Food with Integrity

The ongoing “Organic vs Conventional” debate has resurfaced recently after a Stanford study released some ruffling results claiming that organic products were not really worth the price. There have been rebuttals and criticisms to the study, but over half a century of research seems to answer the important questions in these ways:

Is sustainable agriculture better for my body? Maybe. Most nutrients are at equal levels in organic and conventional produce, though some (notably vitamin C and phytochemicals) are found at higher levels in organics. Eating conventionally grown food could pose a risk of exposure to harmful pesiticides, but many studies show this is minimal even in the most risky crops, especially if you wash your produce. What really determines the health of your food is the quality of the soil in which it is grown (which often is much higher on organic farms) and the time that passes between harvest and consumption. The fresher it is, the more nutrients will be preserved!

Is sustainable agriculture better for the environment? Yes. Hugely. Many Organic farms show signs of improved soil chemistry, less polluted waterways, reduced erosion, healthier native pollinator populations…. on and on…..

Is sustainable agriculture better for farm workers? Definitely. If you are frightened of pesticide residue on conventional fruit and vegetables, imagine the kind of exposure farm workers receive when they apply those chemicals. Farming communities that use heavy sprays often have high levels of cancer, reproductive disorders and a myriad of other health complications. By supporting no chemical agriculture, you are helping to fight for farm worker rights and safety.

Can I be sure that an item that is USDA Certified Organic is really more healthy, sustainable, and fair than one that isn’t? Not necessarily. Gaining USDA certification is a long, difficult, tedious, expensive, and often unrealistic pursuit for many farmers, especially on small, family-run operations. Certification processes have lead to the exclusion of many of the most sustainable farms producing the highest quality food from becoming USDA certified. The consumer is frequently faced with the classic choice of whether to purchase an “Organic” item from a large farm across the country (one that is not at all fresh, from a farm that doesn’t use sustainable practices and treats its laborers poorly) or one grown locally, perhaps a bit more rugged looking, harvested at the peak of ripeness but not certified by the government.

Joel Salatin, a “Beyond Organic” farmer, once said: “You can’t regulate personal integrity with a government certification.” At the Greene Grape, we understand this, and seek out integrity in our products with a passion. We believe that the only real way to find products with integrity is to find a person with integrity who creates it. Whether we know the farmer on a personal basis (Brooklyn Grange, Feedback Farms, Project Eats, farmers in the Fingerlakes region) or have a personal liaison to the farms (GrowNYC Greenmarket, Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op), by connecting to the farms that grow our food, we can be sure that we are supporting sustainable agricultural practices and purchasing the tastiest, freshest product. When an item cannot be found in our region, we do rely on the USDA Organic Certification as a judge of integrity, but rank this kind of guidance as secondary to knowing the grower, seeing the farm, and resting assured that all components of their operation are soundly rooted in producing a healthier community. Please ask the staff at Greene Grape if you have questions about the origin of your fruit or vegetable- we are always happy to share our knowledge about the amazing produce we provide for you! Happy shopping.

Greene GrapeFood with Integrity
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Mama O’s Premium Kimchi Demo

This Wednesday October 3 from 5-7pm, we are excited to have our friend Kheedim from Mama O’s Kimchi in the store to sample out this delicious and locally made fermented treat.  As well as tasting Mama O’s pre-made kimchi, Kheedim will be showing off the new line of Kimchi Pastes.  Drop by and grab a taste, you might learn something!

Greene GrapeMama O’s Premium Kimchi Demo
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Beer Updates Fall 2012

With fall creeping up visions of pumpkin ale and Oktoberfest lagers dancing in our heads we couldn’t wait to get in some fall seasonals.  Though 81 degrees may not be considered “sweater weather”, there is no reason we can’t delve into possibly the best season for beer snobs early.  We are very excited to have Southern Tier Pumking back in the case, this Imperial Pumpkin Ale is well loved by many a beer connoisseur and has been described by some as “liquid pumpkin pie”.  For those with milder tastes we also have Brooklyn Post Road Pumpkin and Captain Lawrence Pumpkin Ale, from two of New York’s most revered breweries.  If pumpkin isn’t your thing we also have a brand new seasonal offering from Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY.   Scythe and Sickle is a Belgian-style Amber Ale brewed with rye and oat flakes in celebration of the harvest season.

Fall would be the same without a handful of Oktoberfest beers.  In the case now we are carrying Penn Brewery’s Oktoberfest Bier a Bavarian style brew, it is often named as one of the best examples of the style in craft brewing.  Another celebrated version of this traditional style is Left Hand Brewing’s Oktoberfest, a slightly sweeter take on a Marzen lager but full bodied with a nice blend of biscuity malts and spicy hops.

Make sure to get them while you can, these brews are seasonal and in high demand, they don’t last long.


Greene GrapeBeer Updates Fall 2012
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Jeni’s Sweet Treats Truck Scoops Snacks!

We’re excited to announce the Jeni’s Sweet Treats Truck Tour of NYC! For frequent patrons of our frozen section, Jeni’s Ice Cream is a familiar name. Their super-premium ice cream comes in some wild flavors (how does dried cherry goat cheese sound?), and you’ll have a chance to sample these frosty delights right in front of Greene Grape Provisions! On Thursday 9/13/12 between 6-8pm we’ll be hosting the Jeni’s truck where free scoops will be given liberally to the locals. The truck is making a 5-day round of the city, so don’t miss your opportunity to see what they’ve got to offer! For more information, check out this New York Times piece or follow the Jeni’s blog. We all scream for….

Greene GrapeJeni’s Sweet Treats Truck Scoops Snacks!
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Homegrown Tomatoes

Everyone can agree: the taste of a store-bought tomato will never come close to that of the one grown in your backyard, ripened on the vine by the hot summer sun. And it’s no wonder; most tomatoes are picked green and chemically treated to turn red as they travel long distances in a truck. Well, now at Provisions, you can have your tomato and eat it too. We are proud to supply beautiful, ripe, heirloom tomatoes (Green Zebras, Glaciers, Cosmonaut, Orange blossom, and the lovely irredescent Violet Jasper) from Feedback Farms on 4th ave and Boerum st, just a few blocks away! Feedback Farms

is a not-for-profit fiscally sponsored project by IOBY that takes vacant lots and, with the consent of private landowners or the city, transforms them into part of a distributed farm network and urban farming research and educational project, thus growing affordable, fresh, organic, vegetables for the community, while educating urbanites about local food and food systems. So stop by Provisions and indulge in that homegrown tomato taste, harvested just hours ago, hand delivered by the farmer herself, and still warm from the Brooklyn sun!

Greene GrapeHomegrown Tomatoes
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Toast To An Old Friend


When was the last time you ran into an old friend you’d not seen for a few years? It can be incredible, like you never missed a day. We’re feeling that way as we re-introduce an old staple in our frozen section – Mercer’s Wine Ice Cream. Some of our long-time customers may recognize the effervescent flavors like White Zinfandel and Raspberry Chardonnay, and anyone looking for a rich mouthful should try the Cherry Merlot and Chocolate Cabernet varieties. Rather than artificial flavors, this ice cream is infused with real wine, thus the resulting pints boast about 5% alcohol by volume (a nice adults-only late night snack). So the next time you’re entertaining old friends (or new ones for that matter) toast to dessert with this boozy treat!

Greene GrapeToast To An Old Friend
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As Local as It Gets

Provisions is proud to stock its shelves with produce grown less than a mile from the store. The Brooklyn Grange Navy Yard Organic Rooftop Farm (just up the street!) covers 45,000 square feet of otherwise unused rooftop space, and – in addition to supporting vegetable production to supply numerous restaurants and a thriving CSA program – is a critical player in managing over one million gallons of the city’s storm water each year, which helps reduce stress on the city’s waste water system. Provisions carries a spectacular Bitter Salad Mix from the Brooklyn Grange – containing Mizuna, Ruby Streaks, Mustard Greens, Mixed Lettuces, Beet Greens and Tat Soi. Excellent with a light dressing, this could very well be the freshest, healthiest purchase you make all day!

Check out the Brooklyn Grange online, and stay posted for more local products coming to Provisions.


Greene GrapeAs Local as It Gets
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Bringin’ The Heat!

Have you ever cooked with a fresh, green cayenne pepper? Most of us are familiar with the powdery red form, but summer is the time to take advantage of these beauties fresh off the bush, bursting with flavor and heat! Not only is it a perfect addition to any dish that needs a little kick, but cayenne happens to be one of the healthiest vegetables/spices on the planet: it boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation, promotes circulation, and aides digestion. Provisions carries a local variety from Millwood Springs Organic Farm- pick some up today!

Greene GrapeBringin’ The Heat!
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Store Hours

Provisions will be closing early this Tuesday July 17th at 8p.m. and we will re-open on Wednesday Julth 18th at 12pm due to an update to our inventory system.  We apologize for any inconvenience.  Annex and the Wine Store will maintain their normal hours for your caffeine and wine needs!

Greene GrapeStore Hours
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A Bit Of Culture…

Here at Greene Grape Provisions we like to make a special effort to carry local products and support small businesses in our own city. With this in mind we’re proud to introduce Culture Low-Fat Yogurt Shakes. Made right in Park Slope with Hudson Valley Fresh Milk, these shakes have none of the preservatives, thickeners or artificial sweeteners that so many yogurts use. Their vibrant flavors burst with all-natural deliciousness. We’ve got vanilla and strawberry flavors in our dairy case, and if you like those check out their frozen yogurt shop on 5th Ave. It’s great to see healthy, delicious foods being made right here in Brooklyn, so support your neighbors and try one today!

Greene GrapeA Bit Of Culture…
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