Q: May I have a straw please?

A: You sure can! They are black and on your left. I agree that a jar is a less than ideal dispenser for them, but unfortunately our straw dispenser took a beating and went down for the count. We’re looking for a better way to house them.

Q: Where are the Nothing Muffins? I really wanted one and came all this way only to be disappointed by their absence.

A: Thanks for asking! The Nothing Muffins are by far the most popular muffin of staff and customers alike. Often the most recent batch is cooling on a rack in the Deli kitchen and just has not been brought out yet. Your question is appreciated as it lets the Juice Bar staff know that we are out and it is time to bring out the next batch. Other times a lack of muffins is due to some snafu/miscalculation in ordering batter from our Off-Site Kitchen. In an attempt to provide the freshest of muffins, we try not to make more mix than can be used that day. An unexpected run on muffins can leave us gasping for batter and frustrated that loyal Nothing fans must be turned away empty-handed. On that note, another common cause of shortage is one person buying a dozen or more. While we are thrilled that you, and perhaps your co-workers, like them so much, it would be greatly appreciated if a pre-order could be placed for numbers greater than six.

Q: I feel like I’m getting a cold. What should I have from the Juice Bar to take care of myself?

A: Digesting food takes LOTS of our body’s energy—energy needed to fight off your impending cold. Eating small amounts of nutrient-rich, easily-digestible foods is probably your best bet, and the Juice Bar is a great place to find them. Personally, I would have an Orange Lemon Ginger and then go over to Health & Wellness and buy some Elderberry Zinc tablets and some Emergen-C packets. Or perhaps a double shot of wheatgrass and a ginger shot if my stomach is already full of stuff that wouldn’t get along with orange juice. Either way, I would recommend juice over smoothies, although bee pollen is an excellent smoothie additive for when you’re feeling a little under the weather.

Q: Can I grow my own wheatgrass, and will my juicer at home work for it?

A: Yes, and probably not, respectively. A buck worth of hard red winter wheat berries from the Bulk aisle will give you over a flat worth of wheatgrass, although you will probably have a little better germination with seed intended for this use. Try the sproutpeople.com if you want to spend a bit more per pound. Also there is plenty of info online for the ins and outs of wheatgrass cultivation. While a little time consuming at first, it is an easy and fun project with quick results.

Good dirt is a little harder to come by. If you have access to good, clean garden soil just mix it up with a little peat, and vermiculite, and you are all set! Do not use commercial potting soil! Our bodies don’t want whatever garbage is in that stuff. The only exception to this rule that I have personal experience with is Fox Farm brand potting soil. At $20 for 1.5 cubic feet (at least 30 flats worth) it’s not cheap, but it’s loaded with earthworm castings, bat guano, fish and kelp meal along with all sorts of other nutritious whatnot. The only place I know to get it in town is Paradigm Gardens across 151 from Farm and Fleet, 4539 Helgesen Dr., 241-3800.

As far as juicing the stuff goes, the juicer you have at home will more than likely not work at all for wheatgrass. The only ones that juice wheatgrass as well as vegetables and fruit are juicers that slowly crush plant matter between worm gears, cost $400, and take 15 minutes to clean. A cheaply made, mostly plastic wheatgrass juicer can be obtained for around $120 while an old-school hand crank steel juicer will still run you over $50 and will give you more exercise than you bargained for. By far the cheapest option for seeing if this whole growing wheatgrass thing is for you is to just cut off a finger-sized bunch and ball it up in the back of your mouth, crushing it between your molars and just spitting out the remaining cellulose after a few minutes.

Q: Why are the juices so expensive?

A: They aren’t. It’s just a perceived value illusion. A 16-fluid-ounce juice that costs $4.79, contains the juices of over two pounds of vegetables or fruit. How is this the case? About 90 odd percent of veggies/fruit is liquid, and our juicer at best removes a little over 50 percent of this fluid. Most of the indigestible cellulose has been removed leaving you with a pound of fruit/veggies that have essentially been mechanically chewed for you, ripping open each cell and making all the nutrients available for digestion. You would spend all day chewing a pound from the Salad Bar to the same level of digestive availability... and pay $6.49/lb to do it.

Q: Which pot is the dark roast?

A: The coffee pot furthest to the right will always be the darkest roast we have out. The Just Coffee signs are a little hard to read and sometimes are less than clear as to the darkness of the roast.

Q: Can I give you a tip?

A: No, thank you. But please feel free to add a CHIP at the register to help out some very worthy causes (see www.communityshares.com).

Q: I just ate. Should I wait to have a shot of wheatgrass until I have an empty stomach?

A: Nope. I always have a shot after lunch myself. Like a salad with a meal, the active enzymes and chlorophyll can help to aid your digestion and add a little nutritional boost to your meal. However, I would hold off on having a Green Zinger after lunch. All that apple on top of a normal lunch may just mess with the digestion of the whole business. The main reason to take the wheatgrass on an empty stomach is for its possible detoxifying properties. Having the chlorophyll undiluted by a meal and right up against whatever crud is hanging out in your digestive system maximizes this detox potential. As always, let YOUR body tell you what works best for YOU.

Q: When will there be more Cowgirl/Chocolate Chip/Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies?

A: Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and (hopefully) for the rest of your life. Keeping these popular cookies in stock is a challenge we have yet to master. If all goes well, you will always be able to find a Cowgirl Cookie to snack on.

Q: What the heck is Oat OatsCreme?!?!

A: It is a vegan, soft-serve ice cream substitute. It is made from oat flour, water, vitamin E, vanilla extract, and natural flavors. At the moment all we have in our machine is vanilla, but other flavors are available by the pint in the freezer case. The OatsCreme machine gets its weekly internal cleaning Tuesday morning, so if you come in before noon on Tuesday hoping for OatsCreme, you will probably leave empty-handed.