July 2019 Newsletter

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Catching You Up on The Co-op

We are majorly in the midst of summer, no doubt about it. Come to the Co-op to get the things you need for a day at the beach or in the park!

You can pick up some sweet, organic summer berries and a plastic-free bottle of Meow Meow Tweet mineral sunscreen. Both of them come from suppliers that care about environmental sustainability and keeping us healthy. Read on to learn more!

Greene Hill takes building community seriously — both in our neighborhood and within our membership. Our new column, Good Question, explains the ways we try to do this well.

Read about the farms where we source the berries we get at the Co-op.

Need an innovative picnic dish? Check out this easy recipe for a no-waste carrot top pesto you can slather on sandwiches, toss on pasta salad or use as a dip. (Yes, you can eat carrot tops!)

Did you know we’ve got a professional event planner helping us throw our Co-op parties? Meet member-owner Johaina Zouki in this month’s Co-op Q&A.

Product Spotlight: Meow Meow Tweet Mineral SPF Sunscreen

By Pam Turczyn

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Think about the number of plastic sunscreen lotion tubes you may have used in your life. It adds up! But we can all continue to cut down on plastics while still caring well for our bodies. Fellow co-op members just stocked the shelves with a product that can lessen our carbon footprint: Meow Meow Tweet Mineral SPF Sunscreen. The skincare brand prioritizes packaging their products in aluminum, glass or compostable paper. They also have a program that pays for customers to send any small plastic pieces of packaging back to the company to be sanitized and reused.

Their SPF 25 sunscreen is made for sensitive faces and bodies. It comes in a 2.7-ounce aluminum bottle with a pump, which closes to form a tight seal for easy traveling. All of the ingredients are plant-based, and the active ingredient is non-nano zinc oxide, which protects the skin from UV rays by creating a protective barrier for the skin without entering the bloodstream. Their sunscreen is scented with various essential oils, and you can read about oil compositions, benefits (for humans and pets), and other helpful facts on their blog, which is full of articles discussing everyday sustainability. For example, read hereabout why it matters when sunscreen ingredients wash off your body and into the ocean.

After you recycle your latest plastic sunscreen tube, consider picking-up the adorable Meow Meow Tweet version from the Co-op. Want to start living plastic-free? Click here for a list of other plastic alternative products Greene Hill offers, such as reusable produce bags, glass jars, and bamboo toothbrushes.

Good Question!

How does the Co-op encourage community?

There are many ways that we do this both inside and outside the Co-op. We have in-store shifts and committees that help member-owners work as a team. All member-owners are encouraged to participate in Board meetings to share their ideas, help solve problems, and contribute to the greater vision for the Co-op. And we throw great parties so we have social time to just get to know each other.

As part of our Brooklyn community, we connect with the businesses on our street. We offer to promote other local businesses and in exchange they welcome our members with a nice discount. We attend community board meetings and talk to people on the street. If there is an urgent need, we step up to help — as when neighbors in the Rockaways needed food and clothing after Superstorm Sandy or when another food co-op had a fire.

Within the Co-op, it’s essential for us, as member-owners, to cultivate a sense of community. It helps us develop a sense of place — where we relate to others, build trust and appreciate our own and all others’ talents and skills. As poet John Donne said, “No man is an island.” Don’t most of us benefit when we have a place to connect with other people?

Farmer Hot Takes: Berries!

By Chris Kennedy

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It’s berry season at the Greene Hill Food Co-op! But there’s a lot you should know about how conventional strawberries and blueberries are grown — from the high levels of herbicide to water consumption. Click here to find out where the Co-op gets our delicious organic berries and learn more about important issues of sustainability and environmental health.

No-Waste Recipe: Carrot Top Pesto

Recipe by Emily Nachazel

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The best things about shopping at the Co-op are that the produce is so fresh, and that you get to see fruits and veggies in their real forms — stalks of Brussels sprouts, tomatoes still on the vine, flowering herbs and, of course, carrots with their tops still intact.

It’s been rumored that carrot tops are poisonous, but in fact, they are edible and loaded with vitamins and minerals. The taste is reminiscent of parsley. They can be eaten raw, but they’re quite bitter, so I like cooking them up with garlic and olive oil, or whipping them into this yummy pesto. It’s slightly more herbaceous than a traditional pesto. Just click here for the full super easy, dairy-free recipe!

The Co-op Q&A with Johaina Zouki

By Aly Miller

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Q: When did you join the Co-op and what were some of your reasons for joining?
A: I joined in 2017 when we were still located on Putnam. It now feels like good old memory.

Q: What kind of work do you do for the Co-op?
A: In my professional life I am an event producer and have my own company called Moonage Event Production.

Considering my background and professional experience, I have become the official "event planner" of the Co-op. We have decided to pull together garden parties in some members’ homes to start building a stronger sense of community.

Q: What do you find most meaningful or enjoyable about being a Co-op member?
A: Having been born and bred in France, I have very strong memories of all the time spent at the food market with my mother, watching her take her time to pick the right fruits, carefully choosing the right vegetables, and greeting each farmer by name. She was also getting inspiration on what she was going to cook for us, depending on seasonality and freshness. It shaped my personality and made me, in a way, who I am today. I've been able to recreate a lot of those childhood memories by shopping at our food co-op, and that means the world to me.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I cook, I cook, I cook, and I play a lot with my kids. When I get a little "free time" which is a concept far from my reality, I try to read or I indulge myself with a session of hot yoga!