Re: Meal Cleaners—any good solutions for getting 'em?
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2012 05:17:50 -0700 (PDT)
David L. Mandel <dlmandel [at]>
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Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
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An interesting and valid observation. Thanks. It would be interesting
to see if trying something like our system increased the frequency of
meals and participation levels.

Common meals were in fact a major cornerstone, so to speak, of
cohousing as we imagined it from the very start. So there is peer
pressure to participate in the meals system; some people do their part
cooking but rarely come other others' meals, due to introversion,
schedule or some other reason. But while cook team participation is
required if you want to eat regularly, we realize it is not
enforceable, and in any given period, there are usually a few people
who don't. Typically they ask for a "sabbatical," but sometimes not.
And average attendance at meals dropped off noticeably shortly after
we moved in, as did the number of meals a month (less drastically).
But these have pretty much remained steady ever since, for 18 years,
fluctuating with the menus, the cooks' reputation and accidents of


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