How to Eat Your Beer and Reduce Climate Change

My name is Dihan Chandra. Karma Co-op was the first retail location to carry our products. Here’s my story.

Like you, I need to do something more about the climate crisis. I feel I should be doing a lot more to have significant impact especially if there is less than twelve years before irreversible damage. As a social entrepreneur, I am seeking a way to create a new model of business where I could afford a living yet not at the cost of people and planet.

According to Project Drawdown, food waste is an area that would have significant impact in reducing climate change as organic waste that ends up in landfills releases greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide, which are major contributors to the climate crisis.

Photo Credit: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

I started working with the craft brewing industry that produces malted barley grains as a by-product of brewing. Once the barley has been boiled to release sugar, the grains are considered “spent” and traditionally provided as animal feed or disposed — 185 million KGs of brewery grains are disposed in Ontario every year. Instead, if we took those spent grains and made food with it, we could feed every Ontarian two loaves of bread every week!

These brewery grains have twice the amount of fibre and protein compared to wheat. (That’s the reason it is used as animal feed.) Fibre is ideal for reducing cholesterol and is one of the whole grains listed on the Canadian food guide.

Thus my company, The Spent Goods Company, diverts and transforms food by-products like leftover brewery grains into food. Spent Good’s Beer Bread sourdough is healthier, reduces climate change as we divert those grains that would have contributed greenhouse gases, and is hyper local: Our wheat flour is sourced from Beeton, Ontario from K2 Milling and is certified organic.

Photo Credit: The Spent Goods Company

Our sourdough bread is brought to you by the collaboration of four Toronto businesses:

  • Henderson Brewing — provides the barley grains (and also makes money through the sale of Spent Goods products like Butter Beer Crisps to their taproom customers)
  • Drake Commissary — artisan bakery that incorporates the grains into delicious food
  • Karma Co-op — ensures it meets their high quality standards and stocks it
  • The Spent Goods Company — executing circular economy model

However, all this is immaterial if we didn’t have a good tasting product!

So if you haven’t had a chance yet, please visit Karma Co-op and try our non-GMO, 100% Halal, 100% vegan, Beer Bread. We believe you can do something about climate change (and your heart) on a daily basis, simply by eating our Beer Bread. Thank you for supporting our mission.

Dihan Chandra

Managing Director, @spentgoods

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Photo Credit: The Spent Goods Company

 

 

 

Simple steps to special ordering

Did you know that if you can’t find a product on our store shelves, you can try to “special order” it? This service is available to all members and means you can likely do more of your shopping at Karma. Here are some details to help you get started.

What can I special order?

Karma has a vast array of products you can purchase through special orders. Ask a staff member about a specific item. The items most commonly ordered are beauty products, bulk items, and groceries ordered by the case, such as drinks.  Other categories include snacks, cleaning products, and health products.

You can also place a standing special order for highly perishable items that you might want regularly (usually weekly or bi-weekly), such as bread, milk, or meat. It is your responsibility to pick up the item every week. Staff give a courtesy call the first week an item is received from a standing special order.

How much does it cost?

There is no additional charge for special orders. As with all products in the store, the price of an item is the supplier charge (that is, the wholesale price) plus Karma’s store mark-up fee, which differs depending on the item and membership type. It’s best to check with staff about the actual price of the item before ordering it. If you order by the case or in bulk (e.g., 25 kgs), you will receive a 5% discount.

*Important note* Unless you specify “Price check” on your order form, placing an order in the special orders box is a commitment to buy the product.

Where do I place a special order?

Special order forms and the special order box are located on the shelving unit just outside the kitchen in the store. You will need to fill out one special order form per item being ordered.

When will I receive my order?

Ask staff approximately how long it will take to get your item from the supplier. When items arrive, you’re notified and items are placed on the special orders shelf for pick-up.

Cheese, please!

Karma also offers special orders on bulk cheese. This is great news for all your upcoming parties and events! Check with a staff member about the types of cheese and quantities that can be ordered, and remember to ask about pricing before you submit your form.

submitted by Kate Rusnak

revised by Mara Eksteins, with input from Talia McGuire

First published in The Chronicle (Spring 2015)

Meals on a budget: a day in the life

 

The challenge: to produce healthy meals on a tight budget, using all-Karma ingredients

Breakfast: super morning oats

Total cost per serving: $1.38
Prep. time: 12 minutes
Ingredients (for one serving):

½ cup bulk organic rolled oats — $0.16
Small handful of bulk organic nuts/seeds (e.g. walnuts, filberts, pumpkin seeds) — $0.57
Small handful of bulk organic black currants — $0.15
Drizzle of bulk Temple’s Sugar Bush maple syrup — $0.20
Sprinkle of bulk ground cinnamon — $0.05
Splash of milk (of your choice — ours is Hewitt’s goat milk) or yogurt — $0.25

Directions:

1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add oats, smallest pinch of salt. Stir. Reduce to medium heat.
2. Immediately add the nuts/seeds and currants. Stir.
3. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the syrup, cinnamon, and milk/yogurt.

Lunch: Karma-style instant ramen noodle soup

Total cost per serving: $4.07 with kimchi ($3.82 without)
Prep. time: 8 min.

Ingredients (for one serving):

1 package Lotus Foods Jade Green Ramen — $2.49
1 small bok choy (or ½ large bok choy) — $0.75
1 Homestead free-range egg — $0.58
(optional) 1 tbsp. Ontario Natural Food Co-op Organic Kimchi Style Sauerkraut — $0.25

Directions:

1. Follow directions on package to make ramen.
2. While ramen noodles are cooking, boil the egg in a separate pot until medium soft.
3. Break apart bok choy and slice leaves lengthwise. Add to water when ramen noodles are halfway done.
4. Serve in your favourite soup bowl. Add boiled egg and (optional) kimchi.

Dinner: fish on kale and squash

Total cost per serving: $5.23
Prep. time: 50 min.

Ingredients (for four servings):

1 Kabocha squash or 2 small acorn squash — $3.00
1 bunch organic kale — $3.50
2 small portions frozen wild caught salmon — $13.14
Zest of 1 lemon — $0.50
Sprinkle of dill — $0.15
(optional) 1-2 tsp. coconut sugar or maple syrup — $0.10
Olive oil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Chop squash in half. Drizzle olive oil inside squash and on pan. Place halves upside down on pan. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Remove cooked squash from skin and mash with a fork. Add optional toppings.
3. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Blanche chopped kale in water for 3–4 minutes. Remove kale and rinse under cold water.
4. Place thawed fish in a pan with a little olive oil. Cook fish on low-medium heat with lid on. Add lemon zest and sprinkle dill to taste. When internal temp is 70°C (158°F), it’s ready. Cut each cooked portion of fish in half. Check for bones.
5. First plate the squash, and then the kale, and lastly place the fish on top. It looks pretty and tastes good!

by Kate Tessier

First published in The Chronicle (Spring 2016)