Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Baltimore Food Co-op

The Baltimore Food Co-op is just around the corner from us in Hampden. We are thrilled with its progress. We have a neighbor who is on the board and I am happy to be connected to people making a difference in the lives of local farmers. I just read this article this morning I don't want to be sold. I just want, good, wholesome, organic products.

I can now grab gluten free Newman-O's on the way home from work and fresh produce. This cookie is for emergencies only. My nutritionist taught us that if we eat our sweets after lunch we won't crave them as badly. These have a nice Oreo texture but definitely doesn't taste as "fake" as Oreo's. You can taste the chocolate. They are tasty little treats.

The kale and basil looked gorgeous.

Cheryl Wade is the wonderful keeper of the Co-op. She is the most mission minded person and is the best cheerleader for organic and local farms. She is a wealth of knowledge and walked me throughout the new space. Previously named the Mill Center, Cheryl used to sell garden items, flowers, tools as well as organic produce. Now the Co-op is set up as a grocery store.

This mural is under construction on the bulk foods section that is yet to come.

Cheryl showed me this air conditioned little room. The whole space isn't air conditioned and the bulk foods need to be climate controlled so they don't spoil.

Quinoa coming soon!

Now the dry shelves have local and fairly traded coffee and chocolate. There are even brochures boasting of their sustainability.

There are also baskets of fresh produce. When my husband and I joined the co-op we received a great canvas bag to use for our groceries.

Cheryl takes such pride in her job and I've never seen her happier.

After the detox I eliminated milk by 90%. The only milk I drink is from Trickling Springs. E. loves their chocolate milk and they are from grass fed happy cows. You can taste the happiness from these refundable glass bottles. 

Grocery stores have a new meaning to me now, post detox. I read a lot of labels. I'm not looking for calories but what is in the container/package. Eating whole foods has been a great mood enhancer for me and I've never felt better. I'm trying to be gluten free and am finding that to be the toughest elimination from my diet. But it makes a huge difference. I haven't been sick once since I stopped eating wheat. When I eat wheat products I truly get a runny nose and cough. To have healthy options walking distance from our home is a gift from God.

There is a huge selection of dry beans. My nutritionist would be so excited.

The baking section is organized with the Gluten Free items on the top shelves just in case any packages break. That's Cheryl, always thinking.

Cheryl also pulled out this unique and beautiful RED okra and suggests that you slice it, drizzle with olive oil, salt and bake to enjoy.

There are even not so perfect carrots for juicing and roasting. I love multi-colored carrots. I love colorful food.

These bags of basil looked like spinach they were so plentiful. 

Big City Farms is a very cool project using urban farms on underused land. This basil came from a lot near the Hanover Bridge.

The refrigerator section and freezer section are also coming soon. If you have a specific organic or local brand that you are interested in ordering you can send it to Cheryl and she will look into getting it for the Co-op. 

There are lots of processed items but a splurge now and then is okay. Especially when they are made with good ingredients.

Stop in and tell Cheryl I said hello! If anyone is interested in being a guest speaker at the Co-op let me know. There is a great education component of having a co-op and I look forward to the programming coming soon as well. Maybe I'll teach a class on how to blog, cook or garden? 

Thank you Cheryl for you wonderful spirit. You are the real gift and we are lucky to know you!!!


JMW said...

Do you find that co-ops are more expensive than the average grocery store? I love the concept, but just wondering if it's affordable. We have a Fresh Market up the street and I only go there for specialty items. Although, I'm sure the mark-up there is quite more than a co-op. Good for you for eating so healthy!

Nelle Somerville said...

Some items are, some items aren't. The produce is cheaper but our favorite granola is a dollar more than at Whole Foods, and is cheapest at the farmers market on the weekends. But the gas savings is huge so it must all weigh out in the end is my guess.