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Organic and Locally Grown!

The North Coast Co-op has the largest selection of certified organic produce on the North Coast. Find products from many of our local farmers every season of the year.


WIC logo

The North Coast Co-op accepts WIC vouchers for food items such as infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, dried and canned beans/peas, and canned fish. In addition, soy-based beverages, tofu, fruits and vegetables, baby foods, whole wheat bread, and other whole-grain options were recently added to better meet the nutritional needs of WIC participants.

WIC items are labeled on the shelf so they can easily be identified and all produce items (except for potatoes) are eligible for purchase with WIC vouchers.

WIC serves low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, and infants and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk. WIC also provides nutritious foods, nutrition education, and referrals to health and other social services to participants at no charge.






CAFF logo
Co-op Sprout logo

Food Security Forum 2010

The North Coast Co-op and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers brought the community together in support of local foods and food security in Humboldt County at Food Security Forum 2010 on February 27. Participants were brought up to date on what we know, where we would like to go, and participated in solution-based discussion on how to get there. The outcomes from the meeting can be found below.

Action Outcomes

Top 5 Action Items

All Action Items

Discussion Group Notes

Steps to Achieve Coop Strategic Plan

Distribution & Coordination in New Local system

Arcata Local Food System and Policy

Farmers Issues & Land Use

Food Access for Low Income Community

Disaster Preparedness and Food Security

Local Foods Preparation, How to Do It Your Self

All Discussion Group Notes

Other Documents


Event Feedback Form

North Coast Co-op Strategic Plan

CAFF Local Food Distribution Report

Planting Guide

Can Humboldt County Feed Itself?

Humboldt Community Food Assessment


CAFF Humboldt

California FarmLink

Center for Rural Policy

Community Food Security Coalition

Food for Thought

Food Literacy Project

Food System Alliance

The Living Green Gazette

Oakland Food Policy Council

North Coast Community Gardens Collaborative

North Coast Growers Association

Portland Multnomah Food Policy Council

Reach Out Humboldt

Roots of Change

UCCE Humboldt

Want to get involved? Contact Melanie Bettenhausen at (707) 826-8670 ext. 132.



GMO Policy
(Effective June 1, 2013) Due to the introduction of genetically modified crops into our food system, and the lack of mandatory labeling regulations, it has become difficult to know for certain if foods are truly free of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). We recognize that our members are concerned about the potential negative health and environmental effects of GMOs. They expect to be able to find products that are free of GMOs at our stores and we are endeavoring to meet that expectation to the best of our ability. In addition, we feel we can strongly influence vendors and regulatory agencies to label GMOs if we band together with other co-ops. In order to influence the regulation of GMO labeling, we are no longer knowingly accepting NEW non-organic1 products that include GMO high-risk items in their ingredient list, unless they are verified by The Non-GMO Project2 or can provide to us a detailed description of the measures they have taken to avoid GMO contamination. With the exception of WIC3 items, this new policy applies to all ingestible items. Non-organic crops at high risk for being GMO include but are not limited to:
• canola (rapeseed) • soy • zucchini
• corn • sugar beets • yellow summer squash
• cotton • papaya (from Hawaii) • apples (pending)
Non-organic ingredients derived from crops at high risk for being GMO include, but are not limited to:
• amino acids • hydrolyzed
vegetable protein
• sodium citrate
• artifical flavoring • lactic acid • soy lecithin
• ascorbic acid • maltodextrin • spices
• aspartame • molasses • Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP)
• citric acid • monosodium glutamate • vitamin C
• corn starch • natural flavoring • vitamin capsules
• ethanol • natural spices • xantham gum
• high-fructose corn syrup • sodium ascorbate • yeast products
Animals at high risk for being genetically engineered include, but are not limited to: • Salmon (pending legislation) * This policy does not apply to animals that are fed GMO feed, only animals that are genetically engineered. In addition to basic purchasing, we will do the following to further pressure vendors to label GMO products:
  • We will no longer promote products that are at high risk for containing GMOs on end caps or in stacks; this applies to all products, not just new products, and includes promotional programs such as Speed-to-Market.
• We will work to ensure that all Co-op private label products—not just new products--are free from ingredients that are at high risk for containing GMOs.
• We will work to ensure that all products--not just new products--used in our Bakery and Deli recipes are free from high risk GMO ingredients.
• We will not include products that are at high risk for containing GMO ingredients in our Co-op Basics program; this applies to all products, not just new products.
• We will not carry products that are themselves, nor contain ingredients made from, genetically engineered animals; this applies to all products, not just new products.
We realize that in two stores with thousands of products, an ever changing landscape in organic practices, and the introduction of new GMO products regularly, we will need to make our GMO policy a living document that changes over time with each new development. We intend to enlist the help of our membership to aid in identifying high risk GMO ingredients in order to maintain educational materials for use in employee training and member education. At some point, if a vendor decides to voluntarily label their non-organic, non-Non-GMO Project verified product as containing GMOs, we will allow that product on our shelves. Our goal with this policy is to influence labeling; if vendors voluntarily label GMO ingredients, then we have met our objective of providing transparency for our shoppers. The Co-op strives to provide education and information allowing the customer to make an informed decision. The exception, however, is in our Prepared Food (deli and bakery) and Meat departments, in which we are working to ensure recipes are free from ingredients at high risk for containing GMOs, whether they are labeled GMO or not. At which time vendors begin to voluntarily label their ingredients as GMO, or a government mandate is set, we will reassess the need for this policy.


Reference Library

Our Wellness Department has a database for helping customers answer questions about vitamins, herbs, supplements, and other health care products.

Do you have a symptom and want to know what your condition might be? Have a medical condition and want to know alternative treatment options? Have a prescription and want to know if a supplement will react with your medication? Find all this and more in our new database.

When you are in one of our stores, ask a Wellness Department clerk to do a search for you or try it out for yourself below!

Enter Reference Library


gluten free label

Look for the Gluten Free shelf tag when shopping to easily identify products that are labeled gluten free. While there are many products that are naturally gluten free, such as fruits and vegetables, we only label those that claim to be gluten free on their packaging.

Gluten is a specific type of protein found in wheat, rye, and barley that causes intestinal damage when eaten by people with gluten sensitivities or Celiac disease. Many other people are going gluten free because they have found various health benefits associated with removing gluten from the diet.

Whatever your reasons, we’ve made finding gluten free items easy and we stock more than 1,000 at any given time!

You can also pick up the Co-op's Pocket Guide to Safe & Unsafe Ingredients for Gluten-Free Diet, put together by our Consumer Education Coordinator, which allows you to read labels and find out for yourself if a product is gluten free. Find one at Customer Service or download one here.

Look for our local logo

Shopping local should be easy! We label all products grown or produced within 250 miles, so you can shop local with just a glance. Look for the local label on hundreds of items in both of our store locations.

Want to learn more about your local producers? Click here to check out Trust Your Source, the North Coast Co-op’s Guide to Regional Food. You’ll find essential information about the sustainable practices of the people who grown and produce our food locally, including miles-to-market. Trust Your Source is made up of participating vendors and local producers in our bioregion. Don’t see your favorite in our list? Encourage them to get involved. Tell ‘em the Co-op sent ya.


Harvest of the Month
The Co-op is thrilled to be a part of a countywide initiative to connect schools with local farms. Each month, the Humboldt County Office of Education provides classroom curriculum and fresh produce to several area schools. The North Coast Co-op makes it possible for them to purchase fresh, organic and local (when possible) produce at a discounted price.

Each class learns where the produce was originally grown, how it grows and serving ideas. Everyone gets a taste of perfectly ripe produce! When children know about their food they are more likely to try it. When they try it they are more likely to continue eating it. Best of all, the children learn that the farmer down the street works everyday to feed our community.



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Food Advocacy

Protecting Food Locally
Food advocacy at the national level is extremely important. Most of what we consume comes from out of the area, so we rely on federal regulations to protect our food. Additionally, legislation at the county level affects our local food supply. As members of the community, it is our responsibility to make certain that development does not overtake viable farmland.

One way to protect the ability to feed ourselves locally is to get involved in the Humboldt County General Plan Update. Be informed. Read the current draft of the plan here. You can also read the Health Impact Assessment, co-authored by Human Impact Partners, Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Branch, and the Humboldt Partnership for Active Living (HumPAL) which informs the General Plan Update. You can also get involved with the Healthy Humboldt Coalition and/or the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF).

*If you know of other organizations working on the General Plan Update in regards to food security, please let us know and we will post them here. Contact Melanie Bettenhausen at (707) 826-8670 ext. 132.

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GMO Statement (by the Board of Directors)
The North Coast Cooperative recognizes both the potential health and environmental hazards associated with Genetically Engineered (GE) foods and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in our food chain. A Genetically Modified Organism is an organism whose genetic characteristics have been altered by the insertion of a modified gene or a gene from another organism using the techniques of genetic engineering (1). Working outside of the confines of natural possibilities, these alterations leave a risk of unknown consequences to the ecosystem and public health.

The North Coast Cooperative believes that at this time the best way to avoid GE and GMO products is to consume only certified organic food. We call upon regulatory agencies to support thorough testing and strict labeling standards for GMO products. Education and information regarding food safety is a responsibility the North Coast Cooperative accepts and embraces. There are resources available throughout the store, as well as on our web site to stay informed regarding controversial technologies and practices. 

(1) As defined by the American Heritage Medical Dictionary.
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Humboldt CAN
Humboldt Community for Activity and Nutrition (Humboldt CAN) is a collaboration of local businesses, non-profit agencies, and individuals committed to building a unified movement towards increasing physical activity, healthy eating and active and public transportation. Humboldt CAN's mission is to improve the quality of life for residents by fostering a healthy, engaged community.

The North Coast Co-op has been a proud member of Humboldt CAN since the collaborative began working together in January 2008 and continues to support its work through Humboldt CAN's bi-monthly Tea & Talk series.

Tea & Talk Series
Humboldt CAN will be presenting a speaker every other month on topics related to physical activity, nutrition, and transportation. Tea, coffee and healthy breakfast snacks will be provided at all sessions. All sessions are free and will take place at the Community Wellness Center at 908 7th Street, Eureka.

Next Tea & Talk: Date and topic TBA

If you would like more information about Humboldt CAN or the Tea & Talk Series, or would like to join the email list, please contact Melanie Bettenhausen at (707) 826-8670 ext. 132.

Tea & Talk Links
Often times after a Tea & Talk session, there are requests for links to documents referenced by panelists. These documents are not a complete reflection of what was presented at the Tea & Talk session, rather they are extras that came out of the session. Emails are sent to participants who request these links, but they are also hosted here:

Bike Friendly Policies
May 17, 2013

Links to articles referenced
during the presentation (PDF)

Improving Employee Bike Parking
at the North Coast Co-op
(You Tube Video)

Food and Beverage Policy and Practice in the Workplace
March 15, 2013

"The Power of Habit:
Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business"
by Charles Duhigg

Consumption of artificially and sugar-sweetened beverages and incident type 2 diabetes in the Etude Epidémiologique auprès des femmes de la Mutuelle Générale de l'Education Nationale–European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort

Flavored Milk; Petition to Amend the Standard of Identity for Milk and 17 Additional Dairy Products

Transportation Planning for Optimal Health
January 18, 2013

"Talking in Public about Growth and Development"
Do's and Don'ts for Talking in public
about growth and development.

"How to Talk about Cycling to a Conservative"
"Warnings from a Flabby Mouse"
NY Times article which goes into our model of
looking upstream to inform our work.

  "Transportation, Health, and Equity" Webinar Series
Putting prevention to work and using walking and
biking to promote public health.


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Click HERE to download a printable PDF version of the
local food month calendar, courtesy of the Humboldt Chapter of the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). You can also follow them on Facebook here and get invites to farm tours, crop mobs and other opporutnities to volunteer, enjoy good food and hang out with local farmers.

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