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Hungry for change? Put the power of food co ops on your plate and grow your local food economy Food has become ground zero in our efforts to increase awareness of how our choices impact the world Yet while we have begun to transform our communities and dinner plates the most authoritative strand of the food web has received surprisingly little attention the grocery store the epicenter of our food gathering ritualThrough penetrating analysis and inspiring stories and examples of American and Canadian food co ops Grocery Story makes a compelling case for the transformation of the grocery store aisles as the emerging frontier in the local and good food movements Author Jon Steinman Deconstructs the food retail sector and the shadows cast by corporate giants Makes the case for food co ops as an alternative Shows how co ops spur the creation of local food based economies and enhance low income food access Grocery Story is for everyone who eats Whether you strive to eat local and sustainable food or are in support of community economic development Grocery Story will leave you hungry to join the food co op movement in your own community

10 thoughts on “Grocery Story

  1. says:

    If you eat food you should read this book

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  3. says:

    The author is very dedicated to food local food empowering farmers empowering eaters growing diversity in the food economy He spent a decade creating a weekly podcast on food issues helped organize a collective that put grain grown by local farmers directly in the hands of eaters and served on the board of the Kootenay food Co op in Nelson BC for a few yearsHe wrote the book as an expose of the state of food economy and the enormous power yielded by food retailers on consumers and on the entire supply chain Farmers and food manufacturers can be bankrupted by the fickleness of huge monopolistic chains who contract for a supplier's entire production and then renege on their obligations leaving farmers with huge uantities of unsellable food Manufacturers are universally forced to pay retailers tens of thousands of dollars in shelving fees in order to get their products stockedonly to have those same retailers copy their products by issuing cheaper own brand versions undercutting their business Whole Foods reuired a small scale chocolate manufacturer of the author's acuaintance to provide days of volunteer labour annually to take her turn managing the entire chocolate section of every BC store removing all products cleaning shelves and restocking in exchange for the privilege of selling what she produces the rest of the year The solution? Well Steinman points out that until well past mid century anti monopoly laws controlled the concentration of ownership of grocery stores But the days of government acting in the interest of communities or of consumers is well past Today Steinman advocates food coops as a way for consumers to take direct power over what they eat and as a way to create the food economy that they want to participate inSteinman means the book to be inspiring he even ends with a call to action telling readers that they can found their own coops join existing coops and participate in a food revolutionBut the stories he tells about coops are mixed He discusses the history of food coops mostly in North America focusing on the wave of natural food food coops founded in the 1970s He talks about the history of his own Kooteny coop including the story of the recent to eater grain collective sponsored by that organization And he talks about a new wave of food coops founded post 2008 The two modern coops whose stories he tells in some detail both founded in food deserts in American low income communitiesfailed no than 3 years after they opened despite the huge amount of fund raising and organizing that went into their creation After a roaring start the Kootenay grain coop shrankSteinman seems forcedly patient at the lack of commitment of members who found that they couldn't manage to mill all their own flour and then use it to make all of their own pasta and bread He doesn't talk about how many of those 70s era coops are still thriving and whyI know that some are barely hanging in there and many have closedOverall the book has many ideas for improving coops best practices from active coops and a whole lot of passion for the ecological economic and practical benefits of local control of food It just isn't inspiring in the way that the author intended

  4. says:

    Great overview of the topic It made me want to run down to the Kootenay Co op and give them all my business instead of the evil Save On Foods that I also sometimes freuent I found the writing a bit too figure heavy so many stats and it was hard to keep all the various stores straight ie sometimes the author would mention a specific co op from earlier in the book and talk about it like you remembered what he said earlier but I had to keep flipping back to figure out which one it was I would have preferred all the neat info about a particular store in one place rather than dispersed throughout I also wanted to hear about what exactly this Whole Foods story is He alludes to it several times but doesn’t spell out the whole story anywhere Overall I enjoyed this and it reassured me why I just feel better in every way about shopping at my local co op than I do when I walk into the big box store and made me want to support my co op

  5. says:

    Made it to pg 137 but I just don't think I can finish this one Really not enjoying it plus I don't really care about food co ops Maybe I'll come back to it at some point but right now I need to put it down

  6. says:

    Insanely in depth dig on the modern grocery store Contrast that with how food co ops work and you see how beneficial a food co op could be for neighbourhoods and communities

  7. says:

    Do you buy groceries? Do you eat food? Do you live in a community? Read this book