By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer Published Feb 20, 2019 at 6:01 PM

Food co-ops were at the helm of the organic food revolution. They've been leaders in local and sustainable sourcing, transparent labeling and bringing healthful food to the fore. And yet, some people still don't understand what a co-op really is, or why they're increasingly relevant in an age when grocery stores are in an ever-evolving state of change.

So we took the plunge and consulted with a cooperative veteran, General Manager Pam Mehnert of Outpost Natural Foods Cooperative, to chat co-ops: what they are, why they're relevant ... and, most importantly, why they're cool.

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Lori Fredrich Senior Writer

Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.

Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon. 

Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.