Here's our pal Pete on the Park Slope Food Coop and why he quit and took the fair way.
Well, count me among those who just recently left the co-op. After 3 years, I finally had enough of the Soviet-style Communism masquerading as socialism (which OTBKB commenter Michael reminded us is rooted in the philosophy: to each according to their needs, from each according to their means).
The PSFC's "love us or get out" attitude is hardly exemplary of anything resembling cooperative. I have been a supporter of sustainable agriculture for two decades. One of my best friends was executive director of the largest activist organization in the country for sustainable agriculture and even she told me that the PSFC hard-core were notoriously known as the Co-op Nazi's - even in those liberal circles!
And oh yeah, on Fairway, first of all, you totally DON'T need a car - the F train to Smith and 9th and the 77 bus is a quick and easy route, and with no long lines AND FREE home delivery for orders over a hundred dollars, we have saved hours over the co-op life every week, AND don't let anyone lie to you, the prices are totally comparable to the co-op's, in some cases significantly cheaper, and they have ever-expanding organic sections, including beautiful organic meats and chicken. By adding the two local greenmarkets in Prospect Park on Wednesday and Saturday to our bi-monthly trips to Fairway, our food-shopping life has once again become pleasurable.
The bottom line is this: like most fascist regimes, the PSFC's dogma has ended up superceeding its original mission, which in this case was to help local, small, organic farmers stay in business and help consumers obtain healthy food. I believe in sustainable agriculture as a way of life. I'm also very busy as a psychotherapist, writer and parent of two kids. Most other serious food co-ops in the country today allow members the option to work at the co-op and pay lower prices, or not work and pay higher prices. Who does that hurt? Really?