NEWS & EVENTS

Pogue's Run Blog

How Can We Solve Food Access Issues in Indianapolis?

In 2014, Indianapolis was ranked as the worst city in the country for food deserts. Unfortunately, that’s no surprise to us. In fact, one of the main reasons we opened Pogue’s Run Grocer near 10th and Rural was to provide food access in that food desert.

“Food Desert: An area (often urban) without ready access to fresh, healthy and affordable food.”

In 2015, Double 8 Foods closed all of their stores, drastically increasing the size and number of food deserts in Indianapolis.

In response, conversations regarding food access issues have re-emerged in the media, amongst neighborhood groups and within the camps of local politicians … even prompting the recent introduction of a “Food Desert Bill” in the Indiana Legislature.

So what does the recent closing of the Double 8 stores mean for Pogue’s Run Grocer?

Can the Indy Food Co-op and Pogue’s Run Grocer help the neighborhoods that depended on the Double 8 stores as their only option for grocery shopping?

Is there an opportunity for Pogue’s Run Grocer to expand into former Double 8 neighborhoods? These are all good questions; questions that we’ve been hearing since the day the Double 8’s closed.

Without a doubt, we’re proud of the fact that neighborhood and political leaders have reached out to us. After all, we are the only food co-operative in Indianapolis. We are the only group in the city that has sustained experience in providing food access in the desert.

In the first 10 days after the closings, we joined the discussion in 6 of the meetings that these leaders asked us to attend.

But what are the answers to the questions?

To be honest, we don’t know yet. It’s still early. The worst food desert issues in the country continue to get worse. There will certainly be opportunities; it’s just too early to tell exactly what they’ll be and what role we can play.

Rest assured though, we will continue to share our experience and expertise. We were founded to be part of the solution and we’ll continue to work to be just that … part of the solution.

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Farm to Fork

Do you know where your food comes from?

One of the most popular requests we get from shoppers and Members is for more ‘Local.’

Although the names may be, the idea of Farm-to-Fork or Farm-to-Plate or Slow-Food isn’t a new one. In fact some restaurants, most popularly Chipotle, have built their business models on it.

“Farm-to-Table is a movement concerned with producing food locally and delivering that food to local consumers.”

Everyone has different motivations for their interest in the Farm to Fork movement.

Some are in search of the freshest or healthiest or tastiest ingredients. Others are dedicated to fostering the link between farmers and communities. There are increasing numbers whose interest is a backlash against genetically modified organisms in our food supply.

We embrace all these attitudes about food safety, food freshness, food seasonality, and small-farm economics, but we can boil our passion down to just one question:

“Wouldn’t you like to know where your food comes from?”

When our customers say they want more ‘Local,’ they mean that they want to know where their food comes from.

Do you want to know where your eggs or meat or tomatoes or parsnips or bread or even milk comes from? No problem, a large percentage of our products come from local producers.

We can tell you where your food comes from. In fact, we can introduce you to the actual farmer that produced the food that’s on your plate.

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#FairFood

#FairFood

The Indiana State Fair opens TODAY!

What images come to mind when you think about the State Fair?

Maybe … Food? From Funnel Cakes to Tenderloins to Fried Oreos, the Fair Food is coming.

But what is Fair Food? There may be a definition beyond deep fried curiosities; perhaps a play on words that you may see popping up over the next few weeks.

Do you use social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook?

Watch for the #FairFood hashtag to see what Fair Food can really be.

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What Does the Closing of Double 8 Mean For Pogue’s Run Grocer?

Double 8 Foods Closes

You’ve probably heard by now that Double 8 Foods closed all of their stores suddenly a couple weeks ago. In response, conversations regarding food access issues have re-emerged in the media, amongst neighborhood groups and within the camps of local politicians.

Indianapolis Food Deserts

You may have also heard that a little over a year ago, Indianapolis was ranked as the worst city in the country for food deserts. Unfortunately, that’s no surprise to us. In fact, one of the main reasons that we opened Pogue’s Run Grocer near 10th and Rural was to provide food access in that food desert.

“Food Desert: An area (often urban) without ready access to fresh, healthy and affordable food.”

What Can Pogue’s Run Grocer Do?

So what does the recent closing of the Double 8 stores mean for Pogue’s Run Grocer?

Can the Indy Food Co-op and Pogue’s Run Grocer help the neighborhoods that depended on the Double 8 stores as their only option for grocery shopping?

Is there an opportunity for Pogue’s Run Grocer to expand into former Double 8 neighborhoods?

They’re Coming To Us!

These are all good questions; questions that we’ve been hearing since the day the Double 8’s closed. Without a doubt, we’re proud of the fact that neighborhood and political leaders have reached out to us. After all, we are the only food co-operative in Indianapolis. We are the only group in the city that has sustained experience in providing food access in the desert.

In the first 10 days after the closings, we joined the discussion in 6 of the meetings that these leaders asked us to attend.

But what are the answers to the questions?

It’s Still Early

To be honest, we don’t know yet. It’s still early. The worst food desert issues in the country just got a lot worse. There will certainly be opportunities; it’s just too early to tell exactly what they’ll be and what role we can play.

A Part Of The Solution

Rest assured though, we will continue to share our experience and expertise. We were founded to be part of the solution and we’ll continue to work to be just that … part of the solution.

 

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Good and Cheap

While Leanne Brown was Master’s student at New York University she wondered how well (or if) a person on SNAP assistance could actually eat. The $4 a day ration (formerly known as food stamps) didn’t seem like a lot. Could they actually create decent meals on a meager budget?

The result of Leanne’s musings eventually evolved into what became the #1 cookbook ever funded through Kickstarter.

Supporters of “Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 / Day” not only loved the idea of the book but also the “get one, give one” system. If you buy a copy, another copy will be given to someone in need.

There’s no question that eating well on so little is a real challenge. But if you have a kitchen and access to a grocery store, you can do it!

At Pogue’s Run Grocer, we love Leanne’s project so much that we’re doing a 3 things about it:

CLASSES

We’re partnering with a growing number of local organizations to teach 2-part Good and Cheap classes. Nate from Pogue’s Run Grocer discusses healthy eating on a budget, gives interactive cooking demonstrations using recipes from Good and Cheap and helps participants share a meal prepared in class. The group also takes field trips to nearby grocery stores. At the end of the second class, each participant receives a copy of Good and Cheap. Please note: these classes are intended for people who currently receive SNAP benefits, so spread the word.

VIP RECEPTION

We’ve partnered with Slow Food Indy to bring Leanne Brown to Indianapolis for a VIP Reception and Book Signing. Would you like to meet the Author and support the missions of Good and Cheap, Slow Food Indy and Pogue’s Run Grocer? If so, mark September 27th on your calendar.

AUTHOR PRESENTATION

The day after her VIP Reception, Leanne Brown will speak at the Arsenal Technical High School Auditorium. We (Slow Food Indy and Pogue’s Run Grocer) hope we can pack out Tech’s huge auditorium with everyone from foodies to local aid organizations but especially the people that Leanne originally wrote the book for.

Please contact Nate at Pogue’s Run Grocer for more information on any or all of these Good and Cheap events.

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The Days of Dehydration

Summer’s here and so are the days of dehydration. Water is essential to life, so much so that we cannot go more than three days without it! But how much water should you be drinking?

For most people the answer to that question is a pretty simple calculation.

A SIMPLE CALCULATION

How much do you weigh? 150 pounds? Divide your weight by two and that’s the number of ounces of water you should be drinking every day. Since you weigh 150 and half of that is 75. You need to consume 75 ounces of water daily.

Seems simple right? But what if you don’t like to drink water all the time? Juice and tea are good too right? Well, not necessarily. Your juice and tea may be diuretics and diuretics aren’t good for your hydration.

DIURETICS AREN’T GOOD

Diuretics are substances that cause your kidneys to release more water from your body. When you drink these beverages you need to make up for the water you’ve lost.  For every ounce of diuretic that you drink you need to drink 1 ½ times that amount of water.

Let’s say you drank a 12 ounce beer. In order to stay properly hydrated you need to compensate by drinking 18 ounces of water on top of your daily requirement.

Some common diuretics are:

  • Packaged fruit juice
  • Soda
  • Black tea
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Some herbal teas (dandelion root, nettles, mint)
  • Anything containing caffeine

Now you need to be careful; “moderation in all things” after all. Never drink more than a gallon of water in a day and don’t drink too much water at once. You can end up urinating it all out, so it’s important to drink throughout the day.

DON’T FORGET ELECTROLYTES

Finally, remember electrolytes.  Electrolytes are those minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and bicarbonate that help your body maintain hydration. They’re especially important when you’re working hard and sweating.  One of the simplest ways of adding some of these to your water is to sprinkle a little bit of unrefined sea salt in your water.

So enjoy your summer and all the traditional beverages that go with it, just remember these few tips to stay hydrated and healthy.

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The Dirty Dozen

Ahhh, summer time! It’s the time for kids to chase lightning bugs; for homemade ice cream; for farmer’s markets and all those delicious fruits and vegetables and … pesticides?!

Yes, pesticides.

THE DIRTY DOZEN

Unfortunately, many of our summer favorites rank as some of the worst in terms of pesticide residue. It’s a situation that prompted the Environmental Working Group to create a “Dirty Dozen” list.

How many of your summertime (and other time) favorites are on this list?:

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Cherry Tomatoes
  4. Cucumbers
  5. Grapes
  6. Nectarines
  7. Peaches
  8. Potatoes
  9. Snap Peas
  10. Spinach
  11. Strawberries
  12. Sweet Bell Peppers

Now, to be fair there are those that have called the EWG’s ranking methodology into question; even their suggestion to purchase organic versions of these 12 fruits and vegetables. They don’t however, deny that each of these fruits and vegetables retain the highest levels of pesticides of all their peers.

KNOW WHERE YOUR PRODUCE COMES FROM

It’s also interesting to note that the detractors suggest that instead of recommending the Dirty Dozen be purchased from the Organic section of the produce aisle, that health-conscious shoppers should instead know where their produce comes from.

That’s right, know where it was grown; know who grew it.

WE CAN HELP

We’re proud to say that Pogue’s Run Grocer can help you with that. Do you want to know where those peaches were grown? We can tell you. In fact, we’ll introduce you to the farmer next time they’re in the store to make a delivery.

Farmers Markets are a summertime favorite place to buy produce and meet the farmers that raised it. They’re the perfect place to get the cleanest of the Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, many farmers markets are weekend-only, during the summer months affairs.

POGUE’S RUN GROCER = FARMER’S MARKET

Think of Pogue’s Run Grocer as your seven day a week, twelve month a year farmer’s market.

So next time you’re walking through the produce section of the store and the Dirty Dozen list pops into your head, ask for Nate or Twon. They’ll be happy to tell you more about the Dirty Dozen. In fact, they’ll be able to tell you where all our produce came from and who grew it. Need recipes or cooking instructions? No problem, all our Pogue’s Run Grocer employees have been carefully selected to be the best possible resources you.

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Alan’s Favorite Summer Seasoning

It’s summer time. It’s time to break out the grill.

Alan Walker, our Customer Service Manager, has what he calls a “can’t miss” summer seasoning recipe that’s great whether you’re seasoning meat, fish or vegetables.

Remember, all these ingredients are available at Pogue’s Run Grocer.

  • 2 ½ tablespoons Paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all the ingredients, blending thoroughly in a bowl and sprinkle on or apply as a rub.

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It’s a 1,000 Member Celebration!

1,000 … Sometimes that’s a big number, sometimes it’s not. In this case, 1,000 is a very big number to Pogue’s Run Grocer.

We’ve just passed the 1,000 Member milestone. That’s 1,000 people who have invested in our store, in our mission and in our neighborhood; 1,000 people who now own a piece of our store.

If you aren’t one of our Members or if you’ve never visited Pogue’s Run Grocer or aren’t familiar with the Cooperative model, you may have questions like:

Do you have to be a Member to shop at Pogue’s Run Grocer?

Absolutely not! This isn’t an exclusive club and we understand that Membership isn’t for everyone. Whether you’re a Member or not our mission is still to give you access to healthy food and nutrition.

So if I can shop at Pogue’s Run Grocer anyway, why should I become a Member?

We are a cooperative. That means our Members are investing in our goals, our mission and, of course, our store. In return, our Members enjoy many special discounts and sales at the store and the opportunity to help guide and make decisions for the future of Pogue’s Run Grocer.

1,000 Members is a big milestone. Can I still become a Member?

Yes! We have not limited the number of people that can become Members. In fact, the more Members we have, the better we can serve shoppers at Pogue’s Run Grocer and our community.

Obviously, these are just three question and they’re all about Membership. Do you have other questions? We’d love it if you’d stop in and visit Pogue’s Run Grocer. We’ll be happy to give you a tour and answer any questions you have, whether they’re about Membership or healthy eating or you just want to learn more about the neighborhood. We’re here for you.

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Plant Walk with Greg Monzel, Community Herbalist

We will embark from PRG and walk to Spades Park, where we will meet native prairie and woodland plants in the restored bird sanctuary habitat along Pogue’s Run.  Along the way, we will also meet notable weeds that are used for food and medicine.  A few notable plants that are found there include black walnut, hawthorne, serviceberries, purple coneflower, bee balm, and motherwort.

Tuesday, June 23
6-7:30pm


Price



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