Other Avenues Are Possible: Legacy of the People's Food System of the San Francisco Bay Area
Other Avenues Are Possible offers a vivid account of the dramatic rise and fall of the San Francisco People’s Food System of the 1970s.
Weaving new interviews, historical research, and the author’s personal story as a longstanding co-op member, the book captures the excitement of a growing radical social movement along with the struggles, heartbreaking defeats, and eventual resurgence of today’s thriving network of Bay Area cooperatives, the greatest concentration of co-ops anywhere in the country.
Integral to the early natural foods movement, with a radical vision of “Food for People, Not for Profit,” the People’s Food System challenged agribusiness and supermarkets, and quickly grew into a powerful local network with nationwide influence before flaming out, often in dramatic fashion. Other Avenues Are Possible documents how food co-ops sprouted from grassroots organizations with a growing political awareness of global environmental dilapidation and unequal distribution of healthy foods to proactively serve their local communities. The book explores both the surviving businesses and a new network of support organizations that is currently expanding.
“In this book, Shanta Nimbark Sacharoff inspires us all by recounting how cooperation created other avenues for workers and consumers by developing a food system that not only promoted healthy food but wove within it practices that respect workers and the environment.”
—E. Kim Coontz, executive director, California Center for Cooperative Development
“I have been waiting more than twenty years for this book! Shanta Nimbark Sacharoff’s Other Avenues Are Possible details the history of the People’s Food System, a grand experiment in combining good food and workplace democracy. Other Avenues answers many of my questions about how the food politics of the Bay Area developed and points the way towards a better—and more cooperative—future. A must-read for anyone who eats food.”
—Gordon Edgar, author of Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge and a worker owner of Rainbow Grocery Cooperative
“Anyone who cares about progressive social change should ponder the history of the Bay Area food co-op movement of the 1970s.”
—John Curl, author of For All the People:Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements, and Communalism in America
About the Author:
Shanta migrated from a small village in India to New York, eventually settling in San Francisco, where she felt at home with the foodcentric and co-op-friendly atmosphere. Shanta has been involved in the cooperative movement for more than three decades and works at Other Avenues, a worker-owned food co-op from the “new wave” co-op era of the 1970s. Shanta is a writer and contributes regularly to India Currents, an award- winning magazine. She also writes for various newsletters of the Bay Area’s co-op organizations.
- 200 pages
- PM Press (10/1/16)