Thursday, February 22, 2007

Give it Up, Would-Be Food Co-Op

By John Birdsall
Thu, Feb 22, 2007 at 3:28 PM

Do food activists burn through time and money drafting solutions to stuff that isn't even a problem? Read Matthew Green's excellent piece on a would-be Berkeley food co-op in the current Edible East Bay, and you just might think so. A couple of ex-Brooklynites miss the Park Slope Food Co-Op so much they thought they'd remake it in Berkeley, a town collapsing under a wealth of retail food choices. Let's see: three weekly farmers' markets, Berkeley Bowl, Monterey Market, the Berkeley Natural Grocery, the Cheese Board, myriad CSA deliveries, four Andronicos outlets, a Safeway, and, last but not least, Whole Foods. According to the vision statement for the venture (which is called CoG), "On the one hand, the Berkeley/Oakland area is rich with retail choices for healthy food and sustainable goods, but the elitist connotation associated with 'organic' and 'sustainable' prevents many people from considering it to be a viable economic choice." Green reports that CoG was recently turned down for a $10,000 grant from a co-op startup foundation, which pointed out that a boatload of sustainable food is already available here. Not only that, but a thriving co-op would probably have the most impact not on Goliaths like Safeway and Whole Foods, but on the farmers' markets. New York dudes, we've got an idea: Take the more than $30 grand that 270 families have already invested in CoG and donate it to Oakland's People's Grocery, the nonprofit that's spent four years trying to break ground on organic co-op in West Oakland, where retail food options are mostly cheese doodles and Twinkies. Now that would help fix the elitist connotation of organics.

Author Archives

Most Popular Stories

Best of the East Bay

2020

© 2021 Telegraph Media    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation