Tag Archives: PSFC

A Bottling Debate At Park Slope

As most of you know, the Park Slope Food Co-op (PSFC) is, in a way, our model for building a food co-op.  Since its humble beginnings in the 70s, the PSFC has grown into one of the most successful co-ops in the country.  We’ve had the fantastic opportunity to listen to Joe Holtz speak at our General Meeting during which he imparted some wisdom he’s gained since going on board with the PSFC.  What’s more, we have been privy to much of the inner workings of the PSFC, in thanks to Joe.

Interestingly, the nation’s paper of record had an article about an interesting debate over on Union St.  Recently, the PSFC voted to stop selling bottled water. The ban on bottled water is a result of a two-year debate, but certainly will not end the debate.  The reason for the embargo on bottled H2O is the environmental cost of plastic bottles.

An argument against the ban was that members should have the opportunity to buy bottled water and should be able to make the environmental decision on their own.

“I just feel that taking bottled water away from consumers is forcing an agenda on people,” Yachet Lebovits wrote in a letter. “Don’t demand totality in a world where it doesn’t exist.”

The debate brings up an interesting point which must be addressed by our potential members.  Where do we prioritize environmental cost when ordering our merchandise?  This topic came up briefly in one of the first few General Meetings when someone made the point that we should look to buy organic food, but it is more important that we buy non-organic food from New Jersey than organic food from California.

The key takeaway from this lesson, we suppose, is that balancing members’ priorities will continually be a balance.  What similar issues do you foresee as we move forward?  Where do you stand on the bottled water debate*?  Tell us in the comments!

* As a quick aside, does anyone think that Mr. Holtz and his fellow founding members of the PSFC could ever imagine a debate over bottled water 35 years ago?  We here at the blog wish we were the bright individual who realized people would drink what is essentially tap water bottled in plastic!

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Food and Co-op News Roundup

In what will hopefully become a regular feature, we here at the CH/FG Food Co-op Blog (whew! we’re going to need a shorter moniker) will look to highlight some co-op and general food news from around the country. It will hopefully give a glimpse into the world of other co-ops and maybe shine some light on some best practices or issues other groups are facing.

• Just Local Food, a food co-op in Eau Claire, Wisc., has recently been the recipient of some fantastic fundraising from a group of local students, an anonymous 98-year-old customer, farmers and other locals. (The Leader Telegram).

• A Park Slope Food Co-op patron made a seemingly unlikely connection with a fellow customer. (Ask Rotoman).

• A patron of a Greensboro, N.C. food co-op details the revelation she made during her shift at Deep Roots Market.

• The New Zealand Herald explores ways to spend less on a family’s grocery bill. One of the suggestions is to seek out a local food co-op. (New Zealand Herald).

• A large co-op in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada hit record sales in 2007 (The Moose Jaw Times).

As a reminder, we always need your help with the blog! If you have any links you want included in the roundup or anything else you’d like covered, give us an email at paxtman@gmail.com.