Eating For Immune System Health
As a food co-op, the health and wellbeing of our community is our top priority. We receive questions daily about vitamins and supplements, which are wonderful additions to a diverse diet of healthful foods. But a good immune system starts with a healthy diet. Like any other system, your immune system is complex and requires balance to thrive.That said, there is no diet that can prevent you from becoming sick. But eating a variety of healthy foods is the best way to secure overall health. The confusion of the past weeks has upset many of our regular patterns, and amidst all this stress and confusion it is more important than ever to maintain a balanced diet consisting of whole foods packed with nutrients.
We may not be nutritionists or physicians, but as a supplier of healthful foods, we like to think that we know a thing or two about what’s good for our wellbeing. So here are some tips on how to best support your immune system health.
Vitamin C Rich Foods
We would be remiss to make a list such as this and not mention the holy grail of cold and flu season. We’ve all been advised by a well-meaning friend or relative to consume extra vitamin C when there is a nasty bug going around. And while this vitamin isn’t the magical cure-all that many would have us to believe it is, it has been shown to play a role in improving immune system health. Research has shown that eating 200mg daily of this vitamin is most effective, as any greater amount cannot be properly absorbed. Foods that are high in vitamin C are citrus fruits, bell pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale. Vitamin is absorbed best by the body when paired with iron. So you want to stack supplements or foods containing each of them.
Foods with Vitamin E
Much like vitamin C vitamin E has been linked with greater immune system health. This vitamin has been shown by research to be a powerful antioxidant that can help modulate the functioning of the immune system. You can get your daily dose of this vitamin by adding sunflower seeds or almonds to your meals and snacks. While these two are the best sources of vitamin E it can also be found in spinach, peanuts, avocado, and many other foods. Vitamin E is also present in many cooking oils such as safflower oil and wheat germ oil. The best way to get enough of this vitamin is to eat a well-balanced diet full of healthy fats, experts warn against overdoing it with supplementation for this one.
Sources of Selenium
Studies have linked a lack of selenium with a delayed immune response. This often-overlooked mineral can be found in Brazil nuts and seafood. Brazil nuts are an easy addition to a morning bowl of oatmeal or can be chopped up and used as a garnish on a salad. Selenium is often included in multivitamins or can be found isolated as a supplement. All forms of this mineral are shown to be well absorbed by the body.
There are many more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants linked to greater immune system health, but we thought that we’d keep it at three just to get you started. Make sure to check out our Recipes page, which we are constantly updating with healthful recipes!
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.
Hello Co-op Owners and Shopper!
We are not currently accepting returns, including bottle deposits, refunds or exchanges.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prasanna Regmi, General Manager
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
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!
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
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
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
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.
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.
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