Barely recognizing our co-ops

Many co-ops today, including the one I first joined, Bloomingfoods, are barely recognizable descendants of those co-ops of yore.

Instead of a members-only co-op where you could be a member only if you worked, many co-ops now sell to non-members in the name of increasing profits.

Instead of a cooperative and consensus form of government, there are now in many co-opted co-op leadership teams, i.e., a management elite, who guide the co-op toward increasing profits and we-need-to-grow-grow-grow expansion.

Instead of healthy food options, many co-ops now have “natural” equivalents of the junk food that the original co-op founders wanted to get away from.

Instead of having a comfortable funkiness akin to once-upon-a-time used bookstores, many coops now look like Price Choppers or CVSes.

And many co-ops are now members of the co-op equivalent of the national Chamber of Commerce and use a distributor which is not even a co-op in name.

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