Write Us!
We welcome your comments and give each one attention and serious consideration. Send them to or fill out a Customer Comment form in the Owner Resources area. Each month a small selection is printed in the Reader. The rest can be found in the commons or in the binder near Customer Service. Thank you!

Bottled water blues

Q: Please stop carrying bottled water—what a wasteful habit!

A: As long as our members continue to purchase bottled water we will continue to sell it. It is fortunate that we recycle plastic in Madison. Thanks for your comment! -Dean Kallas, Purchasing Manager

Thanks

Q: Thanks for being well stocked during the holidays!

A: Thanks for the positive feedback! -Dean Kallas, Purchasing Manager

High prices

Q: How is it justifiable to charge such high prices—especially in a deep recession?

A: We are constantly responding to changing market conditions so it would help me if you were more specific about your pricing observations. A few months ago we began actively reviewing our pricing strategy and working to improve our buying habits in an effort to help Owners manage their food dollar during this recession. We are also reviewing the products we offer, in an attempt to determine if our selection accurately represents the kind of staple products our Owners want. We take great care to price our product fairly—fair to you the shopper but also to those we buy from and to ourselves. With our bottom-line earnings typically about 1 to 2 cents per dollar in sales this can be a very challenging task, particularly when our desire to provide attractive pricing competes with our goals of providing high quality foods and living wages. We hope our efforts will help all our shoppers to continue to choose high quality, nutritious foods from trusted and often local sources. Thanks for your comment! -Dean Kallas, Purchasing Manager

Kashi granola bars

Q: Please consider carrying boxes of Kashi granola bars, chewy or crunchy.

A: Great suggestion! I will put these on the list of products to add. Look for Kashi granola bars soon. -Alex Risch, Assistant Grocery Manager

A gluten-free thanks

Q: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am so happy that you have started to carry Glutino breads and bagels. They are the best gluten-free breads!

A: Thanks for the feedback. These breads have gotten a great response. -Alex Risch, Assistant Grocery Manager

Local jarred salsa

Q: Is it possible to get some local jar salsa? Or if not perhaps at the salsa area direct people to where the cold local salsa is.

A: Good news! We now carry Tomato Mountain Salsa from Brooklyn, WI. It is local and very good. -Alex Risch, Assistant Grocery Manager

Fresh vs. frozen

Q: Hi. Thanks for just being here. My concern is the brats from Lange Farm. Seems if I buy them fresh and dated fresh (not frozen), they are great. The frozen ones of late taste like they were held fresh too long before being frozen. They do not taste right at all. Not just the difference between being fresh and frozen. Do you receive them fresh and freeze them yourself or does Lange deliver them frozen? I love the Co-op! Thanks.

A: Very valid concerns. Unfortunately, I don’t have much to tell you. I spoke with Rich Lange and he assures me that no changes have been made in the processing or recipe. I can only ask if you have noticed a difference between those in the Styrofoam trays with plastic wrap and those wrapped in butcher’s paper? We receive these products frozen almost 100% of the time. Anytime we get fresh it has come straight from the processor and immediately is frozen on our end. Thanks for writing. -Cory Schultz, Meat Buyer

Humane label

Q: I really really appreciate seeing the “Humane” label on Organic Prairie meats or ANY meats, eggs, dairy! I have been waiting years to see this. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Keep it up!

A: And thank you! Your continued feedback is appreciated and wanted to help provide an item selection that will hopefully be found pleasing to most. -Cory Schultz, Meat Buyer


Pineapple issues

Q: I am writing to request that you please look into carrying pineapple that has been grown somewhere other than Costa Rica (CR).

I understand that this might be difficult as almost 75% of the pineapple consumed in the U.S. is produced in CR. However, CR-grown pineapple is becoming an increasing threat to the country’s land and people. The CR government is currently unable to regulate the environmental or public health policies necessary to keep up with the rapid increase in pineapple products. Because of the lack of regulations, the rapid growth of pineapple plantations is resulting in health hazards due to pesticide contamination in local water supplies, the reduction of biodiversity due to the creation of pineapple monocultures, and the destruction of forest habitats to clear land for pineapple plantations. I would appreciate your consideration on this issue.

A: Thanks for bringing this to our attention! We will work with Cooperative Services and Communications to provide educational materials to customers. We will also request our distributor to source a competitive product not from Costa Rica. -Andy Johnston, Producer Manager

Product request

Q: We love No Added Sugar Alpen... any way to stock it?

A: Good news. Look for this product in aisle 4 soon. -Alex Risch, Assistant Grocery Manager

Bring back the RyVita

Q: Please look into bringing back the RyVita brand “Fruit and Seed Crunch” crackers. They are good.

A: Done! Look for them soon in aisle 1. -Alex Risch, Assistant Grocery Manager

Blue Marble Dairy

Q: As far as I have been able to tell, both Sugar River and Blue Marble Dairies use pasture-grazed and rBGH free milk. I would like to know more about their philosophies (e.g. how they use antibiotics and if the cows are supplemented with organic feed).

A: You’re in luck! I’ve just written a profile (in this issue; pages 20-21) on Nick Kirch, owner of Blue Marble. In summary, what you’ve been able to tell is correct. Nick has refused to use rBGH since it was introduced and is committed to pasturing. Sugar River does use his milk, but I don’t know if that is the only milk they use.

Nick’s farm/dairy is not certified organic nor operated as organic. Nick is using sustainable grazing practices but is only considering seeking organic certification. From a humane standpoint, Nick states that he does occasionally use antibiotics for a cow, but not as a prophylactic. The milk produced while the cow is on antibiotics is dumped.

Nick has been using a low-input approach to growing the majority of the herd’s feed, but he does purchase some of it, which is not certified organic. Thanks for your comment! -Lynn Olson, Cooperative Services Manager