The market has three missions.
(1) To provide nutritious food to the public.
(2) To make a profit so as to be able to fulfill the primary mission of serving the public.
(3) To be transparent in the realms of Kashrus, hygiene, and finance.
The rationale behind the transparency is to create a new kind of standard for a local food establishment. This means that some of the things that will be revealed on this website may make some customers and potential customers uncomfortable.
That will not stop us from talking about these details of the food production. However in the interest of not unduly disturbing anyone we issue the following advice:
Please stop reading here if you’d rather not know what goes on behind the scenes at the market.
At the intersection of of hygiene and Kashrus is the issue of bugs. At the market, we sift the flour to check for bugs. If we find the ocassional bug, we will discard it and use the rest of the flour from the bag. If there seems to be a severe infestation, we discard the flour from that bag. We also automatically discard bags that show obvious signs of infestation, such as trails or webbing.
Some customers, I have found, find this policy repugnant, which is why I am being upfront here about it for any who do not want to eat anything that once had a bug traipse through it.
I would merely point out, however, that based on my research, just about all flour is subject to infestation. If you’ve never found a bug in your flour, it may because it was removed at the field, mill, or store using a chemical or mechanical means to remove it.
My using a mechanical means to remove bugs is not conceptually different than the way commercial facilities remove bugs. Some of the flour I buy is locally produced at farms that use minimal pesticides and is milled at places that do not necessarily have the means to do the kind of fine sifting and checking that larger facilities do, and that I do.
This may all seem disgusting. And may drive away potential customers. But after working in the food industry and witnessing what goes on behind the scenes sometimes, I made up my mind I would hide NOTHING from my customers if I ever merited to have my own company.
This approach falls within the teaching of don’t do to others what you find hateful to yourself. And I strongly dislike being sold food from a company that hides its standards from the public.