How Co-op groceries are taking on "the giants" with Jon Steinman, author of "Grocery Story:"
Today I’ll be kicking off another month dedicated to an important topic in regenerative living. For a long time now, our food system has been a primary indicator for so many markers of health in our society, from the way that our food is produced, what kinds of food we eat, how we cook, how it affects our health and even our ethics as consumers. For the next four weeks I’ll be taking a look our food system from a variety of different view-points and analysis in order to shed light on some of the lesser know factors that influence how we eat and how our dietary choices shape the food industry at large.
To kick off this series I spoke with Jon Steinman, author of the new book “Grocery Story: the promise of food co-ops in the age of grocery giants.” Now Jon has studied and worked with everything about food for more than twenty years. He formerly produced and hosted a popular podcast called Deconstructing Dinner, was a writer and host for a web series by the same name, and now curates the annual “Deconstructing Dinner” film festival of compelling food documentaries. Jon was also an elected director from 2006-2016 of the Kootenay Co-op – Canada's largest independent retail consumer food co-op, serving as Board President from 2014-2016
Now I consider myself fairly well informed about the food industry from personal research and that fact that in the last decade I’ve worked directly in many branches of the industry from refrigerated shipping, industrial farms, organic farms, fish processing, many different roles in restaurants, and even the permaculture farm that many of you have heard me talk about for over a year now, but I never knew so much about the influence that the giant grocery chains and supermarkets have on every aspect of our food from how it’s grown till it gets to our plates. This is a very eye opening look, not only at the broken aspects of the food industry, but the very tangible and accessible solutions that co-op grocery stores can be, not only for getting access to better food and transforming the way the industry is incentivized to operate, but also for the positive impact that co-ops can have on our communities and local economies. We also talk about solutions for access to high quality food for low-income neighborhoods and much more.