SHEDDING LIGHT ON THE KETTLE VALLEY FOOD CO-OP JULY 17: Consumer Kristy Kuromi loves Grand Forks

Latest in a series of profile on Kettle Valley Food Co-op members

Kristy Kuromi (centre) with sons Tao and Sage with some chicks.

Kettle Valley Food Co-op consumer member Kristy Kuromi was born in Grand Forks, moved to Creston as a young girl and experienced both Calgary and Canmore, Alta. before returning with her husband Keith, to raise their family here.

They were drawn home by one of the things she cherishes most about this town: it’s an ideal place for young families to put down roots and thrive, if work can be found.

Kristy is passionate about growing healthy, secure, connected families in her professional and her personal life and thinks this is a good place to do it.

As so many people in Grand Forks do, Kristy wears a variety of hats: outreach support for Baby’s Best Chance at the Boundary Family and Individual Services Society, prenatal educator at Selkirk College, enthusiastic doula, figure skating instructor, home-schooling mom and whole food advocate.

In her mind, nurturing happy, well-adjusted kids are linked in a very meaningful way to the quality of their food and a connection to the natural world that provides it.

For this reason, the Kuromis were early co-op supporters and are frequent shoppers, looking for the best this valley has to offer and to extend the season and variety of their own lush vegetable garden.

Surrounded by a fertile, one-third acre laden with fruit and vegetables, chickens and bees, sons Tao and Sage, 7 and 3 respectively, understand even at this early age where their food comes from.

Trips to the food co-op on distribution days offer additional teachable moments for Kristy and her sons.

Tao is able to grasp why eating food that is grown around him, by people he knows and can visit, is a better choice than buying produce grown in unknown conditions then trucked long distances.

Kristy echoes that sentiment, enthusing about the ease of phoning up a farmer directly to question or chat about the food or handcrafted product she’s just purchased.

Even better, she appreciates the ability to take her kids out to roam around, as she’s done several times at Jerseyland Dairy and Slow Kettle Farm, two of the co-op’s listed producers.

Evidence is that toxic residues in food, water and air are much more harmful to vulnerable young, developing bodies than to adults.

This is why Kristy prioritizes quality food for her family.

She also considers her opportunities to make regular bulk purchases through the co-op as an extension of personal food security.

The Kuromis order organic staples in large quantities for storage, which helps bring down the price. It also ensures kitchen-ready access, year-long, to the pure ingredients she knows her young family needs to flourish.

For further information on the Kettle Valley Food Co-op go to www.kettlevalleyfoodcoop.org.

– Contributed by Jan Westlund

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