Natural Teeth Whitener

Simple, effective, and affordable!
Made with only 3 ingredients…

Looking for a way to brighten your smile without the harsh chemicals? Well we have a great natural solution for you!

Turmeric

Turmeric is a bright orange root vegetable closely related to ginger. When dried and ground into a powder it becomes an earthy spice that is popular in Middle Eastern, Asian, and Indian cuisine.

The bright color compounds found in turmeric are responsible for the whitening effect and with consistent usage it’s been shown to have results similar to using activated charcoal.

In addition turmeric is well-known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and truly stands out when it comes to oral health.

Studies have shown that brushing your teeth with turmeric is comparable to using mouthwash when it comes to removing plaque building, killing bacteria, and reducing inflammation! Turmeric has also been shown to prevent gum disease and relieve oral pain.  

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is known for its versatility, popularly used in everything from lotions and lip balms to baked goods and popcorn, so it’s not much of a surprise that it is also amazing for oral care.

Coconut oil is rich in anti-microbial fatty acids, such as lauric acid. Studies have shown that lauric acid attacks harmful bacteria that cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.

By preventing plaque build-up and improving gum health coconut oil helps to keep your teeth white. 

Baking soda

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is generally used as a leavening agent in baking and is  popular as a deodorizer due to its ability to absorb smelly food particles. You may have also seen baking soda listed as an ingredient in some toothpastes as it is well known for its oral care benefits, specifically teeth whitening!

When brushing with baking soda it acts as a mild abrasive that can help remove stains. Some may worry that this abrasion could damage tooth enamel but according to the American Dental Association, silica particles commonly used in toothpaste as an abrasive agent are actually much harder than baking soda particles.

Baking soda also acts as a mild base which helps to alkalize your mouth, creating an environment that is hard for bacteria to grow in.  

All three of these ingredients have their own oral health benefits and when combined they make for an extremely effective teeth whitener that’s affordable, all natural, and easy to make!

To Make:

Only 3 ingredients needed:

  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil 
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2-3 drops of essential oil (optional)

Mix all the ingredients together in a glass jar.

It helps to use slightly softened, but not melted, coconut oil.

Turmeric is also notorious for staining anything and everything yellow (except your teeth!) so be cautious when measuring and mixing it.

For less coconut taste opt for a refined coconut oil which will have a much more mild coconut flavor compared to unrefined.

You can also add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to make the mix more pleasant tasting!

To Use:

After brushing your teeth with regular toothpaste and rinsing, scoop a pea-sized amount of the homemade teeth whitener onto your toothbrush and use it just like you would toothpaste.

You may want to use a separate toothbrush from your regular one as the turmeric will most likely stain the brush.

Store in a sealed jar at room temperature. 

Use up to once a day or every other day for best results.

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Plastic Free July

We all know that we could do a little more for our planet every day. However, right now it feels harder than ever to avoid the use of single-use plastics. Because of the current concerns regarding the spread of Covid-19 many who would like to be more sustainable or were already in the habit of reaching for reusable materials can no longer do so as easily. In order to support ourselves and our community, it’s perfectly understandable to be buying plastic-packaged food, using single-use cups, or getting takeout from local restaurants. But if we all can pick just one area to reduce our consumption of plastic during this difficult time we can come out of this crisis with better habits and a cleaner planet. This is why we are inviting all in our community to participate in Plastic Free July and pledge to reduce their plastic waste. 

What is Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July is a global movement that is meant to inspire people to do their part to reduce plastic waste. It encourages people to realize the role that they play in keeping their communities clean and the environment healthy. 

So instead of trying to make a permanent lifestyle change, you commit to avoiding single-use plastics just for the month. You don’t even need to quit using all plastic, committing to no longer using just plastic bags or straws is enough and maybe can even show you how easy it is to adjust to more sustainable habits. 

How do I get started?

 Permanently going Zero Waste can feel daunting for many of us, especially once you realize just how much waste each of us is generating every day. That’s why Plastic Free July is all about making small, sustainable changes to your daily routine. If you’re not even sure what you could change in your routine you can take the Pesky Plastics quiz to find out!

Until we can bring our own coffee cups to our favorite cafes or actually dine in at our favorite restaurants instead of eating out of plastic takeout containers, we just have to get a little creative in order to show our planet some love. This can mean finding a way to commute that lowers your carbon footprint trying out a plant-based diet or simply eating more home-cooked meals.

So instead of trying to make a permanent lifestyle change, you just commit to avoiding single-use plastics for the month of July. The little changes that we each make to our daily routines have the power to add up to big results.

Eat more consciously

One of the most challenging areas to avoid plastic waste is in the foods we buy, or rather, wrapped around the foods that we buy. Almost everything we eat seems to either be shrink-wrapped or capped with some sort of plastic material. You don’t need to stress about only buying things that are plastic-free going forward, this is especially hard right now because of COVID, but you can just choose one type of food that you normally buy and find a plastic-free version of it. For example, frozen fruit often comes in plastic bags but here at the co-op, we carry an organic brand that comes in paper.

Another type of food that it is especially hard to find without plastic is meat, but there’s an easy workaround for this. You can walk up to the meat counter at the co-op and ask the butcher to wrap your meat in paper. Or you could even take it a step further and consume a plant-based diet, which could allow you to forego a large amount of packaging altogether. Plastic Free July is all about making changes that you feel you can maintain going forward so it’s whatever works for you.

DIY

Many of the products that we use to clean our homes would be easy to make ourselves, which is better for our wallets and the landfills. We have a post about making your own disinfectants, and there is a natural solution for just about anything you can think of out there on the internet.

This tour is meant to highlight many of the common areas where shoppers encounter plastic and to suggest ways that you can avoid adding it to your basket! We hope that this helps some of you decide to take the pledge and go plastic-free this July.

Links with ideas:

https://trashisfortossers.com/plastic-free-july-during-a-pandemic/

View this post on Instagram

@mariacanfora asked if i could post ideas for someone who wants to start zero waste in a new home. these are the easiest switches we use the most. (PLEASE KEEP IN MIND I’VE BEEN COLLECTING ITEMS FOR OVER 5 YEARS – you don’t need as much as I own) •I have dads old work rags (about 12), but a cut up old towel or T-shirt work great! •newspaper to clean windows, mirrors, make trash bin liners •luffa gourd cut up into pieces for dish sponge, cleaning sponge, body sponge, soap dish •olive oil for cooking, taking off makeup, moisturizing, taking sticky labels off, buffing wood •block of soap (this was made by a friends grandmother) can be cut up to clean dishes, body, clothes, hands, even hair if your scalp isn’t sensitive •citrus vinegar cleaner (steps in older post) to clean almost everything in the house, get rust off metal lids, help unclog drains •reusable cloth tote (I’ve seen folks DIY from shirts) to serve as shopping, lunch, beach, going out bag (I have 3 use the most but own 7) •my favorite jars are ones I bought food in – salsa, jam, applesauce, olives, etc. – let lid and jar sit in the sun a couple days to get smell out after washing (I have too many jars to count) •utensils don’t have to be fancy cutlery, take what you have at home on the go (we own about 15 of each) •the best cloth napkins I have feel like bedsheets (you could diy) and were from the thrift store (we own about 15) and I use them on the go as well •i like bamboo reusable straws because they can be composted at the end of their life and are the cheapest option (we have 15 variety) •metal tiffins, if you need them, I have found cheaper at asian markets than online sellers (we own 3) •the produce bags pictured were free – grey bag was what my bedsheets at Marshall’s came in (organic cotton too!) and the other two fancy shoe bags were given to me by friends (we own ~15) 🌱of everything shown, my olive oil is the priciest. trying to be mindful of your waste should not be expensive or complicated. what are some cheap changes you made?

A post shared by Heidi Violet (@zerowastechica) on

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Layered Peanut Butter Freezer Fudge

Stuck at home and looking for a fun and delicious recipe that the whole family will love? We have just what you need, easy layered peanut butter freezer fudge! This simple yet hands-on recipe makes for the perfect sweet treat while also being dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan!

This recipe is also an opportunity to try out some of the Fair Trade products that we have in our store! Coconut Oil and Chocolate are products that traditionally have not always fairly compensated the farmers that produce them. Buying Fair Trade versions of these products makes a positive impact on the lives of these farmers and makes the cultivation of these products more sustainable as well. For this recipe, we suggest using Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil and Equal Exchange chocolate chips, but we have many more Fair Trade options in our store for you to choose from! You can find some of our staff’s favorite Fair Trade items in another of our blog posts.

What You’ll Need:
  • 8×8 inch Baking Dish
  • Parchment Paper
  • Small Saucepan
  • Small Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Spoons/Cups
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Baking Sheet
  • Ziplock Bag (optional)

Ingredients:
  • 1 + ½ cup Peanut Butter
  • 6-8 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 ½ cup Oat Flour (Divided)
  • ¼ cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk (Divided)
  • 2-3 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 cups Chocolate Chips

Makes 12+ servings!

Instructions:
  1. Begin by heating the small saucepan over low heat and adding in 1 cup of the peanut butter and all of the maple syrup.
  2. Mix together the peanut butter and maple syrup, stirring constantly for about one minute or until smooth.
  3. Remove the peanut butter mixture from the heat and evenly divide into two mixing bowls.
  4. To one of the mixing bowls add in half of the oat flour (¾ cup), half of the coconut milk (½ cup), and all of the cocoa powder. Mix until smooth and thick to form the chocolate layer.
  5. To the other mixing bowl add in the remaining oat flour (¾ cup), remaining coconut milk (½ cup), and remaining peanut butter (½ cup). Mix until smooth and creamy to form the peanut butter layer.
  6. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and using clean hands or a rubber spatula press the chocolate mixture into the bottom of the pan to form an even layer.
  7. Scoop the peanut butter mixture on top of the chocolate layer and press into an even layer on top.
  8.  Place in the freezer overnight or for at least 3 hours to set.
  9. Once fully set remove the layered freezer fudge from the parchment and cut into 2-inch cubes.
  10.  Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together in a small saucepan or double boiler over medium-low heat until smooth and creamy, being careful to not burn the chocolate by stirring constantly. 
  11.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  12.  Using a fork or slotted spoon, dip each fudge chunk into the melted chocolate sauce, drain off extra chocolate by gently tapping the side of the bowl and then set on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  13.  Place into the freezer for a minimum of 30 minutes to allow the chocolate sauce to harden.
  14.  *Optional – For an extra touch scoop a tablespoon or two of peanut butter into a small ziplock bag. Using scissors cut off the tip of one of the bottom corners of the bag and use it as a frosting piper to drizzle peanut butter on top of each fudge chunk!

Store in the fridge for up to a week or the freezer for up to a month.

*Recipe Adjustments:
  • Peanut butter can be substituted with almond or cashew butter.
  • Coconut milk can be substituted with any plant-based milk.

Tips:
  • If your peanut butter is extra thick add a splash of extra coconut milk to help with mixing and if your peanut butter is thin and drippy add an extra ½ tbsp of oat flour to thicken it up.
  • To make your own oat flour simply pour whole rolled oats into a food processor, high-powered blender, or clean coffee grinder.

Recipe developed by our staff member, Rheanna Smith. Rheanna has a background in nutrition and food science, and along with working in many departments here at the Davis Food Co-op she actively runs a food blog containing healthy recipes and nutrition tips. Keep an eye on our Co-op blog to see some of her recipes and give her Instagram account a follow for additional health tips and ideas, @rheannnabanana.

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Staff Fair Trade Picks

Throughout the month of May, we celebrate Fair Trade products and the partnerships that produce them. In-store we will have signage for our staff’s favorite Fair Trade Certified items, and we will update this list throughout May with any new favorites that we find!

What is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade is both a philosophy and a business model. It keeps small farmers and artisans an active part of the marketplace by fairly compensating them for their work, and through various labeling systems allows consumers to shop in a way that aligns with their values.

It also:

Raises the incomes of small-scale farmers, farmworkers, and artisans

Equitably distributes the economic gains, opportunities, and risks associated with the production and sale of these goods

Supports democratically owned and controlled organizations

Promotes labor rights and the right of workers to organize

Promotes safe and sustainable farming methods and working conditions

“Matr Boomie makes such cute accessories that you can feel good about buying because you know that you are supporting a good cause. They pay the artisans that they work with very well and reinvest a portion of the profits back into their communities.”

Karla, Wellness and General Merchandise Manager

“I love the rich flavor of this tea, it has notes of bergamot just like a proper earl grey should!”

Derlina, Front-end Supervisor

“Dr. Bronner’s coconut oil is an amazing product because of how versatile it is! I use it in baking, to make my own toothpaste, and as a lotion during Spring and Summer to help keep mosquitoes away!⁠”

Madison, Education and Outreach Coordinator

“Divine uses only Fair Trade Certified chocolate from farms owned by their farmers, so you can feel good about indulging in these bars. The white chocolate strawberry and milk chocolate toffee are my favorites.”

Matt, Bulk Department

 

“Coffee is what keeps me going and I love that I can support the farmers that produce it by buying from conscious companies such as Equal Exchange and Pachamama.”

Rocio, Operations and Facilities Manager

“A high-quality olive oil is great for entertaining or using in special meals, I like this one for its flavors of almond and spices. La Riojana is an Argentinian farmer-owned co-op that is the biggest exporter of Fair Trade wine in the world.”

Roberto, Front-end Supervisor

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Staff Sustainability Picks

In celebration of Earth day we thought we would share some of our staff sustainability picks with you!

Ryan from our Deli department loves our selection of glass jars! They’re a great storage option that look pleasing in your pantry and help you buy in bulk. These jars in particular have a vacuum seal that keeps out bacteria.

Rheanna from our Produce team loves using beeswax wraps instead of traditional cling film. Beeswax wraps are washable and are a great way to keep foods fresh and covered. They’re also a great choice for carrying snacks! We carry a variety of wraps with eye catching prints in our store.

Madison from our Marketing team is a big fan of this Booda Butter deodorant that comes in a glass jar. This deodorant is made with pure, organic ingredients and the sustainable packaging that it comes in makes it a part of your self-care routine that you can feel great about!

Aster from our Deli team is a fan of the Stasher bags that we carry. These bags aren’t only great for storage but a perfect choice for marinades and sous vide cooking as well!

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