Food for Thought - March 5, 2021

bi-monthly eBlast for followers and supporters of the Food Shed Co-op - March 5, 2021

We have a goal to reach 1200 total owners by July 2021. Help us move to the next step on our journey to open our community owned grocery store in the fall of 2022 by clicking HERE or on the Become an Owner button!


The Food Shed Co-op is hiring! We are searching for someone to fill a part-time position (20 hours per week) as our Outreach Coordinator. This part-time position will work with the Food Shed Co-op Outreach Committee to increase the number of owner-members and build community awareness of the Food Shed Co-op. Interested? Review the JOB DESCRIPTION HERE. If you have the time and talent to GROW OUR OWNER BASE - contact the Co-op at [email protected].

Why You Too Should Become an Owner of the Food Shed Co-op

Thoughts from Food Shed Owner #640 and new Board Member Vern Heinen

With the December 2020 purchase of the land for the grocery store, the Food Shed Co-op started the “Grow Our Ownership” campaign with the goal of having 1,200 owners by July 2021. This is the magic number of owners needed for us to feel like we’re truly ready to invest in our store construction; the ‘critical mass’ of owners who will help us succeed with the upcoming “Community Investment Campaign.” Please join now as a Founding Owner!

The sooner we reach our 1,200 ownership goal, the sooner we can open the store and better serve you and your community. Until then, we are asking you to see the value in supporting us now. The Food Shed Board is busy planning for the future: building relationships with local farmers and businesses, forming a sustainability committee to ensure that we adhere to these values, designing an educational Earth Day toolkit for local teachers, beginning the search for a General Manager, and so much more!

Again, even without a storefront, one of the main benefits of being an owner in your Co-op is the right to participate in our meetings and vote in the affairs of the co-op, including the election of the Board of Directors. By being an owner now, you can help steer the direction of the Food Shed Co-op far into the future. You may even be able to influence what further benefits owners will receive once the store is open such as: owner-only discounts, product specials, educational classes, meet-your-farmer events, etc.

Then, in the Fall of 2022 pending a successful Community Investment Campaign, you will reap the added benefits of finally shopping and gathering at our Food Shed. You’ll find locally grown, healthful food that is grown more sustainably compared with food available at commercial grocery stores. We are dreaming of ways to not only offer fresh produce, but also meals prepared in our deli and frozen sections with these same local ingredients so you can eat healthy regardless of your meal plan for the day. Importantly, this also means that a greater portion of your food dollars will be spent locally, which improves our local economy and, ultimately, the livelihoods of those growing for, working with, and shopping at the Food Shed. We hope you can appreciate these benefits and consider joining us today!

Thinking Globally / Acting Locally

Thoughts from Food Shed Owner #115 and new Board Member Emily Zack

I am Food Shed Owner number 115. I became an owner in November of 2014 while attending the Green Living Expo at McHenry County College. My family and I had been trying to eat more locally for a few years at that point and were very excited to learn about the Food Shed Co-op. Imagine a place that has all your local favorites in one place! A lot has changed since 2014 and a local co-op is needed now more than ever.

The news of environmental disasters, melting ice caps and the effect of climate change can be overwhelming. Everyday something new is brought to my attention that changes how we shop, live, eat and buy. I learned about rainforests disappearing due to palm oil production so now we aren’t buying products with that. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) in everything - avoiding those is almost impossible, but we seek out the non-GMO label. Saturated fats, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors - a constant question of what is in our food is running through our heads. Roundup found in baby formula, cereal and granola bars then labeled as a carcinogenic so now we choose organic. The rotting food in our landfills producing methane means we now compost all of our food scraps. Then we see pictures of floating islands of plastic in our oceans, sea turtles with plastic straws stuffed up their noses and ocean mammals suffocating on plastic bags. So, we reduce our use of plastic. No more straws, only reusable bags at the stores, avoiding plastic in food packaging and recycling all we can back to the store. No bottled waters, no beverages in plastic containers or individually wrapped snacks. We buy efficient cars and limit multiple trips to the store. We hoard Styrofoam, lightbulbs and batteries until the next recycling drive to dispose of them responsibly. When we sort and organize, we donate as much as we can to thrift stores, turn stained t-shirts to rags and give old kid clothes to the family, thus avoiding landfills as much as we can. We buy American made products when given a choice. We worry about those without a living wage, clean water, access to healthy food and healthcare and a good education - the whole thing is overwhelming.

So how does one person make a difference? All we can do is control our little world around us, our home, our family and our personal decisions. The Food Shed Co-op is one place where we know people care. The bags at the produce stand will be compostable. Shelves will be stocked with plenty of organic and local fruits and veggies. Food will be sold in bulk, limiting plastic. A place to stock our shelves with staples like cereal (no artificial colors or flavorings), coffee (fair trade and organic), jarred salsa (small batch, local ingredients) and oatmeal (heritage grains, Midwest grown). A place to buy meat from Woodstock raised with Regenerative Agriculture practices plus organic veggies from Harvard and hand-picked, seasonal fruit from Michigan. Additionally our artisan neighbors will no doubt be stocking the shelves with home-made lotions and soaps, candles and cleaning supplies and pet food without fillers. And finally, knowledgeable informed Food Shed Co-op employees that share these same values and in exchange will be paid a living wage.

It’s the little things we do in our miniscule spot on the planet that can make a difference in our community. The Food Shed can be step one.

Upcoming Events

Potato Print Workshop

When: Friday, March 12 at 6:00 PM
Where: Zoom

Description: join this fun and simple craft for all ages which can be done with items that most folks already have in their home. Using just a potato and some type of paint or pigment (we will use beet juice for the demonstration), you can get messy and creative. You can produce potato prints on paper for cards, wrapping paper or create unique works of art. Potato printing is also a great way to personalize your home by printing on fabric for pillows, curtains or canvas bags as well as on other surfaces, like a wall to create a pattern or border. The possibilities are endless!

Click here to register and hurry since class size is limited

MCCD Earth Day

When: Saturday, April 17th at Noon
Where: Prairieview Education Center

Description: Join the Food Shed Co-op as we collaborate with the McHenry County Conservation District as we explore ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle. This is a rain-or-shine event with both indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Click here to register

Volunteer Opportunities

Calling all Tweeters - follow us on Twitter @foodshedcoop and help us spread the word about our new site or the value of having a food co-op in McHenry County or both. How easy is that!

Click on our social media icon links at the bottom of the page so you can LIKE, Comment and Share our posts with your friends and followers.

Become an Owner NOW!

Help us spread the word about our community owned grocery store by sharing our posts with your followers on social media. And why not BECOME AN OWNER now?


Our mission is to build a LOCAL food COOPERATIVE promoting a HEALTHY, ETHICAL and RESILIENT COMMUNITY.

Core Values

  • Promote and foster better food choices
  • Cultivate and strengthen our local economy
  • Inspire and empower community
  • Champion environmentally responsible practices


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