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40 Local Products to Try at the Food Conspiracy Co-op

Fill your pantry with local produce, eggs, and snacks.

November 2, 2017

Local Finds

The Food Conspiracy Co-op on Fourth Avenue opened in Tucson in 1971. For those of you who prefer not to do the math, that means that they’ve been around for 46 years. Since its creation almost 50 years ago, the Food Conspiracy Co-op has been a member-owned natural foods store that has grown from 20 members to over 3,000. As a member-owned business, the Food Conspiracy Co-op puts the needs of their owners and community members before corporate interests. This rare prioritization leads the co-op to carry a unique variety of natural, organic, and local products at the store.

From raw cow’s milk to fruit-and-nut bars, the Food Conspiracy Co-op carries a large variety of local, Arizona-made products. Although their local produce selection changes frequently due to seasonal growing conditions, many of the local packaged goods can be found all year around. On a recent visit, we found 40 locally made or grown products that could make anyone want to support local.

Produce

Look for cream-colored labels that denote locally grown produce.

Due to shifts in Arizona’s growing season, the local produce selection at the Food Conspiracy Co-op is constantly changing. The natural foods store sources much of its local produce from Dirty Girl Farmette, a family owned and operated farm located along the Sonoita Creek in Patagonia, Arizona. In the produce section, look for cream-colored labels with the word “local” to denote Arizona-grown produce. These labels will also provide information about the farm where the produce was grown. The produce listed below was available as of November 1, 2017.

 

  1. Spaghetti Squash from Dirty Girl Farmette: Spaghetti squash are a variety of hearty winter squash that can last in your pantry for months. These slightly sweet yellow beauties have flesh that, when prepared correctly, looks like thin spaghetti. Use it in your favorite pasta recipe, or try it in our recipes for Spaghetti Squash Latkes and BBQ Spaghetti Squash Pizza. $1.49/lb
  2. Easter Egg Radishes from Dirty Girl Farmette: True, we still have to get through Thanksgiving and “the holidays” before Easter comes around. In the meantime, enjoy these crisp and peppery Easter Egg Radishes, which are sure to add beauty to carne asada tostadas, rainbow slaw, and Swiss chard spring rolls. $2.49/lb
  3. Garlic from Dirty Girl Farmette: Garlic is a kitchen staple, and it’s always a great idea to have a few heads of the stuff in your pantry for good cooking. Make it stand out in this garlic dipping sauce, garlic hummus, or baba ganoush$6.99/lb
  4. Roma Tomatoes: Thanks to the warm fall weather in Baja Arizona, the tomato season extends into November. Stock up on these juicy red fruits and make all the tomato soup and pasta you can before they’re all gone. $1.99/lb
  5. Dates from Patagonia Orchards and AZDates: The next time you’re in the mood for something sweet, pick up a container of Arizona-grown dates. They’re sure to be some of the freshest you’ve ever had. If you don’t like dates on their own, use them to make tortoise bites, lemon bars, and sweet muffins. $7.99/lb
  6.  Sprouts from Patagonia Greens and Grassroots Company: Add some extra crunch (and a ton of nutrients) to your next sandwich or salad with these locally grown sprouts. $3.99/package 

Beverages

Look for a small blue sticker with the letter ‘L’ to find local beverages.

From locally made wine and beer to non-alcoholic beverages like milk and coffee, the Food Conspiracy Co-op has plenty of local drinks to quench your thirst. Look for a small, circular blue sticker with the letter ‘L’ on price labels to find beverages that are local.

 

 

 

  1. Local Wine from Dos Cabezas Wireworks and Arizona Stronghold Vineyards: You’ll find a variety of local white and red wines at the Food Conspiracy Co-op. Grab a bottle to go with some bread and cheese for the perfect fall picnic. $20.99-24.99 
  2. Local Beer from Barrio Brewing Company, Dragoon Brewing Company, and Borderlands Brewing Company: The co-op has a small but strong selection of local beer in the store. Pick up a pack of your favorite local variety for your next party. Prices vary 
  3. Locally Roasted Coffee: EXO Roast Co. has teamed up with the Food Conspiracy Co-op to produce a few different coffee blends that are only available at the co-op. If you’re in the mood for single-origin coffee, the co-op also carries beans from  Yellow Brick Coffee. $10.99-12.99/lb
  4. Cow Milk from Danzeisen Dairy: Danzeisen Dairy packages their milk in old school glass bottles that are sustainably reused. Stick with whole milk or treat yourself to a bottle of delicious chocolate milk. $3.99-4.59 
  5. Raw Cow Milk from Fond du Lac Farms: The milk from Casa Grande-based Fond du Lac Farms isn’t pasteurized, which makes it great for cheesemaking (and drinking). Because their milk isn’t pasteurized, extreme care is taken when it comes to feeding and treating their adorable cows. $7.59 
  6. Raw Goat Milk from Fiore di Capra: The makers of our favorite local goat cheese also offer raw goat milk, which some say is more easily digested than cow milk. $7.99 
  7. Sonoran Cocoa from Desert Tortoise Botanicals: What goes better with local milk than Sonoran Cocoa? Grab a bag of this soul-warming mix for the chilly nights ahead. $7.39 
  8. Apple Cider from English Fruit Farm: This might truly be the best apple cider that money can buy. The 100% apple juice cider is delicious both as a cold and refreshing drink and as a warm and spicy treat. $3.49-8.99 
  9. Lemonade and Limeade from Patagonia Orchards: These stevia-sweetened drinks are as refreshing as can be. The next time you’re in the mood for a citrusy drink, you’ll find a healthy option at the co-op. $2.89 
  10. Kombucha from Curly Wolf Kombucha: You’ll find a variety of Curly Wolf Kombucha flavors at the Food Conspiracy Co-op. The Baja Arizona inspired flavors are sure to delight both your tongue and your digestive tract. $4.59 
  11. Jun Kombucha from Wild Tonic: Wild Tonic’s drinks are perfect for those who are just getting started in the world of kombucha. The mild-flavored beverages are sweetened with honey and flavorful enough for even the most adventurous kombucha connoisseurs. $5.59

Nibbles

When you need a snack with a little extra pizazz, you’re guaranteed to find something at the Food Conspiracy Co-op. Their local snack selection is, as the kids say, “extra.” From gourmet popcorn to small-batch ice cream, the local snack selection at the co-op is the perfect way to satisfy a craving.

  1. Popcorn from Popped: Popped is, you guessed it, a popcorn company that makes some truly artisan, out of this world popcorn flavors. I happen to know from experience that it’s not possible for a bag of their salted caramel popcorn to last more than 24 hours. The co-op carries a few flavors, and you truly can’t go wrong with any of them. $5.19 
  2. Ice Cream from Isabella’s Ice Cream: Isabella’s Ice Cream is located right down the street from the Food Conspiracy Co-op. If you don’t have time for a cone or ice cream sandwich at their ice cream parlor, grab a few flavors of their all-natural, homemade ice cream to-go in adorable boxes at the co-op. $3.19-5.49 
  3. Greek Style Goat Yogurt from Fiore di Capra: If ice cream isn’t really your thing, indulge in a container of thick and creamy greek style yogurt from Fiore di Capra. It goes perfectly with a few slices of fresh fruit, local honey, and granola. $8.99 
  4. Tamales from Tucson Tamale Company: For a heartier snack, grab a package of frozen tamales from the one and only Tucson Tamale Company. With vegan, vegetarian, and meat options, there’s something for everyone. Keep a package of these in your freezer for a quick and delicious meal. $6.59 
  5. Hot Salsa Verde from San Pedro River Valley Salsa: Need something to top off your local tamales? How about something deliciously spicy to dip your crunchy tortilla chips in? This bright green Hot Salsa Verde might be just what you’re looking for. $10.59 
  6. Salsa from Mouth of the Salsa: If red salsa is more your thing, try this spicy variety from Mouth of the Salsa. It’s so fresh you’ll forget about Pace in a heartbeat. $7.99 
  7. Sauerkraut and Kimchi from Bajo Tierra Kitchen: Keeping your gut healthy is more delicious (and local) than ever, thanks to Bajo Tierra Kitchen. The small Tucson-based company frequently uses veggies from local farms to make their fermented products. If you can resist eating it straight from the jar, use it to top sandwiches, tacos, and even salads. $13.39-16.69 
  8. Fruit and Nut Bars from R Bar Energy: Call them energy bars, call them snacks, call them dessert–R Bars are absolutely delicious. The date-and-nut based bars contain 7 ingredients or less, which means you can feel good about feeding them to your kids (or eating them all yourself). $1.69 

Pantry Items

When it comes to everyday pantry items like eggs, bread, and flour, you can count on the Food Conspiracy Co-op for a ton of local options. Buying local pantry items often means you’re eating the freshest pastured eggs, bread that’s been baked just a few miles away, and flour that’s been milled within the last few months. Local products aren’t only more delicious and fresh, they’re better for you!

  1. Whole Wheat Flour from San Xavier Co-op Farm: Grown in the backyard of the San Xavier Mission, this whole wheat flour is fresh and flavorful. It’s also healthier than processed white flour, because it hasn’t been stripped of essential fibers and nutrients. $6.79 
  2. Mesquite Flour from San Xavier Co-op Farm: If you didn’t have time to harvest and mill your own mesquite pods this past summer, you can buy a bag of local mesquite flour at the co-op. Try out this native desert food in these wonderful recipes from Edible Baja Arizona. $22.19
  3. Dried Pima Lima Beans from San Xavier Co-op Farm: Dried beans are a pantry staple, and these dried Pima Lima Beans are fresher than the conventional kind you’ll find in most grocery stores. Use them in soups, huevos rancheros, and even brownies. $8.69 
  4. Dried Cholla Buds from San Xavier Co-op Farm: These dehydrated cholla buds are great for those of us who still haven’t mastered our desert foraging techniques. Add them to salads and salsa for a wonderful and unique flavor. $16.69 
  5. Jam from We B Jamin Farm: Good jam. You know the kind: perfectly sweet, has discernible pieces of real fruit, doesn’t resemble Jell-O. We B Jamin Farm makes this kind of good jam, right here in Tucson. You can find a variety of their wildly popular jams at the co-op. Perfect for weekend brunch! $5.89 
  6. Sonoran Desert Honey from ReZoNation Farm: This local honey is out of this world. It’s creamy, rich, and possibly the most delicious way to treat seasonal allergies. Buy the 16-oz container to save yourself from going back the next day. $6.89-13.69 
  7. Bread from Barrio Bread: That’s right, you can now buy Don Guerra’s infamous naturally leavened bread at the Food Conspiracy Co-op. The co-op gets three Barrio Bread deliveries each week, which means you’re almost guaranteed to find a loaf of the good stuff there. $4-7 
  8. Corn and Flour Tortillas from Anita’s St. Market: In a place like Baja Arizona, there’s no excuse to resort to mass produced tortillas. Get the local kind, good enough by themselves or with heaping amounts of cheese and beans, at the Food Conspiracy Co-op. $1.99-4.89 
  9. Eggs from The Cruz Family and Beck’s Best Eggs: Fact: Hens that are raised on pasture are happier and produce better tasting eggs than hens raised in factory chicken houses. Spend a few extra dollars and support local egg producers who are doing it right. $6.99 
  10. Sonoran Blend Granola from Bird’s Nest Baking Company: This crunchy local granola is perfect for a quick breakfast. To really step up your granola game, serve it with some Fiore di Capra yogurt and ReZoNation honey. $10.59 
  11. House-Made Granola from the Food Conspiracy Co-op: If you prefer your granola in bulk (i.e. you eat a lot of granola), the co-op has you covered. Try their light and crispy granola, which is know to be eaten by the handful. $7.99/lb 
  12. Dried Ground Chiltepines from Chilttepica: Chiltepines are a Baja Arizona staple. Infuse them into every meal with this spicy ground chiltepin pepper. $11.69 
  13. Mole Spice Blends from Mano Y Metate: On a very serious note, I recommend having a tin of Mano Y Metate on hand at all times. They are truly delicious and versatile, and go well in everything from a pot of beans to spicy mole chicken sauce. $9.19 
  14. Ground Beef from Sky Island Brand: If you eat meat, it’s always handy to have a package of ground beef in the freezer so that you can whip up a batch of meatballs, burgers, or meatloaf on a moment’s notice. Skip the imported stuff and go for this all natural, grass fed beef from Sky Island Brand in McNeal, Arizona. The co-op also carries various other cuts of meat from Sky Island Brand. $10.59 

Food Conspiracy Co-op
412 N 4th Ave
Tucson, AZ







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