How To Use this Site

All relevant information about using the site  can be found above on the Black Bar, as well as all available minutes,  and the complete Bylaws with Amendments. Click on the appropriate heading to access them. -admin-

You can access past posts, including Co-op News, as well as news in the world about organic gardening, GMO discussions, farming, recipes, and more….

Simply go to the right hand column and find “Categories”.  Click on the arrow and scroll to your topic.

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Cashier Openings 5/25 – 5/30

Hello All,

Wasn’t that a great party the Co-Op had for us last Thursday!  It was fun to visit with the cashiers we don’t get to see too often.  And the food and drink were superb.

I hope we have just the right cashier spot left for you, this week.

Monday, May 25                   12a-3p; 3p-6p

Tuesday, May 26                   10a-12p; 12p-3p

Wednesday, May 27             10a-12p; 3p-6p

Thursday, May 28                  10a-12p; 12p-3p; 3p

Friday, May 29                        3p-6p

Saturday, May 30                  10a-12p; 12p-3p; 3p-6p

Thanks! for everything you do,


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Upcoming Events at the Co-op

We have a number of wonderful events being held at the Real Food Co-op this month. All events are open to the public.

NextStep Recycling       May 23-30

This is a great opportunity to clean your house of old electronics that you no longer need and to ensure they do not end up in a landfill.

Recycle almost anything electronic at our upcoming NextStep Recycling event! Just about anything that plugs in or runs on batteries will be accepted.

Donation bins will be placed outside the store for easy drop off.

NOTE: We do NOT recommend leaving any computer equipment or similar devices that contain personal information since the drop location is not secure.

More information about NextStep Recycling is available at their website.


Clean Your House Naturally     Saturday, May 23 at 3:00 PM

Making natural cleaners at home not only saves you money but is better for our environment. We are commonly exposed to toxins on a daily basis from many of the cleaners that are on the market. The cleaners that you make at can be used on a regular basis without exposing ourselves, our loved ones or pets to toxic chemicals.

Join member Frances Klippel as she teach us how to make natural cleaners at home with common household items. They are easy to make using vinegars, essential oils, and other basic items. Frances also will talk about using soap nuts for cleaning and laundry. What is a soap nut you ask? Come on by and find out!

Please join us for this great class!


Local Farmers Market to Open     

Sunday, May 24 from 10:00 to 2:00

The weekly Local Farmers Market begins this weekend, on May 24, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM in the Pro Lumber parking lot. Hope to see you there!


Call To Artists    Deadline: June 20

We are looking for art and craft donations for a fundraiser for the co-op. The benefit will be held June 27 at the Kenneth B Gallery. All pieces need to be received by June 20.

If you are interested in donating, would like to help with the event, or have questions, please contact Community Outreach & Fundraising coordinator, Christine Delgado, via email or phone: 206-369-6825.






Posted in About Co-op, Event Calendar, Jen's Corner, News from the Co-op, recycling, Special Interest, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

Happenings at Real Food Co-op

It’s hard to believe May is already here! We have a lot of exciting things lined up this month. Be sure to read the entire newsletter to learn about upcoming events and opportunities at the Real Food Co-op!

We hope you enjoy this issue of our monthly newsletter!


Real Food Co-op




Real Food Co-op Receives Green Award!

The co-op was recently acknowledged by the City of Florence for our efforts to make our community more green!

We are proud that our efforts to recycle, reuse, and reduce the waste that we create have been recognized. We not only recycle paper, boxes, and glass, but also plastic wrap and other packaging materials that we receive. We have dedicated co-op members that take our compost and wash our towels. Local farms reuse boxes and berry containers. We also purchase in bulk, reducing the amount of waste that comes with our food; for example, a case of canned beans comes with a box, plastic wrap, 12 cans, and 12 paper labels. A 25 lb. bag of beans comes in one paper bag. It’s that simple!

The co-op creates approximately one 13 gallon bag of garbage per week! Isn’t that amazing? This is because of the commitment that our members have to our environment and our community!

Thank you!


Call to Artists!

We are looking for art and craft donations for a fundraiser for the co-op. The benefit will be held June 27 at the Kenneth B Gallery.

All pieces need to be received by June 20.

If you are interested in donating, would like to help with the event, or have questions, please contact Community Outreach & Fundraising coordinator, Christine Delgado, via email or phone: 206-369-6825.


Roots & Shoots  ~  elsan

Ginger ~ Gem of the Spices

Zingiberaceae is a family with a spicy reputation. Often referred to as the ginger family, it comprises about 1300 cousins including the powerful spices, ginger and turmeric. Zingiber comes from a Sanskrit word meaning horn-shaped, referring to the rhizomes.

Ginger, the most widely used spice worldwide, is valued for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal purposes. For over 5,000 years it’s been a trusted remedy in Chinese and Indian medicine for its healing powers. The rhizomes hold the power ~ large amounts of volatile oils with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial properties.

Although native to Southeast Asia, where they are most abundant, ginger plants can be found throughout the tropics. In Chinese medicine ginger has been an effective remedy for soothing digestive disorders and nausea. On long voyages, Chinese navigators grew ginger in boxes on ships for their food, beverages and for seasickness. It’s a natural to prompt production of digestive enzymes that neutralize stomach acids. I’ve known many a sailor who wouldn’t leave port without their cache of ginger. It works!

I can’t imagine cooking without ginger in its various forms. Yet, prior to the Great Spice Race, Europeans had never tasted this gem. Ginger was one of the earliest spices carried by traders into the Mediterranean area. By the 11th century it was well known in England. Though not fresh ginger. Due to long journeys by ship and caravan, ginger was carried in its dried form either whole or powdered. It took advances in refrigeration for the rest of the world to experience fresh ginger. Today, ginger is grown in Jamaica, India, Fiji, Indonesia and Australia and used throughout the world in every culture.

Hard to mistake ginger rhizomes for anything else with their bulbous joints and small knobby bumps. Ginger’s ivory to pale yellow/green flesh is covered with a light brown corky layer. According to Jack Turner in his book, Spice, it has been cultivated for so long it can’t be found in a wild state. Plants no longer go to seed and must be propagated manually with root-stalk cuttings.

The whole family of perennial plants is known for being aromatic with attractive flowers. So they’re often used for landscaping. The flowers blossom along a dense, cone-like spike composed of overlapping green bracts. Each bract encloses a single, small yellow, green and purple flower.

Ginger’s aroma is pungent and sharp and has a peppery flavor with a hint of lemon. As a spice it’s used fresh, dried whole or powdered, pickled or crystallized. Historically it was added to food and beverages for its strong antibacterial qualities. Unique phytochemicals have healing qualities for digestive disorders, joint pain cold, fever, cough, nausea, poor circulation and respiratory illness. Truly, a gem.

Amazingly versatile, Ginger adds either a savory or sweet boost to almost everything from appetizers and beverages, including beer, to main dishes to desserts. Most recipes call for minced, sliced, grated or crushed ginger. In Japan, slices of ginger are eaten between meals to clear the palate.

It’s a common ingredient in many Indian dishes especially curries and soups. Add a couple teaspoons to your soup or stew or a few slices to stir-fried vegetables. Works wonders.

Put some zing in hot breakfast cereals or rice dishes made with coconut milk. Try it sliced or grated in your omelet. Also in chutneys and pickled vegetables. Gingered carrots and daikon radish ~ a favorite of mine. A few slices of baby ginger can be added to any salad but not a mature root as it’ll be too hot.

When the temperature drops in winter there’s nothing as warming as a cup of hot lemon ginger tea and a teaspoon of honey. And in summer months it makes a great cold drink in teas, smoothies or ginger water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Refreshing.

In it’s dried, candied or powdered form ginger adds a spicy sweetness to desserts ~ cakes, puddings, ice cream, cookies. Ever tasted chunks of ginger covered in dark chocolate? Yum.

All forms of ginger are best stored in airtight containers. Fresh rhizomes keep well in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.

There’s an old Italian rule for a happy life in old age: eat ginger, and you will love and be loved as in your youth!


Sero Seeds at RFC! 

We are excited to now carry Sero Seeds…local, organic and biodynamic! Our display rack can be found at the front of the store. We are happy to offer these seeds at below market price: $3.30 for members and $3.65 for non-members. Visit Sero Seeds for more info.

Upcoming Presentations

Co-op presentations have been popular events where co-op members and customers have free access to excellent information. Be sure to check out upcoming events in May (open to the public):


The Basics of Canning

Saturday, May 9, 3:00 PM

CanningCanning allows you to enjoy fresh local fruits and vegetables year round. It is a great way to support local farms…buying bulk produce when it is in season and canning it for long-term storage and use.

Join our General Manager, Jen Nelson, to learn about the basics of canning, using the water bath method. Jen will show some of the techniques for canning jams using a pectin that does not require sugar. She will talk about how to make marinara, relish, pears, apple, pear butter, and more!


Clean Your House Naturally!

Saturday, May 28, 3:00 PM

Natural Cleaners

Making natural cleaners at home not only saves you money but is better for our environment. We are commonly exposed to toxins on a daily basis from many of the cleaners that are on the market. The cleaners that you make at can be used on a regular basis without exposing ourselves, our loved ones or pets to toxic chemicals.

Join member Frances Klippel as she teach us how to make natural cleaners at home with common household items. They are easy to make using vinegars, essential oils, and other basic items. Frances also will talk about using soap nuts for cleaning and laundry. What is a soap nut you ask? Come on by and find out!

Get Involved!

There are many ways to get involved in the co-op…attend an event, volunteer, or support our community:

Rhody Days posterRhody Days Parade May 17: 
Calling all co-op kids

(and adults, too)! Help us educate our community about Real Food Co-op by marching or riding in the Rhody Days Parade. There should be a truck for those who cannot walk and kids can ride their bikes if they like (you have to be committed to ride the whole time)!  We will be passing out honey sticks. Email Jen for info.

School Garden Project: Thank you to all who voted for school garden in the grant contest. Unfortunately, we did not win a grant to enlarge the school garden, but we are still committed to helping with this important teaching tool. We are looking for donations of veggie starts and for people willing to help out regularly in the classroom or at work parties that support the garden. Email Jen for info.


GreenfairGreen Fair, Saturday, May 2: We are looking for members who want to donate a couple of hours at our booth to share information about the co-op with the community. Email Jen for more information.


Wednesday, May 27, 6:00 PM, Siuslaw Public Library Conference Room: Board of Directors Meeting. All members are invited and encouraged to attend.


Store-front Garden: We are looking for a person or people who would like to create a demonstration food-production garden in our store-front plot. It wouldn’t take much time and it would be a great way to demonstrate to our community how easy it is to grow food in Florence. Email Jen for info.


NextStep RecyclingRecycling, May 23-30:NextStep Recycling will again bring a donation bin to place at the store. More information will be sent out via email and on Facebook closer to the event.

Ginger Recipes

At the store right now…

Locally we are getting kale, chard, collards, leeks, nettle, chickweed, fava beans, NZ spinach and lettuce. Fiddleheads and miners lettuce are almost done.

We still have frozen strawberries and raspberries from Whiskey Creek.

Beets, cilantro, root vegetables, parsley, and a few other things are coming from the Willamette Valley.

Check the produce price list to see what is grown regionally!

Needs for the Store!

Contact Jen if you are able and interested in helping with any of the following. Members who help will earn store discounts!

We are looking for volunteers with grant-writing experience who can help us apply for grants.

We are in need of a cake plate with glass dome top that can be used for putting out samples (and keeping them covered with a see-through lid).

Needed: Black Sharpies for the store.

Looking for members who are willing to pick up items in Eugene and deliver them to our store. This will help reduce our delivery costs.

This and That

This section includes newsworthy items and information that may interest members.

Ductless Heat Pump: You may notice that the store feels cool! Thanks to our new Ductless Heat Pump. With this new system the store will stay at a nice cool temperature which will provide a wonderful shopping experience and preserve our food. Please remember to leave the doors and windows closed to conserve electricity.

Locally Grown MagazineWe now have copies of theLocally Grown Guide fromWillamette Farm and Food Coalition available at the storeThis publication lists local farms and producers.

Posted in About Co-op, Co-op Newsletter and Weekly Articles, Community/Member Support, Event Calendar, Info for Volunteers, Jen's Corner, News from the Co-op, Recipes, recycling, Special Interest | Leave a comment




             Help us make a difference in our community.                   

Seeds of Change Grant Opportunity

We have a wonderful opportunity to win a large grant to help expand our school garden project, but we need your help…all you need to do is VOTE each day and share this with your friends so they can vote, too!  Here’s the scoop… Seeds of Change®, leading producer of certified organic seeds and foods, is hosting its fourth annual Grant Program.  REAL FOOD CO-OP has submitted an application to receive a $20,000, $10,000 or $1,000 grant to fund our local SCHOOL GARDEN.  To help us support our sustainable gardening initiative, please visit Seeds of Change®  to vote EACH DAY for REAL FOOD CO-OP between April 9 and April 27 (vote once each day).

There are two ways to vote:

1. Facebook-

2. Website-

Once voting closes, the 50 organizations with the most votes will move on to the final judging phase and recipients will be announced around May 12.    

Please VOTE & SHARE!                  

Real Food Co-op

1379 B Rhododendron Dr. Florence, OR 97439

(541) 997-3396

Posted in About Co-op, Board News, Community/Member Support, Jen's Corner, News from the Co-op, Special Interest, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

Organic Bytes

Posted in GMO FOOD, Health Issues, Monsanto, Organic Bytes, Organic products, Sustainable Farming | Leave a comment

April Co-op News

Happy Spring to all…..

We’re spicing things up this month with a few great articles about…just that… spices! Learn about the history of spices and about the “Golden Spice,” Turmeric.

And we have a number of exciting announcements  in this month’s newsletter, including two “Wild Edibles” events! We hope to see you there.

The sun is making more appearances and the garden is calling. I’ve noticed my Kohlrabi and Broccoli starts are taking off .

May your garden be bountiful this year!



 Real Food Co-op           541-997-3396



Wild Edibles: You Want Me To Eat That?

       Saturday, April 11, 1:00 to 2:00 PM, at RFC.

Join Kelsey, from Homegrown Pub, and Jen, from Real Food Co-op, to learn more about identifying and preparing wild edibles that grow in our area. You will learn how to identify and prepare stinging nettles into a soup or a pesto and how to identify miners lettuce, chickweed, wood violets, fiddleheads, sea beans and more.

Follow up this event by attending…


Spring Celebration

Celebrate Locally Grown Foods @ Homegrown

Monday, April 13
Appetizers 5:30 PM, Dinner 6:00 PM

Join us for this fun and delicious dinner prepared by Kelsey at Homegrown Pub. For our meal we will be focusing on wild spring edibles such as nettles, sea beans, miners lettuce, chickweed, and other fun foods.

Our menu will include smoked tofu and chicken, wild greens salad, picked fiddlehead salad, sea beans, and a strawberry surprise for dessert!

Tickets are $20 for adults and free for kids 12 and under (sponsored by RFC and Homegrown/advance purchase at RFC or Homegrown).

Dessert Auction: Proceeds support our School Garden Project and Kids Garden Activities.


Join us to support locally grown food, our kids, and our community!

Sero Seeds at RFC! 

We are super excited to now carry Sero Seeds…local, organic and biodynamic! Our display rack can be found at the front of the store. We are happy to offer these seeds at below market price: $3.30 for members and $3.65 for non-members. Visit Sero Seeds for more info.


Feed the Need ~ A Community-Wide Event to Support

Florence Food Share

We are partnering with Florence Food Share between April 1 and 30 to provide healthy organic food to those in need. You can help! Bring dry food to our store to place in the Feed the Need barrel.

Some of the most-needed items include: Flour, sugar, peanut butter, canned meats (such as tuna or chicken), canned tomato products, baby formula, and baby food.

Additionally, if you are interested in sharing the cost of bulk beans, grains, etc., email Jen so we can consolidate our efforts.


Local Spring Greens are Here!

Chickweed is a yummy wild green that is easy to cultivate in your garden. It is known to be nutritious and a mild blood cleanser. Chop it up and put it in your salad.

Corn salad or mache, commonly used in Europe, is known for its nutty flavor. It grows well in cool climates and is great in salads!

Stinging nettle grows wild in moist areas. It is high in vitamins and minerals and has many health benefits. It can be used in soups, stir fry, lasagna, smoothies (raw), or teas.

Not sure how to get nettles out of the bag without getting stung? First, dump out the bag. The stingers are on the bottom of the leaf, so pick up the plant by the bottom of the stem and use scissors to cut at the base of the leaf, leaving the young stem to eat. Then use scissors to cut up the nettle and tongs to throw it in the pan. If you do get stung, put aloe (the slime from the middle of the leaf), or plantain on the affected area. 

Fiddleheads are locally wildcrafted from the ostrich fern. They are high in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, iron, and fiber. They have some antioxidants available as well. Enjoy them sauteed with other veggies or eggs, or steamed. They are great with butter, lemon, or vinegar.   Kelsey, at homegrown pub, suggests cooking fiddleheads until light green and then finish the dish. Enjoy!

Miner’s lettuce grows wild locally in our forests, near creek beds, etc…the leaves and flowers are edible. Enjoy miner’s lettuce in salads or lightly steamed.

At the store right now…

Some of your favorites that are available at the store right now:

  • Kale…….lots of varieties
  • Collards
  • Chard
  • Kale tops or rabe tops
  • Nettle
  • Chickweed
  • Miner’s lettuce
  • Leeks
  • Beets
  • Asparagus
  • New Zealand spinach
  • Mustard greens
  • Frozen strawberries from Whiskey Creek


Dairy Culture: Making Yogurt and Kefir at Home

Saturday, April 25, 3:00 – 4:00 PM @ RFC

 Join Rene and Calvin to learn how to make yogurt and kefir at home! They will discuss counter-top yogurts and ones you make in a machine. You also will learn how to make a yogurt-maker at home!


          What’s the difference between an herb and a spice?

According to Susan Smith Jones, Ph.D., in an article, The Healing Remedies in Spices: “Herbs are typically the leaves of plants, spices originate from a plant’s aromatic parts, including the root, bark, flower, berry and seed. Herbs are their most potent and flavorful when fresh, but most spices gain their flavor and healing properties in the drying process, when naturally occurring enzymes are activated.”


We thought you might enjoy some recipes that will allow you to use some of the wonderful spices available at the Real Food Co-op…

7 Ways to Eat (& Drink) Turmeric

Cumin and Coriander: 7 Indian Dishes to Try at Home

Cinnamon Creations

Ginger and More Ginger

Nom Nom Nutmeg

Want to try something different?

Visit (sic) and type your favorite spice in the search box.



Roots & Shoots 



The Life of Spice

Spices tell a fascinating story that began thousands of years ago. An alluring story saturated with exotic aromas and flavors. Today, with spices so easily and readily available it’s a story and value we take for granted.

From earliest times people have nurtured a powerful attraction for spices. Spices were rare and precious products. Specific origins were guarded secrets known only by spice merchants who created mystery as well as high prices by telling fantastic tales of their journeys to reach and procure spices.

An Assyrian myth tells of the first reference to a spice ~ sesame seed. Gods drank sesame wine the night before creating the earth. Artwork and writing of early civilizations refer to the use of spices and herbs. Hieroglyphs in the Great Pyramid at Giza depict workers eating garlic and onions for strength.

Among gifts in tribute to King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba included spices. Olympians celebrating victory wore wreaths of bay and parsley. Remember Hippocrates? He created and recorded over 400 medicinal remedies with spices and herbs. About half of them remain in use today.

Spice Trade Route

A handful of Asian spices began the epic spice race that led to immense wealth, empires and new world discoveries. In its day the spice trade was the world’s greatest industry. Arabic spice merchants with camel caravans first controlled the trade routes. Then Romans commanded the spice trade bringing pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger for the enjoyment of upper class Romans and established a trading center in Alexandria, Egypt. Demand and use of spices grew expanding world trade. Over centuries various countries and groups battled for control of the spice trade. By the mid-13th century, Venice had become the primary trade port for spices.

In a fascinating book, Spice, Jack Turner, writes about the influence and subsequent quest for spices. The further they traveled from their origins, the more interesting they became, the greater the passions they aroused, the higher their value, the more outlandish the properties credited to them. What was special in Asia was astonishing in Europe. In the European imagination there never was, and perhaps never again will be, anything quite like them. Spices may no longer possess such grand powers yet their attraction and mystery continue.

Two major Asian spices with powerful attraction that eventually spanned the globe are ginger and turmeric. Both belong to the same family, Zingiberaceae. Aptly named as both have a zing! Both spices are made from their roots and are aromatic. Both are used in foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals. Both possess medicinal qualities and were used in Ayurvedic tradition for thousands of years to treat digestive disorders, joint pain, nausea, circulation problems, vertigo and more. Both are warming spices improving circulation.


Look to Your Roots 


Turmeric…the Golden Spice

If vibrant color measured a spice’s worth then turmeric would top the list. Used for thousands of years in China, India and Indonesia, this vibrant spice boasts a lengthy list of fascinating uses. A culinary spice, healing remedy, textile dye, food coloring and body coloring to name a few. In religious ceremonies turmeric represents life, purity and prosperity.

Turmeric plays a key role in Indian Ayurvedic herbal medicine. As well as being recognized as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory it is one of the strongest antiseptics known. In Ayurveda medicine, turmeric is known as strengthening and warming the whole body.

In Indian culture, the importance of turmeric goes far beyond medicine. In the Hindu religion turmeric is auspicious and sacred. In India and Malaysia, there is a custom of making turmeric paste to apply directly onto the skin, a practice currently being studied as a preventative measure against skin cancer. The bright red forehead mark worn by some Hindu women can be made by mixing turmeric with lime juice.

Turmeric is made from Curcuma longa, a plant that grows to about three feet and produces both a flower and rhizome. Like ginger, the spice is derived from the rhizome or root of the plant. Peel away the rough brown skin for the deep orange flesh, characteristic of turmeric. The bouquet is earthy and slightly acrid with a peppery, warm flavor and bitter undertone. Turmeric is typically ground into a bright orange powder but can be used fresh.

Early western herbalists showed little interest in turmeric but a group of chemists about 1870 discovered a fascinating and useful quality. Turmeric’s orange-yellow root powder turned reddish brown with exposure to alkaline chemicals. Hence, turmeric paper for alkalinity. Sometime in the mid-20th century, German herbalists noted turmeric’s potential remedy for the digestive system. Yet it wasn’t until the 1990s that turmeric’s benefits and usefulness were appreciated in the west. Prominent herbalists of the time began promoting turmeric as a remedy for health issues. As one herbalist, Michael Castleman declared, Western herbalists, wake up. Turmeric is a healer.

Turmeric’s special healing compound is curcumin. It’s the ingredient that gives turmeric its vibrant color. It’s the ingredient believed to be a powerful antioxidant with a host of beneficial effects on the body. A powerful compound for preventing and treating inflammation with negligible side effects. Curcumin is found only in turmeric. Curcumin is not related to cumin, which is a spice made from the seed of a different plant.

Ongoing research studies are examining the medicinal properties and beneficial effects of curcumin. Articles abound in health and nutrition magazines about the healing qualities of curcumin as well as current studies.

Turmeric is eaten both cooked and raw throughout Asia. It’s less fibrous than ginger and more chewable and crunchy. Though sometimes chewed or chopped up in salads in its raw state turmeric is most often mashed or ground to make a paste and mixed with other spices for curries. After all, turmeric gives Indian curries their rich flavor and deep yellow-orange color. Curry powders contain less curcumin than turmeric. So, if you want the most curcumin be sure to add turmeric when cooking Indian dishes.

Selecting fresh turmeric

Try to select organically grown turmeric to ensure the rhizomes have not been irradiated. Color is not necessarily a mark of quality as the color varies with different varieties. Keep fresh turmeric in the refrigerator and turmeric powder in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place. To make your own turmeric powder boil, dry and grind fresh rhizomes.

Be forewarned ~ turmeric’s color will stain hands, countertops and chopping boards. Wash immediately. Don’t want yellow-stained hands? Try wearing gloves.

Note: As with any potent spice or herb, if you’re being treated for a major medical issue be sure to discuss with your physician before using turmeric and especially turmeric supplements. Food is medicine. Medicine is food.

 Turmeric in the kitchen

 Grown in Bengal, China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Java, Peru, Australia and the West Indies turmeric is added to mustard and can be used to color foods like butter, margarine and cheese. And don’t forget pickles, relishes and chutneys.

Curcumin is extremely sensitive to light, moisture and heat. In cooking it’s best to add at the end of heating a dish. Since it can be stabilized with acids turmeric is used in salad dressings and tomato recipes. Too, you can add a little vinegar or lemon juice to stabilize the curcumin.

Ideas for using turmeric

  • Add to egg salad or deviled eggs for a bolder color
  • Wonderful with rice dishes along with currants, cashews, coriander
  • Adding turmeric in addition to curry enhances Indian dishes
  • Sprinkle on sautéed apples, steamed cauliflower, green salads
  • Add to bean dishes, dips or mayonnaise
  • Compliments lentil dishes
  • Try turmeric tea
  • Seasoning for soups
  • Blend in a smoothie
  • Use a pinch in scrambled eggs, frittatas
  • Toss with roasted veggies after roasting
  • Blend with butter, ghee or olive oil and drizzle over cooked veggies, pasta or potatoes
  •  Include in a marinade



Get Involved!

There are many ways to get involved in the co-op…attend an event, volunteer, or support our community:

Call to Artists: We are looking for art and craft donations for a fundraiser for the co-op. The benefit will be held on June 27 at the Kenneth B Gallery. All pieces need to be received by June 20. If you are interested in donating, would like to help with the event, or have questions, please contact Community Outreach & Fundraising coordinator, Christine Delgado, via email or phone: 206-369-6825.

Protect the Florence Aquifer: Educate yourself our about water issues in Florence. We have some info and petitions for you to sign at the co-op. Email Protect Florence Aquifer to get on the mailing list for updates about chemical spraying that is happening within our Clear Lake Watershed (which feeds into our water source).

Rhody Days Parade May 17: We are looking for adults and kids that would like to help us make a presence during the Rhody Days Parade. This is a great opportunity for us to be involved in the community and educate folks that we are here. Email Jen for info.

Dessert Auction Donations – to benefit the School Garden Project: We are looking for people who would like to donate a dessert for our Dessert Auction to be held at the Spring Celebration on April 13. Proceeds benefit the School Garden Project. Email Jen to let her know what amazing dessert you would like to donate!

School Garden Project: Help with the school garden, either as a classroom volunteer or at work parties. Or, donate garden tools at the store. Email Jen for info.

Cloth Bag Drive: Help us celebrate Earth Day on April 22. Bring in clean cloth bags to donate for reuse. Help reduce the amount of paper and plastic that we are putting in the waste stream.

Green Fair, Saturday, May 2: We are looking for members who want to donate a couple of hours at our booth to share information about the co-op with our community. Email Jen for more information.

Florence Household Hazardous Waste Round-up: Friday, April 10, 12:00 to 5:00, and Saturday, April 11, 8:00 to 2:00 at the Florence Transfer Station. For info, call 997-8237.

More Opportunities

  • The Board is looking for folks interested in being involved with work groups to help our co-op continue to grow and be successful.
  • The Store Operations Committee is focusing on the internal working of the store. They are working on new member info, product display, maintenance, and other things.
  • The In-Store Education Committee provides education about our products to our customers.
  • The Community Outreach & Fundraising Committee is creating fun events for our co-op and Florence community to raise awareness about what the co-op is doing, and to raise funds to support our store.

Committees are a great way to help with a specific project if you can’t help at the store on a regular basis as well as to support your co-op while earning a working member discount.

Email the store to let us know how you would like to participate!

Thanks for helping!

Thanks to the following volunteers for helping with our quarterly inventory in March: Pat, Bob, Frank, Mary, Rene, Ian and Calvin!  We appreciate your help!

We would like to extend our thanks to all of our volunteers who worked hard this past month to keep our store running smoothly:

  • Carol Barbee
  • Randy Curtola
  • Pip Cole
  • Rene & Ian Dobbins
  • Christine Delgado
  • Virgil Gentry
  • Valerie Gordon
  • Sara Kaul
  • Judy Kinsman
  • Frances Klippel
  • Susan Kirby
  • Michele Le Blanc
  • Pat Mills
  • Anna Moore
  • Tom O’Ryan
  • Dina Pavlis
  • Lori Robertson
  • Bob Spillman
  • Mindy Stone
  • Art Trujillo
  • Elsan Zimmerly
  • Joann Henderson

If we missed your name, please accept our apology and let us know so we can be sure to include you next month. Thank you!


About the Real Food Co-op

   1379 B Rhododendron   Florence, Oregon 97439

(541) 997-3396



Mon-Sat: 10:00 to 6:00

Sun: Closed

General Manager

Jen Nelson

Assistant Manager

Calvin Steventon

Working Member Coordinator

Laurie Stone

Board of Directors

  • Erin Leonard, President
  • Christine Delgado
  • Pat Mills
  • Bob Spillman
  • Laurie Stone
  • Carol Sweet

We think our monthly newsletter is wonderful and we enjoy bringing it to you each month. There are limitations, however, in getting timely information to you in this format. Be sure to Like us on Facebook to receive current information about arrivals, sales and events on a daily/weekly basis. Thank you for supporting Real Food Co-op!

Posted in About Co-op, Co-op Newsletter and Weekly Articles, Community/Member Support, Event Calendar, Info for Volunteers, Jen's Corner, News from the Co-op, Recipes, Special Interest, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

The Best and Worst…Pesticides in our Food

It pays to eat organic fruits and veggies!


The Clean Fifteen

  • Avacados
  • Sweet corn (non GMO)
  • Pineapples (non GMO)
  • Cabbage
  • Frozen Sweet Peas
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas (non GMO)
  • Kiwi
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Potatoes

The Dirty Dozen

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Imported Nectarines
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Imported Snap peas
  • Potatoes


Posted in Health Issues, News from the Co-op | Leave a comment

USDA Approves GMO Apples

Despite public opposition, USDA has just approved the genetically engineered (GE) “Arctic” apple.1  Tell food companies to reject this risky new product >

After decades of promises from the biotech industry that genetically engineered (GE) food would feed the world, cure the sick, reduce agricultural dependence on toxic chemicals, and save countless crops from imminent collapse, USDA has just approved a product they think will solve a problem humans have struggled with for centuries… an apple that doesn’t brown when you slice it… Seriously; we couldn’t make this stuff up.


While these GE apples are a waste of time and money, we don’t want to downplay the real concerns about them. Pre-sliced apples are already a frequently recalled food product. Once the whole fruit is sliced, it has an increased risk of exposure to pathogens. Since browning is a sign that apples are no longer fresh, “masking” this natural signal could lead people to consume contaminated apples, which is why some folks are calling it the “botox apple.” 

Further, since FDA does no independent, pre-market safety testing of GE food there are several unanswered questions about the safety of GE apples. “Silencing” the genes that make apples turn brown when exposed to oxygen could have unintended consequences that will only be tested by hungry consumers. Although these “botox apples” are primarily targeted to the fresh-sliced apple market they could also find their way into non-GE juice, baby foods, or apple sauce at the processing level – all products predominantly eaten by children and babies who are at increased risk for any adverse health effects.

Tell food companies parents do not want to feed their kids GE apples!

Like other GE products in the U.S., no mandatory labeling would be required. While Okanagan (the manufacturer) says they’ll require growers to label their whole apples as “Arctic variety,” the government has announced no plans to require labeling of these apples as GE. If approved, Okanagan’s non-browning “Arctic” apple would be first commercialized in Granny Smith and Golden Delicious varieties, with Fuji and Gala on the horizon.

Even the apple industry has opposed this genetically engineered product.  The U.S. Apple Association, Northwest Horticultural Council (which represents Washington apple growers, who grow over 60% of the apples in the U.S.), British Columbia Fruit Growers Association and other grower groups have already voiced their disapproval of these GE apples due to the negative impact they could have on farmers growing organic and non-GE apples through contamination, and to the image of the apple industry as a whole.

McDonald’s and Gerber have already indicated that they don’t plan to use these GE apples.

If the apple industry doesn’t want GE apples, and consumers don’t want GE apples, who do these apples really benefit? As usual, this product only benefits the biotech industry and big food processing companies.

Sign the petition urging food companies to reject GE apples! 

We’ll send your signatures along with a letter to the top fast food restaurants, supermarkets, and food companies to secure commitments from them that they will not sell or use this risky new product.

Thanks for everything you do,
Center for Food Safety

Posted in GMO FOOD, Health Issues | Leave a comment

Happenings at Real Food Co-op

Another Year at RFC…

As I write this note, this year’s Annual Meeting is just a few hours away. Time moves both slowly and quickly sometimes. It seems so long ago when our store first started in that tiny building south of the bridge, and yet, with just a blink of an eye, here we are today both bigger and better.

Our growth and success would not be possible without the support of our volunteers and member-owners. Thank you for making “real food” a reality in tiny Florence, Oregon.

I hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter. We have some great information to share with you, including the real scoop on cauliflower by Elsan.

Looking forward to celebrating with you at our Annual Meeting and Potluck Celebration at Homegrown (today, Sunday, 2/1, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM).


Real Food Co-op



Our New Board Members

It is with great pleasure that we introduce to you our newest Board Members at RFC:

Christine Delgado has been actively involved at the co-op since moving to the area. She works in the store as a cashier weekly, assists with produce orders, and has a great flare for display. She has owned successful businesses previously and brings this experience to the co-op. Christine is fun to work with and will be a great asset to the Board.

Pat Mills has been an active member for many years donating her time and skills in various capacities. She has great organizational skills and a passion for organic local food. Recently, she has been working with a Board Committee for community outreach.

Bob Spillman is a committed member of our co-op. He has generously shared his handyman skills and donated time as a cashier. Bob has a positive attitude about the co-op and his presence on the Board will be a true asset to the store.

Carol Sweet is new to the co-op and has jumped right into getting involved. She has been assisting with produce deliveries and is looking forward to donating her skills and time as a Board member. Great to work with, Carol will be a super addition to our Board.


A huge thank you for your service to outgoing board members: Eileen Angilletta, Randy Curtola and Michele LeBlanc.


Roots & Shoots ~ elsan

Curious about Cauliflower


Okay, what’s the scoop on colorless veggies? Does lack of chlorophyll mean lack of nutrition? I confess for years I ignored pale vegetables like creamy-white cauliflower heads. No place on my table. After all, I followed the rule of more nutrition in darker and colorful veggies. Until my curious nature looked beyond what seemed apparent. True, it’s still a good general rule, however, there are exceptions. Cauliflower is one curious vegetable I’ve grown to appreciate and enjoy.

Granted, it lacks chlorophyll but it’s chock full of many essential nutrients. Like all cruciferous veggies it’s rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants. Want more benefits? Try high fiber and water content, supports digestion, boosts the immune system and fights cancer and inflammation as well as good sources of Vitamins C and B-complex. Cauliflower and broccoli, another cruciferous, are natural sources of B-vitamin choline, important for sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.


Typically, we see the white variety in produce sections. Surprisingly, cauliflower comes in rich colors like neon-green, orange and purple. And, yes, the color rule applies ~ they’ve more antioxidants than the white variety. Actually, the darker colors predate the white variety. Romanesca is my favorite. This almost comical-shaped, bright neon-green cauliflower is fun to serve. A conversation piece at any feast.

The cruciferous family, named for four petals in the shape of a cross, includes a long list of plants (see sidebar, “More than Broccoli”). First grown in eastern Mediterranean they originally resembled kale leaves with no central head. And, good for us, cruciferous plants haven’t been modified for more sweetness, less bitterness. If you don’t like that bold or bitter taste it might be worth reconsidering. Recent studies suggest the phytochemicals responsible for bitterness give crucifers, like cauliflower, their cancer-fighting power. More bitter, more healthy. Kale and Brussels sprouts top the list.

Cauliflower is one vegetable found year-round though it’s best in winter. With all crucifers it’s important to have the freshest veggies without bruises, spots or mold. Look for even heads that feel heavy in your hand. Due to a low respiration rate heads are usually wrapped and when properly stored they retain their flavor and nutrition for about a week in the crisper.

When ready to use wash heads upside down in a large bowl of cold water then pat dry. Steam lightly till barely tender. Resist boiling or nutrients will be lost. Eat raw in salads or with dips. A novel recipe is to steam then rice cauliflower and make tortillas/crepes. A terrific change and gluten free.



Ferment Your Way to a Healthier You!

Saturday, February 28, 2:00 to 4:00 PM at RFC.

Laurie Stone will demonstrate how easy it is to ferment foods at home. She will discuss the many health benefits of fermented foods such as increasing the bio- availability of vitamins, increased probiotics, and natural preservation.


Photo credit:

Fermentation is the process in which a substance breaks down into a simpler substance. Microorganisms like yeast and bacteria usually play a role in the fermentation process, creating beer, wine, bread, kimchi, yogurt and other foods.

Laurie’s passion for cooking led her to use food as a healing art form. When her son was born with many food allergies and an undiagnosed immunodeficiency dysfunction, she saw this experience as an opportunity to challenge her creativity with cooking. It also sparked her interest in nutrition. This led her to seek an education as a holistic nutritionist.

Laurie graduated as a C.H.N. from The Wellspring School for Healing Arts in June of 2013. She joined her husband, Mark Stone, Licensed Acupuncturist, in practice at Stonehaven Center of Balance and Well Being in Florence, Oregon. Laurie’s education had an emphasis on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). She utilizes both TCM and holistic approaches to allow for more possibilities in helping clients bring balance into their bodies.

Laurie is experienced in alternative cooking and meal planning for those with food allergies. She has worked with people who have liver disease, diabetes, menstrual issues, gout, autoimmune disease and cholesterol issues. She feels that food should be the foundation for the healing process. Laurie believes the body has an innate intelligence giving it the ability to heal itself when it is provided with the nourishment it needs.


Many Hands Event Photos

Thanks to board member Sally Daugherty for passing along photos from our Many Hands Make Light Work Annual Inventory Event that took place in January (see sidebar “Event Updates”). Thanks to everyone who came out to help.





What’s an ISA?

An ISA is an “In-Store Assistant.” ISAs are super important volunteers that help keep our store functioning. 

Help includes: stocking, cleaning, putting away delivery items and more.

ISAs can work for just an hour (or more) and they can work whenever it fits into THEIR schedule…no need to sign up, just come on in!

Best of all, ISAs can apply their hours toward a working member discount for the following month. What could be better than helping to keep our store running and saving on fresh, healthy, and tasty food at the same time!

Email the store for more information.

More than Broccoli

Looking to increase the variety of crucifers in your life? Here’s a list to help you get started…


  • Arugula
  • Bok choi
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chinese broccoli
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Collard greens
  • Daikon
  • Garden cress
  • Horseradish
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Komatsuna
  • Land cress
  • Mizuna
  • Mustard – seeds and leaves
  • Pak choi
  • Radish
  • Romanesca
  • Rutabaga
  • Tatsoi
  • Turnips – root and greens
  • Wasabi
  • Watercress


Event Updates

Several events took place in January, including Winterfest, our Annual Inventory and NextStep Electronics Recycling.

Winterfest was a huge success! It was a nice, intimate setting with great food. The main focus of the meal was local food that is available now or that had been preserved for the winter. Real Food Co-op and Homegrown will be donating $300 toward a greenhouse for the Siuslaw Elementary School Garden. Other co-op member donations equaled $130. Thank you for supporting our community and our children!


Thanks to everyone who came out to help during our annual inventory: Randy Curtola, Tom O’Ryan, Eileen Angilletta, Wanda Hill, Daphne Jones, Ian Dobbins, Carol Barbee, Bob Spillman, Sally Daugherty, Michele LeBlanc, Calvin Steventon, Erin Leonard, Judy Kinsman. Having so many helping hands ensured the process went quickly!


The NextStep Electronics Drive was a success! We collected over a ton of electronics! Thanks for participating. Look for it again in May.



Oven-Roasted Cauliflower

Courtesy Emeril Lagasse and Food Network.

Oven-Roasted Cauliflower


5 to 6 cups cauliflower florets, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter (from 1 medium cauliflower)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon sliced garlic

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

Chopped chives, for garnish



Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Place the cauliflower florets in a large saute pan or a roasting pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the cauliflower, and season with the garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Place the saute/roasting pan in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even roasting. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Garnish with chopped chives and serve immediately while still warm.

House Parties and Clubs

Jen Nelson, our General Manager, is available to speak about the co-op at your next house party or club meeting. Jen will share about our products and the community benefit of the RFC, along with our mission and goals.



This is a great opportunity to share the RFC with others in our community. Contact Jen by email or at 541-997-3396

About the Real Food  Co-op

Thank you for supporting the RFC!

1379 B Rhododendron

Florence, Oregon 97439

(541) 997-3396



Mon-Sat: 10:00 to 6:00

Sun: Closed

General Manager

Jen Nelson

Assistant Manager

Calvin Steventon

Working Member Coordinator

Laurie Stone

Board of Directors

Erin Leonard,  President

Sally Daugherty

Christine Delgado

Pat Mills

Bob Spillman

Laurie Stone

Carol Sweet

Posted in About Co-op, Board News, Board of Directors Meeting Minutes (click on heading to view), Co-op Newsletter and Weekly Articles, Community/Member Support, Event Calendar, Health Issues, Info for Volunteers, Jen's Corner, News from the Co-op, Organic products, Recipes, recycling, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

The Trouble With the Genetically Modified Future

964NOV 16, 2014 6:03 PM EST

By Mark Buchanan

Like many people, I’ve long wondered about the safety of genetically modified organisms. They’ve become so ubiquitous that they account for about 80 percent of the corn grown in the U.S., yet we know almost nothing about what damage might ensue if the transplanted genes spread through global ecosystems.

How can so many smart people, including many scientists, be so sure that there’s nothing to worry about? Judging from a new paper by several researchers from New York University, including “The Black Swan” author Nassim Taleb, they can’t and shouldn’t.

The researchers focus on the risk of extremely unlikely but potentially devastating events. They argue that there’s no easy way to decide whether such risks are worth taking — it all depends on the nature of the worst-case scenario. Their approach helps explain why some technologies, such as nuclear energy, should give no cause for alarm, while innovations such as GMOs merit extreme caution.

The researchers fully recognize that fear of bad outcomes can lead to paralysis. Any human action, including inaction, entails risk. That said, the downside risks of some actions may be so hard to predict — and so potentially bad — that it is better to be safe than sorry. The benefits, no matter how great, do not merit even a tiny chance of an irreversible, catastrophic outcome.

For most actions, there are identifiable limits on what can go wrong. Planning can reduce such risks to acceptable levels. When introducing a new medicine, for example, we can monitor the unintended effects and react if too many people fall ill or die. Taleb and his colleagues argue that nuclear power is a similar case: Awful as the sudden meltdown of a large reactor might be, physics strongly suggests that it is exceedingly unlikely to have global and catastrophic consequences.

Not all risks are so easily defined. In some cases, as Taleb explained in “The Black Swan,” experience and ordinary risk analysis are inadequate to understand the probability or scale of a devastating outcome. GMOs are an excellent example. Despite all precautions, genes from modified organisms inevitably invade natural populations, and from there have the potential to spread uncontrollably through the genetic ecosystem. There is no obvious mechanism to localize the damage.

Biologists still don’t understand how genes interact within a single organism, let alone how genes might spread among organisms in complex ecosystems. Only in the last 20 years have scientists realized how much bacteria rely on the so-called horizontal flow of genes — directly from one bacterium to another, without any reproduction taking place. This seems to be one of the most effective ways that antibiotic resistance spreads among different species. Similar horizontal exchange might be hugely important for plants and animals. No one yet knows.

In other words, scientists are being irresponsibly short-sighted if they judge the safety of GMOs based on the scattered experience of the past couple decades. It’s akin to how, ahead of the 2008 financial crisis, analysts looked at 20 years of rising house prices and assumed they would always go up. The honest approach would be to admit that we understand almost nothing about the safety of GMOs, except that whatever happens is pretty likely to spread.

Science is at its best when it acknowledges uncertainty and focuses on defining how much can be known. In the case of GMOs, we know far too little for our own good.

To contact the author on this story:
Mark Buchanan at

To contact the editor on this story:
Mark Whitehouse at


Posted in GMO FOOD, Health Issues, Monsanto, Organic products, Special Interest | Leave a comment