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Monthly Archives for: July 2013

One Person’s Trash is Another Person’s Trash Can

by Edmée Knight

Love the convenience of those re-sealable baby food packets, but can’t stand the non-ecofriendly packaging? How about your energy bar wrappers, plastic produce bags or those beauty products with spritzers on them — where do you put them when you’re finished? The trash?

Here at Alfalfa’s, you can now keep these items out of the landfill! Our new recycling program was designed to help you (and us) keep package-heavy items out of landfills and back on the shelves. We now provide recycling and up-cycling centers for your hard-to-recycle beauty products such as toothpaste tubes, deodorant sticks, and hairspray bottles.

These items are either sent to Terracycle where they are up-cycled into tote bags, wallets and other useful items or they are melted down and recycled into park benches and trash cans. All of our plastic bags are recycled through Ecocycle. 

Just bring your empty packaging with you the next time you shop at Alfalfa’s and drop them in the bins located by the front registers… Turn your trash into another person’s trash can!

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My Time with the Conscious Cleanse

by Bea Steiner

These days, it seems like scores of my friends and acquaintances are jumping into an array of different diet crazes. Gluten free, paleo, raw—what’s right for me and how do I know?

When I was in grad school, just thinking about changing my diet made me tired. Simply put, I was caught in a cycle of bad eating habits. I wasn’t unhealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but I didn’t understand how closely my mood was linked to what I’d consumed an hour or two before. I’d have a cookie or a cup of coffee in the afternoon just to get through a 3 o’clock class. The thought of giving up that habit was slightly daunting.

One day in my final semester of school, a friend of mine told me about the Conscious Cleanse. The goal wasn’t to shed a bunch of pounds, and you didn’t subsist off of only liquids like in some of the more common cleanses. Instead, this program encouraged eating wholesome foods and keeping potential allergens like dairy and wheat off your plate. The cleanse stood out to me because it sounded reasonable and rational. It also seemed like a great way for me to break the bad habits I’d acquired during my 2 years of grad school.

This June, I joined a group of about 60 other individuals as they embarked on a 2-week experiment of eating simple, unprocessed foods. The first few days were tough. I craved that morning cup of coffee and that sugary treat in the afternoon, but instead had to resign myself to lemon water or a handful of raw cashews. I must admit that by the end, I didn’t want to give up this new way of eating and thinking of food.

 Things I learned:

  • A small handful of nuts is more filling than you might think.
  • Former habits included reaching for some type of food when I was tired, not hungry.
  • When you break from the old habits, foods like vegetables and fruits actually taste better.  

 What I liked:

  • The cleanse taught me to nourish my body with whole foods.
  • Though weight loss wasn’t a goal for me, I did wind up losing about 5 pounds, and as an added bonus, I felt more energetic and positive overall. 

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How to Shop for Less at Alfalfa’s

by Dennis Sweeney

It’s no secret that your grocery bill can add up quickly when you’re at Alfalfa’s: with so much delicious natural food within reach it’s hard not to get carried away. As an independent market, we strive to provide the highest quality local, organic, and responsibly sourced food, and this can often cost a little extra money. But being independent also allows us to create unique deals for folks who are looking for them. Here are a few tips on how to shop at Alfalfa’s for less:

1) Check the dollar bin! Because our standards for our produce are so high, we often can’t sell certain fruits and vegetables at full price. These end up on the left side of the produce cooler, wrapped in green sacks or labeled with orange tags. You’ll find peppers, oranges, apples, and greens that have slight imperfections or are nearing their last sellable date. The secret is, most of the fruit in the dollar bin is the sweetest because it’s ripe!

2) Look for Sustainable Value stickers. We’ve picked out more than 200 products around the store and marked them down so they’re the same price as or less than any other store in town. These aren’t sale prices: they’re the same every day.

3) Day-old bread is a great deal. If you like sweets, we wrap up scones, danishes, croissants, donuts and bagels the day after they are baked and sell them at a discounted price on the right hand side of the pastry case. You can find day-old Breadworks loaves in a wooden box next to the bakery. Check the baskets on the bakery counter, too, where there are other reduced-price, homemade baked goods from Kaiser rolls to raspberry-chocolate bars. Just be sure to get here early, because the best stuff goes fast!

4) Using our bulk section is a great way to shop efficiently day in and day out. If you only need a small amount of a spice, just put as much as you need in a plastic bag and we’ll charge you by the ounce. Many of the granolas we offer pre-packaged can also be found in the bulk section—for less money per pound. We even offer a huge selection of bulk oils and vinegars, from everyday organic olive oil to pomegranate balsamic from Italy.

5) Pick up our sale flyer! New items are on sale every month and you can find out what they are right here on our website. Along with some really spectacular deals, you’ll also find a list of events and a recipe every month.

So happy shopping! And don’t forget: just because you make it a priority to buy food that’s healthy for you, your family, and the earth doesn’t mean you can’t buy food on a budget.

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