Recently our local food co-op took part in one of the nearly 130 stops on the Grocery Story book tour. Author Jon Steinman was 100% enthusiastic about the positive role of food co-ops in our communities.

Author Jon Steinman encouraged the attendees to prepare to build our own grocery store, which would be accountable to the community, not outside shareholders and would be committed to supporting truly local producers.

Our local co-op will keep dollar and job in the hands of our farmers and neighbors, not distant corporate headquarters. Our local co-op would also make sustainability decisions that compliment the economic vitality of our community. These are unique attributes of food co-ops.

Although we have been members of food co-ops in the past I never realized the numerous benefits to the community. Just a few individuals own the majority of grocery stores in our nation. For the most part gone are the days of mom and pop stores. Many of these smaller stores are getting sold to the larger grocery chains.

When larger chains run the stores they often change the definition of “local”. Food can be shipped on a truck and travel for to or three days and still be labeled local! The money from these larger chains doesn’t go back into the community; instead it is going into a corporation miles away.

This book Grocery Story, is a fascinating read. You will read about the actions and tactics of “big food”. You will read about trade associations, multinational corporations and some of the people behind them. The book provides a close look at our whole food system. As the author states, “The goal of “deconstruction” big food and the grocery giants is not to lay blame or point fingers but to see the emperor without his clothes and, in his nakedness, to see that the emperor is us.”

The group attending the talk on Grocery Story is more determined than ever to open our first local co-op. I look forward to being part of a member-owned food co-op.

For more information on the book Grocery Story check out Jon’s website or find hm on social media.

To learn more, you can find Grocery Story through your local library catalog, or buy a copy to read and share.

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