Alternatives to Mother’s Day
May is a beautiful spring month. Flowers are blooming; wisteria and cherry blossoms are pastel and comforting. The weather is finally warm enough for flowy dresses and shorts. This is time to reconnect after months of seasonal dreariness.
May is also the home of Mother’s Day. This is a day to celebrate mothers, but for some it can be a difficult month and the constant reminder of strained relationships can be triggering. ETSY took the request of shoppers this year to ask all email subscribers if they would like to opt out of all Mother’s Day themed emails. Whether it be absent or strained relationships or recent loss of family members, we are here to offer you some alternatives to enjoy May 9th.
May 9th Ideas
Have a self-care day! Everyone’s idea of self-care will be different. Yoga, Meditation, Hiking or Walking, Exercising, Crafting, Spa Day, Baking, Fishing, Gardening, Reading in the Park, the list goes on.
May is bike month. Come grab coffee and lunch to-go, put on some sunscreen, and take a leisure bike ride through our beautiful small town! Looking for a longer ride? Grab a Davis Bike Map at the Customer Service Desk; head down Russell Boulevard and Putah Creek Road to Winters for Turkovich or Berryessa Gap Wines or Old Davis Road to Dixon for MOTHER (a houseplant boutique) and The Barn and Pantry.
Treat yourself to some new recipes or take a Teaching Kitchen Class. On Saturday, May 8th we are teaching an 18-layer Rainbow Crepe Cake class! Or try out a recipe from our website davisfood.coop/recipes.
Spend the day in the yard or indoor jungle. Spring is the time for repotting and propagating indoor plants and sprucing up your outdoor garden. Stop by the Green Patch and grab some new soil, fertilizer, pots, and plants! Check out our blogs on Propagating and Container Gardening, and our Plant Care Guides.
Have a sibling, friend, or pet day instead. Use this day to celebrate the strong relationships you have. Plan out your ideal friend date, bundle at home or go out and enjoy the spring weather. Just like a self care day, this will vary for everyone. Here is an example of how I would do it; (1) get ready together and dress for the occasion, but comfy (2) lunch and boba, then (3) thrifting, (4) end in the park on a blanket with fruit and conversation or games.
Spend the day with someone who needs a mother. Sign up to volunteer at the SPCA or foster/adopt at Hearts for Paws Rescue in town. Finding a way to share some love, with a creature that will unconditionally love you back for a walk and some snuggles can be a great way to emotionally heal. Volunteering with both organizations takes a little time and training to qualify. If you are last-minute looking for some snuggles, ask some friends with pets if you can pet sit for the day!
- Three Mile Trivia (Warning: there may be a mother’s day category)
- 18 layer Rainbow Crepe Cake at DFC Teaching Kitchen
- Pence Gallery has a free lecture on Victorian Art and the Natural World
- The UCD Teaching Arboretum is hosting a talk on equity in green spaces
- Support Black business at the Evening Market
- Free Yoga Fridays in Arroyo Park
- You Sleuth Augmented Reality Detective Experience
- Garden Tour at Park Winters
- GOAT YOGA in Lodi, CA
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9th. Fair Trade Day is Saturday, May 8th.
If you celebrate Mother’s Day with gift-giving, you can use this opportunity to support Fair Trade certified businesses as well! You can read more about the Fair Trade philosophy and business model in this blog we wrote in 2020.
If Mother’s Day isn’t your thing, for whatever reason, be on the lookout for our upcoming blog on alternative ways to spend the day complete with a calender of weekend events happening in and around Yolo County.
In my household, somehow lip balm became a go-to gift. In our Christmas stockings? Lip balm. Birthdays? Lip balm. In the candy bowl on Halloween? Lip balm. I even got lip balm in a care package when I was studying abroad.
Not only is Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm fair trade certified, it’s made with jojoba, avocado, and US-grown hemp oils. Use on lips, dry and cracked fingers and toes, rough skin, and to keep your brows looking sharp.
You can find Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm by the registers.
There are many fair trade chocolate bars out there. For this Mother’s Day we recommend Theo. Theo uses a third party to verify ethical sourcnig and fair treatment of cacao farmers. Offering stable pricing ensures Theo’s farmers aren’t hurt by the volatile glocal cacao market.
We carry a number of delicious Theo chocolate bars, but this 70% Rasberry Dark Chocolate bar is perfect for Mother’s Day. Slightly tart and earthy with rich cacao, this bar is soy free, gluten free, and vegan.
Marquet’s team of fair trade artisans create absolutely beautiful accessories. You can find Marquet scarves and earrings in our Wellness Department.
Many of Marquet’s artisans are women and mothers. If you won’t be purchasing Mother’s Day gifts for anyone in your life, consider treating yourself to these products in support of fair trade!
My mom may only wear flip flops in the shower, but some moms out there are ready for hot summer days and the freedom to wiggle their toes in public! These Feelgoodz flip flops are made with fair trade rubber by fairly treated artisans in Southeast Asia. We have a handful of colors, all of which can be found in the Wellness Department.
La Riojana’s organic extra virgin olive oil is a blend of Arauco and Manzanilla olives. With notes of dried fruits and a combination of spicy and sweet flavors, this is a unique olive oil that is also versatile in the kitchen. La Riojana received Fair Trade certification in 2015, making them the first Fair Trade certified olive oil producer in all of Latin America.
Coffee is another great fair trade option! Organic Just Coffee Co-op beans are perfect for your mom or mother figure who loves coffee, fair labor practices, and sustainability. Just Coffee Co-op is a Certified B Corp too! Track your coffee via their website and learn about the producers who grew your beans.
Local Flavors Recipe Challenge
Throughout MArch and April we challenged you to make the best recipes from three provided ingreedients lists. Here are our winners.
The three winners will receive a $50 Co-op gift card.
The Baker’s Challenge:
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
Up to 1/2 cup brown sugar, or any sweetener such as turbinado and coconut sugar. (I like to halve sugar in recipes, less would make it more tart)
1/8 tsp (dash) salt
1/3 cup veg./neutral oil
1 cup grapefruit juice, preferably fresh—it may take 3-4 grapefruits
2 tbsp zest
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 to 1 cup powdered-sugar
3 tbsp (vegan) butter such as Earth Balance
3 tbsp grapefruit juice
- Preheat oven to 375F. Oil a cake pan or loaf tray. Mix wet ingredients. Mix dry. Mix together. Feel free to take a picture of how vibrant and pink the batter is.
- Pour in pan and bake 27-30 minutes. For cupcakes, check it at 16-18 minutes.
- Mix icing ingredients until altogether smooth. Refrigerate if you have time.
- When the cake is done, let it cool (10 min, or you can slice and try a piece if you’d like), then add icing.
- (While you wait, you can eat some grapefruit you juiced. :))
½ cup Rotini pasta (also works with gluten-free noodles, which can be even higher in protein)
½ onion, diced
Kite hill almond ricotta cheese (vegan), to taste
¼ cup nutritional yeast (aka nooch)
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
½ cup Chopped tomatoes, can be fresh or canned. And cherry tomatoes, to taste
¾ cup coconut cream (if possible, chill the can)
½ cup Chickpeas
Capers, olives, to taste
Serves 1-2-3 hungry (small) human(s)
- In a pan, fry the fresh garlic and onion in olive oil (or what’s on hand) until aromatic. Add tomatoes and coconut cream and nooch. Simmer on medium heat.
- Cook pasta. Once ready, throw it together in the sauce pan and add chickpeas, capers and olives. Stir on heat if you’d like.
- Now it’s ready to eat; and top with sage, cherry tomatoes , and ricotta as desired.
The Eastern Flavors Challenge:
Asian Udon Peanut Sauce Noodles
8 oz. Wide udon noodles
¼ cup chopped green onions
½ Fresh lime
Peanut Sauce Ingredients
⅓ C creamy peanut butter
2 T. Rice vinegar
3 T. Tamari sauce
¼-½ t. Sriracha (depending on how spicy you like)
2 T. maple syrup or honey
1T. Sesame Oil
1 t. Freshly minced ginger
2 cloves garlic minced ( or if have to use powder ¼ t garlic powder)
3 T. warm water
- Whisk ingredients listed for Peanut sauce in a small bowl until smooth.
- Cook wide udon noodles according to package directions. Drain well.
- Pour peanut sauce over noodles in serving bowls. Use tongs or chopsticks to mix until sauce covers noodles.
- Garnish with green onions and squeeze a slice of lime to give fresh flavor.
How it worked:
STEP 1: Choose Ingredient List
We’ve compiled three different lists (see below) all with very different ingredients. Create a recipe using at least 4 ingredients from the list. While 4 is the minimum, we encourage you to use as many ingredients from your chosen list as possible.
Additionally, you can use up to 3 ingredients off the list. We’re not counting water, salt, pepper, dried spices, and small amounts of cooking oil as “off-list” ingredients – feel free to use these ingredients as needed.
STEP 2: Create a recipe
Get creative! Go sweet or savory, simple or extravagant, breakfast, lunch, or dinner as long as it’s original. Whatever you come up with, write down the recipe. Be sure to include measurements and step-by-step instructions. Photos aren’t necessary, but you can include them if you wish. You may also wish to send us a video of your thought process or of you making the recipe, but this is optional.
STEP 3: Send us your recipe by 4/15/21
Email your recipe to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can submit one recipe per ingredient list. You must submit recipe(s) by 04/15/21.
STEP 4: We put the best to the test
Once we get all of the recipes, we’ll pick a handful of the best looking ones for each ingredient list. Madison and Christine will make them in the Teaching Kitchen, taste test them, and choose a winning recipe from each ingredient list. Each winner will receive a $50 Co-op Gift Card!
We’ll post videos of us making the winning recipes and what we come with for each list. Good luck!
The Baker’s Challenge
- sour cream
- whole wheat or buckwheat flour
- baking powder
- baking soda
- white chocolate
The Mediterranean Challenge
- DFC chicken apple sausage
- noodles of your choosing
- fresh sage
- ricotta cheese
- mozzarella cheese
- fresh garlic
- coconut cream
The Eastern Flavors Challenge
- peanut butter
- coconut milk
- tamari or soy sauce
- shiitake mushrooms
- wide udon noodles
- fresh ginger
- hot peppers
April 28th is Stop Food Waste Day
of all food produced globally is lost or wasted every year
of root crops, fruit and vegetables produced globally is lost or wasted per year
the annual cost of food wasted by the average American family
of the food wasted globally could feed all 795 million undernourished people in the world
of all greenhouse gas emissions each year are due to food loss and waste*
Food Rescue at the Co-op
Food rescue (limiting as much food waste as we can while prioritizing public health and safety) is embedded in our Ends Statement, the Seven Cooperative Principles, and our Strategic Plan. Fighting food insecurity in our community has always been a priority. Our avenues for donating have not changed, but we have improved our processes to more accurately communicate our efforts with our owners. Learn more by reading our food rescue blog.
Food Rescue Streams
Thanks to recent Green Team efforts, we can better track how our food is rescued.
Donations: We donate items that are still edible but may be damaged or fall shy of cosmetic standards, which means we can’t sell them.
Deli Food Rescue: Sometimes we have a large quantity of an unsellable, but still edible, items. The DFC Deli can use these items in production.
No Charge: We often have small quantities of edible, but unsellable items. These items are put in the breakroom for staff to take home free of charge. No Charge items also fill up our on-site Freedge.
Animal Greens: We set aside produce in unsellable quantities, like lettuce trimmings, for shoppers to take home to feed their animals. Animal greens are free – just ask a Produce Specialist about availability.
Composting: When an item is unsellable and inedible, we compost the food and recycle the packaging when possible. The City of Davis has a great composting facility, accepting even our meat scraps and bones!
Our Donation Partners
- Yolo County Food Bank
- Western Service Workers Association
- Davis Night Market
- Davis Community Meals
- Davis Food Not Bombs
- The Freedge
- Yolo County Meals on Wheels
- Food Recovery Network
- Tuesday Tables
Reduce Your Food Waste
Whether it’s 2 tsp of marjoram or 4 pounds of cremini mushrooms, shopping the Bulk Department can help ensure you buy only what you need. We have many items available in our Bulk Department. Check these aisles first to help curb your food waste. Read our buying in bulk blog for more info.
You can cut down on your food waste if you have a plan in place! Plan out your meals for the week (including planning when is a good day to eat leftovers!) and make a grocery list before shopping. If you’re really feeling motivated, spend a few hours meal prepping. Read this blog with meal prep tips and a menu for the week!
Fortify your Fridge
If you’ve ever worked in food service or retail, you’ve probably familiar with what it means to FIFO: first in, first out. Applying this same process to your fridge can help cut down on food waste. Store older food in the front of your fridge and newer food in the back. This way, you have a visual reminder of the food you need to eat first.
Be sure you’re storing produce correctly. Proper storage can significantly impact how long your foods stays good.
Make Use of Your Freezer
You can freeze many fruits and vegetables before they go bad. Frozen bananas are an excellent addition to smoothies, herbs can be frozen in butter or oil, and leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Try our Clean-Out-the-Fridge Veggie Fried Rice recipe (pictured) when you have lots of odds and ends in the fridge! It works well with any grain: any kind of rice, quinoa, barley, and kamut are all great options.
Customizable Soup is another good option if you have leftovers that need to get used up.
This Flexible Veggie Casserole is another way to feed the whole family while preventing food waste.
Keep it Out of the Landfill
Okay, so some of your food has gone bad. It happens. Instead of tossing it in the trash where it will go to a landfil and produce methane as it breaks down, compost it! The city of Davis collects compost in curbside bins – they can even take meat scraps, bones, and bioplastics labeled “compostable”.
You can also compost in your home. You get to keep all of that super nourishing compost for your garden if you do! Read our composting guide to learn more.
Keep a log of everything that has to get composted. You may learn that you actually don’t like radishes that much. Maybe you consistantly toss leftovers – next time, cut the recipe in half!
If you have too much in your fridge or pantry, consider bringing unopened pantry items and edible produce to the Freedge at the Co-op! The Freedge is there for folks to take what they need and leave what they don’t. It’s a wonderful way to prevent food waste and strengthen our community bonds.
What is economic sustainability?
Before we tackle economic sustainability, here’s a reminder of the basic definition of sustainability: sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs or diminishing the opportunities of the future.
According to the Global Footprint Network, in 2020, we reached Earth’s natural resource budget for the year on August 22nd, which means all of the natural resources we used after August 22nd, 2020 were taken from future years’ budgets. This is, by definition, not sustainable.
For the last several hundred years, capitalism has been the most efficient economic system for meeting the material needs and wants of society (major asterisk here: capitalism meets most of the material needs and wants for particular groups, mostly in Western countries). In this system, development, industrialization, and production are inherently dependent on natural and human resources, which, at this point, are rapidly depleting. The bottom line: capitalist economies, being inherently dependent on those resources, are not sustainable.
In a sustainable economy, these resources are not depleted or “borrowed” from future generations. Economic sustainability is deeply enmeshed with both social sustainability (human resources) and environmental sustainability (natural resources). We will explore the intersection of the three in next week’s blog!
Is there an alternative?
Laying out an entirely new economic system is, unfortunately, beyond the scope of this blog. But if you’re feeling like our unsustainable economy is a major bummer, we are here to tell you there are alternatives to traditional capitalist models which operate within our system to make our economy more sustainable.
That’s right! Cooperative businesses offer a more sustainable approach to the profit side of things. A cooperative is “an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise.” Co-ops, whether they are owned by workers, consumers, or producers, are guided by the Seven Cooperative Principles. Six of these Principles directly contribute to economic sustainability.
#1 Voluntary Membership: Membership, or ownership, in a co-op is open to anyone willing to accept the responsibilities of ownership and who want to use the services of the co-op. At the Davis Food Co-op, ownership is open to anyone regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, political or religious beliefs or any other qualifications. Because of this, co-op membership and, in turn, governance, is more widely accessible than in traditional business models.
#2 Democratic Member Control: Co-ops are controlled by their members who have power over policy and decision making. In our upcoming election, Davis Food Co-op owners will have the opportunity to vote on which community organizations will receive Round Up funds and choose three new Directors for the Board.
#3 Member Economic Participation: Members contribute to the capital of the co-op democratically and equitably. Investing in the Co-op by becoming an owner means investing in local farmers and producers that offer sustainably sourced natural foods and products.
#4 Autonomy and Independence: Co-ops are meant to be autonomous and democratically controlled. The Davis Food Co-op isn’t run by folks hundreds of miles away. We answer to our owners who we live and work beside.
#6 Cooperation Among Cooperatives: Co-ops often work together to create regional, national and international structures that help to improve communities. While it is essential that co-ops are able to compete in the markets in which they operate, we also know that strong, connected networks set co-ops apart from traditional businesses and make them more resilient to outside shocks.
#7 Concern for Community: Policies set forth by owners should positively and sustainably contribute to the community a co-op belongs to. You can read about the Davis Food Co-op’s efforts here, here, and here.
Another alternative to traditional for-profit business models is the B Corporation. B Corps are “a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.” The Co-op carries many products from certified B Corps. You can see us highlight many of them on our social media platforms throughout this month.
Seasonal allergies aren’t fun for anyone! Try these natural remedies to alleviate your symptoms.
It seems like no matter what the ailment, staying hydrated is one way to prevent or improve it. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is the case for seasonal allergies as well.
First, a petite science lesson: Histamine is a compound made by our bodies that regulates physiological functions in the gut, acts as a neurotransmitter in our brain and spinal cord, and is involved in inflammation and immune responses. You’ve likely heard about histamine in conversations about seasonal allergies. This is because symptoms of elevated histamine levels include runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, hives, sneezing, nausea, and headache. Sound familiar? When we are dehydrated, our bodies produce more histamine in an attempt to help retain water. Unfortunately, this triggers seasonal allergy symptoms.
Technically, staying hydrated won’t prevent or treat an allergic reaction, but drinking enough water can help maintain normal histamine levels in your body.
This may be a bit of a bummer to hear, but regular, thorough cleaning of a few key things in your home can help reduce your exposure to allergens which trigger seasonal allergy symptoms. The good news is, you’ll feel better and your home will be so clean! We recently wrote a blog about natural home cleaning with 19 easy, safe, and inexpensive DIY cleaning products.
If you’re an allergy sufferer, make sure you’re vacuuming your floors, rather than sweeping them as brooms do a very good job of kicking up all kids of dust and debris into the air. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommends vacuuming twice a week with a vacuum outfitted with a HEPA filter.
Weekly dusting is highly effective against seasonal allergies. Skip the feather duster and opt for a microfiber cloth instead. Microfiber is designed to grab tiny particles, which means you’ll actually remove the dust from your home.
Wash your sheets
Your sheets are covered in potential allergens: human and pet hair, dander, pollen, dust mites, and a whole host of other creepy crawlies that can irritate your immune system. Wash your sheets (especially your pillow cases) once a week. If you get bad allergies, you’ll want to vacuum your comforter twice a week and your mattress cover once a month as well.
You can find the following natural allergy remedies in the Co-op’s Wellness Department. If you need help finding something specific, stop by the Wellness Desk and ask one of our Wellness Specialists!
Saline Nasal Irrigation
Sometimes called a sinus flush, saline nasal irrigation can help ease stuffy noses and make it a little easier to breathe when you have seasonal allergies. Rinsing your nasal passages with salt water can help restore moisture to your mucous membranes and ease inflammation. Some folks prefer daily irrigation during allergy season to help keep inflammation under control.
You may have heard that butterbur can be very effective in reducing the intensity and frequency of migraines (researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found this to be the case), but evidence is emerging in favor of butterbur as a treatment for seasonal allergies as well. One study found its participants’ allergy symptoms improved after just 5 days of taking a butterbur supplement by mouth. Scientists attribute this to butterbur’s ability to block allergy-producing leukotriene and histamine.
Quercetin is an antioxidant found in many fruits and vegetables including onions and apples. Researches at the National Institutes of Health found it has antihistamine properties as well (it’s actually the most common plant compound found in conventional allergy treatments). Quercetin eases allergy symptoms by decreasing inflammation in our airways.
Stinging Nettle Leaf
Although research has come back with mixed results, stinging nettle has been and continues to be a popular treatment for seasonal allergies. Stinging nettle reduces sneezing, runny noses, and itchy eyes by lowering inflammation. Stinging nettle can best be used in combination with other natural allergy remedies like quercetin.
Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Emerging research suggests ingesting turmeric regularly may help relieve symptoms caused by seasonal allergies as well. Whether you take turmeric as a supplement or use it in meal preparations, be sure to take black pepper along with it as black pepper increases the bioavailability of curcumin by up to 2,000 percent!
Happy Earth Month! Earth Day is right around the corner, and this time of year gets everyone thinking about the environment and climate change. Environmental sustainability is a broad topic, from waste production and recycling to agriculture and transportation pollution. We will brush over a few of these topics, what the Co-op does to mitigate them, and how you can help and love the Earth! Join us on April 18th from 12 pm to 4 pm in the parking lot of the Co-op to meet many local organizations, creators, and artists who educate on and create with sustainability at the forefront!
The Davis Food Co-op formed the Green Team early last year to track our environmental sustainability efforts and to find ways to improve storewide. We have drought-tolerant landscaping and a drip irrigation system to conserve water. We work with Recology, TerraCycle, ReCork, and others to reduce waste and improve diversion, along with store-wide sustainability training that covers waste sorting and greenwashing. Our produce department makes organic and local the priority, this reduces agricultural pollution from many conventional practices and local means less driving, transportation, and emissions! We track most of our sustainability metrics with the help of the National Cooperative Grocers and track our food waste and rescue by department, read more about this on our Food Rescue blog.
The best thing for shoppers to do is stay up to date and educated on sustainability philosophies and practices. We recommend Defining Flourishing: A Frank Conversation About Sustainability by John R. Ehrenfeld and Andrew J. Hoffman to get you started. Read up on our blog page, under the sustainability sections to learn about small changes you can make in your day-to-day life that can reduce your carbon footprint, like DIY beeswax wraps and conserving food scraps to make broth.
Sustainability is multifaceted. Not everything above or in our sustainability blog is economically feasible for everyone, and the effects of climate change are socially disproportionate. We have three more blogs later this month that will cover social and economic sustainability and the intersection of all three. Stay tuned.
Written by Madison Suoja, Education and Outreach Specialist