Craig Wilson, Accounting Chair and roving reporter, saying “hello” or, should I say “안…하십니까” from Seoul, South Korea. Before leaving I had the opportunity to travel to Valley Natural Foods in neighboring Burnsville. I was able to catch up with MSB Lakeville adjunct business instructor and Valley Natural Foods’ Marketing Director, Melissa Goodson, to find out about the difference organic food makes for our health.
Craig: Tell me why you wanted to work for Valley Natural Foods?
Melissa: I was a consumer here first, and changed how we eat at home. Now it’s my full-time job. I got so interested in organics that my PhD dissertation is on the impact of the USDA organic label on sales.
Craig: What are the benefits of organic foods over other foods?
Melissa: To qualify for the organic label 95% of the ingredients have to be organic – no pesticides, chemicals, or sewage sludge.
Craig: Sewage sludge?????
Melissa: Yes, sewage sludge is often used as fertilizer in conventional farming. Organic foods are safer and fresher.
Craig: I’ve heard that commercial chickens are injected with other things too.
Melissa: Yes – antibiotics and growth hormones. Organic meats aren’t.
Craig: What makes Valley Natural Foods different from other grocery stores?
Craig: You just got a new spokesman for a gluten-free diet. Did you see the article on Justin Morneau yesterday?http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/159509615.html?page=all&prepage=1&c=y
How else is the store different?
Melissa: The customer-members own the store.
Craig: How does membership work?
Melissa: You buy 4 – $25 shares of stock that’s 100% refundable.
Craig: What benefits do members get?
Melissa: Members get discounts on their purchases.
Craig: I hear they also get patronage refunds too.
Melissa: Yes, that’s right.
Craig: Do you have to be a member to shop here?
Melissa: A lot of people think that, but anyone can shop at Valley Natural Foods.
Craig: Does Valley Natural Foods have classes or other programs to help people more healthy?
Melissa: Absolutely! We have programs all the time. Right now we’re doing a special kids’ program during the day. There are food demos and cooking classes. Check out our website to find all that’s happening.
Craig: Thanks Melissa and good luck with your dissertation!
Here’s the link to Valley Natural Foods’ website:
There are 12 natural food coops in the Twin Cities. Here’s a
link to locate the one nearest you.
Today’s Lesson: You are what eat – sewage sludge?????