Last night at GQ's Gentlemen’s Ball at the Empire Hotel, we finally had a chance to ask Adrian Grenier about the fact that, according to an office card that a tipster sent us, he seemingly only worked three shifts at the Park Slope Food Coop this year (according to the Coop’s FAQ, members are supposed to work thirteen two-and-a-half-hour shifts per year). Here’s what he had to say.
So is it true you served three of the required shifts?
The reason why I’m part of the co-op is that I don’t get special treatment. There isn’t a hierarchy. Everyone contributes. It’s a relaxed, sensible sharing of work that needs to get done. There’s no big corporate machine that’s taking a bunch of money and taking it out of your pockets so they can go on vacation. Everybody participates towards bringing the costs down for a community.
But they do require that you work a number of hours?
Yeah. I worked twice last month. Once for me and once for my housemates.
Do you feel a pressure to get all your shifts in?
It’s about three hours a month. I’m on a thing called F-Stop, which means since I’m in L.A. half the year, I can fulfill my work duties all in a row. So I don’t have to do a standard, every-month shift. And I know people like to gossip — people like to hate, more importantly. I tell you, the Food Coop is not a perfect system, but what is, you know? I derive a lot of enjoyment from the Food Coop. I like participating in something that doesn’t have airs, that’s just all about sharing and working. It’s not about the corporate-inflation/financial-gain bubble. It’s about people coming together to eat right, eat well, and contribute their effort and sweat equity towards bringing down prices for everybody.
But does it? I thought you had to be a member to shop there.
Look, I don’t shop there honestly, I don’t shop there and I don’t work there because I can’t afford Whole Foods. I do it because of the sense of community. And I believe that that effort and that contribution toward something communal is healthy for somebody’s psyche.
And Whole Foods is getting boycotted anyway.
I think that’s ridiculous. I mean, people are entitled to have their own opinions. Even if they are wrong. Somehow people assume that Whole Foods, because of the name Whole Foods, it comes from some sort of grass-roots, righteous, democratic idea, but it’s really not. It’s just a bunch of people capitalizing on people who want to eat wholesomely. People are so easily seduced by marketing and even the influence of a brand name. I mean, I appreciate Whole Foods, but I think it’s way overpriced.
Clarification: The headline of an earlier version of this post said Adrian Grenier doesn't shop at the co-op. The editor apologizes for misunderstanding his quote.