Sunday, October 25, 2009

Not So Co-Operative

Below is a NYT article on something I have long been curious about: The Park Slope Food Co-op.

The Co-op has been around for a long time. The Premise: Only members can shop there. And they receive a discount on the products. But in return, members have to work a certain number of hours at the Co-op.

Sounds great, right? For those into the whole communal hippie thing, you get to have your wheat germ and eat it to-at a lower price.

But alas, hippie heaven cannot be found in the organic baby spinach aisle. And Nirvana is just a rock band with a junkie lead singer who killed himself.

It turns out the rules of the Co-op are draconian. For instance, if you are married your spouse is expected to work at the Co-op even if he/she does not join. In fact all adult members of a household are expected to work at the Co-op, even if only one family member joins. If those household members decide not to work at the Co-op, the one member who joined the Co-op must cover an additional shift of Co-op work for each adult member of the household.

Before you know it, you have a full time second job all because you cared about a chicken's quality of life before it was sent to the slaughterhouse.

The result: Lots of turnover in membership.

Uncle Joe Stalin never said it would be this way.

See you at Costco.

Flunking Out at the Food Co-op

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