Market Musings Blog

Standing Up for Organic

The certified organic seal is under attack. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced their intention to withdraw the animal welfare standards, known formally as the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule, from the certified organic standards. The OLPP final rule’s intent was to implement animal welfare standards that would ensure livestock have adequate access to fresh air and sun, humane indoor living conditions, and outdoor space for foraging and roaming.

This marks an extreme about-face for the federal agency under Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. 14 years in the making using a transparent public process, the OLPP final rule was scheduled for adoption into law on May 14, 2018, after having been delayed multiple times. However, since federal deregulation has become a top priority under our new administration, the USDA has stated its intent to abolish the OLPP final rule altogether. This action has dire consequences, from negating years of public process, to disregarding animal welfare in favor of Big Ag profits, to undermining consumer trust in the organic label and organically certified foods.

Towards the end of 2017, the USDA initiated a 30-day public comment period to gather feedback once again on the current status of the OLPP final rule. Prior to the public comment deadline last Wednesday, January 17th, Mississippi Market stood in solidarity with National Cooperative Grocers in opposing the action on behalf of our over 18,000 member-owners who trust the organic label. A copy of the formal comment submitted can be seen below. Mississippi Market Co-op member-owners and shoppers are encouraged to continue advocating for transparency and animal welfare implementation in the organic standards.

As a cooperatively-owned Minnesota retail business that prides itself on providing Twin Cities residents with access to certified organic food, including humanely-raised meat, poultry, egg, and dairy products, Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op opposes the USDA’s move to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule. This action goes against the overwhelming support of organic farmers, businesses, and consumers nationwide to advance animal welfare standards and undermines food system transparency, consumer trust in the organic seal, and the foundational values on which food cooperatives are based.

USDA’s failure to uphold this fully-vetted regulation calls into question the entire public process by which organic regulations are set and has the potential to not only undermine consumer trust, but diminish the livelihoods of organic family farmers while increasing organic products in the marketplace that don’t truly align with the standards. If passed, this decision will nullify 14 years of public, transparent policymaking developed and supported by the organic industry.

This attempt to unilaterally withdraw the animal care standards without consultation from the National Organic Standards Board – the very group of farmers, processors, scientists, and public representatives designated by Congress to advise USDA on the organic standards – sets a dangerous precedence in the natural foods industry. As organic business stakeholders, Mississippi Market and our over 18,000 invested member-owners urge the USDA to protect consumer trust in the certified organic seal. The future of the organic market, from farmers to retailers to consumers, depends on it.

Chocolate Fair on February 10th

Saturday, February 10 | 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. | All store locations

Artisan Chocolates & Fondue | Local & Fair-trade Gifts | Live Music | Kids’ Crafts | Raffle Prizes | And More!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at your co-op!

Join your co-op community on Saturday, February 10th during Mississippi Market’s annual Chocolate Tasting & Gift Fair, a fun, family-friendly event featuring artisan chocolates, local and fair-trade gifts, and chocolate fondue to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Sample delectable chocolates, shop for Valentine’s Day gifts and foods, enjoy live music, craft valentines, and win prizes at all three Mississippi Market locations!

Plus, spend $50 or more during the Chocolate Fair and receive a free chocolate-themed gift bag, while supplies last.

Healthy & Resourceful New Year’s Eating

By Mississippi Market Chef Partner Kristin Hamaker of Goosefoot Kitchen

I dig the spirit of reflection and revision this time of year when we’re considering New Year’s resolutions. From where I sit, in the Goosefoot Kitchen, my hope is that we can cultivate more delight in cooking, eating, and sharing healthy food. Nothing fancy—just simple, every day, nourishing fare. Here are a few suggestions for healthy and resourceful eating in the New Year.

LET’S COOK: With the regular practice of cooking, an ease and fluidity will arise in the kitchen. Hopefully, you will enjoy your mistake-making, be humbled by it, and take pleasure in the act of learning. Everyday cooking should be about providing healthy and satisfying meals for you and those you share them with.

MAKE A LIST: Rely on a list while at the market and be thoughtful about impulse buying. The list is key in keeping you organized, efficient, and is often gentle on your wallet. Keep to the periphery of the store since that is where the healthiest foods reside, and be braver about buying in bulk.

BULK UP: Speaking of buying in bulk, take advantage of the co-op’s bulk foods department, since you can find everything here from bulk oils, to salt and spices, to a variety of rice and beans. A real money-saver, plus you can buy only what you need for a recipe, which diminishes the possibility of food waste.

EAT THE RAINBOW: At Goosefoot, we hope you eat a little bit of everything, meaning a variety of food groups, colors, and textures, each day and every week. Consider your plate, its balance and dynamics, color and variety – a rainbow on your plate means health and flavor!

PLAN FOR LEFTOVERS: Everyday recipes should, to some degree, qualify as leftovers, meaning they can be stored overnight in the fridge or freezer. This makes a recipe highly valuable since it saves you time, money, and any concern over what to eat tomorrow.

Chef Kristin will be teaching a class at our East 7th store on January 28th. Join us on this good food journey as we learn how to re-skill ourselves in the art of eating well.

Meal Planning with Chef Kristin: Start Where You Are

Sunday, January 28 | 1:00-3:00 p.m. | East 7th store

Chef Kristin will show you that the first step in meal-planning is considering and appreciating what you already have on hand. Let’s begin here; this age-old practice saves money, engages our creative muscles, protests food waste, and is at the heart of mindful eating and cooking. Presented by Mississippi Market’s Chef Partner, Kristin Hamaker, of Goosefoot Kitchen.


Hoppin’ John for Good Luck in the New Year

New Year’s Day is celebrated by many families with Hoppin’ John, a traditional southern stew made with black eyed peas. Some people add a penny or other small trinket to the beans when serving them. Whoever finds it is promised especially good luck in the New Year. Many recipes can be found for Hoppin’ John as there are many cooks who make it; use this one as a foundation for creating your own version.

Black eye peas in wooden spoon Read more …

Local Profile: Taking Stock Foods

Taking Stock Co-founders Maddy Kaudy and Molly Clark

Support your Health with Whole-food Broths

As the New Year begins and resolutions are made, take stock of your personal health with delicious, locally-sourced broths. Co-founded in January 2015 by Mississippi Market member-owner Molly Clark and her good friend Maddy Kaudy, Taking Stock Foods produces three kinds of nourishing bone broths made with organic chicken and a hearty vegan broth full of robust flavors imparted by oyster mushrooms and ginger. Molly and Maddy’s culinary backgrounds in cooking at local restaurants, as well as their partnership with a registered dietitian and nutrition advisor, helped inform Taking Stock’s slow-cooked recipes. An extended 12-hour-long cooking time allows for the extraction of tasty flavors, beneficial minerals, collagen, and amino acids into the broths from bones and vegetables.

Read more …

Holiday Gift Ideas: Foodie Favorites


Searching for the perfect gifts for the foodie on your holiday list? We’ve got a great selection for lovers of unique, quality-crafted foods. Try our Foodie Faves below – they’re sure to please!


We love these amazing, locally-made, handcrafted artisan cheeses from Wisconsin! We recommend The Fawn, a sweet and nutty mellow cheddar.



Exclusive to co-op shoppers, this cold-pressed, fair trade olive oil is made from a blend of certified organic Arauco and Manzanilla olives​ and cooperatively produced by family farms in Argentina.


A luscious blend of honey, butter, cream, sugar, and vanilla results in a velvety smooth spread that serves as the perfect complement to toast, pancakes, and desserts.



Nothing says winter quite like a warm, steeping mug of hot cocoa. We steer towards Equal Exchange’s fair trade organic hot cocoa mix since its ingredients contain cocoa and sugar grown by small co-operative farmers and milk produced by Organic Valley, a Wisconsin-based dairy cooperative.



Based in Minneapolis, The Beez Kneez promotes sustainable urban beekeeping and utilizes their bees to make incredibly flavorful small batch raw honey and mustard. The honey imparts these unique flavors as a result of the bees foraging for these types of natural pollen. Did you know? Mississippi Market is an urban apiary partner of Beez Kneez, hosting honey bee hives on the rooftop of our West 7th store!



Another local favorite, Bare Honey produces and distributes chemical free, antibiotic free, Treatment Free honey. Along with raising their own bees, they operate as a distribution outlet for sustainable Minnesota beekeepers. Flavors include raw wildflower, vanilla bean honey spread, and cinnamon honey.


Local Rush Creek Reserve farmstead cheese from Uplands Cheese Co. in southern Wisconsin is one of the best cheeses of the year. Rush Creek Reserve is only made in the autumn as the cows move from summer pasture to winter hay, which produces a richer milk. It is a soft ripened cheese wrapped in a strip of spruce bark that imparts a sweet, woodsy flavor. Pair it with one of Wood from the Hood’s charcuterie boards for an extra special gift.


If the foodies on your holiday gift list enjoy spicy foods and promoting local businesses, then these two aromatic hot sauces should fit the bill. Isabel Street heat located in St. Paul and Nuclear Nectar located in Minneapolis craft beautiful products that’ll add a kick to omelets, eggs, quesadillas, pizzas, and soups. We carry Nuclear Nectar ‘Nero Red, a habanero hot sauce, as well as a range of Isabel Street Heat sauces including Chipotle, Habanero, Jalapeno, Thai Chili, Serrano, and Ghost Pepper.


Express your Values this Gift-giving Season

Gifts Under $20

Searching for the perfect gift for that special someone? You’re sure to find one at the co-op that’s beautiful and reflective of your personal values. This holiday season, give the gift of honesty — fairly-produced food and goods made with reverence for the people and places where they’re crafted.

Local Raw Honey Tasting Pack

This single-source honey tasting pack offers a diverse combination of flavor profiles for the discerning palate. Gift receivers will experience the joy of five best-selling varieties from Ames Farm. Packages vary and contain honey made from the pollen of local basswood, sweet clover, prairie flowers, alfalfa, and more.

Local, Organic Maple Syrups

Gift receivers are sure to enjoy the earthy flavors of organic maple syrups from Maple Valley Cooperative and Wild Country. Harvested from woodlands in the Great Lakes region and Sawtooth Mountains near Lake Superior, these 100-percent-pure maple syrups are produced with the greatest care given to sustainable harvesting methods and social responsibility.

Organic Fair-trade Coffee

An array of organic fair-trade coffee blends is available at the co-op from Just Coffee Co-op, Kickapoo Coffee, Peace Coffee, and Equal Exchange Co-op. These locally-roasted blends are full of robust flavors and ethically sourced from farmers who are paid fair wages for their work and goods.

Cooperatively-Produced Winter Scarves

Terra Natural Designs’ winter scarves are cooperatively produced and artisan crafted. Handmade with sustainable, renewable fibers and naturally-sourced dyes, your purchase supports a social justice movement that empowers Indigenous female entrepreneurs to continually preserve, practice, and get paid for their South American crafts.

Essential Oil Holiday Blends

Veriditas essential oil blends offer an organic model for self-care and relaxation. During the hectic end-of-year season, provide your loved ones with the grounding, healing power of herbs and flowers. These comforting blends work well when added to a diffuser or homemade potpourri.­­­

Holiday Starters: Crudités

By Mississippi Market Chef Partner Kristin Hamaker of Goosefoot Kitchen

I always appreciate when there’s a fancy word—crudités—for something familiar and simple. In this case, crudités means a platter of raw vegetables served with a dip or vinaigrette. In the Goosefoot Kitchen we’re always trying to keep things simple, delicious, healthy, and affordable, using what we may already have on hand. And this platter, whether it’s for seasonal entertaining, or just because, falls right in line.

Since so many vegetables work as crudités, focus on a happy variety of flavors, colors, and textures, and consider what’s on sale in the produce department. Chop or slice the vegetables so that they are manageable sizes, especially if children will be eating. Then, choose your dip (see below), and place it in your loveliest little bowl. Arrange the crudités around it, on a platter, plate, or in a napkin-lined basket, and replenish as needed. Simple, delicious, straightforward!

Read more …

Local Profile: Rochdale Farms

A favorite producer here at Mississippi Market, Rochdale Farms is locally and cooperatively owned. Rochdale Farms is the creation of Mary Bess Michaletz and Bentley Lein. It was created with the intention to foster the growth of small local dairy producers and create delicious, artisan cheeses, hand rolled butters, and cream-top yogurts. Rochdale sells all of their creative dairy products exclusively to Midwestern natural food cooperatives.

Most of the milk Rochdale uses comes from a network of over 325 small Amish family farms spread across Wisconsin and Minnesota. These family-run farms take an extraordinary amount of care to treat their animals and land with care. Each farm has a small single heard of cows or goats that is milked by hand each day. The extremely fresh milk is brought to K&K creamery, in traditional milk cans, overseen by Master cheese maker Tom Torkelson.

Rochdale makes affordable everyday cheese favorites such as organic Mild & Sharp Cheddar, Provolone, and String Cheese, in addition to a unique line of specialty aged cheeses including Cellar Aged Gouda, Cave-Aged Blue, Reserve Alpine Emmentaller, and Extra Aged Goat Cheddar. Their hand rolled butter is second-to-none and is available in both salted and unsalted varieties. Mississippi Market is excited to offer this line of cooperatively made dairy products for your enjoyment.

Goodness Giveaway: Win Groceries, Give Groceries

Win a cart full of groceries!

Entries must be received by December 12th. Winners will be announced in mid-December.

Swing by the co-op for your chance to win one of three carts full of Co+op Basics groceries. One lucky winner per store will receive an assortment of groceries valued at approximately $75. Simply enter our Goodness Giveaway next time you shop at any of our three stores; no purchase necessary.

Three matching $75 donations in the winners’ names will be given to our December Positive Change recipient Keystone Community Services. Keystone is a local organization that provides nutritious food to over 26,000 community members on an annual basis who are experiencing barriers to healthy eating.

Read more …