Letters to the editor, December 2007

This article was originally published in December 2007

Stress hormones trigger binge eating

In her excellent missive (Stress Less, Eat Wisely: Stress hormones trigger binge eating, November [2007] Sound Consumer), Ms. Calbom fails to mention that white sugar and flour, salt, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, certain vegetable oils, trans-fats and MSG numb the appestat.

Without the appestat “awake” to monitor your blood for the 50 to 80 nutrients needed for satiety, your body literally will drive you to eat endlessly for what it needs. Calorie-laden mounds of useless crap are ingested without feeling full because you can’t stop.

A decade past alcoholism, I never binge now; I know my appestat. At 51 and 21 percent body fat, I train functionally three times a week for 45 to 60 minutes, don’t do cardio, and eat 3,000 to 4,000 calories daily of certified organic animal proteins, vegetables, seasonal fruits, butter, raw whole milk products and few sprouted grains. We must remember we evolved over millennia eating these nutrient-dense foods.

Organic or not, over consumption of carbohydrates stimulates the pancreas to release insulin, storing the excess as F-A-T on the butt and belly, making us estrogen dominant. Pure fish oils rich in vitamins A and D (without soy as a carrier oil) and the vanadium in unrefined extra-virgin olive oil, for instance, keep our insulin receptors healthy.

Weston A. Price’s “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,” circa 1939, painstakingly proves this out. Until we “get it” that the nourishing diets our ancestors wisely ate is our ticket to physical and mental vitality, we simply won’t enjoy our wellness birthright found in foods eaten the way the Creator intended.
— Nancy Jerominski, Certified Lifestyle and Fitness Coach

Bee Colony Collapse Disorder

The plight of the honeybee seems so concerning that I’m surprised it has not created a bigger stir in the media. Thank you for publishing this article (Colony Collapse Disorder: Revisiting the hive, October [2007] Sound Consumer).

One evolving theory that may explain Colony Collapse Disorder is genetically modified crops! One of the primary reasons for GM crops is to produce plants with built-in pesticides. It should be no surprise then that when an organism, particularly a tiny honeybee, comes in contact with a GMO plant it may experience negative repercussions.

So, should consumers be concerned about the safety of honey as well? Organic or non-organic, bees know no borders. Information on this topic can be found at http://p211.ezboard.com/Are-GM-Crops-Killing-Bees/fchemtrailschemtrails.showMessage?topicID=8570.topic.
— David Luxem, Seattle

Editor: GM crops engineered to express pesticides (in every cell) logically would be at least one factor; they certainly don’t help honeybees. Regarding the safety of honey, it’s all about knowing the source. Honeybees will fly several miles from their home, so it’s difficult to get certified organic honey. PCC sells three certified organic honeys from Glory Bee.

Plastic bags and styrofoam

With all of the problems in the world, PCC has now helped me believe in a future for our planet. Thank you for finally banning the plastic bag at checkout. It is a small thing for the consumers to tolerate and it is, after all, the year 2007! I hope the rest of the stores in our area follow shortly and that styrofoam is next. Let us move forward with more and more solutions. Thank you PCC! Proud to be a PCC shopper,
— Eileen Weintraub, Lake Forest Park


Bravo to all those who have converted to reusable bags for groceries! I hope that everyone also has moved into using those bags for ALL the shopping trips they go on: drug, hardware, clothing, thrift, department stores and holiday shopping! Also, outings with the kids, day trips, etc.

At this time I do not see too many people using reusable bags outside of shopping at grocery stores. In order to REALLY make a difference, we need to bring our reusable ones to every shopping place where bags are used!

Any time that I need a bag to carry something, out comes the lightweight, collapsible PCC purple bag or others like it. I find it is easy to keep some in the car for those last-minute shopping trips, then put them by the door to the garage to go back to the car or be used for carrying stuff. PCC also sells reusable bags made of nylon netting for fruit and vegetables with drawstring closures that are excellent.

Change the world one bag at a time! Thank you PCC for providing the bag that is helping to change peoples’ habits.
— Julie Rodgers-Phan


While I appreciate the sentiment, I am disappointed in PCC’s decision to discontinue the plastic bag option. While I regularly bring my own canvas bags, on the occasions I don’t, I prefer plastic bags because I actually have a use for them (garbage bags), whereas I have no use for paper bags. For me, having plastic bags gave me the option to reuse, whereas my paper bags unfortunately will go straight to the recycle bin.

For me, I don’t think paper bags will be the more environmentally friendly option. I would have much preferred to pay the nickel per plastic bag rather than being forced to use paper on the days I’m missing my canvas.
— Randy Poplock, Seattle

Editor: Petroleum-based plastic bags are not environmentally friendly, even if you use them once more for trash. They’re still going to the landfill, are not from a renewable resource, are not biodegradable, cannot be composted, and their very manufacture creates more than a dozen highly toxic air pollutants damaging to human and environmental health (including acid rain).

Since you live in Seattle, your food waste already can go into the Cedar Grove compost bin (see their requirements), thereby leaving little actual garbage that’s wet and needing plastic enclosure. My family’s entire week’s worth of trash is one small bag, and for that I choose to use a plastic BioBag (100 percent compostable and degradable, made from non-GMO corn) sold at PCC. If you want plastic, that’s as environmentally friendly as it gets.

New degradable cutlery in delis

Way to go!!!!! The new corn cutlery for PCC deli take-out food is fantastic!!! No more plastic! I saw it at PCC West Seattle for the first time this past weekend. Don’t you think this deserves mention in the Sound Consumer? This may merit appropriate signage by the cutlery, too. Also, people (employees and customers) should know how to dispose of them, in the stores and at home.
— Dave Luxem

PCC Deli Merchandiser Jan Thompson replies: Yes, we replaced petroleum-based plastic utensils in our delis with some made at least in part from non-GM cornstarch (and other degradable ingredients). The manufacturer claims they are compostable, too, but our regional composter Cedar Grove says they do not meet its standards and therefore cannot be composted commercially in our trade area. This means that in our stores, these utensils still must be disposed of as trash/garbage.

However, I’m glad to say that we’ve replaced the brown cardboard food containers that were lined with plastic with an unwaxed, no plastic fiberboard container. It is entirely compostable in home compost bins, but not through Cedar Grove.

What does free range mean?

I’m a very long-time shopper at PCC and have a small flock of chickens that provides eggs for us most of the year. However, in the fall and winter they lay fewer eggs and I must supplement with organic store-bought eggs. I recently bought Stiebrs local Grade A jumbo organic “Go Organic” “free roaming” eggs in the carton. I chose them because they’re not only local and organic, but (I thought) they weren’t on a totally vegetarian diet, being free-range.

For those not in the know, chickens are far from vegetarians! Anyone who has witnessed a flock chase a small snake or mouse and literally tear it apart and eat it understands this, not to mention all the worms, bugs and slugs they eat. This is why I’m writing.

The yolks of my hens’ eggs are rich orange because they’re let out to eat those bugs, along with grass and plants. The yolks from the Stiebrs’ eggs are the palest yellow. This is fishy to me because chickens on a range diet should have dark yolks.

So my question to you PCC is this: what exactly does “free roaming” mean? Not only are consumers paying a premium for these eggs, but this is unfair to the poor chickens. The proof is in the yolk, so to speak. I think it’s time we went beyond organic feed and vague terminology.
— Julia Creighton, Sammamish

Kiasa Kuykendall of Stiebrs Farms, Inc., replies: If you’re purchasing any of our organic eggs, then those hens live in large community hen houses and do have daily access to a large grassy, pasture area during afternoon daylight hours. “Free roaming” and “free range” are basically interchangeable terms — I chose to use free roaming rather than free range because our hens’ outdoor area is fenced and they do not get “free range” of the entire farm (for many obvious safety reasons!).

However, I may change the wording to free range because of exactly these types of questions; customers seem to interpret “free range” as the only terminology that suggests hens have outdoor time.

The yolk color is due primarily to the hen’s diet, as you say, and can be darker or lighter based on the ingredients. Corn and alfalfa are a large portion of our hens’ diet and contribute to the yolk color.

Whether they consume grubs, bugs, etc., is going to be completely up to each individual hen! I’m sure there are plenty of insects and worms to be consumed out there if the hen so chooses. But, while they have the opportunity to choose to eat the bugs, worms, etc., they’re also given free access 24 hours a day to our own formula of organic feed.

Salad bars at PCC?

When I heard PCC was building a store in Redmond, I had high hopes that it would include a large salad bar. Much to my dismay, I found only an enlarged prepared salad section but not any natural salad bar.

I do like some of the prepared salads you offer but I’m limited to what I can eat because of my allergies, which a lot of people have — wheat, corn, soy and dairy. I cannot eat sugar and a lot of diabetics cannot eat sugar either. That limits my selections. Sometimes I just want to put my own salad together with the toppings that I like. Are there any plans to put a salad bar in Redmond?
— Denise Pickard

PCC’s Deli Merchandiser Jan Thompson replies: We considered adding a salad bar in Redmond but chose not to at this time, based on our experience at our Issaquah store. We tried a green salad bar at Issaquah when we first opened that store, but customer support in terms of sales was lackluster, so it lasted only a year. Without adequate sales, it was difficult to keep the salad bar fresh and we weren’t able to provide the consistent high quality customers deserve.

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