Cooking with Avocado Oil

Avocado Oil? But I have always used Olive Oil!
Similar to olive oil, avocado oil is one of a few cooking oils that is extracted directly from the pulp of the fruit as opposed to chemically extracted from the seed.

While avocado oil has long been used in cosmetics and self-care products like shampoo, conditioner, and lotion, it has also become a favorite for many to cook with. The high smoke point of the oil (up to 520 degrees Fahrenheit!), makes it great for high temperature cooking, such as frying and sauteing.

It is creamier in texture and has a less bitter flavor than olive oil which makes it extremely versatile in a number of dishes. Some vegan recipes even use it as a butter replacement.

Benefits
While avocado oil has a similar fatty acid profile as olive oil (around 75% fat with a substantial dose of monounsaturated compounds), there’s also a few other key nutrients that make it a healthy option:

  • It has 25% more Vitamin E than Olive Oil, which helps nourish skin and hair . You can actually rub a small amount of avocado oil into the skin in dry areas to provide relief; even some cases of psoriasis have been helped with a topical treatment.
  • It has more potassium than a banana to help stabilize blood pressure and promote heart health.
  • This oil has nearly triple the amount of carotenoids as olive oil. These soluble antioxidants help fight cancer growth, protect the eyes from macular degeneration, and halt the physical signs of aging
  • It contains lutein, a plant compound that helps to preserve eyesight
  • Around 23% of the daily recommended amount of folate, a B vitamin that’s important during pregnancy to support the development of a healthy fetus can be found in Avocado Oil
  • Studies from the National Center for Health Statistics have shown that those who eat avocados regularly are better off than those that don’t. And avocado oil is just as effective as the raw fruit. Those that ate one serving of avocado every day found these benefits:
    • 22% lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind)
    • 11% increase in HDL cholesterol (the good kind!)
    • 20% less blood triglycerides

Takeaway
This isn’t to take away from Olive Oil; it is still a cheaper alternative with its own health benefits and a classic flavor that shines in cold dishes like salad and meals with lower cooking points. But if you are looking for an oil that can withstand a higher cooking point while providing you with some extra health benefits and a pleasant taste, Avocado Oil may be the oil for you!

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Types of Green Washing and How to Avoid being Green-washed

Types of Green Washing

Green by Association

A company slathers itself in environmental terms and images so that the product seems to have environmental benefits. Products will use neutral colors or images of greenery, but in no way trying to improve their product.

Lack of Definition

A product advertises an environmental claim that sounds good but is too vague or general. Look out for terms like “green” “environmentally-friendly” “sustainable” without any explanation or certifications clearly displayed.

A common lack of definition you will see is the “Please recycle” symbol with no number associated. Shelf-stable liquid cartons, juices boxes, tetra packs, etc. are not recyclable in Davis. These packages are made of paper, plastic, and foil that need to be separated(using a lot of water!) in order to recycle. The materials in the cartons are also not likely to be used in the same process, instead, it is “down-cycled”. The plastic can be made into benches or rigid plastic plates that are not able to be recycled again.

Huggies: Pure & Natural

This line of Huggies is covered with green leaves and neutral tones. These diapers are made with organic cotton, aloe, and are hypoallergenic. However, there are still disposable diapers made with plastics in the fabric. These are landfill items and in no way benefit the environment or even coexist with it.

Tetra Pak Launches New Packaging Material Effects to Help Brands ...
Lack of Definition and Outright Lying: They claim to be recyclable but are only recyclable in a few counties in the entire USA
These fall under Lack of Definition and Green by Association

Unproven Claims

When environmental claims are made but the company will not(or refuses) to back them up.

Forgetting the Life cycle

Choosing one aspect of the product’s environmental life cycle/profile while ignoring significant effects that are not environmentally friendly. Reusable products are great, but if they are made out of silicone, they are not recyclable in Davis and are difficult to recycle if your county accepts them! Think of what will happen to your item once it tears or breaks? Can it be fixed? Can it be recycled or composted? If not, then it is not a truly sustainable product. The packaging is a big one for this type of greenwashing! Is your sustainable product packaged in filmy plastics? Does the company truly rally for environmental responsibility if their “sustainable” product is packaged in landfill materials?

Arrowhead Water

These disposable water bottles are made with smaller caps, which means less plastic. This is not lying but is not “being green”. This is still a disposable water bottle and this is not going to get recycled in most counties in the USA and all over the world.

Bait and switch

When a company heavily advertises environmentally friendly attributes of one of their products while bulk manufacturing other products that are harmful to the environment.  

Tom’s is owned by Colgate

Although Tom’s of Maine brand is very transparent about ingredients, many of their products are not commonly recyclable. They have a program through TerraCycle, where you can send in your old tube and deodorant sticks. However, there currently is no available space in their program to start your own collection and this program is a financial barrier for many since you are required to mail in a large box and pay the postage. Colgate has no information on their website about their environmental efforts and it is estimated that 400 million toothpaste tubes are discarded every year in the United States alone. That is a lot of unnecessary landfill.

Burt’s Bees and Green Works are owned by Clorox Bleach

Similar to Tom’s, Burt’s Bees packaging is recyclable through TerraCycle which may be a financial barrier for some. The environmental effects of bleach are controversial, better to be safe than sorry! Choose a product you know is safe for your health and the environment.

Green Works is a tough one! The product is safe and ingredients are transparent. There is information on the product on how to successfully recycle. However, at the end of the day purchasing this product supports Clorox Bleach and is therefore still green-washed.

Rallying Behind a Lower Standard

When a product earns a third-party certification that validates them but the trade association has influenced the development of the relevant standard or actively lobbies against them. Avoid the Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade USA certifications, unless paired with other certifications. These certifications have gaps in their requirements that allow only one step in the process to be fair.

Outright Lying

Companies will bend the truth to sound better. For example, referring to palm oil as vegetable oil to avoid the unsustainable relationship.

Unfortunately, less than seven percent of the total production of palm oil is certified as sustainable, as most companies refuse or are unable to pay the cost associated with less-destructive farming practices. When purchasing an item that contains palm oil or palm tree derived ingredients be sure it has the Palm Done Right certification.

Questions to ask yourself and tips before purchasing a product

  • Don’t just assume something is truly natural because there’s a pretty sticker on the front label that claims so
  • Ask questions! Be skeptical! Who owns this company? Is it a big corporation? Where do they source their ingredients? Are the ingredients hard to find?
  • Get familiar with companies, labels, and ingredients that you trust.
  • Support smaller, independent, or local brands as much as possible

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How To Make Your Own Scoby

How To Make Your Own Scoby

Many people love kombucha for both its flavor and health benefits. If you love kombucha or are just an eager learner, this guide will take you through the first step of making it yourself. 

Acquiring a SCOBY(Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) is the first towards making your own homebrewed kombucha. You can choose to either purchase a SCOBY or make one yourself. Making one is cheaper, surprisingly simple, and of course more fun. So follow along to learn how to make your own SCOBY!

Some of you might be wondering what exactly a SCOBY is. Often referred to as “kombucha mushrooms” or the “mother”

What You’ll Need:

  • 7 cups water
  • 2 1/3 cups white granulated sugar (1/3 cup sugar per 1 cup water)
  • 4 black or green tea bags(or 1 tablespoon looseleaf)
  • 1 cup of store-bought, unflavored, unpasteurized kombucha

Tools

  • 2-quart or larger saucepan
  • spoon with a long handle 
  • 2-quart or larger glass jar
  • paper towel, coffee filter, or tightly woven cloth(not cheesecloth) to cover the jar with
  • rubberband

Instructions:

  1. Make sweet tea in the saucepan on the stove. To do this you will first bring the water to a boil. Once the water is 130 degrees Fahrenheit (or just started to form bubbles on the sides of the pan) remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the sugar and add the black or green tea tea. Allow the mixture to steep for 3-6 minutes (depending on the type of tea). Then set aside until it has reached room temperature(80 degrees Fahrenheit or less). 
  2. Combine sweet tea and kombucha in the jar. Now that the sweet tea has cooled off you will add it to the large jar. Then add the kombucha on top. Stir to combine. 
  3. Cover and observe mixture for 2-4 weeks. Now that the mixture has been combined you will need to cover the mouth of the jar with some sort of tightly woven cloth, a coffee filter, or a paper towel. Secure the covering with a rubber band(or two). You want to keep the jar somewhere where the average room temperature is around 70°F, it won’t get carelessly moved around, and where it is out of direct sunlight. Sunlight can circumvent the fermentation process so it is important to protect your jar from too much direct sunlight.
  4. Observe the changes. You won’t notice anything different about your mixture for the first few days, but gradually bubbles will begin to form on the surface. These bubbles will over time gather into a filmy layer. Bubbles will gather at the edges of the jelly-like film. This is due to carbon-dioxide from the fermentation process and is a good sign that all is going well!
  5. Eventually, this film will thicken into an opaque layer. This process can take 2-4 weeks depending on the conditions in which the jar is kept. Once this layer is about a ¼ inch thick it is ready to be used to make kombucha!  Don’t be thrown off by the color or texture of your scoby. It will be opaque and tough on the top, and a light brown and loose on the bottom.

Once all of these steps have been completed you will be ready to try a recipe to make your own kombucha! You will keep the SCOBY from this recipe, but the liquid will be far too vinegary to drink. You can discard it or use it as a cleaning solution for your counters if you like.


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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. 

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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