Today we’re thankful for sharing. In a world where individual over-consumption has been the norm, it’s refreshing to see new technology and business models that are based on the idea of collaborative consumption.
We live in a world where it’s possible to swap unwanted personal goods with strangers on an international scale. It’s possible to not own a car, while still having quick and easy access to a set of wheels when you need them. Rachel Botsman, the author of What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, believes that this shift towards collaboration is due to the renewed belief in the importance of community, the torrent of peer-to-peer social networks and real-time technologies, the pressing unresolved environmental concerns and the global recession that fundamentally shocked consumer behaviors.
People are now aware that the way we were consuming wasn’t sustainable, and it’s possible to live a life of comfort and ease, without reverting to over-consumption. Sharing is becoming a way of life as more and more people find that it saves them money and is as convenient (if not more) than going out and buying individual items for themselves.
We at in.gredients are big fans of sharing. As a business based on the idea of reducing and reusing items, sharing fits into our model perfectly. By exchanging goods and services with your neighbors and a network of folks, you aren’t only decreasing unnecessary consumption, you’re building community.
We’re excited and thankful to live in a time where sharing is on the rise. To learn more and be a part of the movement, watch Rachel Botsman’s TED talk and get inspired.
Today we are thankful for our early adopters. We are grateful to the folks who looked at our business model and mission statement and said to themselves, “Yes, this is something I believe in.” Whether this support came in the form of funding our Indiegogo campaign, helping us dig our garden beds or shopping here since day one, we are thankful for each and every one of you.
The founders of in.gredients took the conventional grocery store model and flipped it on its head. In a country where over 40% of our food goes to waste and so much unnecessary packaging fills the shelves, in.gredients exists as an alternative. We are a small grocery store that serves our community sustainable, seasonal and local food. We believe in our farmers, ranchers and artisans and think that our money should stay within our community. in.gredients isn’t about convenience. We are about innovation and shifting the way people shop and interact with their food. So today, we are thankful for all of those that believe in what we are doing.
In 1962 a man named Everett Rogers published a paper titled, “Diffusion of Innovations” This paper sought to explain how, why and at what rate new ideas and technology spreads through consumers. Shaped like a bell curve, this idea shows that there are a small number of early adopters, and these are the folks that catch wind of an innovative idea, acknowledge its purpose, and sign up. From there, more and more people catch on and eventually this idea becomes a part of everyday life.
Source: Alta Street
While a majority of the real life examples apply to technology (DVD players, Apple iPods, etc.), this is a theory that can be applied to any innovative idea. In Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, he asks the question why some leaders, businesses and organizations are so great at inspiring action and change. Referencing great leaders from our past, he suggests his Golden Circle idea. According to Sinek, every single person and organization knows what they do 100%, but very few people and organizations know why they do what they do. Not many organizations have pinpointed what their purpose is. Instead, they think from the outside in, first answering what, then how and finally why.
What makes inspiring innovators different, is that they answer the why first. They inspire by making believers out of their followers. As Sinek puts it, “The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” These believers, they are the early adopters. They are the ones that will dive head first into the business before anyone else. They are the people who funded us before we opened, volunteered countless hours to help us build the store from the ground up, and continue to shift with us as we grow and adapt our business.
Today, we are raising our glasses to our early adopters. The people who heard about in.gredients, saw that we were pioneering the idea of a zero-waste grocery store, accepted that it would be a work in progress, and have supported us ever since.
Thank you for believing in us, we wouldn’t be here without your continued support.
This Thanksgiving week, we are dedicating our blog to things we are thankful for. Today (and every day), we are thankful for real food. We are thankful to our local farmers who we know by name, and who work hard to grow the most beautiful produce we’ve ever seen. We are grateful for our ranchers who treat their animals with respect and put value in the life of another creature. As a business, in.gredients is dedicated to sourcing from local farmers, ranchers and artisans so our customers can shop here without fear of hidden costs to your health or the health of the environment.
We’re advocates for real, local food and here’s why.
Conventional food, while monetarily cheaper due to government subsidies and policies, has a much higher cost than you might realize. The Sierra Club’s National Sustainable Consumption Committee launched a campaign about the true cost of food. In a short 15 minute movie, they walk you through what conventional food really costs.
Let’s start with meat. The average United States citizen eats 270.7 pounds of meat per year, which is more than almost any other country on the planet (Luxembourg eats slightly more than the US.) Meat has a much larger impact on the environment than any other food we eat. One quarter-pound of hamburger meat requires 6.7 pounds of grains, 52.8 gallons of drinking water, 47.5 square feet of land and 1,036 Btus (british thermal unit) of fossil fuel energy. In this country, a majority of the meat is raised in factory farms, where animals are not only treated inhumanely, they are given copious amounts of hormones and antibiotics. Did you know that US livestock operations use 77% of total antibiotic use? That’s 3.9 time greater than the amount sold to humans. Needless to say, our current source of meat is sick. The Sierra Club estimates that the true cost for a one pound, conventionally raised steak is $815 a pound.
Source: J.L. Capper, Journal of Animal Science, December, 2011
Credit: Producers: Eliza Barclay, Jessica Stoller-Conrad; Designer: Kevin Uhrmacher/NPR
Next up is conventionally grown produce. Mono-cropping has become the norm for growing fruits and vegetables in the United States. Only planting one crop at a time means that a single disease or pest can wipe out an entire crop. To avoid this, big agriculture turns to pesticides. Nearly 1 billion tons of pesticides are used every year, which kills the “bad” pests while simultaneously killing everything else around it. This causes a loss of 24 billion tons of topsoil a year, as well as contributing to the pollution of our rivers and groundwater. Not only does mono-cropping and big agriculture damage the natural environment, it also hurts small family farms.
Did you know that the largest 10% of the farms collect 65% of the government subsidies, and 7% of our farms sell 72% of our food? And a majority of the “food” they are growing are corn and soy, which are used to make the massive amounts of processed foods that have become the normal breakfast, lunch and dinner for many American families. So what’s the average cost of a conventionally grown tomato? According to the Sierra Club, the true cost of a tomato is $374.
Last but not least is processed food. Let’s take a look at a box of cereal. Boxed cereal was one of the earliest convenience foods and represents the power of marketing and packaging. They represent how you can take a cheap commodity crop (corn, soy, wheat) and convert it into a “high value” good. In reality, there is little to no nutritional value in processed foods, and they are basically fat, sugar, salt and chemicals passed off as food. Because of processed, “convenient” foods, 15% of American children are overweight, a number that has tripled in the past 25 years. It’s not just the kids, ⅓ of American Adults are overweight, which has increased the risk of heart disease, strokes, diabetes and numerous other health ailments. It’s the first time in history where children have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
Alright, enough with the doom and gloom facts. The fantastic news is that we, as consumers, have the power to vote with our fork, and make it clear that we value and want local food. With the average meal traveling approximately 1,500 miles, it’s time to take a step back and look at the food growing around you. Eating locally saves up to 17 times the fuel costs of conventional food. There are now five times the amount of farmers markets today than there were in 1980, and the organic food market is growing 25% every year. And while the monetary cost of real, local food might seem more expensive, when your food comes from a place that works with nature, not against it, it costs a lot less in the long run.
This Thanksgiving, stop by in.gredients or your farmers market and thank the amazing folks that work tirelessly to grow food you can eat with pride. The real cost of our conventional food system is haunting, and we are the only ones that have the power to change it. Support local, seek ownership and responsibility for the food you’re buying for yourself and your family, and let’s work together to build community around real, local food.
If you want to know more about the real cost of food, here are some great resources:
Thanksgiving is a week away, and we have so much to be thankful for. We are honored to serve a community that values real, local food. We are inspired by all the people in our neighborhood who come together and make this place such a wonderful place to work. in.gredients wouldn’t be here without your support, so to kick off this week of giving thanks, we extend our gratitude to our customers.
A few of our regulars have captured our hearts. They are here almost every day, and have become a part of the in.gredients family. If you’ve visited the store, a few of these folks are probably familiar to you (Zippo is the unofficial store hound.) These are faces we adore, and we sat down them to find out why they are “in.”
Get to know your neighbors. Support local. Be a part of this amazing community!
Describe yourself in 3 words: easy-going, adventurous and fun
What’s your favorite part about the neighborhood? It has a little bit of everything, and you don’t have to walk far for it.
How did you hear about in.gredients? I lived across the street!
Why do you come back? I never left… haha. And all my friends are here.
What are you favorite things about in.gredients? It’s dog friendly, and I like the zero-waste idea. I also love the familiar environment.
If you were to describe in.gredients in one word, what would it be? Pleasant.
Last but not least, if you were a fruit or a vegetable, what would you be? I’d be a kiwi… a hard exterior with a sweet inside.
Describe yourself in 3 words: new, music, experiences
What’s your favorite part about the neighborhood? Without a doubt, it’s the community, the people and the neighbors.
How did you hear about in.gredients? I watched it get built and then came on over.
Why do you come back? The staff! They are the nicest. in.gredients exceeded my expectations, the store has so much more stuff than I initially thought it would have. I do almost all of my grocery shopping here, it has everything I need.
What are you favorite things about in.gredients? It gives our neighbors a place to be. It’s our pub, our grocery store and our play house, all in one place.
If you were to describe in.gredients in one word, what would it be? Tasty
Last but not least, if you were a fruit or a vegetable, what would you be? I’d be a green bell pepper because I can go with anything!
Describe yourself in 3 words: funny, smart & lazy
What’s your favorite part about the neighborhood? The people
How did you hear about in.gredients? I moved in across the street right before you opened.
Why do you come back? I like it here. It’s full of good people and fun.
What are you favorite things about in.gredients? The prepared foods, the events and the selection.
If you were to describe in.gredients in one word, what would it be? Community
Last but not least, if you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be? An avocado. It’s delicious and green is my favorite color!
Describe yourself in 3 words: crazy, cat, lady
What’s your favorite part about the neighborhood? My neighbors
How did you hear about in.gredients? I moved in right next door.
Why do you come back? The staff. Everyone is encouraging about healthy food, and don’t make you feel stupid if you don’t know something. They aren’t patronizing or intimidating.
What are you favorite things about in.gredients? It’s a great place to hang out. My friends and community are here.
If you were to describe in.gredients in one word, what would it be? Family
Last but not least, if you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be? Cheese doesn’t count as a vegetable?
Describe yourself in 3 words: charming, gentle and sweet
What’s your favorite part about the neighborhood? All the people and dogs!
How did you hear about in.gredients? Jake told me.
Why do you come back? To visit my pals.
What are you favorite things about in.gredients? The events.
If you were to describe in.gredients in one word, what would it be? Friendly
Last but not least, if you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be? A pear… I’m soft and sweet.
Weekends are for sleeping in, making breakfast and taking your time. There is something magical about slowing down and enjoying breakfast instead of the usual run out the door while cramming an english muffin in your face.
We couldn’t help but click on the link for a dutch baby recipe. If you are unfamiliar with dutch babies, imagine a giant pancake with a fluffy, souffle like texture. Imagine it the size of a cast iron skillet, topped with stewed apples and real maple syrup. Are you hungry yet? Us too.
Apple Dutch Babies
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 honeycrisp apple
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a medium cast-iron pan or pyrex dish, melt butter while the oven preheats. Remove when bubbling. Set aside. Whisk together eggs, milk, flour, salt and vanilla until foamy. Pour batter into warm hot skillet/dish with melted butter, bake until the pancake puffs and lightly browns along the edges (18 to 22 minutes).
While the dutch baby bakes, prepare the fruit topping. Cut the apples into thin slices. Melt the butter in a saute pan. Stir in sugar until it just begins to dissolve. Add apples, cinnamon and lemon juice. Stir together over medium head until just softened (8-10 minutes). Remove from heat.
Whip cream in a stand mixer. Spoon onto the Dutch baby, ladle, then top with apples. Enjoy hot.
Soup weather has arrived! True, the forecast has it back to 81 by the end of the week, but right now we are enjoying (well, some of us) this cold, crisp winter-like day. Not only does it feel like winter, we have a lot of local veggies that taste like winter. Chard, kale, spinach, butternut squash, pumpkins and sweet potatoes (just to name a few.)
We whipped up a curried pumpkin and butternut squash soup with coconut cream, and we think y’all will like what you taste. Stop by the store and get yourself a bowl. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, pick up the ingredients and make some for yourself at home!
Curried Pumpkin & Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Cream
From: in.gredients (team member Quinn, to be exact)
- 1 can of organic pumpkin
- 1 medium/large butternut squash
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 medium onion
- 2 Tbsp vegetable broth powder or onion soup mix
- 3 cups water
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp sea salt (more or less to taste)
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 Tbsp curry powder (more or less to taste)
- Coconut milk and pumpkin seeds to garnish (optional)
Halve, peel and de-seed pumpkin and butternut squash. Cut into 1″ cubes and set aside. Chop onion and cook over medium-low heat in a large, heavy bottomed soup pot with coconut oil and garlic. Cook until onions are softened, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Add curry (start with 1/2 Tbsp and add more as it cooks.) Cook for an additional minute. Add pumpkin, squash, vegetable powder, 6 cups hot water, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over medium/low heat until squash is easily pierced with a fork.
Use the immersion blender to puree. Adjust salt and curry after blending. Serve hot with a swirl of coconut milk and a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds.