Sunday, September 20, 2009

Arroyo Food Co-Op Market: More Hip than Hippie

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

By now, most of us are familiar with these words of wisdom from Michael Pollan. Sounds simple doesn't it?

Too bad our quest to eat the right thing has become so complex and confusing. Is it green? Sustainable? Organic? Local? In season? Grass fed or corn fed? Free range or caged? Farmed or wild? ( offers great tips on purchasing fresh, frozen and canned fish.) And how much of this really matters? It's enough to make any well meaning cook throw in the toque.

The good news is that I have no shortage of options for picking up produce. And the bad news is that I have so many choices: my own back yard, swapped produce from neighbors' back yards, two Pasadena farmers' markets, two buyers clubs (NELA and Our Little Market), CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Super King, traditional super markets and a half dozen Armenian produce markets.

Factor price, convenience and flavor into my decision-making matrix, and I'm so overwhelmed that I'm ready to comfort myself with a bag of potato chips fried in saturated oil and a can of dip made with processed cheese.

That's why I'm supporting the development of the Arroyo Food Co-Op Market, a "homegrown community market" that will serve Altadena, Pasadena and the surrounding communities. The market will be committed to providing a simple alternative for fresh, healthy, local and sustainable food choices at competitive prices. What I really like about the proposed co-op market is the opportunity to strengthen an already vibrant community.

If you'd like to learn more, come out to one (or both) of these two upcoming events or visit the Arroyo Food Co-op Market's website.
Now how simple is that?

Monthly Social

What: Find out about the history-making Arroyo Food Co-Op Market at one of Altadena's most historic estates. Light refreshments (including homemade Sangria) will be served.
When: Wednesday, October 7, 7:30 pm
Where: Zane Grey Estate, 396 E. Mariposa, Altadena
For more details, visit the website.

RSVP: Please email your name and number attending to

Community Membership Launch Meeting
What: Unveiling of the business plan for the Arroyo Food Co-op, a brief presentation by representatives from Santa Monica's successful Co-Opportunity Market and the opportunity to become a charter member of the Arroyo Food Co-op. Continental breakfast will be served.
When: Saturday, October 10, 9:00 am
Where: Altadena Community Center, 730 E. Altadena Dr., Altadena

For more details, visit the website.
RSVP: Please email your name and number attending to

If you have any questions, you can also email me at susancarrier at


Cafe Pasadena said...

SC, so it seems you're saying you'll have yet another option for purchasing your produce.
In that case, I expect a future post from you captioned, "Why I'm Going on the No Produce Diet!"

Good Luck in whatever happens.

Susan C said...

CP, LOL Well, the market will sell more than produce.

You should tell your master to come to a meeting. Good food, and he may even bring home a doggie bag.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Are you saying there's FREE Food at these meetings?!

If that's the case, these sound like very, very important meetings after all. Maybe even more important than the Station Fire meetings I attended. Btw, I don't recall if they offered any food to the inflamed.

Susan C said...

Since we have the word FOOD in our name, it's only fitting that we serve up some FREE food.

And, by the way, I'm in charge of the food at these two events.

altadenahiker said...

Are you really? I'll be there.

Mary said...

Susan, this sounds wonderful, but I have a question. Where did you find a 26 hour day? Your energy amazes me. Good luck with this project and let us know how it progresses. In the meantime, have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Mr V's going to be the happiest man on the planet. He's been a co-op member forever and we always go to the two we know about (Santa Monica/Ocean Beach)

Oh man, he's going to be really really really happy

will try to make the Zane Grey event

pasadenapio said...

I like this idea. About 30 years ago, when I lived in Walnut Creek, I was a member of a local co-op. As a divorced mother of two small children, it made all the difference in the world.

Susan C said...

AH, Please do come - the Sangria will be waiting for you.

Mary, Funny, isn't it, how easy it is to make time for things that we find rewarding, and this project and the people involved have been.

PA, That is so cool that Mr V has such a long affiliation with co-op markets. This is all new to me. Hope to see you both at the ZGE.

PIO, I wonder if that Walnut Creek co-op is still up and running. Hope to see you at one of the events.

Bec said...

I know this has been in the works for a long time and I've only been reading about it the last few weeks. I'll try to make the meeting on 10/10.

Susan C said...

Bec, hope to see you there!

Laurie said...

This sounds wonderful, Susan!

Petrea said...

This is exciting! (Especially since you're in charge of food.) The website looks smashing, too.

I heard Michael Pollan in an interview recently, and he was charming. He said he's often recognized in grocery stores near his home, and people are constantly nosy about what's in his cart.

Kelly said...

In the early 80's, Fuller Seminary had a food co-op. I remember getting some good stuff as well as government cheese. I wonder if the government still makes that stuff, or if it's in a nuclear waste facility somewhere?

altadenahiker said...

Was the cheese that bad Kelly?