in your car or at the exit, when you have paid for your groceries, refill your cart and transfer your groceries to your bags at your car or on our brown bench.

Bulk Mochii has been moved to aisle 2, where a staff member can assist you!

Thank you for your understanding!

4/9/20

Co-op Shoppers and Owners,

For a few weeks, we have not been collecting bottles but due to a request from Straus, we are changing our policy. The folks at Straus creamery have asked us to keep collecting bottles for them. We will be giving bottle returns to you when you check out and all you have to do is place your bottles in the crates by the exit. This way the people in our store do not come into contact with any outside containers and we can help Strauss keep their milk moving.

Thank you!

4/7/20

Our meat department is fully stocked in the grab and go prepackaged section, but we have closed our meat counter.

In our bulk department, we currently have plastic bags and small paper bags for your items. We are working on getting larger paper bags for our shoppers who wish to limit their plastic waste! Than you for your patience!

4/6/20

Dear Owners and Shoppers,

In order to keep our high-contact surfaces sanitized for you, we are changing the operations of our Bulk Department. Starting this Monday, we will not be permitting the use of outside containers in our Bulk section. There will now also be staff members present in each of the bulk aisles to help you with your shopping. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding. 

3/27/20

Hello Co-op Owners and Shoppers!

We are not currently accepting returns, refunds or exchanges.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!

3/25/20

Our Valued Owners and Shoppers,

With the retail environment shifting rapidly, we are continuing to balance how we serve the community while taking care of the staff. The changing nature of this virus is making it difficult to balance both. Our goal is to continue to nourish our shoppers, support both our staff and shoppers at this time of need and provide calmness in the face of uncertainty. You might have noticed that supply levels in certain areas such as dry grocery and bulk are still bare and it will take some time to level out the supply chain. We are working closely with all of our partners along the supply chain and are confident that there is a sufficient level of product available to meet the needs of consumers over the next few months.

Staff Appreciation 
We shared with all staff that effective immediately, every single employee will receive an additional $2 per hour to recognize their hard work, positivity and courage as we work to meet the needs of the community.

Stocking the Store
We currently are unable to take bulk or special orders with the exception of our Wellness department. Our Co-op, similar to other stores, are getting a limit placed on what we are able to purchase due to the warehouse experiencing an unprecedented amount of pressure put into their system. We realized that the distribution system is not prepared for the extreme demand that stores are experiencing at the moment. Therefore we ask that you kindly purchase only what you need to get by. When all of us work together, we will have enough items for everyone to purchase.

Store Hours
Starting yesterday, we changed our store hours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. We designated the first two hours for our most vulnerable members of our community, which include seniors that are 65 and older, pregnant or otherwise at high risk of infection. We ask that you allow our older and immunocompromised community members the time and space they need to do their shopping as safely as possible. If you do not fall into these categories, we invite you to shop with us from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. each day.  The change in hours provides us the opportunity to serve both our community and the staff. Many of our staff are seeing the fear first hand in our customers and experiencing fear themselves due to the uncertain state of this pandemic. We are supporting our staff in all ways possible, while we maintain a limited crew of staff who share these concerns but are willing and able to put themselves at risk to serve our community.

Store Sanitation
These additional hours also give us the opportunity to clean more frequently, and to adhere to social distancing when we are stocking products in the store. The Co-op has also hired maintenance personnel who are ‘patrol sanitizing’ the entire store, including the carts, hand baskets, fridges doors, tongs and scoops, and other highly touched surfaces. We are currently unable to supply wipes at the entrance or hand sanitizer throughout the store due to limited supply. We have placed orders for these items, but again we are being limited by our suppliers on quantity as well as shipping delays.

We have made a number of operational changes in the last few weeks, which you may have seen throughout the store and social media: 

  • Installed Plexi Shield at the front lanes to provide an additional barrier to staff and to shoppers.
  • Put up signage in the store to remind shoppers to self distance and to only touch products they intend to purchase.
  • Made single-use gloves available for our shoppers, by the deli area when you enter the store.

Continued Communication
We will continue to share any other store updates via social media and through email. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve the community when we need it the most. We appreciate the overwhelming love and support we have received for coming to the front line when we are called to do so.

At the store level, we continue to shift and prioritize on a daily basis. Everyone has been so appreciative and have been amazing letting us know how valued we are in the community. Our store team has been working tirelessly to ensure that we have products on the shelves. It has been so amazing to see the camaraderie that everyone has shared and how the entire staff has stepped up to take care of the community in the time of need. Heros come in all forms and they have truly represented themselves in that capacity during this time.

In cooperation,

Prasanna Regmi, General Manager

3/23/20

Effective March 23, 2020 the Davis Food Co-op will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. We have reserved 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for those most at risk. 

In order to remain available to the most vulnerable members of our community we are reserving these first two hours for those who are 65 and older, pregnant or otherwise at high risk of infection. If you do not fall into these categories, we invite you to shop with us from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

These new store hours will be in effect until further notice. Thank you for your cooperation as we continue to make our store safe and accessible to everyone.

In Cooperation, The Davis Food Co-op

3/20/20

We are currently working on systems to keep our community healthy and safe, along with keeping our shelves stocked. We will have more update soon! Please stay up to date on Yolo County COVID-19 updates: https://www.yolocounty.org/health-human-services/adults/communicable-disease-investigation-and-control/novel-coronavirus-2019/shelter-in-place

Thank you for you patience!

3/17/20

Dear Davis Community,

Effective March 18, 2020, we are limiting our store hours from 8am to 8pm. This will allow us to focus on stocking our shelves so that we can serve our community and give us the extra time to focus on more cleaning. With this change, we also wanted to provide our senior shoppers with an exclusive shopping hour from 8am to 9am. This first hour would allow them to shop with minimal foot traffic in the store.  At this time, we will not be asking for IDs to validate age, but will remind people to come back during the 9am shopping hour if they are not a senior. 

We are reminding our staff and asking our shoppers to practice the following: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (sleeve if necessary), then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands
  • Practice social distancing when in public. 

Prasanna Regmi, General Manager

3/17/20

We appreciate the tremendous trust our community has given us over the years and this past week. We appreciate your kindness, your patience and you just “checking-in” in with us and thanking us for keeping our doors open.  We take the role that we have given very seriously and continue to evaluate operations to keep up with the ever-changing situation we are facing with the COVID-19. 

As we continue to stay close to Yolo County COVID-19 Guidance for Food Facilities we are staying in line with following their advice on how to keep our member-owners, shoppers, and staff safe. The county has advised that Buffet, Serving Lines and Self-Service food formats discontinue whenever possible. So, out of an abundance of caution, we have voluntarily closed self serve prepared foods areas including our Hot Bar, Salad Bar and Soup Bar. We will revisit these areas and re-open when it feels responsible to do so. We will keep our Grab N’ Go area along with the bakery area still open, since each item is wrapped individually. We truly apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to our shoppers.

We appreciate the community being nimble with this situation and being flexible with the changes that are facing together. 

Davis Food Cooperative

3/16/20

Dear shoppers, 

Due to high demand for products, like other retailers, we are starting to experience a shortage in our store. While we are tirelessly working to find different sources to meet the demand, this shortage is affecting different areas such as bulk, grocery and produce. 

In our produce department,  we are starting to see a shortage in organic offerings. As we have shifted, over the last two years, to prioritize local and organic, our farmers and partners are feeling the stress of fulfilling customer requests. Farmers and distributors can not keep up with the demand and recent wet weather has inhibited harvesting of items like berries and bunched greens. While we prioritize local, organic and transitional offerings in produce, we are currently exploring conventional items to replace produce that we might have a hard time sourcing.

Keeping everyone updated with new changes is critical to everyone’s success and we are sharing this information so that our community can plan accordingly. 

Davis Food Cooperative

3/14/20

About the Virus

We realize the information related to the COVID-19 virus is changing rapidly. For most up to date and accurate information we are following information from our partners at UC Davis and Sutter Health. We are also following guidelines given by Yolo County Health Department to guide store operations.

You Tube video:

The Co-op’s Response & Sanitation

We have many procedures already in place to help protect the safety of our employees, members, and shoppers—procedures we rely on to reduce the spread of foodborne illness and seasonal colds and flu every year. With the rapidly changing COVID-19 virus, we are focused on increasing the frequency of our cleaning regiment, throughout the store. With this, we are sanitizing our frequently touched hard surfaces every two hours with a medical grade virucide. Provided that we have enough supplies on hand, we will continue to have wipes available for carts at the customer service counter. Should we run short on disinfectant wipes, we will provide virucide spray (with disposable paper towels) to wipe down carts.  You will also see hand sanitizer stations in different areas of the store. Since handwashing is the best way to combat any virus, including the COVID-19, we have set up a portable sink for your convenience to use at the front entrance.

For our Team

Over the last three days, we have spent a lot of time talking and being available for our staff. Because we truly care about our community, our practice has always been for staff to remain at home when they are sick.  All of our full-time and part-time staff accumulate paid time off to cover sick time. During this time, we are instructing employees to take any needed time off for themselves or their families either due to illness or due to other circumstances such as school closure. We are reminding our staff to follow good hygiene during this time and sharing information from both Yolo County and Center for Disease Control (CDC). 

For our Shoppers

As a community grocery store, we have always been the trusted source for your grocery needs. Our goal is to continue to provide the same service as we have in the past to serve our community. Please know that we are doing our best to keep up with high-demand items, such as hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and cleaning supplies.  We will continue to work tirelessly and to the best of our ability, to keep our shelves stocked and be present for our community. 

Working together

We acknowledge that this is a trying time and value your kindness and patience as we are learning to navigate through this ever-changing situation together.  The outpouring love and support of our community does not go unnoticed.  We appreciate each and every one of you helping us get through this together.

Serving you since 1972

Davis Food Cooperative

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Zero Waste Gift Guide

This is the ultimate guide to finding low – no waste gifts at your Davis Food Co-op! The goal of zero waste living is to direct as much waste away from landfills as possible while choosing to purchase responsibly produced products from companies who actually care about the health of us and the planet. In addition to diverting waste from landfills, all of these gift options are budget friendly! Nothing costs more than $40, most are below $30, and some are on sale this month as well. Here are our picks for gifts you can give yourself and others to help us all get a little closer to the goal of zero-waste living!

What better way to introduce zero waste living to someone than a reusable Klean Kanteen water bottle! Kleen Kanteens are on sale at the Co-op this month – from now until December 15th, 2020 you can get a great deal on water bottles, tumblers, and insulated food containers from Klean Kanteen. Klean Kanteen is a Chico, CA-based family and employee-owned B corp that is certified climate neutral!

Take it from a person with a green thumb who used to not have a green thumb, plants are always a welcome gift! We’ve expanded our green offerings so you have lots of options to choose from at the Co-op. Check out the native California plants – they’re drought tolerant and local pollinators love them!

Muffin-sized silicone baking cups are the perfect gift for anyone who loves to whip up muffins, cupcakes, and more on a regular basis. The best part? They’re naturally nonstick, dishwasher safe, and reusable! Want to really wow them? Check out some of the unique flours our bulk department offers.

I know what you’re thinking – Is soap really a good gift? Yes! High-quality super-lathery local soap free of plastic packaging is a great zero-waste gift. Soap bars from The Soap Doctor are made with Yolo County olive oil too.

Making coffee at home is a great way to save money, time, and lots of paper cups and plastic lids. Check out the french presses we carry and, while you’re at it, take a look at our locally made Davis Food Co-op insulated tumblers from Klean Kanteen or a DFC mug – neither come with plastic packaging! 

Go the whole (bean) nine yards and add some whole bean coffee to your gifting. Equal Exchange coffee is on sale at the Co-op from December 9th-29th, 2020. Equal Exchange is a co-op too, and they’re products are fair trade certified! 

Did you know we carry a wide variety of teas in our bulk department? Find something interesting and pair it with a reusable metal tea strainer! We offer a few different styles, including small mesh bags that can be used for tea, whole spice infusions, and more!

For your friend who loves to stand in line for hours waiting for the latest trending food, we recommend a reusable bamboo utensil set and metal straws that will stand in line with them, again and again and again. These bamboo utensils and metal straws are easy to toss in a bag or backpack and are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

Wrap your gifts in Co-op or other paper bags, fabric scraps that can be reused again as wrapping, or give your gift inside a super cute Co-op tote or zipper pouch! Bonus: your gift AND it’s wrapping will help divert waste from landfills!

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Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

Have a lot of leftovers this year? No worries! Check out our favorite ways to repurpose your Thanksgiving dinner.

Turkey Banh Mi with Quick Pickled Cranberries

This Vietnamese sandwich is filled with fresh, herbal, and tangy flavors!

Mashed Potato and Bacon Pizza

Mashed potatoes and pizza are a match made in comfort food heaven.

Turkey Vatapa

Vatapa is a Brazilian stew featuring jalapenos, lime, peanuts, and beer!

Roast Turkey Hash

Use up any extra butternut squash or sweet potatoes in this anytime meal.

Squash, Bacon, and Apple Hash

This sweet and savory hash is begging to be served with a fried egg (or two) on top!

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Meet the Board:
J. Faye Dixon

Every couple of months, we will be interviewing one of our Board Members so that you can get to know them better! This month, we are featuring J. Faye Dixon.

Some other answers from Faye:

How do you take your coffee?
I am a green tea drinker! But I do love a good espresso drink.

Proudest accomplishment in the last year?
I was promoted to Full Professor at UCD

Favorite area park?
Central (especially back when we still had live music)

Favorite thing about your favorite person?
Sense of humor

What did you want to be when you were little?
A translator for the UN

How do you stay healthy?
Running, walking, yoga and pilates

Favorite place you’ve traveled (provide a photo if possible!)?
Too many to name but the picture above is from Seville, Spain.

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Turkey Bone Broth from your Turkey Day Bird

Making bone broth from your bird is an excellent way to use all parts of your Thanksgiving turkey! Bone broth is one of the most nutritious (and affordable) foods you can make at home. Simmering bones and connective tissue along with herbs, vegetables, and apple cider vinegar releases protein, amino acids, B vitamins, and compounds that support joint health. In addition to bolstering your joints, bone broth promotes a healthy gut, fights inflammation, and supports skin health. You can use your turkey bone broth as a base for soups, stews, and sauces, but sipping a steaming cup of this restorative draft is traditional! Our recipe also utilizes scraps from meal preparation (think onion skins, herbs you didn’t use, and citrus peels) that would otherwise be tossed out. You can enjoy your broth immediately or store in glass containers to freeze. 


Turkey Bone Broth Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 carcass from your roasted turkey (no need to remove any remaining meat and skin)
  • turkey giblets, optional
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano) with stems, okay to mix
  • 1 peel from citrus fruit (mandarin, orange, or lemon)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-2 cups vegetable scraps (carrot tops and bottoms, celery tops and bottoms, garlic skins, or onion skins)
  • water enough to cover (about 7 quarts)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Add turkey, giblets (if using), veggies and scraps, herbs, citrus peel, apple cider vinegar, and bay leaves to a large stockpot. Add just enough cold water to cover the contents of your pot. 
  2. Heat broth on medium-high heat until boiling. As soon as your broth is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 6 – 8 hours. Skim any foam that forms off the top of your broth. 
  3. Remove from heat. Carefully remove solids from your broth. Strain with a fine mesh strainer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into glass containers for fridge or freezer storage. If freezing, allow 1 inch of space for broth to expand. As your broth cools, a layer of fat will form and solidify on the surface. Remove the fat layer before consuming. 

Bone Broth Variations

While plain bone broth is a nutritional powerhouse, you can add additional ingredients to get even more out of your broth!

For Digestion

Bone broth already contains compounds which promote gut health, but adding ginger to your simmer can increase the gut-healing benefits! Slice 2-3 inches of fresh ginger (no need to peel) and add to your pot with the rest of your ingredients before setting to simmer.

For Pain Relief and Fighting Inflammation

Your joints will rejoice when you drink bone broth, but you can up the whole-body anti-inflammatory properties of your broth by adding turmeric. Before setting your broth to simmer, add 2 tsp of turmeric powder and ¼ tsp of black pepper to the pot with all of your ingredients.

For Immune Support

Once your broth has simmered and cooled for about 20 minutes, you can add fresh garlic to help increase overall immune function. Crush 6 cloves of garlic using a garlic press or crush with the flat of your knife and mince. Add juicy crushed garlic to your broth and reap the benefits!

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Holiday Meal Makeover

A celebratory dinner should be exactly that: a time to share delicious food with family and friends. While many people wish to serve traditional family favorites, for most, there’s still plenty of room to liven up your holidays with a few new flavors, local foods, and even nutritional boosters. Here are some ideas for making your holiday meals fresh, easy, and fun.

  • Consider a slightly new twist on the centerpiece of many a holiday meal, the turkey, by choosing a local, heritage breed, and/or brined turkey (these are very popular items at many co-ops; some co-ops offer pre-ordering for customers to ensure availability). Heritage breeds are typically moister and more flavorful than commercial turkeys. For more information on heritage breeds and general turkey tips, check out these turkey roasting tips.
  • Give that classic green bean casserole a makeover with fresh green beans, a spritz of lemon, and a topping of toasted pine nuts. Boost the cranberry sauce with a handful of fresh or dried fruit and a dash of cayenne. Use brown rice or quinoa as the basis for your turkey-day stuffing this year, and toss in some walnuts and chopped local apples.
  • Instantly transform the typical fare with seasonings: spice your eggnog with cardamom instead of (or as well as) cinnamon this year, and sprinkle tarragon on plain mashed potatoes. Or add some festive flavors to an otherwise ordinary recipe.
  • Make gravy-like Grandma (or your favorite cooking show chef) if you like, but don’t feel obligated! There are some top-notch, healthful cooking mixes available that are especially helpful this time of year. You’ll find delicious, organic gravy mixes, dessert mixes, and seasoning blends for salad dressings and dips at your co-op.
  • Bring the unexpected to the table by adding an entirely new recipe or two to this year’s menu. Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole or a Wild Rice Stuffed Squash  are two great options that use seasonal vegetables in new combinations. Focus on just one or two “special” dishes to complement your main course—especially if you’re serving appetizers, a couple of delicious sides are all you really need and will allow you to spend more time with your guests.
  • Great dishes needn’t be complicated made-from-scratch recipes, either. Purchase some strikingly flavorful, easy-to-prepare foods to serve alongside the usual. A plate of Brie with Orange Preserves and Almonds would be a memorable addition to any menu.
  • Unless you adore kitchen duty, never refuse a guest’s offer to bring food — and remember you can count on your grocery store for prepared foods, too.  Visit the bakery department for lovely desserts (you may want to order pies, cheesecakes, and other specific favorites ahead of time). While you’re there, choose some cranberry date scones or pumpkin pecan muffins to treat family and/or guests to special breakfast fare. You may even consider picking up a couple of extra quick breads to give as gifts!
  • If you’ll be hosting guests for more than just the main meal, look to the deli for speedy main course items and sides (like lasagna, smoked salmon, wheatberry salad, golden beet, and kale salad, or roasted root vegetables).
  • Don’t forget to stock up on some local wine and beer, too. Pair a good beverage with an array of cheeses or cookies for an instant party when unexpected guests arrive!

It takes just a little planning and a good source for great food to pull off a wonderful holiday meal—something full of tradition, genuine nourishment, and good will.

Article used with permission from National Co-op Grocers, welcometothetable.coop

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Talking Turkey: A Poultry Primer and 2020 Turkeys at the Co-op

Nutritious and versatile, poultry is an affordable staple in many omnivore households. Poultry lends itself to a variety of cooking methods—baking, grilling, and stir-frying, for example—and flavorings from sweet and savory to hot and spicy.

As with other foods, knowing where and how your chicken, turkey, Cornish game hen, and other poultry have been raised can help you choose the products that are right for you (and provides information about animal welfare and environmental impact).

Understanding some commonly used poultry-producing terms can help put you in the know. However, it’s important to know that some of the terms are regulated, while others are not. When in doubt about poultry terms of what’s offered at your local grocery store, ask for more information at the meat counter.

Poultry Terms

Organic

 Poultry that meets the requirements of the National Organics Program (NOP) has been raised in housing that permits natural behavior, with outdoor access, has been fed certified organic feed (including pasture), has not been given antibiotics or hormones, and has been processed organically. The USDA organic label requires producers to follow production and handling practices in accordance with the national standards; certifying agents ensure compliance through annual inspections.

Free-range

This USDA regulation means that the animal has been allowed access to the outside. The government doesn’t specify that poultry must go outside, for how long, or the amount or kind of space that must be provided, but the idea is that poultry is free to roam outdoors and engage in natural behaviors (this is the way most poultry was raised before high-density confinement was introduced in the 1950s). And poultry that exercises produces leaner meat.

Natural

USDA allows this label to be used when a product contains no artificial ingredients or added colors and is only minimally processed. The label must explain what “natural” means, so be sure to read on. It might say “no added colorings or artificial ingredients; minimally processed,” for example.

“No hormones added”

This means just that, but keep in mind that Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising poultry, so this term should apply to all poultry anyway. Regulations also require that if a poultry label says, “no hormones added,” it must also say, “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones.”

“No antibiotics added” 

This means that the producer has provided documentation to the USDA that the animals were raised without antibiotics.

Cage-free

Poultry that’s cage-free is allowed to roam, but not necessarily outdoors. This allows poultry to engage in some natural behaviors, such as walking, nesting, and perching. However, this term is not regulated by USDA nor by third-party certifiers for poultry, though it is regulated for eggs.

Pastured poultry

This is a term coined for chickens raised on grass pasture all of the time after the initial brooding period. However, this term does not guarantee that poultry feeds only on pasture.

Fresh

A “fresh” poultry label means that the temperature of the raw poultry has never been below 26 degrees F. (Frozen poultry, on the other hand, has a temperature of 0 degrees F or below.) A turkey could be kept at 27 degrees F for weeks or even months, though, and then sold as “fresh.” Buy from a grocer who can tell you how long the “fresh” poultry has been in storage.

Our Turkeys 2020:

DIESTEL ORGANIC TURKEY

If you’re yearning for something lean, clean, and more manageable (but no less mouthwatering) than a Diestel Original turkey, our Organic Petite Whole Turkey may just be the bird you seek. It’s packed with all of the same succulent Diestel Family Ranch flavor, but in a smaller package that’s fit for two.

 Organic, Non-GMO, No Antibiotics ever, no added salts and ice-chilled.  

 $4.49 lb.

DIESTEL ORGANIC AMERICAN HEIRLOOM

Most turkeys today are a shadow of the breed that once was. Our Organic American Heirloom Turkeys are the breed that once was. These Auburn, Black, and American Bronze turkeys are rare breeds that’ve been around for hundreds of years. Different from most turkeys, they produce exquisite meat with exceptional, rich flavor that’s tender, juicy, and exceptionally hard to come by.

Organic, Non-GMO, No Antibiotics ever, no added salts and ice-chilled. 

 $4.99 lb.

DIESTEL NATURALLY SMOKED TURKEY (Not available for Curbside pickup)

The Naturally Smoked Whole Turkey is perfect for anybody who wants the rich, decadent flavor of a smoked turkey in just the time it takes to build a modest fire. These birds are uncured and slow cooked over natural hardwood, so all you’ve got to do is warm the bird in the oven (and find a distraction to keep you occupied until it’s ready).

NO antibiotics, no nitrates or nitrites, smoked with real hardwood.

$4.99 lb.

MARY’S NON-GMO TURKEY

Mary’s Free-Range turkeys are raised on healthful grains and allowed to roam in areas four times the size of areas provided by the average commercial turkey ranch. Their high-protein diet provides the optimal amount of nutrients for the turkey to grow into bigger and more flavorful turkeys than those typically found at the supermarket.

Free Range, Vegetarian Diet, Non-GMO, No Hormones, No antibiotics.

$3.49 lb.

A little turkey tutorial

You might want to keep in mind when shopping for your Thanksgiving turkey that a plump, round shape means an abundance of tender meat. Other tidbits that might come in handy:

  • Fresh turkeys and heritage or heirloom turkeys cook faster than most commercial turkeys and turkeys that have been frozen.
  • A hen is a female turkey (smaller) and a tom or gobbler is a male turkey (larger). Neither is more tender than the other.
  • Brining (soaking) a turkey before cooking adds flavor and moisture. Sometimes brined turkeys have artificial ingredients, but you can also find turkeys that are brined with just sea salt, spices, and water. Or you can brine your own.
  • Heritage or heirloom turkeys typically have denser, moister, and more flavorful meat than most commercial turkeys. That’s because they have a higher proportion of dark meat, are customarily fed more diverse diets, and are more active. It’s also because they take longer to reach maturity (about 26 weeks versus 14 weeks for commercial turkeys) and turkeys add fat as they age; heritage turkeys have an additional fat layer under their skin that keeps meat moister during cooking. Individual breeds have specific flavors (chat with your grower or grocer to find out more).
  • Wild turkeys have more dark meat and are more intensely flavored than domesticated turkeys. (Did you know that a wild turkey—which weighs half what a domestic turkey weighs—can actually fly?)
  • An “oven-ready” turkey is ready to cook, while an “oven-prepared” turkey is fully cooked and ready to eat.
  • Basted turkeys are injected or marinated with liquid (like broth or water), fat (like butter), and seasonings. Commercial turkeys often include artificial ingredients, but they must be stated on the label, along with the total quantity of the injected solution (3%, for example).
  • What size turkey do you need? The rule of thumb is one to one and a half pounds of turkey per person (this also allows for some leftovers).
  • Find tips on roasting your turkey in Turkey Roasting Tips.
  • For vegetarians, consider purchasing a Tofurky or other “mock turkey,” made from wheat protein or tofu.

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Turkey Roasting Tips

Roast your turkey to perfection with these turkey roasting tips. Join us on the 25th for a live Turkey Q&A event with our turkey master, Christine!

Roasting

  • Remove the giblets from turkey cavities after thawing. Cook separately.
  • Set oven temperature no lower than 325°F.
  • Place turkey or turkey breast on lower rack in a shallow roasting pan.
  • For even cooking, bake stuffing in a separate casserole dish, versus in the bird. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the stuffing. The center should reach 165°F.
  • If you choose to stuff your turkey, the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time. Separate wet and dry ingredients, and chill wet ingredients (butter/margarine, cooked celery, and onions, broth, etc.) until ready to prepare. Mix wet and dry ingredients together just before filling the turkey cavities. Fill the cavities loosely. Cook the turkey immediately. Use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches 165°F.
  • Whole turkeys should be cooked to 165°F. To check for doneness, insert a food thermometer in the thickest part of the inner thigh without touching the bone.
  • Turkey breasts should be cooked to 165°F. Insert a food thermometer in the thickest part of the breast to check for doneness.
  • Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set. The turkey will carve more easily.

Turkey roasting timetable

Oven times are approximate and will vary. Always use a meat thermometer to ensure the correct internal temperature of 165°F has been reached.

325°F oven temperature

Unstuffed

4–8 lbs → 1.5–2.75 hours
8–12 lbs → 2.75–3 hours
12–14 lbs → 3–3.75 hours
14–18 lbs → 3.75–4.25 hours
18–20 lbs → 4.25–4.5 hours
20–24 lbs → 4.25–5 hours

Stuffed

6–8 lbs → 2.5–3 hours
8–12 lbs → 3–3.5 hours
12–14 lbs → 3.5–4 hours
14–18 lbs → 4–4.25 hours
18–20 lbs → 4.25–4.75 hours
20–24 lbs → 4.75–5.25 hours

Thawing

All the Turkeys at the Davis Food Co-op are not frozen. They are deep-chilled, which is not frozen but, are kept in at a lower temperature than you would in your fridge.

Thawing in the refrigerator

Keep the turkey wrapped and place it in a pan. Let it stand in the refrigerator for roughly 24 hours for every 5 pounds. Large turkeys should stand in the refrigerator for a maximum of 5 days. The giblets and neck, which are customarily packed in the neck and body cavities of frozen turkeys, may be removed from the bird near the end of the thawing period. If desired, the giblets and neck may be refrigerated and reserved for use in giblet gravy.

Thawing in cold water

Make certain that the turkey is in a leak-proof package or a zipper-seal plastic bag. This prevents bacteria in the surrounding environment from being introduced into the food and prevents the poultry tissues from absorbing water. Change the cold water every 30 minutes. Approximately 30 minutes per pound of turkey are required for thawing. After thawing in cold water, the turkey should be cooked immediately.

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Cozy at the Co-op: A Closer Look at Gypsy & Lolo and Andes Gifts

Mission

Gyspy & Lolo is based out of Arcata, CA. Their mission is “To feel good and do good! To support local manufacturers, use Earth-friendly fabrics, give back to social causes, and inspire people to share in the possibility of a sustainable future.”

Gypsy and Loic are the husband-wife design team behind Gypsy and LoLo. They went to school at FIDM and the Academy of Pattern Making and Design in San Francisco.

“As we considered our children’s future and the planet’s, we were inspired to start making clothing that was natural, sustainable, and of course unique and fun.”

Along with creating sustainably designed and produced products, they are proud donors to Trees for the Future, Greenpeace Fund, Vote Hemp, and Whole Planet Foundation.

product sourcing

Gypsy and Lolo is dedicated to using quality and/or recycled materials. 

They recover 100% cotton scraps, sort by color and break down, blend that with recycled polyester to add strength and color, spin fibers into yarn, then finally knit into plush fabrics. 

Gypsy and Lolo also find and recover production remnants and sample yardage from cutting rooms to recycle and use. This saves huge amounts of energy, water, and gives the materials a second chance at life. This recovery and reusing makes every style unique and limited edition.

Mission

“Our goal is to create long-term dependable employment opportunities for indigenous artisans in Peru and Bolivia, and to connect thoughtful consumers with the people and ancient cultural traditions behind our products.”

Andes gifts products are handmade, comfortable, stylish, and functional. They build stability for artisans and their families in the Andes Mountains. 

“Our mission is to create employment opportunities for Aymara and Quechua artisans that allow them to remain within their local community while earning a reliable income.”

Product sourcing

“We believe in people over profits.”

As you may have learned in our Blog about Co-operative principle #6: Co-operation Among Co-operative, Co-ops are everywhere! Andes partners with cooperatives in rural communities throughout Peru and Bolivia. New designs are created each year and Ande’s empowers artisans through long-term employment opportunities, consistent projects, and flexible work schedules. Many of our artisans enjoy teaching their children and grandchildren the traditional knitting techniques that have been passed down through generations of Andean women for centuries.

Meet some featured artisans on their website: https://andesgifts.com/pages/artisans

All Ande’s yarn is from local textile companies within Peru and Bolivia. “Knitting warm clothing from alpaca fiber has played a significant role in indigenous culture in Peru and Bolivia for centuries. The alpaca fiber in our products is certified Peru Fair Trade.” They also use recycled polyester, cotton, and merino wool.


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Want to enjoy Thanksgiving
but don’t want to cook?

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