Perils of assimilation

If only life came with subtitles.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


When I was a kid, the co-op was where my mom would go to buy chicken feed and hay. You could get all sorts of stuff for your farm: silage when you were low, equipment, and gasoline. I remember it was across the street from the ET Lumber and the elementary school I went to. It's not there anymore, but now I go to a different sort of co-op.

I started going to the Just Local food Co-op in Eau Claire after running across a carrot mural during one of my nightly walks. Soon, I discovered if I got up early enough I could get a free cup of coffee from them at the farmer's market that took place on campus. It was my favorite place to stop during a bike ride.

Recently, I joined the Riverwest co-op here in Milwaukee. I had been there plenty of times before, and was always off-put by the icy hipsters that bumped into me as we tried to squeeze past each other. But the last time I was there, Everyone was so helpful, and I got a nice big bag of not too pretty, but totally edible veggies for free. I joined up that day.

I had been meaning to do that for a long time. I work at a corporate grocery store, where employees are treated poorly, no one gets more than minimum wage, and all the supposedly 'fresh' foods are shipped to us in bags from a factory. It's a sad state. I will no longer buy food from the deli section now that I know where it comes from and how it's prepared. Oh yeah, and this is a fancy grocery store.

I'm no stranger to the health store thing, we had one in ET called Nokomis. My best friend worked there, and would snag me day old loaves of bread before there were given to the cows to eat. It was the best bread in the world, there were days that I would eat nothing but their Farmer's bread; with cream cheese, with Peanut butter, with nothing at all.

Then one day the oven broke, and bread production stopped. No bread, no customers, and Nokomis was bought out by the organic farm next door. I miss that wonderful bread.


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