January 2020
Featuring New Year New Food, A Call for Local Artists, & A History of Sustainability at CGFC
In this month's newsletter:

  • A Word from the GM
  • A Word from Your Board
  • Closed on New Year's Day
  • New Year, New Food
  • Call for Local Artists
  • An Update in Produce
  • Top Ten Vitamin Favorites in Wellness
  • A History of Sustainability at Common Ground
  • Support the Kids of a Co-op Staff Member
  • New Products in Meat & Cheese
  • Round Up for Good
  • January Classes
From the GM
Gary Taylor, General Manager
Read Gary's piece on making a difference in the community we live in.
From Your Board
Read all about the 2020 Board Vision from Board Director Robert Taylor
The holidays are over. The decorations are coming down. Winter has just started, and the wooly worms, squirrels, and persimmons all seem to tell us it will be a very cold one. It is also that time of year where New Year resolutions are created. Some will survive the test of time while others will be a mere memory by February. But instead of the standard resolution making, now is a great time to start visioning. This is exactly what the Common Ground Board of Directors and Staff are doing right now. Visioning at its most basic definition is developing plans and goals for the future but it needs to be more than just that. It should involve the imagination and trying to come up with those A-HA moments. Visioning should identify projects that stretch a person or organization to rise to a new level they themselves may not even see possible. In business school I was taught this to be known as a BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal. “A long-term goal that changes the very nature of a business’ existence” as stated by the concept creators, Jim Collins.

Board visioning was written about in last July’s newsletter by former Board Director Julie Zilles. There she talked about how the focus area on Board visioning would be “Local”. Although there have been several changes to the Board roster, our main visioning focus will remain the same. We will explore big audacious ways we can strengthen Common Ground, serve the community, and have an even greater impact on environmental stewardship. Our four Ends guide every decision the management and board make, and we will continue to ensure we constantly move forward on each and every one.

So, what can you do right now? Continue to shop local and turn to Common Ground as your local grocery store. Do you know that independent local businesses return more than three times as much per dollar spent to the local economy over a chain retailer? Buying online from a big store returns almost no money to the local economy. Also remember to Round Up for Good at the register. Over $50,000 a year is donated to local organizations, but we can do better. Let’s make 2020 the best year yet for money raised!

Finally, stay warm. Take advantage of the new earlier opening time to stop in for your morning hot beverage and the house-made bakery items. Better yet, pick up a tray to take to the office and introduce Common Ground to others!

The next meeting of the Board of Directors is Monday, January 13th, from 6:15 to 8:15 pm in our Flatlander classroom. The location of future meetings is to be determined.
New Year, New Food
A look at foods we offer in our Grocery Department to help meet your nutritional goals
Every single day we have the opportunity to start anew!  We tend to be especially aware of this at the start of each New Year. Symbolically, it is a fresh beginning. A chance to set goals for ourselves for the coming 12 months. Not surprisingly, we tend to become more aware of how we treat our own personal health! This is the time when many people choose to revamp the way they eat. In honor of this season of increased self care and health consciousness, we thought it would be a good time to share some information about the different foods we offer to help meet your nutritional goals! Whether you are choosing to simply increase your intake of whole foods, decrease meat consumption and/or dairy, or cut back on gluten, we have products that allow you to continue to eat delicious, filling, and varied meals.
In the last couple of years we’ve seen a lot of new items hit the market that are elevating some of these diets beyond the flavorless and the weird, to products that ANYONE would love to eat regardless of their dietary needs.
Some examples are: Beyond Meat which has taken plant-based meats to a whole new level that even the most ardent carnivores will enjoy. We have a few breads from Canyon Bakehouse which (speaking as someone who “has” to eat gluten-free because of a family member) tastes and feels as good as any bread I’ve ever eaten. Against the Grain frozen pizzas, likewise, are some of the best pizzas we’ve ever had. It just happens to be the case that they are also gluten free!
The milk world has been taken by storm by Oatly whose oat milk production has finally caught up with unprecedented demand. In the cookie and cracker aisles, Simple Mills continues to lead the way with almond meal based snacks that would satisfy anyone’s munchies. For those who want a really decadent treat, Goodie Girl cookies could stand head-to-head with the girl scouts. For those looking for a little sweetness on the Keto diet, Swerve sweeteners are legitimate 1-to-1 sugar replacements in various styles that look, feel, and taste just like the real deal.
These are just a few highlights from our aisles. We have options within just about every category for those who are trying to keep within their particular dietary goals. And if there’s something you can’t find on our shelves, we are always happy to try to get it for you.
Choosing to improve the way we eat can have a dramatic impact on our current and future health!  If you’re interested in setting some goals, feel free to talk to us! Many of our knowledgeable and friendly staff have direct experience with one or more of these lifestyle choices and would be happy to give you a tour of the different products we offer for whatever changes you choose to make this year.

Gray and Jeni, Grocery Department
Call for Local Artists
Apply to show your local art in our art gallery
Apply to show your local art at Common Ground Food Cooperative! We are looking for many local artists to feature in our gallery. Our Art Gallery is located in our highly utilized Flatlander Classroom. This multi-use Classroom is ideal for integrating the arts into the urban environment and creating partnerships among artists, the community, and the Co-op. Selected artists will be invited to install alongside another local artist for two months (approximately 8 weeks). Each selected artist will be allotted locked case in the gallery that measures 8’ long x 44’’ high x 4’’ wide.

We always welcome artists of all ages to apply. Collaborative groups, student groups, art classes, and kids are also encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to themes related to vibrant community & culture, food system & farmers, biodiversity & ecology, and inclusive messages to share with others. We only show local artists, who live within 100 miles of the Co-op.

Common Ground will provide selected artists with:
1. Approximately two months of Art Gallery space with locked gallery space alongside another local artist.
2. Promotion of artist through various media sources (including social media, newsletter, website, print materials).
3. Art Gallery Reception, with food and drink, to celebrate the two featured artists installed in the gallery space.

If selected, artists will be responsible for:
*Timely installation and labeling of work
*Communication with the Outreach Coordinator
*Completing Art Gallery Application either online or submitted in person.
*Although the artwork is secured in a locked and protective case, Common Ground Food Co-op is not responsible for any damage or stolen artwork.
*To maintain our safe, welcoming environment we require that works are non-discriminatory and non-graphic/explicit in content, and must be appropriate for all ages. Selection is at the Co-op's discretion and will be decided with an artist jury.

Questions or trouble filling out application? Please contact education@commonground.coop .

Deadline to submit Artist Application is March 9th 2020 at 10pm.
We Have Root Vegetables!
An update on our Produce Department by Assistant Produce Manager Anne Bargar
January is often a bleak time for local green things. We're hoping to have spinach and kale, but it can be really hit and miss; between the cold and lack of sunlight, growth can be slow. Fortunately, we'll have plenty of fabulous roots to tide you over. Carrots, winter radishes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes among others will all be delicious and plentiful for some time to come. 
Top Ten Vitamins in Wellness
Here is a list of ten vitamin favorites from Jess & Jacob in our Wellness Department
Mega Food Soft Chew Multivitamins

Mega Food is such an amazing company! Not only do these chews taste amazing, they are packed full of organic fruits and vegetables! MegaFood is known for seeking out Organic Farmers to partner with and are committed to regenerative agriculture. They are also one of the few (or possibly only) companies that are certified Glyphosate Residue Free, a Certified B Corporation, 3rd Party tested for 125+ pesticides & herbicides, Non-GMO, Gluten, Soy & Dairy free to name a few! This is the company I trust and got to first when deciding what to take for myself and my family.
Common Ground Brand Magnesium Glycinate Chewable Tablets

Our private label Chewable Magnesium is great for grown-ups and kids alike. Easy to take, easy on the tummy, and tasty as all get out! This product is wonderful support for active minds and active bodies, especially in our busy lives. Since it’s certified double tested gluten free, I’ve personally used this product with peace of mind to assist myself and my child with relaxation and restless sleep and have been extremely satisfied with the results. Everyone is special and unique, but I feel this will be a big hit for many people. 
Sunsoil Cinnamon CBD Oil 1200mg

One of the things I value so much about Sunsoil is their commitment to their process. This is one of the only large scale producers I have found that is personally involved from farm to bottle. They grow all of their own organic hemp, process it on their farm, and bottle it in their facility to cut out all the middle men and ensure the quality they expect is the quality they receive. What does this all mean? That we get an outstanding high quality certified organic CBD oil that is farmer owned and produced for an amazing price. 
Just Thrive Probiotic & Antioxidant

I love this probiotic because I can tell almost immediately that it’s working. I’ll try to save you too many of the details, but let’s just say things start working the way they’re intended. They are a 100% spore form probiotic that has been tested for 100% survivability , non Gmo, no dairy, soy, gluten, nut free, vegan and It’s had numerous scientific studies done for it’s supporting role in Leaky Gut Syndrome. With it’s being a spore form, it can survive temperatures up to about 400 degrees, so it can be added to foods for those who may have trouble taking capsules. I mix it in my daughters peanut butter and spread it on toast, and she doesn’t notice the difference. Anything that works great and makes my life easier is a win in my book!
Dayempur Herbals Elderberry Syrup

A local Sufi Herb Farm In Carbondale, Dayempur Herbals recognizes healthcare as a human right. Which is why they maintain such a low and accessible price point. I find all of their products to be high quality, but the elderberry syrup is an especially excellent cold and flu remedy. I like to use it as an occasional immune booster during the winter months, as it is soothing for a sore throat and congested lungs. The sweet berry taste also doesn’t hurt!
Bach Rescue Remedy

Bach Original Flower Remedies have been trusted worldwide for generations. Rescue Remedy is a specific formulation of 5 active ingredients for relief of occasional stress. Whether it is during the crunch of finals season, or anxiety from life’s little challenges, this product can be just the thing to help bring some much-needed perspective. Also, because it is homeopathic, it doesn’t interact with other medications one may be taking.
Host Defense Brain Energy

Mushrooms are showing to be one of the quickest growing categories in the supplement field. These amazing super foods have shown to help with everything from upset stomachs to better air flow in our lungs. I’d like to spotlight a special Brain Energy blend from Host Defense. Lion’s Mane is the primary mushroom in the blend. Studies have shown that it is able to help your brain regrow lost cells! This potent neuro enhancing mushroom is blended with Yerba Mate and Eleuthero; two powerful herbs known for the intense energy and uplifting mood they bring.
Garden of Life MyKind Turmeric Pain Relief

Turmeric is the health and wellness industry's leading anti-inflammatory agent. Known for 1000’s of years as a powerful ayurvedic medicine, this supplement has returned to popularity in recent decades. Excellent for joint issues or general aches and pains, this particular product is formulated with black pepper and probiotics to increase its ease of absorption. Plus you can count on Garden of Life's long standing reputation of trustworthiness.
Pure Life GabaMax

Working at a co-op can be stressful. We find ourselves looking for new and better ways to think about food, work, and being together. With these new frontiers comes the difficult work of navigating various pressures in our bodies. Time and time again I’ve recommended Pure Life’s GabaMax to coworkers. This powerful and potent combination of GABA and a proprietary herbal blend works great to elevate mood and alleviate stress.
Ener-C Lemon Lime Multivitamin Drink Mix 

These days we are spending most of our time on the go, running from one obligation to the next. It can be easy to forget to meet our bodys’ needs for immune support. Ener-C is an alternative to the widely popular Emergen-C powder (the company was even started by former Emergen-c employees.) I like this product because it offers Vitamin C in a highly bioavailable form. The company also sources their ingredients from non-GMO distributors. The Lemon Lime flavor is light and refreshing, but Ener-C comes in a variety of other flavors as well!
A History of Sustainability at Common Ground
A report of our Sustainable Shopping efforts by Operations Manager Joanne Mierek
Beginning January 2nd, Common Ground will be charging 20 cents for our large, sturdy twine-handled paper grocery bags. This is the most recent in a long list of sustainability initiatives strongly supported by the Common Ground community of staff, customers and vendors. Our oldest programs include daily produce and kitchen scrap compost donations picked up by several small local farmers and a robust internal recycling program for cardboard, paper, glass, metal, plastic, batteries, toner and lightbulbs. For many years, we have offered shoppers reusable, washable cotton, hemp and nylon bags for produce, bulk and grocery items. At the checkout lanes, you will find re-usable bags for sale, along with paper bags and cardboard boxes. We also have a ‘Bag Tree’ donation center where you can usually find clean bags for your groceries. 

The staff at Common Ground are always looking for ways to reduce single-use and non-recyclable packaging while keeping costs reasonable and observing regulatory requirements for food safety. We use compostable paper and recyclable bio-plastic containers for our house-made coffee, deli and baked goods. We also offer a 25-cent mug discount for customers bringing in their own cup for coffee. Recently, we introduced both non-GMO compostable bio-plastic bags and a glass jar donation program for bulk shopping and recycled plastic bags in our produce department. More and more customers are bringing their own bags, jars and baskets or going without as the recognition that we live on a finite planet grows. As we move into 2020, let’s encourage each other to Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!

For more questions or concerns, send us an email .
Support the kids of Co-op staff member
Last week, we lost one of our own, Michael "Casper" Cahill. Casper was a beloved staff member and produce stocker at Common Ground and we are deeply saddened by his sudden passing. He was the guardian of four kids, ages 18, 15, 13, and 10. We are fundraising to support these kids and provide financial support during this difficult time.

All proceeds will help fund Casper's arrangements, food and shelter for the kids, and Christmas gifts for the family. If you haven’t already, please consider giving to help these kids during this difficult time.
News From Our Cheese Department
Due to the distributor's choice, some of the Belgioioso products will be out of stock, as they were discontinued by the current vendor. They might return to our shelves if offered by another vendor.
Limited Items Available From A Few Meat & Cheese Vendors
We've just received the last of the chevre available for the year from Prairie Fruits Farm. Local goat milk availability declines when the goats become pregnant. After they kid in the spring, we should see more goat milk on the shelves.

We have limited ground bison stock from Lieb Farms. More will be available during the last week of January, or possibly February.

There are limited Moore Family Farm lamb items available. There will be more to come in the first weeks of January.

Salume Beddu-Calabrese will be out of stock until mid January. The Salume Beddu Veneto will still be available.

Tell Us What You Think!
The last of the seasonal cheeses and spreads will linger a bit into January, before they disappear from the shelves.  Would you like to see any of these holiday favorites return next season?
If so, let us know which one:
Porta Rocca
Locatelli-Saracino w/ Red Pepper
Ropp Natural cheese w/ Apples
Spring Brook Farm Maple Cream
Figs In sherry
Buffalo Milk Butter
England Preserves Blackcurrant Blighty Jam
Mitica Membrillo
Castello Mini Wheels
Mitica Cherry Honey
New Products in our Meat Department
New products in our frozen section from local farm Whistling Hen Farms
  • Bulk Sausages
  • Honey Hams
  • Pork Jowl
  • Pork Soup Bones
  • Fresh Side (frozen)
  • Aside from fresh chicken, more poultry options will be available in the new year
This upcoming class features pork options for Whistling Hen Farms:
Wed, Jan 29, 2020 6:00 PM CST
Cooking Healthy on a Budget: Pork Fajitas
Common Ground Food Co-op, Urbana
December Round Up: Crisis Nursery
An update on the December Round Up
In December, together we raised around $4600 for Crisis Nursery and contributed towards its efforts to create an "Island of Safety" dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect by providing 24-hour emergency care for children and support to strengthen families in crisis.

Crisis Nursery is the only emergency-based child care facility in Champaign County that is open 24 hours, 365 days a year for the entire community to access with no fees or income eligibility. 

Thank you for helping us support such a great organization!

Round Up For Good is a call-to-action inspired program, which began in February 2010 when Common Ground owners expressed a desire to help fund the relief of the earthquake in Haiti. Since then, the program has transformed into a community-focused ongoing effort to help fund local organizations that are selected democratically by store owners during September.

January Round Up: Austin's Place Emergency Overnight Shelter for Women
Introducing the January Round Up For Good Recipient
Austin's Place provides emergency overnight sleeping space that is safe, respectful, and restful for homeless women in our community through partnership with the Council of Service Providers to the Homeless in response to the urgent need for emergency shelter during the winter months and in response to the call to serve one another.

Austin’s Place provides safe and warm overnight emergency shelter for single women during the coldest months of the year. It is the only overnight emergency shelter for women in Champaign County. During its last season (Nov 12, 2018-March 31, 2019) the organization provided 432 beds of shelter for 48 different women. It provided 156 beds to 21 different women in the month of November 2019.

2020 is going to be an exciting year for Austin’s Place! The current season will continue until April 15, 2020. With the addition of 3 part-time overnight staff members and the record number of women using the shelter, the funds from Round-Up for Good will be put to the immediate use of paying salaries and buying supplies for the use of its guests.
After Austin's place closes on April 15, it will become a part of C-U at Home and will hopefully become a year-round shelter on November 1, 2020. Any funds remaining after our 2019-20 season ends will be donated to C-U at Home to support the continuation of the shelter in a newly renovated space in their current location at 70 E. Washington St, Champaign.
See what else is new for the month of January in our current classes email .

You can always sign up online or in store and classes are listed on the class calendar.
Thu, Jan 16, 2020 6:00 PM CST
Shopping Bulk
Common Ground Food Co-op, Urbana
Sat, Jan 18, 2020 2:00 PM CST
Pressure Cooking
Common Ground Food Co-op, Urbana
Sat, Jan 25, 2020 2:00 PM CST
Ethiopian Injera
Common Ground Food Co-op, Urbana
Enjoy $2 off your next purchase of $15 or more
Just bring in this slip or show it on your device. Valid through the end of January. May not be reused or used for sale items, Co-op Basics, or alcohol.