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Do they give a cheer?

Friday 2 July 2010

We really like Ashland Food Co-Op, what some regard as the “hippie” grocery in Ashland. We like it because they have pretty good produce, almost everything is organic or at least free-range, and it’s within walking distance of home (shop local!)

When it was smaller, it had no meat department. It was really the hippie grocery then, and I don’t mean that in any derogatory way; the more gentrified, “we want organic but we want meat, too” crowd more often went to Cantwell’s Market on Oak Street. Cantwell’s was a great store, but after an expansion attempt at just the wrong time (during the 2001 dot-bust), it hit hard times and folded.

So the Co-Op expanded, and later added a meat department. But all was not happy in Grocery Nirvana; I recall several strongly worded comment cards (this is how Ashlanders protest, apparently) to the effect that selling meat was a sign of the end times approaching; indeed, the Four Horsemen were just watering their horses in Lithia Creek (maybe that explains the annual E.coli infestations?)

Anyway. Every so often, we make a special order from the Co-Op’s meat department. They do custom cuts, trims and ties, and their sources are still organic/free-range/antibiotic-free. And they are very happy to see us.

You see, every time we pick up a special order, it seems like they’re inordinately happy to have gotten an order from an obvious omnivore instead of a rebuke from a PETA protester. It’s like they are thinking “Yea, a carnivore!” Are the meat department employees the secret pariahs of the Co-Op community, like the Morlocks in “The Time Machine”? I mean, you know the margins in the meat department (and deli, and “nutritional aids”) are what pay the rent, right? So like the Morlocks, do the butchers do the dirty work of helping keep the store in the green while the Veg-Eloi enjoy the benefits of the profits?

So, if you need some meat, get it from the Co-Op. Make an oppressed minority feel appreciated!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. cynthia permalink
    Saturday 3 July 2010 10:45 AM

    you have made the co-op sound very entertaining, and possibly i will risk another trip there just so i can walk around with your metaphors in my mind as I shop.

    whenever i go to the co-op and find myself struggling down the aisles of annoying hippies who both float and dart around the aisles as if they are on both speed and qualudes, and then realize that both the cornerstone tenants of no frills neighborhood coop shopping
    1) save packaging by buying in bulk and
    2) save money buy buying in bulk have long left the building, I leave too and head to shop n kart. but with a new metaphor i may have more fun. especially when i go in my morlock costume!

    get out of my way annoying hippie, or you’ll be dinner!

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