santa fe community coop

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Santa Fe’s New Social, Economic and Environmental Cooperative Model

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We want to get the word out about our new social, economic, and environmental cooperative model. Bridging the North and South sides of Santa Fe, our new cooperative provides high quality, affordable food to everyone. It brings food & health equity and new farming models together, growing more local food and creating more local jobs in Santa Fe, while preserving our most vulnerable resource, water.

The Coop offers one-stop-shopping for healthy, nutritious, mostly organic and non-GMO, local whenever possible, food; along with nutritional supplements, basic housewares, some hardware, beauty products, and select gourmet. It will be home to a rich and progressive culture where Santa Feans actively participate in improving their own lives and lives of others . . . where we, together, deliver on our commitment to live a life of meaning.

The Coop is family-oriented, with childcare and desks for homework, cooking and nutritional classes, and high quality prepared food for seniors and singles. Built on a solid ecological model, the backbone of the coop is an energy efficient system that optimizes thermal outputs, recycles grey water, deploys solar energy, and uses proven and emerging agricultural technologies in a model, economically and environmentally viable, grocery store replete with high-yield, water-efficient urban farming. Working with La Familia Medical Center, Youthbuild job corp and other community NGO’s we are marshaling our community’s economic and social resources to empower Santa Fe’s growth and health.

The Coop uses a proven business model, the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn, which has been in business for 40 years . . . with whom we have strong and active strategic alliance. Located in a walking community of 73,595, the PSFC is one of the top five independent grocery stores in the country. It is highly efficient, with $6,500 annual sales per square foot compared to Whole Foods’ $777. It has 16,000 working members, and charges 21% mark-up compared with most natural grocers’ mark-up of 65% and more. The Coop saves shoppers 20%-40% on food, selling organic Yukon Golds for $.57 lb and organic leeks for $2.37. They take healthy food to a new level, stocking 85% organic compared to Whole Foods’ 26%. The Coop will launch with a 29% mark-up.

The Coop needs your help. We cannot do this without you. You are the foundation of the cooperative . . . its owners, its cheerleaders, its heart and soul. We encourage you to join and to let your friends know about the Coop so they can join. The Coop needs 400 Founding Members to secure our site and our financing; we will not spend your pledge or move forward until we have 400 Members. By joining now, you will save your first year’s $25 membership fee, and you will have the pleasure of knowing that you have helped make an outstanding contribution to our community, a contribution that delivers on Santa Fe’s promise of citizen engagement, cultural diversity, and ecological stewardship.

To join, click here. If you want to learn more, you will find lots of information on the Coop’s web site and Facebook page. We invite you to attend a community gathering where you can meet Members and newcomers. Our next meeting is Monday, September 23, 5:30 – 7:00, at La Farge Branch Library, 1730 Llano Street.


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Healthy Organic Peanuts Are a No-Brainer . . . New Mexico Grows Them!

Nuts and seeds provide vitamins, minerals and quick energy without unhealthy fat or empty calories. Nuts are good for you—they are cholesterol-free and contain healthy, unsaturated fats which can help lower the risk of heart disease. Nuts also provide magnesium, which helps maintain bone structure; and chromium, which helps to ensure proper insulin function. They contain zinc for growth and wound healing, and manganese, which protects against free radicals. All nuts are a good source of vitamin E, an important antioxidant. Like all plant foods, they are high in fiber and phytochemicals—both of which help protect against cancer and other chronic diseases. Although the nutmeat or seed is protected by a shell or fruit, unless they are raised organically they are treated with synthetic chemicals just as other non-organic crops.

Pesticides in Nuts

Pesticides abound in the production of nuts. Some cautionary warnings on non-organic nuts:

Once harvested, nuts are often fumigated with methyl bromide, a toxic pesticide. While methyl bromide probably won’t cause any harm to you when you eat nuts or other treated crops, it is quite dangerous for the farm workers who use it. Also, it is such a large factor in ozone depletion that the countries around the world are phasing out its use.

Almonds – Many consumers want raw organic nuts and seeds. The USDA pasteurization laws require nut growers and processors to steam-heat raw almonds to pasteurize them. If you want raw organic almonds, you can still buy unpasteurized almonds in person, directly from the grower.

Cashews – Endosulfan, a pesticide that is banned in most countries but still legal in the U.S. and India, is used on non-organic cashew trees. It is highly toxic to humans and animals, and washes into waterways where it harms aquatic life. Endosulfan is a hazard to farm workers as well as people who live near farms where it is used. According to, it affects the central nervous system, and causes damage to kidneys, liver and testes. Organic cashews are grown without the use of any poisonous chemicals, including endosulfan.

WalnutsDiazinon, well known for its turf and residential pest control applications, is also used on walnuts and is highly toxic to honey bees and birds.

Pistachios – Non-organic pistachios may be treated with phosmet, a Class II pesticide. Studies at Cornell University indicate chronic toxicity in rats from long term, small doses of phosmet. A two-year mouse study showed increased liver tumors and carcinoma, and the pesticide is considered a category C carcinogen. Safe, organic pistachios are not exposed to phosmet or any other synthetic chemicals. It is also used on apples and peaches.

rootsPeanuts – It is particularly important that the peanuts you eat are organic and grown in New Mexico. Because they are a legume rather than a nut, they are vulnerable aflatoxin, a potent human carcinogen. Because of New Mexico’s arid climate – aflatoxin is a fungus and fungus’ grow best in humid climates – most organic peanuts are grown in New Mexico and are less likely to have aflatoxin than those grown in the humid southeast. Look for Valencia cultivars of peanuts. These cultivars were bred for New Mexico’s growing conditions, and they produce premium organic peanuts.

Warning: Corn is probably the commodity of greatest worldwide concern with regard to aflatoxins, because it is grown in climates that are likely to have perennial contamination with aflatoxins and corn is the staple food of many countries. However, procedures used in the processing of corn help to reduce contamination of the resulting food product. This is because although aflatoxin-contaminated corn and cottonseed meal in dairy rations have resulted in aflatoxin M1 contaminated milk and milk products, including non-fat dry milk, cheese, and yogurt.

Health Benefits of Peanuts

Some important health benefits of peanuts cited by Harvard School of Public Health include:

  • According to a 2002 Harvard School of Public Health study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, consuming a half serving (one tablespoon) of peanut butter five or more times a week can reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes by 20%.
  • Harvard research also showed that that substituting peanuts and nuts for saturated fat or refined carbohydrates can reduce risk of heart disease by 45 and 30 percent, respectively.
  • Frank Hu, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health and an author of the 2002 study, says, “Given the observed inverse association between nuts and risk of coronary heart disease as well as type 2 diabetes, it is advisable to recommend regular peanut butter and nut consumption as a replacement for refined grain products or red or processed meats, which would avoid increasing caloric intake.”

Various other studies, such as the Iowa Women’s Health Study and the Phyicians Heath Study, have also demonstrated peanut butter’s strong cardio-protective benefits.

And in a six month study conducted by Pennsylvania State University, subjects following a “peanut diet” lowered their total cholesterol by 11 percent and the bad LDL cholesterol by 14 percent. Triglycerides were also lowered but the good HDL cholesterol was maintained.

So overwhelming is the clinical evidence for these health benefits that, in 2003, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) affirmed a qualified health claim that peanuts and some other nuts may reduce the risk of heart disease when consumed regularly.

Peanuts are also a very good source of fiber, vitamin E, potassium, folate, zinc and magnesium. A Purdue University study showed that subjects with low magnesium levels in their blood improved to normal ranges when they consumed peanuts daily.

Peanuts also contain resveratrol (the substance found in red wine), flavonoids, and antioxidants, all of whose health benefits are increasingly being proven to help you prevent a wide variety of diseases.

Finally, in addition to containing over 75 percent good unsaturated fat, peanuts contain the highest amount of vegetable protein of any “nut” — vegetarians and vegans take note!

Safe Purveyors of Nuts

Reportedly safe purveyors of nuts include:

Jaffe Brothers, sells both certified organic and conventionally grown nuts, dried fruits and grains. Nuts can be purchased in-shell or shelled. They produce their own organic almond, cashew and peanut butters, which can be purchased as a nut butter sampler, three 1-pound jars for $21.70. (760) 749-1133;

Premiere Organics, based in Berkeley, CA, specializes in nut butters. They are a CCOF certified processor and handler, and produce their own line of raw nut butters. Try the Walnut butter or the Pecan Butter—each are sold in an 8-ounce jar for $7.95. 1-866-237-8688

Trufflebert Farm in Oregon offers 25 pound bags of USDA-certified organic shelled hazelnuts for $7.50 per pound. (541) 686-6186, ask for Ken.

Living Tree Community sells almond butter, certified organic nuts, and dried fruits.

Sun Ridge Farms sells conventionally grown as well as USDA-certified-organic almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, soy nuts. Order on-line at or use their store locator to find stores near your home.Marantha organic peanut butter is top selling brand of New Mexico nut butter recommended by

pbjarMarantha peanut butter is a top selling New Mexico organic nut butter highly recommended by SixWise.

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“Eating on the Wild Side”

We’ve reduced the nutrients and increased the sugar and starch content of hundreds of other fruits and vegetables. How can we begin to recoup the losses? Some simple ideas from a recent New York Times article, “Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food”, may get us all thinking about the history of food in America and how understanding its development can help us recapture lost nutrients.

Idea 1 – Select corn with deep yellow kernels. To recapture the lost anthocyanins and beta-carotene, cook with blue, red or purple cornmeal, which is available in some supermarkets and on the Internet. Make a stack of blue cornmeal pancakes for Sunday breakfast and top with maple syrup.

Idea 2 – In the lettuce section, look for arugula. Arugula, also called salad rocket, is very similar to its wild ancestor. Some varieties were domesticated as recently as the 1970s, thousands of years after most fruits and vegetables had come under our sway. The greens are rich in cancer-fighting compounds called glucosinolates and higher in antioxidant activity than many green lettuces.

Idea 3 -Scallions, or green onions, are jewels of nutrition hiding in plain sight. They resemble wild onions and are just as good for you. Remarkably, they have more than five times more phytonutrients than many common onions do. The green portions of scallions are more nutritious than the white bulbs, so use the entire plant. Herbs are wild plants incognito. We’ve long valued them for their intense flavors and aroma, which is why they’ve not been given a flavor makeover. Because we’ve left them well enough alone, their phytonutrient content has remained intact.

Idea 4 – Experiment with using large quantities of mild-tasting fresh herbs. Add one cup of mixed chopped Italian parsley and basil to a pound of ground grass-fed beef or poultry to make “herb-burgers.” Herbs bring back missing phytonutrients and a touch of wild flavor as well.


You may enjoy reading the whole article from Sunday’s Opinion section. According to the author, studies published within the past 15 years show that much of our produce is relatively low in phytonutrients, which are the compounds with the potential to reduce the risk of four of our modern scourges: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia. The loss of these beneficial nutrients did not begin 50 or 100 years ago, as many assume. Unwittingly, we have been stripping phytonutrients from our diet since we stopped foraging for wild plants some 10,000 years ago and became farmers. These insights have been made possible by new technology that has allowed researchers to compare the phytonutrient content of wild plants with the produce in our supermarkets. The results are startling. Wild dandelions, once a springtime treat for Native Americans, have seven times more phytonutrients than spinach, which we consider a “superfood.” A purple potato native to Peru has 28 times more cancer-fighting anthocyanins than common russet potatoes. One species of apple has a staggering 100 times more phytonutrients than the Golden Delicious displayed in our supermarkets.

Touching on the politics and economics of food, the article goes on to talk about how George Washington’s scorched earth policy against the Iroquois led to the discovery of a sweeter variety of corn with deep yellow kernels –  sweeter than the blue, green, red, and even black varieties harvested by Native Americans – rich with 60 times more beta-carotene than white corn, full of Vitamin A to build strong vision and the immune system. Jo Robinson, author of the forthcoming book Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, next shares how in 1959, a geneticist named John Laughnan was the first to commercialize hybrid, super-sweet corn, reportedly the first GMO to enter the American market. The pale yellow and white kernel corn most of us eat today are almost 40% sugar and largely devoid of nutritional value.

Many thanks to my daughter, Rachael, for bring this article to my attention. It just goes to show you that a lifetime of cooperative living can help our children lead healthier and more conscious lives!

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santa fe community coop

a new grocery store that bridges the South and North sides

high quality, affordable food

it’s for everyone!

if you’re ready to join, click SIGN UP

if you want to learn more, click LEARN MORE

Community Gathering, Tuesday, November 26,  5:30 – 7:00

La Farge Branch Library, 1730 Llano Street


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