Nourishing Progressive Ideals in Dark Ages: Boycotts at the Park Slope Food Coop in the 1970s


  • Lana Dee Povitz Middlebury College



Consumer-based activism offered the predominantly white and middle-class members of Brooklyn’s Park Slope Food Coop meaningful ways to live their politics during the alienated aftermath of the Vietnam War. In historicizing the role of solidarity efforts in the country’s largest consumer-owned food cooperative, this article makes three arguments. It points to food as a valuable tool of protest that made tangible the links between the environment, workers, and consumers. It reveals the strategic capacity of solidarity campaigns, especially boycotts, to strengthen local community. Finally, it illuminates the delicate ecosystem of cooperation in a small-scale and relatively unstructured collective enterprise.

Author Biography

Lana Dee Povitz, Middlebury College

Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Middlebury College and a Fall 2020 fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania.