- Holistic Health: What is it?
- Cook on Sunday, Eat All Week-Healthy is Cheaper – This would be a potluck.
- Farm Lecture from a local farmer/rancher
- Local Grains we can grow in Alaska
- Alaska Food Policy Council-what is it and what roll wil it serve and what roll can WE serve.
- What is Organic?
A review of the new “quick read” by Michael Pollan, “Food Rules”
By Rich Seifert, Co-op Market Board Member
I read Michael Pollan’s first book, the Botany of Desire many years ago, and now his stature as America’s food folk hero is perhaps at its peak. He has followed an interesting road, and one we should all travel along these days.
His latest, “Food Rules”, is a very quick but effective read written in the pattern of “Life’s Little Lesson Books”. This format makes the book, dense as it is with inspirations, a very quick read. It is perfectly designed for any aspiring “food missionaries” out there who want to promote healthy eating and move to a healthier diet.
And for those of us who want to see Alaska, and for me, Fairbanks, become healthier through healthy eating, the virtues of this little tome are as timely as they are helpful.
The plan for the book was to ask people, through a New York Times blog called “Well” (as in wellness) for their best advice in an aphorism on eating well and healthy. Spinning onward from his previous book, In Defense of Food, he condenses the entire message of the book into these seven words: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
Pretty comprehensive actually. But in this little book he refines the message further into paragraphs of food insight, which I can best relate by showing examples of my own “favorites’” list. Take these examples as a few seductive tastes to incite you to read the book:
– Avoid food products that contain ingredients no ordinary person would keep in their pantry. For instance ethoxylated diglycerides, cellulose, xanthan gum. Doesn’t seem too hard, does it?
– Avoid food products that make health claims (!) Well this seems counter-intuitive at first, but upon reflection, makes great sense. If a product has to tell you how healthy it is, then it is making up for some deficiency it obviously has. Carrots don’t have to convince you that they are good for you.
– Avoid foods you see advertised on television. Whoa, this is a biggie! I have heard a friend describe commercials for pizza or Red Lobster restaurant as “food pornography”. A fairly apt description of the visual effect of the commercials. It shouldn’t be necessary to say that the vegetable lobby doesn’t need to do TV ads.
– Eat only foods that will eventually rot. Again, anything that will last indefinitely has so many preservatives and probably toxic ingredients that keep it from “spoiling” that it cannot be very good for living creatures such as we humans. An exception is honey, which has an indefinite shelf life, but it is unique in that respect. All food needs to be digestible, and if it can’t be digestible outside your body by other creatures who need it just as much, it is unlikely to be healthfully digested inside your body.
Since I am writing this for both the general public and particularly for the future patrons of our Fairbanks Community Cooperative Market (Co-op Market), I want to encourage the best food products for a healthy life, and make them available in Alaska, and preferably grown here too.
Michael Pollan’s “Food Facts” is motivated by much the same things. He started out with a keen interest in finding out how to eat well to maintain his family’s health. He discloses two major facts in the preface that he has gleaned from this search, and he concisely summarizes what he has learned and written about since.
First, populations that eat mostly the “ Western” diet, consisting of lots of processed foods and meat, added fats and sugars, lots of refined grains, lots of everything except vegetables, invariably suffer from high rates of the so-called Western diseases: obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Virtually all of the obesity and the diabetes, 80% of the cardiovascular disease, and more than a third of all cancers can be linked to this diet.
And second, in contrast, populations eating a remarkably wide range of traditional diets generally don’t suffer from these chronic diseases. It appears that we human omnivores are well adapted to a broad range of mixed traditional diets, except for one: the WESTERN DIET, recently fallen upon us.
There is a third factor though which is good news, and which I hope that our new co-op will help to promote: People who get off the Western diet see dramatic improvements in their health. Pollan cites research that suggests that the effects of the Western diet can be rolled back by getting off it, and relatively quickly.
It is our intent with the Co-op Market to help in every way to achieve this option and promote community health and wellness. We even have a committee devoted to those very subjects. (The next meeting of the Health and Wellness committee is Tuesday, June 1 at 5:30 pm at the Volunteer Center.)
Stay with us, be patient, and start developing these suggested eating habits now. As soon as we can, the Co-op Market will do all it can to keep you eating healthy and maintaining local food availability. Join the Co-op Market, become a full voting member, and eat well. Live long and prosper… and come and visit us online at www.FairbanksCoop.org/
The Health and Wellness Committee will be screening the movie, “Diet for a New America” and planning a healthy food related showing of this film as an event on Wednesday, April 28 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at the Noel Wein Library.
Bring your ideas for other committee activities.
Health and Wellness Committee Meeting
When: Thu, January 14, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Where: FCCM Volunteer Center
Membership Table at Gulliver’s Books
When: Sat, January 16, 12pm – 3pm
Where: Gulliver’s Books
Come and help us plan our activities for next year. Bring your ideas and enthusiasm. If you are too busy to come, post a comment or send an e-mail.
Wednesday, December 16
5:30 pm, FCCM Volunteer Center
The Fairbanks Coop’s Health and Wellness Committee in conjunction with the UAF Peace and Justice Coalition presents a FREE showing of the film Eating Alaska Tuesday night, November 24, at 7 p.m. at UAF’s Schaible Auditorium. Running time is 57 minutes.
We’ll have a brief introduction and open discussion afterwards. All members of the Fairbanks and surrounding community are invited (both present and future members of the Coop!), so invite your friends to a FREE showing of this excellent documentary.
First Health and Wellness Eduction Committee Meeting:
Thank you all who made it to this meeting in spite of the slippery roads!
Last Wednesday we held our first Health and Wellness Education Committee at our downtown volunteer center. We had a great turnout with 11 folks interested excited and enthusiastic about educating our community about getting and staying healthier.
We had a great group of folks with interests varying from natural child birth to cooking organic and vegan food to holistic health care and teas.
Many different ideas were shared including classes on healthy and economical cooking, a lecture series, finding good articles to share on our blog site, and starting a reference library for our co-op.
What we decided on as a start was to show a food and health related film. Several were suggested such as Food Inc. and Eating Alaska.
We will be meeting again next Wednesday at 6 pm (that’s Nov. 4) in our volunteer center with the goal of choosing a movie, a venue, and a date. In the meantime we will be checking out what films and venues are available and thinking about what we want to do next.
Please come to the Health and Wellness Education Committee’s first meeting:
6 PM Wednesday October 28th
FCCM Volunteer Center
542-4th Suite 100B
(This is beneath the Veterans Affairs office. Go in the door to the right of the Vet office and down the stairs. The door will be unlocked until 6:45)
Join us for our first Health and Wellness Education Committee meeting. Even before our store is open we can begin to serve our members by providing health education and information to the community. We need your help in planning what sort of activities and things we can do to encourage and support a healthy and well Fairbanks.
For more information, please contact Sharon Alden.
FCCM Minutes for June 4, 2009 (as approved June 11)
Present were Mary Christensen, Rob Leach, Lela Ryterski, and Ian Olson.
The minutes from the previous meeting were read and accepted.
COMMUNITY/OUTREACH: Mary reported on the June 2nd meeting. Three new members came to that meeting: Shawn Lott, Sue Sprinkle, and Jackie Sunnyboy. Also present were Tom Bradley, Lela Ryterski, Mary Christensen, and Sharon Alden.
Mary informed the group that they were responsible for the initial membership fundraising since the fact that we could raise, among ourselves, a substantial portion of funds needed to begin operations would legitimize the co-op as viable and make it easy to receive other monies from matching grants and bank loans. Mary suggested we shoot for a goal of $100,000 by November. Five hundred people investing the proposed one-time $200 membership would satisfy that goal. The next newsletter will focus on the money issue.
Mary and Sharon went to Risse’s Greenhouse on Saturday and got a few names. Tom and Lela went to Clucking Blossom and got several more names. Mary suggested that if we all got on the co-op’s Facebook and each invite 6 people to join, we could be reaching thousands of people with one notice.
Twitter is set up. Sharon did the Pay Pal and Dru is working on the website to incorporate all aspects. Partners in Business is in progress. Other member equity: turkey dinner, calendar, fancy dinner at a producer, cookbook, coupon book, buttons, t-shirts, bumper stickers, tiles honoring big donors. Sue is working up a membership poster.
Next Communications Committee meeting will be next Tuesday, June 9th, at Mary’s at 6:30 p.m. Interested persons can go to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for directions to Mary’s house.
LOCAL PRODUCERS: Lela is contacting potential suppliers. Ian mentioned reindeer processing from a mobile unit at the university. He’ll look into that.
STORE DESIGN: Rob is the new chair.
BUSINESS PLAN: Robert Sullivan has material and is getting geared up, reported Rob.
FINANCE: Hans is out of town. Mary contacted two insurance companies and gave Rob the findings.
PRODUCT SELECTION: Lela spoke to Shawn Lott about being on the committee.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Lela reported that Sharon put a member’s donation in the bank and paid the phone bill.
OLD BUSINESS: The Bylaws got sent to the lawyer. Lela sent Deirdre the revised copy to replace the one on the blog. Rob is sure it will need another revision.
Pot luck dinner for volunteers to inventory the Foodland building and choose which committees they would like to work with. Bring flashlight and work clothes and a digital camera. Event pushed back 3 weeks to allow enough time to get the word out.
Delta Farm Bus Tour in mid-July.
Communications Committee to advertise for other health education events in our newsletter.
Rob is scheduled to speak at the Farmers’ Market Board Meeting on June 17th at 5:30pm. Other board members are welcome to join.
COMMITTEE DESCRIPTIONS: Rob outlined how the committees work to provide input for the Business Plan: Puts all aspects together—start up costs, growth, working capital, employee training, operating funds, inventory, etc.
Product Selection: Needs to develop a statement with a clear criteria for products. Define local produce—meats, fish, Alaska, etc. List products we’re not going to carry, i.e.: tobacco. Set goals for increasing amount of local produce. Store services: coffee bar, juice bar, deli, etc. and future projections. Special events: plant starts, etc. Look at feasibility study and take recommendations.
Vendor Selection: Follows criteria for product selection.
Operations: Project how many managers we’ll need; how many people per day; rent, utilities, etc. Talk to grocery clerk union. Volunteers for community enrichment activities…
Health and Wellness Education: Speakers discussing co-ops at the Noel Wein Library or Universalist Church.
NEXT MEETING: Thursday, June 11th at 6:00p.m. At the Foodland building.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
With a lofty goal of opening Fairbanks Community Cooperative Market (Co-op Market) by 2011 there are many tasks at hand. Committees have been formed and many need volunteers. Won’t you help it fly? You can volunteer a little of your time or a lot.
There are many small tasks to do so if you can sign up for even one small task it will be a blessing and you will enjoy the fruits of your labor as you shop our own little grocery store next summer.
To find out how you can best serve the Co-op Market e-mail email@example.com or call 457-1023. Or contact one of the committee chairs and let them know you want to participate in that committee.
Business Plan Committee – Board of Directors
This committee is central to the organization as it is organizing all the pieces that go into creating a good business plan. HOWEVER, the work of the other committees is absolutely necessary to putting together a good business plan. Tasks involved include:
1. Putting together the estimates that come from the other committees into a formal business plan..
2. Determining a final estimate of the funds necessary for the project before seeking funding
Finance Committee – Committee chair – Hans Geier – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This committee is responsible for developing sources of funding including:
- Bank Loans
- Member loan Program – The committee must research and form a legal structure for member loans.
Store Design – Committee Chair – Robert Leach – Email email@example.com
Local Producers and Product Selection Committee – Chair –Cora Kelley – Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Identify potential vendors from the Tanana Valley and around Alaska
- Create a member survey to be utilized in the blueprint of the Co-op Market
- Determine criteria for product selection with a priority on local products when available
Health and Wellness Education – Chair – Sharon Alden – Email email@example.com
Operations Committee – Chair – Mary Christensen E-mail fccm2010@gmail.
The work of this committee is almost complete.
Communications/Outreach Committee – Chair – Mary Christensen Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 347-4463
- Organize membership equity drive
- Hold fundraising events
- Advertisement and promotion
- Communicate with membership on a regular basis
- Website and blog updates
- Responsible for annual meeting
The numerous activities involved with outreach require a lot of help. Many people already participate but we can always use more creative minds!