Food Additives Guidelines

This page is also available as a PDF.

Since our inception, the Park Slope Food Coop (PSFC) has strived to keep our store free of food additives that are harmful to human health1. Food additives are substances added to food to preserve flavor or enhance taste and appearance. Historically PSFC members expressed the desire for a stricter standard than the FDA provides. In response, the PSFC references the food safety guidelines of several independent consumer advocacy organizations2 to identify which additives should be avoided.

The PSFC’s buying staff tries to avoid ordering food products containing any of the following additives (common/chemical names listed below):

Artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and emulsifiers
Artificial preservatives and fats
Flour improvers and bleaching agents
MSG (monosodium glutamate)
Partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs)3
Sodium Nitrate & Sodium Nitrite4

In addition, scientific evidence showing the harm caused by food-grade carrageenan has increased significantly in recent years. In response, the PSFC will begin a program to phase out carrageenan. Due to the quantity of carrageenan-containing products on our shelves, our goal over time is to replace carrageenan-containing products with suitable substitutes as they become available. We will also be urging current vendors to re-formulate their products.

PSFC staff will review this document and list of additives periodically and amend when necessary. While the staff does review the ingredients of every new product before it is available for sale, with thousands of products on our shelves and product re-formulations a commonplace occurrence, it is difficult for PSFC staff to guarantee all our products are free of these additives. We rely on members to help us adhere to our guidelines. If you see a product on the shelf that contains one of these additives that the Coop is trying to avoid, please bring it to the attention of a Receiving Coordinator or contact

Common or chemical names of additives PSFC is trying to avoid:

  1. Acesulfame-Potassium – sweetener
  2. Artificial Colorings
  3. Caramel Coloring5
  4. Aspartame (NutraSweet) – sweetener
  5. Azodicarbonamide (ADC) – flour improver and bleaching agent
  6. Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) – emulsifier
  7. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) – preservative
  8. Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) – preservative
  9. Carrageenan (phase out in progress)
  10. Diacetyl – flavoring
  11. Heptyl paraben – preservative
  12. MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) – flavor enhancer
  13. Olestra (OLEAN) – synthetic fat substitute
  14. Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Trans Fat)
  15. Potassium Bromate – flour improver
  16. Propyl Gallate – preservative
  17. Saccharin – sweetener
  18. Sodium Nitrate & Sodium Nitrite – preservative
  19. Sucralose – sweetener
  20. TBHQ (Tertiary Butylhydroquinone) – preservative



  1. Pet food is not covered by this document.
  2. Sources include: Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Chemical Cuisine database,
    Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives, and The Cornucopia Institute.
  3. PHOs are the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods. The FDA has determined that PHOs are NOT Generally Recognized as Safe and must be phased out by food manufactures. A three-year compliance period has begun that will allow food manufacturers to phase out the remaining uses of PHOs, or seek food additive approval for continued use in a specific product.
  4. Consumers should be aware that many nitrate-free products – including those sold in the PSFC – use celery salt as a curing agent, and celery salt is a natural source of sodium nitrates.
  5. The CSPI recommends avoiding or drinking less colas and other ammonia-caramel-colored beverages because of risk from 4-methylimidazole (a by-product formed by the creation of Caramel Color III and IV). Soy sauces, baked goods and other foods that contain ammoniated caramel coloring are much less of a problem because the amounts consumed are small. Class I and Class II caramel coloring do not contain 4-MEI.

updated 3/7/2017


Coop events are free and open to the public – non-members are welcome. In a few cases our food class series, for example a minimal materials fee is requested. Check event listings for details. All events listed below take place in the Coop’s second floor meeting room, unless otherwise indicated.

If you are a Coop member interested in presenting a workshop/ class/ event, please take a look at our workshop guidelines. To schedule a workshop, contact the events coordinator.

Views expressed by presenters do not necessarily represent the views of the Park Slope Food Coop.

Download the current Calendar of Events.

You may download the pdf file viewer here.

The Fund for New Food Coops


About the Fund for New Food Coops


The Fund for New Food Coops supports start-up food coops that rely on member labor. Using donations from the Park Slope Food Coop, its members and other supporters, the Fund for New Food Coops offers low-cost loans to help new food coops pay for the critical items that enable them to grow and to generate income. Examples of appropriate uses for loan funds include rent deposit, refrigeration and other major equipment, and physical upgrades to shopping or storage space.

The purpose of the Fund for New Food Coops is to expand the role of member-run cooperatives in bringing healthy food at low prices to residents across Brooklyn and beyond. New, strong food coops will ultimately help the Park Slope Food Coop better satisfy its burgeoning membership and help meet the skyrocketing interest in food cooperatives. Providing favorable financing and, thereby, demonstrating the credit worthiness of new coops is one concrete way the Park Slope Food Coop supports nascent food coops and is aligned with the Cooperative Principles that encourage mutual support.

How We Started

In January 2012, the General Membership voted to create a Revolving Loan Fund Committee to support new member labor food coops and to annually donate $20,000 to the fund, contingent upon the fiscal well-being of the Coop. The Fund will also solicit donations from Park Slope Food Coop members and other supporters. The Fund received its first donation of $20,000 from the Park Slope Food Coop at the end of 2012 and began receiving donations from individuals in the spring of 2013. We plan to make our first loan in 2015.

Who We Are and How We Work

The Fund for New Food Coops is overseen on behalf of the membership by the Revolving Loan Committee. The current Committee of Park Slope Food Coop members was approved by the Park Slope Food Coop general membership in May 2012: Glenn Brill, Wendy Fleischer, Sam Marks, Kathy Martino, and Rachel Porter (chairperson). The Committee may include up to seven members; committee members serve terms of one to three years. Should you wish to join this Committee, write to

fjc_icons The FJC, a public charity that provides management of charitable giving, was chosen by the Revolving Loan Committee to serve as the fiscal administrator for the Fund for New Food Coops. FJC accepts donations for the Fund for New Food Coops and will make the loans to qualified new member-labor coops on the recommendation of the Revolving Loan Committee. Donations for the Fund for New Food Coops should be made to FJC; donations are tax-deductible. FJC charges minimal administrative fees for their services.

Please address questions about the Fund for New Food Coops to:

Donate: Support The Fund for New Food Coops!


The Fund for New Food Coops is seeking tax-deductible donations to support new coops in Brooklyn, the other boroughs of New York City and beyond.

Donations to the Fund for New Food Coops are made to FJC, our fiscal administrator. Until distributed, funds are held in a managed account sponsored by FJC in the name of the Fund for New Food Coops. The account is chosen by the Park Slope Food Coop’s Revolving Loan Fund Committee and earns interest which accumulates to the benefit of the Fund.

Once the Committee approves a borrower’s application and makes a recommendation to FJC, donations are used to make a loan to a member-labor coop. A loan may be used for equipment, renovation or other purpose as approved by the Committee. Over time, the borrower will repay the loan and the repaid funds will be recycled to provide new loans.

How to Donate

The Fund for New Coops accepts donations of any size. You may support the fund:

  • Online – You may donate via PayPal or credit card here: Donate
  • At checkout at the Park Slope Food Coop—Donate up to $249 at the register with a Fund for New Food Coops Donation Card available from wall racks in the coop. Make your donation with Cash, Check or debit card. Checkout cards can also be obtained in the membership office.
  • By check made payable to the Fund for New Food Coops(write FJC on the memo line):

    Mail to:

    520 Eighth Avenue, 20th Floor
    New York, NY 10018

Information for New Food Coops/Applicants


Who Should Apply & What to Expect?

The Fund for New Food Coops is eager to work with prospective borrowers to make the process of applying for a loan as simple and straightforward as possible. The Fund was created and is supported by the Park Slope Food Coop and its members to help new, member labor food coops grow. The Fund’s financing is in the form of loans so that the moneys can be recycled to continue to support member-run coops. We do not anticipate lending to coops that use tiered pricing models.

Loan amounts: During the initial start-up period, the Fund for New Food Coops will consider loans starting at $5,000 up to the amount of the Fund’s current resources.

Loan Purposes: Loans will be made to support requests that help increase revenue, for example, inventory, equipment, renovation, rental deposits. We will not support salaries or major construction projects. Please contact us at to discuss your specific needs.

Borrower Eligibility: The Fund for New Food Coops will support member-labor grocery cooperatives that are able to project positive cash flow. At this time, priority will be given to food coops located in New York City. Applicants should be prepared to provide basic operating documentation to the Fund for New Food Coops, e.g., financial statements and projections, membership policies, evidence of adequate insurance.

Loan terms: The Fund is offering loans at an annual interest rate of 2%. Other loan terms and conditions will be structured based on the loan’s purpose and the coop’s ability to pay. The Fund will work with borrowers to create repayment terms that support the borrower’s growth. All interest payments are used to cover administrative costs and to grow the loan fund to support member run coops.

Timing: The Fund will endeavor to fund loans within six to eight weeks from the time a completed application is submitted.

Steps to Apply for a loan

  1. Initial Contact: The first step for prospective borrowers, prior to filling out an application, is to email the Fund for New Food Coops at: The Fund will designate a primary contact within two weeks of receipt of a prospective borrower’s email inquiry. The Fund’s primary contact will discuss the prospective borrower’s interest in a loan, the loan purpose and eligibility requirements.
  2. Application completion and submission: After the Fund’s primary contact has determined that the potential borrower meets the basic eligibility requirements the prospective borrower should complete and submit their application including all required supporting documentation via email to: The Fund’s primary contact will be available to respond to borrowers’ questions about completing the application.
  3. Interview and Site Visit: After a preliminary review of the application the Fund’s primary contact will reach out to the prospective borrower with any follow-up questions and arrange for an interview and site visit. Members of the Fund will meet with the decision makers of the prospective borrower who are responsible for finances, membership, inventory and other key functions related to the loan request. At the site visit, the Fund members will want to see the store in operation, as well as its equipment, inventory system, accounting systems, and membership systems.
  4. Application Review and Decision: Within two weeks of the interview and site visit assuming all additional requested information has been received, the Fund will meet to review the application, supporting materials and site visit findings. The Fund may request further information or make a decision on whether to approve the loan, and if approved, discuss loan terms. The Fund’s designated contact will notify the borrower of the Fund’s decision as soon as practically possible.
  5. Documentation: Once the committee recommends a loan, the borrower will receive the loan documents from FJC, the fiscal administrator for the food coop. The Note and Loan Agreement will describe the loan terms, the principal and interest payment schedule, performance requirements of the Borrower, and events that would constitute a “default” by the Borrower.
  6. Execution and Funding: Once the borrower, the Fund and FJC have finalized the documentation, the loan note will be executed and funded. FJC will service the loan; the borrower will receive invoices for principle and interest payments from FJC.

Why Member Labor Coops?


The Fund for New Food Coops will fund emerging coops that adhere to the model of full member participation. In this model, anyone may become a member, only members may shop, all members contribute labor, and food prices are kept very low because of resulting low labor costs.

The Park Slope Food Coop has successfully provided good food at low prices for more than 40 years in large part because of its rarely implemented model of full member participation in labor. The system of total member participation allows the Park Slope Food Coop to save money on what is otherwise the largest expense for a grocery store of its size: labor. Prices reflect this savings and are typically significantly lower than supermarkets and other food coops.

Unlike many other cooperative grocery stores, all members pay the same price for each item. In other coops that do not require all able-bodied members to work, prices vary depending on one or more of several conditions including whether a shopper is a member and whether a shopper works. Savings in labor costs allow the Park Slope Food Coop to treat the 70 people employed by the Coop exceptionally well, by providing not only fair wages but also excellent benefits, leave policies and retirement funds for staff.

Full member participation results in the Coop’s unique and uniquely inclusive community. Everyone is welcomed to join and diversity is celebrated. The cooperative structure of participation has proved durable, adding new members every year and withstanding many challenges over four decades.

Charitable Contributions to the Fund for new food coops are Tax-deductible!

The Fund for New Food Coops selected FJC to administer our loans, in part because FJC is a nonprofit 501 (C) 3 charitable organization enabling contributions made to the Fund to be tax-deductible. As with any charitable contribution a receipt is required to quantify the contribution with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Supporters contributing online will receive an electronic receipt as proof of contribution. An on-line contribution in an amount over $250 will be acknowledged in correspondence directly from FJC as required to meet IRS rules. A cancelled check or credit card statement will serve as a receipt for supporters making contributions via check or credit card. For in-store contributions made with donation cards at the register, the tax-deductible contribution is noted as a line item on the purchase receipt. Any cash contribution of $250 or more requires a written acknowledgment from FJC. A cash register receipt is not sufficient to satisfy the IRS.

Workshop Guidelines

About Workshops:

  1. The primary presenter must be a Coop member in good standing, although non-members may accompany them as a co-presenter. Please note that the meeting room is not available to outside groups or organizations to hold meetings or classes or to do fundraising.
  2. No workslot credit is available to members for workshop presentations. Workshops are presented as a voluntary service. (Cooking and food classes, the Prospect Concerts series, Film Night and Wordsprouts are not a part of this program).
  3. Presenters should have credentials in the area about which they are speaking.
  4. Workshop presenters must avoid sales pitches. Workshops should provide information, not sell a product or service. It is acceptable for attendees to ask for your card, buy what you sell, or sign up for a service, as long as the content of the talk is not geared toward sales. The flier and listing should not advertise your business.
  5. No one should be made to feel unwelcome at a workshop due to religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
  6. Workshops can take place on Friday evenings, anytime on Saturday, Sundays at noon or in the evening. An occasional Tuesday evening may be available. The room is not available at other times. A member may schedule no more than two workshops at a time, a minimum of six weeks apart.
  7. The evening start time is 7:30 p.m., but can be as early as 6:45 p.m. if requested. The class must end with ample time for everyone to exit the building by our 10:00 p.m. closing time.
  8. Once your workshop is scheduled, please do not cancel. Cancellation after the workshop is advertised can happen only under the most dire of circumstances. If you fail to come to your workshop, you will not be permitted to schedule another.

Fliers and Publicity:

  1. Workshops are generally scheduled at least eight weeks in advance in order to advertise the workshop in two issues of the Linewaiters’ Gazette.
  2. Presenters must provide the information for the listing in the Gazette and Coop Events flier and for the pdf of the flier that we send to you.
    • Title — short titles are more effective visually. If you feel strongly that that is too limiting, consider a subtitle that is only slightly longer.
    • Text — description of the workshop, maximum of 100 words for the flier, 60 words for the Coop events listing. For examples, please refer to other listings.
    • Bio — a couple of sentences about yourself, including that you are a Coop member. For examples, please refer to other program listings. We will not print advertisements for your business; please do not include your website, etc.
    • Layout/design – do NOT lay out the text.

    If you have an illustration or photo that you would like the flier designer to incorporate, it must be in the form of a jpeg or tiff, NOT an “internet document.” (Graphics available on the web may be jpegs or internet docs, NOT a graphic within a Word document. You cannot tell by appearance but have to get information on each item to know which it is.)
    Once the workshop is scheduled, presenters will be given a deadline by which workshop information must be submitted. The information (without any design layout) should be emailed to the Coop. We will supply the address.

  3. The Coop will produce a pdf of a flier, including the layout and design. Presenters will be provided with a pdf for personal emailing purposes. You are also welcome to print your own from the pdf (the Coop does not print fliers for individual workshops). The Coop will list your event in the Coop Events flier and in the Gazette. Please note that the Coop events flier is placed in the Coop vestibule by Coop staff. If you print your own flier, you may post it on the staircase bulletin board. Please do not post or place your own flier anywhere else within the Coop.
  4. Do not post any fliers illegally, such as on streetlamps or mailboxes, as the Coop could be fined by the city for every individual flier posted. Post fliers only on designated, legal bulletin boards.
  5. All events are open to the public, Coop members and non-members alike. If the number of people present must be restricted because of the nature of the workshop, the presenter may request advance reservations and list their own phone number for this purpose. However, even if reservations are taken, you should not turn away walk-ins if at all possible.

Day of Presentation:

  1. Please arrive 30 minutes before the workshop so that you are there to welcome early arrivals and to make sure the room is open and set up as you need it. If no one is there to attend the workshop when it is scheduled to begin, please wait 30 minutes after the scheduled start time to make sure there are no latecomers.
  2. If the room is locked, and the Membership Office is closed, second floor service desk workers have the key and will let you in. You can also seek out the staff Tech Support person to help you.
  3. If the nature of the presentation precludes others entering the room during the workshop, please state this when scheduling so we can notify others who may expect access to the space. The presenter may also post a sign on the outside of the door asking that non-attendees not enter. Although we can attempt to prevent interruptions, it cannot be guaranteed.
  4. Please let us know in advance if you need chairs arranged in a particular way. Otherwise, the room will be set up as it is for orientation. If you prefer to set up the chairs yourself, please let us know in advance.
  5. If you will be presenting a film or need to use the computer for a Power Point presentation, please let us know when scheduling. Please bring your film or presentation on a disk or drive, as you must use the Coop’s computer. Please seek out the staff Tech Support person to help you set up; leave yourself enough time for this as the Tech Support person may be busy when you arrive.
  6. All presenters are asked to spend a few minutes welcoming people (especially non-members) to the Coop. Coop brochures and event fliers are provided.
  7. Please remember that presenters are representing the Coop to others (and the Coop is “we,” not “they”!).
  8. The Coop does not provide refreshments for these workshops. If you would like to serve anything, please purchase it yourself. Please be sure the room is clean when you leave it.


Calendar & Recipes

Community Calendar

Listings in the Community Calendar are free. Maximum number of words is 50. While listings can be submitted by both members and non-members, all submissions must be of interest to members. Determination of what is “of interest” to members will be made by the Gazette.


We welcome original recipes from members. Recipes must be signed by the creator. Recipe submissions must include author’s name and phone number and be typed or very legibly handwritten.

Submissions on Paper – Typed or very legibly handwritten submissions should be placed in the wall pocket labeled “Editor” on the second floor at the base of the ramp.

Submissions on CD & by email – We welcome digital submissions. Drop CDs in the wall pocket labeled “Editor” on the second floor at the base of the ramp. Or, email us your submission. Receipt of your submissions will not be acknowledged until the deadline day.

Classified / Display Ads

Ads may only be placed by or on behalf of Coop members. All ads must be prepaid either in cash by the member at the Cashier or by check that is submitted along with the ad text. All ads submissions must come in on a Coop Ad Submission form, available on this website or from a wall pocket on the first floor near the elevator.

Classified Ads

Classified Ads are $15 per insertion. (Ads in the “Merchandise—Non-commercial” category are free.) Classified ads may be up to 315 characters and spaces.

Download the Classified ad submission form.

Display Ads

Display Ads are $30 per insertion. They must be camera-ready and business card size (2″x3.5″) only.

Download the Display ad submission form.

You may download Adobe Reader here.

Letters to the Editor


In order to provide fair, comprehensive, factual coverage:

  1. The Gazette will not publish hearsay — that is, allegations not based on the author’s first-hand observation.
  2. Nor will we publish accusations that are unnecessary, not specific or are not substantiated by factual assertions. The Gazette will not publish gratuitous personalization. That is, no unnecessary naming of Coop members in polemical letters and articles. Writers must address ideas not persons.
  3. Submissions that make substantive accusations against specific individuals, necessary to make the point of the submission and within the Fairness, Anonymity and Respect policies will be given to those persons to enable them to write a response, and both submissions and response will be published simultaneously. This means that the original submission may not appear until the issue after the one for which it was submitted.

Unattributed letters will not be published unless the Gazette knows the identity of the writer, and therefore must be signed when submitted (giving phone number). Such letters will be published only where a reason is given to the editor as to why public identification of the writer would impose an unfair burden of embarrassment or difficulty. Such letters must relate to Coop issues and avoid any non-constructive, non-cooperative language.


Submissions to the Gazette must not be hateful, racist, sexist, otherwise discriminatory, inflammatory or needlessly provocative. They may not be personally derogatory or insulting, even when strongly criticizing an individual member’s actions.

The Gazette is a collaboration among Coop members. When submitting, please consider the impact of your words on the writers, editors and production staff who use our limited workslot time to try to produce an informative and cooperative publication that reflects the values of our Coop community.

Submission Guidelines

The Gazette will not knowingly publish letters, articles or reports that are hateful, racist, sexist, otherwise discriminatory, inflammatory or needlessly provocative.

The Gazette welcomes Coop-related articles, letters and committee reports from members that follow the published guidelines and policies. The following is a summary — please see the detailed guidelines for each type of submission on the other pages in this section.

All submissions must include author’s name, phone number and e-mail address, conform to the following guidelines and to the Fairness, Anonymity and Respect policies. Editors will reject letters, articles and reports that do not follow the guidelines or policies. Submission deadlines appear each edition in the Coop Calendar section.

You may submit on paper, typed or very legibly handwritten, or via e-mail or on disk.

Letters: Maximum 500 words. All letters will be printed if they follow the published guidelines and policies.

Voluntary Articles: Maximum 750 words. A Voluntary Article is held to a higher standard than a letter and must meet at least the following criteria: A Voluntary Article must analyze the topic it is discussing; it must present accurate, verifiable corroboration for factual assertions; it can criticize but not attack Coop practices and personnel; if critical it must present positive solutions; it cannot be solely or mainly opinion. It must strive to make a positive contribution to the understanding of the reader on a topic. If a submitted Voluntary Article is substantially opinion, it must be re-submitted, under 500 words, as a Letter to the Editor, possibly to a future issue. Editors will reject articles that are essentially just advertisements for member businesses, those of family and friends of members, solely expressions of opinion or that do not follow the guidelines and policies.

Committee Reports: Maximum 1,000 words. Reports must follow the published guidelines and policies.


Letters must be the opinion of the letter-writer and can contain no more than 25% non-original writing.

All submissions must be written by the writer. Letters or articles that are form letters, chain letters, template letters or letters prepared by someone other than the submitting member will be rejected.

Letters, articles and reports must adhere to the Fairness, Anonymity and Respect policies. They cannot be hateful, needlessly inflammatory, discriminatory libelous, personal attacks or make unsubstantiated claims or accusations or be contrary to the values of the Coop as expressed in our mission statement.

All submissions must be legible, intelligible, civil, well and concisely written with accurate, attributed, easily verifiable statements of facts separated from opinions.

Letter and article writers are limited to one letter or article per issue.

Letter and article writers cannot write gratuitous serial submissions. Editors may reject submissions to consecutive editions of the Gazette on the same topic by the same writer.

Editor-Writer Guidelines: All submissions will be reviewed and, if necessary, edited or rejected by the editor. Writers are responsible for the factual content of their stories. Editors must make a reasonable effort to contact and communicate with writers regarding any questions or proposed editorial changes. Writers must be available to editors to confer about their submissions. If a writer does not respond to requests for editorial changes, the editor may make the changes without conferring with the writer, or reject the submission. If agreement between the writer and the editor about changes does not occur after a first revision, the editor may reject the submission, and the writer may revise and resubmit for a future issue.

Member Submission Policy

The policies below apply to both articles and letters submitted by members. The only exceptions will be articles by Gazette reporters which will be required to include the response within the article itself.

In order to provide fair, comprehensive, factual coverage:


1. The Gazette will not publish hearsay—that is, allegations not based on the author’s first-hand observation.

2. Nor will we publish accusations that are not specific or are not substantiated by factual assertions.

3. Copies of submissions that make substantive accusations against specific individuals will be given to those persons to enable them to write a response, and both submissions and response will be published simultaneously. This means that the original submission may not appear until the issue after the one for which it was submitted.


Unattributed letters will not be published unless the Gazette knows the identity of the writer, and therefore must be signed when submitted (giving phone number). Such letters will be published only where a reason is given to the editor as to why public identification of the writer would impose an unfair burden of embarrassment or difficulty. Such letters must relate to Coop issues and avoid any non-constructive, non-cooperative language.


Member submissions must not be personally derogatory or insulting, even when strongly criticizing an individual member’s actions. Writers must refer to other people with respect, refrain from calling someone by a nickname that the person never uses himself or herself, and refrain from comparing other people to odious figures like Hitler or Idi Amin.