Whether you're preparing your weekly meals or what you're going to have for lunch today or perhaps that party in a couple of weeks, we're here to help. Willy Street Co-op is Madison's largest consumer-owned natural foods store, offering the finest organic and locally-produced foods, including:
For years we’ve used purple LOCAL tags in the grocery aisles to identify products that were made within 150 miles of the Capitol building (in Madison) or anywhere in Wisconsin. These tags didn’t differentiate between products that were grown locally (like Tipi Produce carrots) and products that were prepared locally (like Nature’s Bakery granola).
Now, to fulfill a request from Owners, we will be using these three tags in most of the store. (Produce will still keep its purple sleeve inserts that list the specific farm and location of its local products.)
|Products above this tag are made locally—and may be made with local ingredients—but they do not meet the criteria we use for our ‘“Essentially Local” designation.||Products above this tag have an insignificant amount of non-local ingredients added to a locally grown product required to meet product standards or quality (i.e., palmitate, carageenan, citric acid).||Products above this shelf tag are entirely local. If the product has multiple ingredients, all of them are local and the product is baked, cooked, mixed, etc. locally.|
Sales of organic foods have been growing across the country as people realize the importance of a clean, healthy diet and as more farmers switch to sustainable and organic methods.
Wisconsin Organic farmers rely on farming practices that have been used for thousands of years. Rather than seeking to control the natural environment, organic farming practices seek to work with the environment. Natural composts, for example, rejuvenate the soil, just as in nature: plant and animal materials replace the nutrients and microorganisms taken by the growing plants. Organic means of pest control mirror nature in practice and when, occasionally, organic crops are sprayed against insects and disease, these organic sprays are biologically based and they break down quickly.
Organic foods are not treated with preserving chemicals after harvesting; transporting, packaging, processing and storage of organic foods are all done without the use of chemicals, artificial additives, preservatives and without food irradiation.
Absolutely! Many pesticides used by conventional farmers have been shown to be carcinogens. Chemical farming continues to threaten our water systems, depletes our soil of valuable nutrients, and poisons all living things. We cannot expect our government agencies alone to clean up the environment or to set safer regulations. The public will ultimately set the standards for food safety in relation to the demand for clean food.
Many restaurant chefs across the country are using organic produce because they think it tastes better. Organic growers often select varieties to grow for their flavor, not only their appearance.
There is no conclusive evidence at this time to suggest that organically-produced foods are more nutritious. However, well-balanced soils grow strong healthy plants which many believe taste better and contain more nutrients. Fruits and vegetables commercially grown and produced are harvested early, may be irradiated, stored for long periods of time, or waxed to prevent dehydration and display an artificial shine. Organic fruits and vegetables that stay on the vine longer and ripen naturally absorb more sunlight and provide greater nutrition and flavor.
The shelf life of organic fruits and vegetables can be shorter than chemically-sprayed conventional produce and is brought from the field to the Co-op more quickly, providing members with a fresher product.
Organic foods are not always more expensive; in peak local season, many organic items will have the same or lower price than their conventional counterpart! There are many reasons contributing to the higher prices asked for organic foods: