At Earth's General Store we offer visitors information and products that will help them reduce their ecological and social impact on the planet and all inhabitants. We are a distributor of information and knowledge, encouraging people to consume less, consume wisely, consume locally, consume fairly and love lots more! We do this by offering items that have beneficial advantages - local, certified organic, Fair Trade Certified, in bulk (less packaging), water and energy efficiency products, information, and support to act! We are attempting to offer a way of life that is balanced and respectful of the planet and all its creatures. I know this sounds a little wishy washy but I believe that is our ultimate goal in life - do as little harm as possible and leave the world better than when we arrived. One of the intimate ways that we interact with the environment is through the food we eat. We have the power to choose food that has less impact on the environment, society and other beings. We can eat less meat, choose food that is grown locally and organically and to buy in bulk. In February 2010 Earth’s General Store moved and expand our inventory to include food products. We now offer fresh, packaged, chilled and frozen organic products. We are a real Health Food Store - offering healthy food for your body, your spirit and the planet. We continue to carry the products that we have offered the citizens of Edmonton since 1991 like worms for composting, cloth diapers for the green parents, animal free personal care products, and reusable menstrual products. We have the most experience of any store or organization in Edmonton on green lifestyle. If you want to help make the world a better place Earth’s General Store may be of great assistance to help you along the path.

Fall 2013 – Movie Monday – Films/Documentaries for Change

In the past this documentary/film series was called Thoughtful Tuesday but I was unable to secure a suitable space for the fall to have it on Tuesday evenings. My local community league has generously allowed me to use a small hall to conduct this series for the fall of 2013. Thank you King Edward Community League.

Movie Monday will follow the same format as Thoughtful Tuesday – we gather to watch a documentary and then discuss it afterwards.

All documentaries will be on Monday evenings (except the special one on World Food Day – Wednesday October 16th, 2013). Everyone should be in their reserved seats by 7pm and after a very brief introduction we will start the screening by 7:05pm. You need to reserve a seat through the appropriate EventBrite page (the series is actually called Thoughtful Tuesday if you want to search EventBrite for all our documentaries or click on the appropriate huyperlink). Seating is limited so please if you don’t intend to be there please be considerate and don’t take a seat from someone that would enjoy being there.

The King Edward Community League – Small Hall is located on the corner of 81 street and 80th avenue.

You can also see all the documentaries listed on the Movie Monday EventBrite page.

GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) in Organic Food?

People often ask me whether certified organic food has GMOs and I say – “no”. This is a qualified" “no” insofar that the grower starts with land that has not had any synthetic fertilizer or pesticides on them for a minimum of three years, the soil has been enriched with organic matter (compost), had the soil tested and their records reviewed by a certification board, and the seeds they placed into the soil were seeds that were not genetically modified/genetically engineered. BUT that does not mean that after going through this whole process that the crop is then not contaminated by seeds dispersed into their fields by birds/animals or the pollen blown into their fields.

The grower did not start off with the intention of having GMOs in their product and I don’t think they should be tarred with the same brush of a crop that is grown on land that has used synthetic herbicides/pesticides and planted with GMO seeds.

New Book Titles at Earth's General Store - Raw Food, Permaculture, Vegan, Fermenting

I always try and get new books on the subjects that matter to me. Books about adding skills to ones life, eating healthier, treading lighter on the planet, permaculture, agroecology, alternative building, fermentation, food preservation, veganism/vegetarianism/plant-based diet covers most of the types of books we carry.

Today we got in (some of the titles we had before but they had been out of stock for some time so I have listed them again):

Coconut Aminos Available at Earth's General Store in Package and BULK!

Several people have come into the store lately saying that they haven’t been able to find Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos at their usual store and were surprised when they saw that we had plenty of the product.

Earth’s General Store was the first store to bring in these products into Edmonton and continue to be a main supplier for them.

What people sometimes don’t realize is that this is one of the products that we offer to people in bulk refill. That is right – bring in your bottles (it doesn’t have to be a coconut aminos bottle – anything will do). This way you save a bottle from the landfill/waste stream/recycling stream and you save significant money (about 40% less than buying a new bottle).

Refill – Don’t Landfill!

- Posted August 13th, 2013

 

Green Acts Reward Groups for August and September 2013.

Below are the three groups that will be recipients of the Green Acts Reward program at Earth’s General Store. Each group will earn about $90 over this period but the funds donated rely on the small green acts done by our customers – reuse a shopping bag get 2 cents to donate, refill a container (maple syrup or cleaner) get a 5 cent token to donate, or if you ride your bicycle, walk or use transit to get to the store you get a 10 cent token – that you then drop into one of the three group’s bin and then we send them the money they donate.

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Fair Cup of Coffee at your Bank? NOT!

So you walk into your bank and there is a free coffee off to the side. The coffee is in a thermos flask, the cups are Styrofoam, and they offer powdered creamer stuff (made from an “edible oil product”). The coffee is likely the least cost that they can get if for… but hey – it’s the thought right.

It isn’t as though banks are short on profit (seeing as how they are making great profits these days) so why are they choosing /to offer their customers such a low end coffee. Think about the message it would send to their customers if they offered Fair Trade Certified, Certified Organic and roasted in the town/city where the bank is. This is doubly important for Credit Unions to do this type of coffee service. They want to be recognized as being  involved in community – well the coffee crap they are giving away is not conducive to the the image thy want to foster in the public.

New Products at Earth's General Store

It has been a long long time since I have written a blog about all the new items we have at the store so this is going to be a long long list.

Earth’s General Store wasn’t designed by professionals (you can tell), we didn’t hire a marketing consultant to tell us what to put into the store according to the profile of other similar stores and what is trending, and it certainly did not start with a lot of money to buy lots of equipment and inventory. We are an organic store in many senses of the word we carry organic food, we are supporters for the organic supply change, we grew out of the passion to create a positive change in our world, we do minimal advertising and so our promotion is done organically – through relationships (thank you), and we live organic lifestyles. We evolve organically over time – always changing things, adding new products, getting rid of products that don’t fit in with our philosophy, and to respond to healthy suggestions from our friends and customers (thank you).

Books:

Environmental Working Group (EWG) Releases Bug Repellent Review

EWG is the place we refer people to obtain information on ingredient in sunscreen, household cleaner ingredients, personal care products and their all round chemical database.

Today EWG release a review of bug repellents. If you are like me I hate being bitten by mosquitoes and until earlier this year I don’t think I have ever had a tick (I was in the jungle in Belize). When I used to backpack lots in the late 70s and early 80s I would use DEET – and the strong stuff – until one day I applied it to my polypropylene leggings and it melted holes in the fabric. I stopped using it right away. I am sure the DEET content is a lot lower now but I have not used DEET since then.

I noticed that they don’t include an item that http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/life-vie/insect-eng.php)" target="_blank">Health Canada approves up here – soybean oil. EWG does mention Catnip Oil being effective for up to 7 hours but the oil is difficult to find and leave it at that.

Bhutan Aims to Increase National Happiness by Being World's First Organic Country

This morning I was working on some GMO stuff from home and one of the things I did was write a letter to the Ministry of Agriculture in Mexico about Mexico considering GMOs corn to be planted in their country (legitimately because there has already been some illegal growing and pollution in Mexico from GMO corn strains). I mentioned my opposition to them considering this and said that if they did this I would never travel there as a tourist again.

After I sent the letter I thought a little more and realized I should have suggested that Mexico should make a commitment to organic corn because there is a much higher growing market for this than commodities such as GMO corn. When I got to work I came across this article from March, 2013 sent to me via a Facebook friend request by a woman working at an organic food store in Australia. Odd coincidence.