Staff Picks


The first staff-person I spoke with this month was James Tupper, who has been working at the Co-op as a Meat Specialist in the Meat Department for two months. For his pick this month James chose Palouse Gold Mead made by Camas Prairie Winery. James thinks this is one of the best meads he has ever had and also enjoys that it is locally made. James is really fond of spicy foods, and says that meads in general pair well with spicy flavors; this one is no exception. He says this mead is perfectly sweet without being syrupy or undrinkable.

Camas Prairie Winery is the oldest winery in North Idaho and has recently moved its location from Moscow to the historic town of Bovill. Ownership of the business switched hands about five years ago, and mead soon became a cornerstone product of the business (It is currently the only meadery in Idaho). They use local products whenever possible in making their meads and have won a number of medals for their creations over the years. In addition to their offerings at the Co-op, they are also featured at the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire at Bonney Lake, at the St. Gertrudes Raspberry Festival in Cottonwood, and can be found every week at the Moscow Farmer’s Market for tastings and bottle sales.

The second staff-person I spoke with this month was Alex Croft. She has worked at the Co-op for about a year as a Cashier. Her pick this month was GoodBelly Probiotic Juice drink, in mango flavor. Alex says she is completely hooked on this product and drinks it almost daily after being initially drawn to it because she wanted to introduce more probiotics into her diet, but was trying to avoid dairy. Since many probiotics either contain caffeine or dairy, she thoughtGoodBelly seemed like a good alternative to try. Alex told me she originally tried the GoodBelly challenge, where you drink 8 oz of the juice for twelve consecutive days, and if you don’t love it, it’s free. After twelve days, she noticed that her skin was really clear, and she generally felt great.

 GoodBelly is produced by NextFoods, which is one of the latest ventures of Steve Demos, founder and former president of WhiteWave, Inc., the largest producer of soy-based products in the United States. Silk soy milk is their most successful product to date. The NextFoods Company’s mission is to create “healthy, natural and organic food with a functional edge and scientifically substantiated health benefits.”  GoodBelly contains a licensed strain of probiotic bacteria (Lactobacillus plantarum299v) which has undergone 17 research trials and 15 years of demonstrated safe and effective use behind it in Europe. In fact, it was initially developed for use by gastroenterologists in Sweden to help their patients recover from surgery.

NextFoods is guided by a principal they call “Right Livelihood”, which refers to making their living in a way that “doesn’t harm people, animals or the environment.”  Their packaging is 100% recyclable, they purchase their fruit from farms that use organic and sustainable farming practices, and they give back to communities by being a primary sponsor of Surgicorps International – a company that helps provide free surgeries and medical care to disadvantaged individuals in developing countries. For more information about their work with Surgicorps, see