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!

What’s it all about?

Q: How about organic bulk canola oil? AND... tell me the meaning of life.

A: We are planning on bringing in organic bulk canola oil when we do a bulk liquids reset. We will just need to make space for it.

Defining life requires measurable terms, and when derived from analysis of known organisms, life is usually defined at the cellular level. -Jesse Jensen, Grocery Coordinator

Tax question

Q: I heard that when I donate to CHIP at the registers, it’s not tax deductible—is that right?

A: That’s right. Community CHIP is a 501c4 organization, since some donations may support lobbying on the part of one or more of the CHIP member groups. Therefore gifts to CHIP are not tax deductible—but still appreciated!. -Brendon Smith, Director of Communications

Catering

Q: Thank you so much for the excellent catered food. I ordered spanikopita and carrot cake for a graduation party. Both were excellent and reasonably priced! Thanks!

A: Thank you so much for the positive feedback. We are very proud of the hard work and the good food that our cooks and bakers turn out! It is also a pleasure to supply good, homemade style food to our community. Yum!

-Corinna Greenwood, Catering Coordinator

Healthy babies

Q: To Matt H... Thank you so very much for ordering and stocking Healthy Times Baby Oatmeal Cereal! You were so kind to hear my suggestion. I really hope your baby loves it as much as mine does!

A: You’re very welcome. Sincerely, Matt Hofstede, Grocery Department

Register ease

Q: Could you make scan cards at the registers for the water softener salt and the charcoal? I have a hard time lifting them out of my cart to get them scanned. Thanks!

A: I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties you experience with these cumbersome products. I will make sure to get this request accomplished right away. Thank you! -James Phetteplace, Information Services Manager

A vital store

Q: I have meant to drop a note for some time now.

Though there are always challenges and room for improvement, I would like to thank the Board and Co-op staff for doing a wonderful job at running this vital neighborhood grocery store.

I do most of my shopping here. I have noticed a marked improvement in customer service, which makes the experience even better. It’s just plain comforting, and it makes me feel more connected to the place.

I get help and answers when I ask questions, and even when I don’t, especially from the Health and Beauty folks.

The produce is unparalleled. Well, maybe except from the farmer’s markets, but it’s equal!

I know how fortunate I am to be able to shop for local, fresh, humane products and have choices. Thank you for all the hard work in finding them.

Additionally, though it isn’t inexpensive to shop at the co-op, I am grateful for your presence in our community promoting healthy eating for everyone. Farmer’s markets and Mallards games...I would encourage you to continue doing these things.

The ‘Chip’ also makes it easy for me to do a little more. If I buy one less extravagance in favor of really healthy food and in order to donate a little more, that helps me behave the way I want to behave. Thank you.

A: Wow, what a wonderful message to read! Thank you very much for your thoughtful, detailed note.

We have worked hard on our customer service in the past few years, and are working on ways to improve it even more. It’s great to hear that you are getting help and answers—we pride ourselves on having knowledgeable staff, but it’s still nice to hear it confirmed!

I hope that you were able to join us at our Annual Meeting & Party on Thursday, July 9th. Thank you again for letting us know your feelings about all of these things. Have a nice week! -Brendon Smith, Director of Communications

Silk switch

Q: Just recently I was made aware that Silk Soymilk is no longer organic. This “switch” went unnoticed by my family for some time because the only thing that changed on the packaging was the removal of the organic seal. In my opinion this would no longer be a healthy product to keep on the shelves. It’s been a while since I’ve been in to shop at Willy Street since I live in Baraboo and I’m so hoping that you have an alternative “organic” soy milk on your shelves for the next time I visit. Thanks!

A: I am really sorry that happened to you. We stopped selling this non-organic soymilk once they started to offer their organic one in the new packaging. I agree that keeping the same label, but removing the organic seal, tricked people into thinking it was the organic product that they were buying still. On top of that, their “new” organic soymilk now costs more then before.

We also carry the Organic Valley refrigerated soymilk and it is an organic product. They source their organic soybeans from a group of farmers in Iowa. Thanks for your comments!! Have a great day!! -Dean Kallas, Merchandising Manager

Chlorine and carrots

Q: I was recently forwarded this message—kinda scary—any validity to it? Thanks!

“The following is information from a farmer who grows and packages carrots for IGA, METRO, LOBLAWS, etc.

“The small cocktail (baby) carrots you buy in small plastic bags are made using the larger crooked or deformed carrots which are put through a machine which cuts and shapes them into cocktail carrots—most people probably know this already. What you may not know and should know is the following:

“Once the carrots are cut and shaped into cocktail carrots they are dipped in a solution of water and chlorine in order to preserve them (this is the same chlorine used in your pool). Since they do not have their skin or natural protective covering, they give them a higher dose of chlorine. You will notice that once you keep these carrots in your refrigerator for a few days, a white covering will form on the carrots. This is the chlorine, which resurfaces.

“At what cost do we put our health at risk to have aesthetically pleasing vegetables?

“Chlorine is a very well-known carcinogen, which causes cancer. I thought this was worth passing on. Pass it on to as many people as possible in hopes of informing them where these carrots come from and how they are processed.

“I used to buy those baby carrots for vegetable dips. I know that we will never buy them again!!!!”

A: Chlorine is and has for years been considered an “allowed substance” both by the USDA Organic Rules and the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. So yes, it is true! The use of a bleach solution as a disinfectant on both organic and conventional farms is fairly commonplace, and not exclusive to baby carrots. Its low cost makes it appealing to both large and small farms. If you are sensitive to or concerned about chlorine on fresh produce, I would encourage you to either grow your own, or to purchase from a local farmer who can assure you they are not using chlorine in their wash water!

Apparently, there are various versions of the email you sent me floating around. I googled “chlorine on baby carrots” and was able to find two similar versions, as well as numerous sites citing inaccuracies in the content. Love that internet! Thanks and Good Luck. Sincerely, Andy Johnston, Produce Manager

Picking flowers

Q: In response to “Stupidly, joylessly, lifelessly.” I would like to suggest to the person that wrote that letter that this person could pick the Dandelions at the coop.

Then you would not have to pay an employee to pick these “PRETTY FLOWERS.” This would allow them to have free meals and everyone is happy.

A: Thanks for the comment. -Lynn Olson, Cooperative Services Manager