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, 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.

New Books at Edmonton's Favourite Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw Food Book Source

Today we received some new titles (more new titles coming next week):

  • Soup’s On! More than 100 Quick and Easy Recipes
  • Vegetarian Tagines and Couscous: 65 Delicious Recipes
  • Year-Round Vegetable Gardener
  • 4-Ingredient Vegan Easy, Quick and Delicious Recipes
  • 500 Greatest Ever Vegetarian Recipes

So many people are incorporating more plant based meals into their lives. It is really good to see. The book industry is responding to this shift and we are seeing an incredible number of books being issued.

Earth’s General Store is very proud to have the largest selection of Raw, Vegetarian, and Vegan recipe books in Canada. Please consider shopping locally rather than sending your money out of our city.

- Posted December 13th, 2013

Just What Are the Little Stickers on Fruit and Vegetables Trying to Tell Us?

As many people are aware – fruits and vegetables that you buy from grocery stores (like Earth’s General Store) have little plastic stickers on them. These stickers carry information on them – mostly to help store staff identify and correctly price these items.

The numbering system is controlled by the International Federation of Produce Standards. This is the organisation that create and control the 4 digit base code for produce.  This four digit code is called a Price Lookup Code or PLU for short. This four digit code can provide information to the retailer to let them know the difference between a field and a hot house tomato. The little sticker can also have added information on it like which country it comes from. And there is more…

For example, all banana (the usual Cavendish that we see on our shelves) have a base four digit code of 4011. This identifies the item as this type of banana to differentiate it from the other dozen or so varieties. More important to Earth’s General Store and our customers is that the Federation also added a fifth digit to items that are grown in accordance to certified organic practices.

Changes in Earth's General Store Coffee World.

Earth’s General Store tries to offer socially and environmental products at a reasonable and fair price. This is one of the reasons why we started to roast our own Fair Trade Certified and Certified Organic coffee in the store. We could deliver freshly roasted coffee that was ethically/socially superior with minimal environmental impact PLUS being produced by artisans here in Edmonton – adding value to our community.

We find that we need to change the prices for our coffee. Since we started to roast coffee in 2004 we have only raised the prices once - to go from $12.00 per pound to $12.50 per pound. It has been over 4 years since we raised our prices and today I am raising the price to $13.50 per pound ($29.70/kg) for our roasted coffee beans.

Many people are roasting their own at home (either with a small countertop commercial roaster) or in a popcorn maker (yes this is possible). AS far as I know Earth’s General Store is the only place in Edmonton that offers Certified Fair Trade and Certified Organic green coffee beans for retail sale. The new price for green beans are $9.50/pound ($20.90/kg) - regardless of country of origin.

Fermentation Crocks

We have sold Harsch Ceramic Fermentation Crocks for a couple of years and people really liked the old world style, the knowledge that generations of families made great sustaining fermented foods in them, they presented a technology that people could understand (water well along the lip to control air and venting, a good lid and ceramic weights), and knowing that the glaze was lead free. I loved offering these products because they were considered the best in the world.

This fall our supplier informed us that Harsch has shut down production of the crocks. I understand that they closed down the business. This kind of left people in a pickle (a fermented one of course :) ).

They said that another German company is looking at purchasing the design and continuing to offer the Harsch style crocks but that may not happen until next year.

That was not good enough for me so I tracked down another manufacturer of ceramic lead free fermentation crocks from Poland - Zaklady Ceramiczne "BOLESLAWIEC". So today we received our first shipment of their Polish Style Fermentation Crocks.


Kefir and Kombucha Kits Available from Earth's General Store

Increasing the quantity, quality and diversity of probiotics into your body is reputed to increase your overall health and bolster your immune system. I do know that people enjoy drinking the bottled kombucha products we carry at the store.

I believe Earth’s General Store is the only store in Edmonton to offers kits to make your own kefir products and kombucha drinks in your own home.

This coming weekend we will also start to carry some milk kefir kits – in the past we have only carried the water kefir kits. Both of these kits are put together by some local people. When we coordinate our fermentation classes our instructor also talks and demonstrates the caring and cultivation of kefir.

The milk kefir grains were brought over from Italy in 1953 by a woman (Yolanda) and the daughter is the one growing it for us. A little bit of history with your grains? 

This evening we hosted a successful kombucha workshop. I love the sharing of knowledge to a wide variety of people. People heard directly from a local kombucha maker and tasted some of his creations.

"Certified Organic" and GMOs - an Answer to a Question from a Customer.

A woman was in the store last week and had just come over here from Planet Organic where she had asked the question of two of their staff. Do your products contain GMOs? One person told her that if it contained corn from the USA it had GMO even if it was labelled organic. The other person said that if it were labelled organic or NON-GMO Project Verified it does not have GMO ingredients. She was confused with their answer and came over to ask me. I think she was pleased with the thoroughness of my answer.

I live in an information bubble and assume everyone that comes into the store knows certain things… like what is ‘Certified Organic”.

Health and Wellness Consultant at Earth's General Store

Barry Health and Wellness

Earth's General Store's Health and Wellness consultant, Barry Knight, will be available Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 12-4pm. Barry has extensive knowledge and training in areas such as wholefoods supplements, sports nutrition, raw foods, and sprouting. Should you be looking for excellent customer service in these and other related areas, we welcome to you to come by and ask for him.

You can also find Barry in the EGS Produce area on Fridays and Saturdays, so feel free to seek him out then as well. 

- Posted October 25th, 2013

Dried White Mulberries Available at Earth's General Store

Today we received several calls about dried white mulberries. This is unusual for this product. When one of the staff asked a caller why the interest they said they saw it on Dr Oz.

Yes we do carry dried white mulberry. We carry the packaged product and we even carry this in bulk at $36.00 per kilogram.

Save money, save packaging, and save landfill space.

- Posted October 1st, 2013

Ecocide - Why we need a International Law

Ecocide is the extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been or will be severely diminished. [from]

Before I started the store I came to the conclusion that too many organizations were focused on their own territory – what we would call departmentalism in government and large organizations. They didn’t include the larger picture – it is all connected/related and if we do things piece meal then we will not succeed in the time frame needed. The Ecocide Law would address the shortcomings of the present laws.

It complements the Bolivian “Law of the Rights of Mother Earth” which is a planet focused law and is being considered by the United Nations as a concept to be included in their policies.

The idea of creating a law that would provide severe penalties to people, governments and corporations goes to the core – if you harm that which we all depend on to survive, flourish, love and play then you will be tried for your actions.

True Ceylon Organic Cinnamon at Earth's General Store

True Ceylon Cinnamon a really popular product and I assume it is difficult to find since quite a few people are finding their way to the store to find this scarce health product.

They are caution about whether the cinnamon we carried was true cinnamon from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) when they first contact us since the majority of cinnamon out there is not true cinnamon. True Ceylon cinnamon is also called Mexican Cinnamon because this is the only cinnamon they use in their cuisine.

People are concerned with the coumarin oil content in the cinnamon originating from other south-eastern Asian countries.There is concern in some academic circles that coumarin oil can adversely effect the liver and is recognized as a blood-thinner. Cassia has over 1250 times the amount of coumarin in it than Ceylon cinnamon.