Sweet Walnuts on Stroudco Food Hub

walnuThese walnuts have a less bitter flavour compared to standard walnuts. They come from a completely unsprayed walnut grove in Catalonia, Spain.

They are barn-dried so will last at least a year. Walnuts are perfect for chopping up and adding to cake mixture, biscuits or breakfast cereal.

To order go to http://www.stroudco.org.uk/hub/productlist.php and put walnuts in the search box

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Raw Jeresy milk back on Stroudco Food Hub

One of the downsides of selling unpasteurised milk is that the farmers often get blamed for health scares that are completely unrelated to them.    This happened recently to Beaconhill Farm and although there was no obvious link to the health issue, the farmer John Barron agreed to suspend sales until he was checked out.  We just received the email below from him so are very pleased to announce that unpasteurised Jersey milk and cream are now back on the Stroudco website.

Furthermore we have managed to arrange delivery of an order of milk for this Saturday 8th Nov so if you would like us to put your name on some, please email manager@stroudco.org.uk and we will save some for you to collect from the school on Saturday.  First emailed, first served!

From: John Barron [mailto:john@johnsjerseys.co.uk]
Sent: 06 November 2014 09:28
To: manager@stroudco.org.uk
Subject: RE: FSA delay

Dear Stroudco

We have just been told by the FSA that we can start selling again.  The FSA Inspector said that our milk had been subjected to the most rigorous testing regime that any unpasteurised milk seller has ever been given and we came out of it with flying colours!!!  We are totally clear!!



From: Nick Weir [mailto:nick@nickweir.co.uk]
Sent: 04 November 2014 11:54
To: john@johnsjerseys.co.uk
Subject: FSA delay

Dear John

We were very sorry to hear about the FSA restriction and hope it won’t be too damaging to your business.

We have lots of customers here who will be very pleased to hear when you will be able to supply us again.  Do you have any clues from FSA when that will be?

All the best


Nick Weir

Stroudco Food Hub


Tel: 01453 840037

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: John Barron <john@johnsjerseys.co.uk>
Date: 29 October 2014 16:41
Subject: Temporary Halt to Sales
To: manager@stroudco.org.uk

Dear Stroudco,

I am sorry to have to tell you that we have been asked to stop selling our milk for a few days.  I am really sorry to disappoint and inconvenience you but I’m afraid that we have been approached by the FSA (Food Standards Agency) who are investigating a outbreak of suspected food poisoning that happened several weeks ago.  Early indications are that this is an isolated case and is related to us by coincidence only and the FSA are carrying out further tests to help rule us out completely.  Nevertheless, as a sign of being a responsible seller of unpasteurised milk we have agreed to co-operate and suspend our milk sales for the next few days until further tests have been completed.  I hope that this will not put you off and I will certainly keep you fully informed of the outcome.

Best wishes,


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My delicious lunch – all from Stroudco Food Hub..

mixed sprouts

I have just eaten a large bowl of even amounts of mixed bean sprouts and alfalfa, with balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing, salt, pepper and a crushed garlic clove or two…….   All of it, bar the seasoning from Stroudco!  Heaven!

Kate (a happy Stroudco shopper)

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Raw juice is healthy and tastes great 

kin juiceThe most recent producer member of Stroudco is Cheltenham-based family start-up business, KIN Juicery specialising in cold-pressed fruit and veg juice.  Supermarket fruit juices have gained a bad reputation in recent years for their high sugar content and low nutrient value.  This kind of juice often contains additives, preservatives, extra sugar and not much good stuff. They are also pasteurised which involves heating the juice to over 75 centigrade – a process which kills many of the good enzymes and nutrients contained in the fruit.  As an alternative you might have tried to make your own juice at home using a centrifugal juicer and ended up with a layer of foam to get through before you actually get to the juice. Foam is fine on a latte but not so nice on your juice!  So where does cold-pressed juice fit into all this?

Cold pressing is a very old, artisan process of extraction that has gained popularity again in the last few years.   It involves slowly grinding the produce into a fine pulp and then pressing the pulp to extract as much of the juice as possible. The pulp from a cold-press juicer comes out totally dry.  This is a slower and gentler process that that does not involve heat and therefore retains the nutrients and enzymes from the fruit and veg.   It also prevents the oxidation which happens when the juice is heated or exposed to air.  Oxidation also speeds up nutrient loss and makes the juice ‘go off’ sooner.  Most domestic juicers use centrifugal mechanisms which make juice that oxidises very quickly so has to be drunk immediately before it loses its goodness. The beauty of cold pressing is that it produces a clean, fresh, raw juice with minimal oxidation and no need for pasteurisation. The shelf life is short, 3 days from the time of production, but the drink is a nutrient and enzyme-rich raw juice that your body can absorb within 10 – 15 minutes of drinking it.  A hit of vitamins that wakes you up and gets you going!

Most of the KIN juices contain more vegetables than fruit to keep the natural sugar content low and avoid the ‘blood sugar crash’ that can follow high fruit-content drinks.  All the fruit and veg in KIN juices are organic, sourced as locally as possible and pressed for Stroudco on the Saturday morning for delivery to the school that day.  The KIN team (four siblings) have spent months taste-testing to come up with a range of recipes which maximise taste and goodness.  My favourite is their Beetroot, Carrot and Orange Juice, but why not try them for yourselves?

To see the full range of local produce available on Stroudco Food Hub or to download a catalogue go to www.stroudco.org.uk or just pop in and see the food hub in operation any Saturday from 11am to 1pm at Stroud Valleys School on Castle Street GL5 2HP

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Raw Milk boosts interest in Food Hub     

We have seen a sudden upturn in the number of shoppers at the Food Hub since we started offering unpasteurised Jersey milk from John Barron at Beaconhill Farm.  This has had a knock-on benefit for many other Stroudco producers because shoppers often order other products when they are putting in their weekly milk order.

Stroudco is the only retail outlet for unpasteurised milk in Stroud and it seems that lots of people are questioning the wisdom of pasteurising milk.  Of course, subjecting milk to high temperatures kills the bacteria that may result in serious illness but studies have shown that the risk of contracting these illnesses from raw milk is exceedingly small: about 1 in 6 million.  There has not been a single case of food poisoning related to unpasteurised milk in the UK since 2002 and this is despite the fact that many thousands of dairy farmers drink their own milk raw and there has been a steady rise in the consumption of unpasteurised milk across the UK.

Part of the reason for the growth in popularity of raw milk is the fact that the heat treatment involved in pasteurisation damages many of the minerals and vitamins contained in raw milk and encourages the growth of harmful bacteria in the pasteurised milk.  Pasteurisation also denatures some milk proteins and makes most of the calcium contained in raw milk indigestible.   Some studies show that switching to raw milk can help reduce digestive intolerances, allergies and asthma.

All the Beaconhill Farm cows are Jerseys who produce a milk which is naturally higher in calcium than milk from other cows.  The milk won a Gold Medal at the Royal Welsh Show, has been endorsed by master chef Ed Baines and it tastes delicious!  Part of the reason for this is that John’s Jersey cows are mainly pasture-fed.  Cows are natural herbivores and are healthiest when they eat grass.  A lot of supermarket milk comes from cows which have been fed largely on grain.  John does not use artificial fertilisers, sprays, pesticides or prophylactic antibiotics.  Any feed he purchases is certified free of GM.  Try John’s Jerseys’ milk and you will be hooked!

To see the full range of local produce available on Stroud’s publicly-owned not-for-profit co-op or to download a catalogue go to www.stroudco.org.uk or just pop in and see the Food Hub in operation any Saturday from 11am to 1pm at Stroud Valleys School

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Paleo snacks and treats now on Stroudco Food Hub

Stroudco’s latest producer (number 65!) is a new family business based in Stonehouse which recently won a national award for their Cinnamon Nut Crunch grain-free granola.

primal crunch

We are particularly pleased to welcome Sarah and Justin Mace to our not-for-profit co-op because their business, Primal Joy Foods produces handmade and home-made ‘paleo’ snacks and treats in as natural state as possible and with minimal processing.

The increasingly popular Paleo or Primal lifestyle incorporates a diet based on natural unprocessed foods without modern grains and sugars.  Primal Joy Foods’ grain-free granola, paleo snack bars, fruit & nut balls and rich chocolate brownies are proving popular with people who have food allergies and intolerances and those with auto immune and inflammatory illnesses such as Coeliac disease, Crohns, arthritis, asthma & eczema

Sarah and Justin came to primal/paleo eating after realising their health, energy and vitality were being sapped by what they had thought were healthy eating habits.  After switching to a paleo diet, they started to feel and see the benefits almost immediately.


To bring variety, indulgence and convenience into healthy eating, they started making things like bars, muffins & lunch box snacks some of which were a way of sneaking veggies and other good stuff into their children’s daily diet.  After refining their recipes based upon trial and error, as well as putting in plenty of research on the ingredients, they realised that they had some really good end results and that maybe people would be interested in buying them so approached Stroudco to help with local distribution of their products.

Primal Joy Foods never use grains, dairy or refined sugars. Their delicious snacks are sweetened with dates, blueberries or cold spun honey and they use coconut oil as a source of healthy fat. By not using grains, all these snacks are gluten free and without other substances that can cause intestinal discomfort or sensitivity.

To see the full range of local produce available on Stroudco Food Hub or to download a catalogue go to www.stroudco.org.uk or just pop in and see the food hub in operation any Saturday from 11am to 1pm at Stroud Valleys School on Castle Street GL5 2HP

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Not just unpasteurised cow milk. Raw goat milk too!

As Stroudco grows, we can offer an increasingly wide range of products.  You will have seen below that you can now buy raw (unpasteurised) Jersey cow milk from Beaconhill Farm through Stroudco.  This complements the wide range of organic pasteurised unhomogenised milks, creams and yogurt offered by Jess’s Ladies dairy which has been farming at Hardwicke Farm for 3 generations.


To complete the range of milks, Stroudco also offers unpasteurised goat’s milk from Wharf Farm.  Lots of people switch to goat’s milk because it can improve gut health, resolve skin complaints, reduce mucous production and some people find it less allergenic than cow’s milk. 

goat milk goats 

Another benefit of goat’s milk is that it is naturally homogenised. Fresh cow’s milk will naturally separate with the cream floating to the top. The great thing about goat’s milk, is that it’s naturally homogenised – smooth and consistent without undergoing a man-made process.  It also contains less lactose (a milk sugar which some people find difficult to digest) than cow’s milk.


All 3 of Stroudco’s milk producers have met the very high animal welfare standards required by the Food Hub.  This means that they are all as good as organic – even though 2 of them are too small to be able to afford the certification process.  In common with all Stroudco producers they are willing to answer online questions about their production process and invite Stroudco shoppers to visit their farms.


To see the full range of local produce available on Stroudco Food Hub or to download a catalogue go to www.stroudco.org.uk or just pop in and see the food hub in operation any Saturday from 11am to 1pm at Stroud Valleys School on Castle Street GL5 2HP

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