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Sound Consumer
April 2015

Enjoy coverage of the issues you care about most.

The Sound Consumer is dedicated to informing and educating members and the public about food and agriculture, consumer concerns and co-op principles. Read it here or become a member and receive it FREE by mail.


PCC quality standards

by Trudy Bialic, director of public affairs

PCC doesn't shy from taking on complicated and often uncomfortable but necessary product issues and consumer concerns. It has become part of our co-operative culture to embrace the challenges as a gatekeeper for food standards.


Tiny plastics in products and our food chain

There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean — 269,000 tons that float on the surface, plus some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer deep down in the seas. In honor of Earth Day April 22, take some simple steps to curb plastic pollution every day.


Understanding umami

by Nick Rose, M.S.

"Delicious taste" is the translation of the Japanese word umami — the fifth taste sensation first identified in Japan and more recently in the United States. Fermentation and aging transforms the flavors of foods such as miso, soy sauce, Parmesan cheese, and aged and cured meats, in part by freeing the amino acid glutamate to produce umami.


Whole foods with umami

There are several whole-foods sources of the delicious fifth taste, umami. (See "Undertanding umami" to learn more about this flavor sensation.) At PCC, our selection of umami-rich foods — from kombu to fish sauce to Parmesan cheese — meets the high standards for sustainability and taste you expect.


Recipes from the April 2015 issue

Super, savory umami

Umami is the "fifth taste," after salty, sweet, sour and bitter. It's that deep, dark, meaty flavor that distinguishes miso, aged cheese, anchovies, and mushrooms, among other foods. Here we feature these four ingredients in recipes that pack a powerful umami punch — two vegan, two for omnivores.


Letters to editor

Benefits of organics · BPA and its alternatives · Sugar in the deli · Plastic in the deli · B-12 in nutritional yeast · Rice syrup in Vegenaise


News bites

Avoiding dietary pesticides · One food safety agency? · Child slavery liability · Supplement integrity · DelBene on Agriculture Subcommittee · Arson at yogurt facility · No consensus on GE safety · Trees fight warming best · Illegal Chinese honey · Beef packers block drug


What's new in store for April

What says spring better than tender, local asparagus? We have plenty! Other new, not-to-miss foods include bread from Seattle's beloved Macrina bakery, Rancho Gordo heirloom dried beans, duck eggs, vegan coconut caramels, biodynamic tea and Ceylon cinnamon.


Soil & Sea: reports from our producers

Learn about new tiny tags to track salmon, recommendations for honeybee protection in Washington, genetically engineered pine trees and more.


PCC supports our communities

PCC does more than just provide good food for you and your family. It also helps support our communities through event sponsorships and food donations, and lends a hand to neighbors in need. Read about highlights from 2014.


PCC Board of Trustees report

Notice of annual member meeting · 2015 election · Board report


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