Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summertime and the eating is local!

Hello Wheatsville friends and fans!

This week:
Celebrate your Independents/ 4th of July (we close early)
Eating local is cool!
Big Green Bus is paying us a visit this Friday!!!
News from the cold departments
Word from your deli and a Swiss meat loaf recipe!
Specials in grocery, bulk and beer
Coffee with the board

Celebrate your Indpendents!
AIBA and The American Independent Business Alliance declare the first week in July each year as Independents Week in celebration of the contribution of locally owned businesses. That's this coming week! (Yep, June is already almost over...)
You can't get much more independently celebratory than with localy grown and produced foods. Our Eat Local challenge continues through July 15th. 

What is the Eat local challenge?

We're inviting you to try to consume 80% of your diet (or 4 out of every 5 meals) from food grown or produced locally.

The challenge will begin June 15th and continue through July 15th. It's an honor-based system; those wishing to participate will simply sign the large poster at the Member Center and try their best.

At Wheatsville, we define local food as food grown or processed in Texas. During the Eat Local America Challenge and throughout the year, we call attention to local food on our shelves by the bright green Locally Made signs. We also have a handy list on our website with links to local producers and the distance they are from Wheatsville.

We will be closing at 9PM on Friday, the 4th of July, so get your picnic and party goods before then! (Deli will close at 8:30)

Eat Local Challenge Made Easy in Produce

Make sure to check out your produce section for your local veggie hook-up! Those kind folks over at Buena Tierra continue to amaze with their high quality local organic produce. We currently are selling their zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, golden zucchini, fresh basil, loose beets, red potatoes, eggplants, galia and cantaloupe melons. These are the best melons I've ever tasted, get'em while they last. We also are offering locally grown heirloom tomatoes from Liberty Oaks Farms, and local organic celebrity tomatoes from Walnut Creek Organic Farms (coming in today or tomorrow!). Eating local also means eating in season, so don't forget those Texas peaches, or a bib.

Big Green Bus is coming for a visit
Friday July 27th
from 5-9pm behind the store near the new (in construction mode) offices

In their fourth summer on the road, the Big Green Bus educates Americans about climate change and it's relationship to energy issues, as well as alternative energy. The Big Green Bus Tour promotes the adoption of lifestyle choices that conserve energy and take us farther down the path towards sustainability.
Our friends at Bark for Peace! are the host for the Austin leg of the 2008 Big Green Bus tour.

Here's the latest from Mike Crissey, our Chill Buyer:

Shoppers may have noticed something funny in the tofu and tempeh door of the dairy cooler: WhiteWave tofu has turned into WestSoy tofu. WhiteWave Foods Co. sold its tofu and meat-alternative business to Hain Celestial Group Inc. for an undisclosed amount earlier this month. Melville, NY-based Hain Celestial Group is the biggest U.S. maker of organic products with brands as Celestial Seasonings, Garden of Eatin'HealthValley, and Arrowhead Mills.

The deal marks the first time in its 30-year history that WhiteWave, a subsidiary of Dallas-based based Dean Foods, will no longer sell tofu products. WhiteWave will still have its four dairy products: Silk, Horizon Organic, International Delight and Land O' Lakes.

We have had a growing hole in the frozen section – the Gardenburgers. I have been ordering these products but haven't been receiving them. Kellogg Company, which owns the Gardenburger brand, has been upgrading its plant in ClearfieldUtah. The company hoped the project would be done by the end of last month. Kellogg Co. says it will begin production as soon as possible and may try to produce them elsewhere.
Meanwhile, we may soon face a shortage of Boca Burgers and other products. Kraft Foods, the nation's largest packaged foods company, has told us that they are having problems with production. We may not be able to get these products until mid-July:
Boca Spicy Chicken Patties
Boca Roasted Garlic Burgers
Boca Roasted Onion Burgers
Boca All-American Burgers
I don't think I did a good job communicating this, but people who were hanging onto their UPCs and receipts for the Horizon Organics Frequent Buyer milk program should get their envelopes in and their free half-gallons as soon as possible. If you don't remember, the program gave shoppers a free half-gallon of milk after they bought five half-gallons. The deadline to submit the envelopes was the end of May, but we'll give you a free half-gallon if you can return your envelopes before the end of June.


Besides moving to a different part of the store -- in the deli self-serve case in the back of the store -- White Mountain Foods has new pack sizes for their tofu sauces and dips. The sauces and dips -- No-Egg Salad, Cottage Tofu, Hot Tofu Dip, Veggie BBQ and Veg-itas -- will all be 10 oz. tubs, rather than the 8 oz. or 16 oz. tubs White Mountain had used before. The new sizes mean new prices. The No-Egg Salad, Cottage Tofu, Hot Tofu Dip and Veggie BBQ will be $3.99 a tub, while Veg-itas will be $4.39 a tub.
The Associated Press reported on Saturday that raging Midwest floodwaters swallowed crops and have sent corn and soybean prices soaring. The AP says the floods engulfed an estimated 2 million or more acres of corn and soybean fields in Iowa, Indiana, Illinois and other key growing states, sending world grain prices skyward on fears of a substantially smaller corn crop. Beef, pork, poultry and even eggs, cheese and milk are expected to get more expensive as livestock owners go out of business or are forced to slaughter more cattle, hogs, turkeys and chickens to cope with rocketing costs for corn-based animal feed, the AP reported. Experts told the AP the trickle-down effect from higher grain prices could be more dramatic later this year, affecting everything from Thanksgiving turkeys to Christmas hams. In Iowa, the No. 1 U.S. corn grower, floods swallowed about 9 percent of corn crops, representing about 1.2 million acres — almost 1.5 percent of the country's anticipated harvest. In Indiana, another 9 percent of corn and soybean crops were flooded, potentially costing farmers up to $840 million in lost earnings. At least two-thirds of the production costs for livestock are feed.
Your deli cooks so you don't have to!
This week is your last chance to try our June specials, including our salsa of the month, the smoky Blackened Pepper Salsa made with roasted jalapenos and our smoothie of the month, Wildwood Sunrise, a delicious raspberry and orange-flavored treat. Our cold drinks have taken center stage with the Deli's other self-serve beverages, with the cold-brewed Iced Coffee Toddy and organic black China Mist Iced Tea taking their place alongside the ever-popular Iced Yerba Mate to help slake your thirst. Wheatsville's cool, crisp signature large green salads with all-natural Buddy's chicken, baked tofu or fresh mozzarella cheese are in abundance in the self-serve case. And as always, the Deli case is full of all sorts of tasty vegetable, bean and grain salads and entrees awaiting your tastebuds. Come try a sample!
 Dairy month is a good time to visit the cheese department and celebrate local!
 When shopping local this month, don't forget to check out your Cheese Dept. for local delicacies!  Pure luck's Award winning goat cheeses make fabulous picnic munchies, as well as fanciful h'orderves at that special party.  Water Oak makes a fantastic goat ricotta so full of flavor you'll want to eat it all by itself!  And the robust flavors of Raw Veldhuizen cheeses please even the pickiest of cheese mongers. (Did you see the cool write- up about the Veldhuizen family in the Chronicle last week? or )  Also, don't miss Full Quiver Cheese Spreads, P/2 Pestos with Pasta & Co. fresh pastas, and White Mountain Wheat roast for vegans and non-vegans alike!      
Our meat department delivers the local goods and a recipe!
So you've committed your self to "The Eat Local Challenge". Now what? Luckily Wheatsville carries a myriad of locally produced foods like produce, dairy, meats, and great locally produced snacks. You can also drive to many of the farms we support for a more hands on approach, and the farmers markets have products you won't see anywhere else. I' (Bryan Butler, the meat buyer) have personally taken on "The Eat Local Challenge" and found it to be alot of fun and very satisfying. This week in the meat department we are supporting the challenge by offering a great local product on sale:
Bastrop Cattle Company's Grass-fed Ground beef  regularly priced @ $6.99lb, now $6.49lb.
Here's a great recipe using grassfed groundbeef:

Swiss Meat Loaf Recipe

2 pounds of grassfed hamburger
1 1/2 cup diced swiss cheese, local
2 beaten poultry eggs, local
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 cups milk, pastured
1 cup dry bread crumbs

Mix all ingredients and press firmly into a loaf pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 1 1/4 hours.

Grocery has the staples and more
This is your last week to pick up any of your favorite Co-op Advantage specials on deal for June. If something on special is one of your favorites, stock up now! (More specials coming in JUly!)

Wheatsville loves Root Beer
 Blue Sky Root Beer is our number one canned soda and our other root beers are very popular, too. The New York Times had a nice article recently where their wine tasters set their taste buds loose on Root Beer. Check it out or

Summertime is Beertime!
We're happy to showcase our beer of the week, our friends at  REAL ALE Brewery! 
2008 marks the 12th Anniversary of Blanco, Texas' Real Ale Brewery! Wheatsville is celebrating until the end of June with a sale! Our everyday low price of $7.49 is marked down to $6.99 on all Real Ale 6-packs. You're invited to a shin-dig this Saturday at the brewery featuring beer, bbq, music and brewery tours. Our very own Beer Buyer, Shane Shelton's band PONG will be part of the festivities. For more information:

NEW in the BULK aisle!
You asked for it, so here it is!- Madhava Organic, Raw Agave Nectar    $4.19/pound
Look for it in the liquid bulk section, yum!
For more information and fun facts about this product, take a look at this link:
 Coffee with the board
Save the date; Saturday July 5th from 10am-Noon, coffee with the board on our patio! (more next week.) Talk about the store, the weather, your ideas and about the transformation of society while drinking yummy coffee!

Have a great week!

Dan Gillotte
Wheatsville GM and e-mail guy (and exclamation point evangelist(!))