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Rent a granny?! Has the sharing economy gone too far?

Grandmother cooking

Nope, you’ve not read it wrong – older, wiser individuals are leading cooking classes and offering sage advice for a price. It’s a genuine ‘thing’ and is all down to the growing popularity of the sharing economy.

Lou Papé is a new app-based service seemingly taking France by storm. The technology allows those of perhaps more advanced years to offer their culinary skills either as a cookery teacher or chef. Their customers could be anyone from those looking to learn new kitchen skills to a busy couple who just want to enjoy some quality home-cooked food.

Rent a retiree

Now, I recognise that there’s potentially tonnes of social good in this app.

For one, it helps connect what could be a big isolated group of senior citizens with a whole other generation that could frankly learn a lot – not just about traditional cooking, but life in general.

While it seems like a good idea to connect these people in a structured way, it does, however, leave me wondering whether the sharing economy is going a bit too far? It’s one thing to share a taxi fare with a stranger, but it’s another to share a grandmother or grandfather…

I’m not sure how comfortable I’d be with my grandmother sharing her closely guarded recipe for chicken soup or even barmbrack. And equally, I’m not convinced I’d pay for a grandmother or grandfather to come round and cook a four course meal for me and my friends.

That said, this service is thriving in France and has just celebrated its second birthday.

Sharing economy

It would be fair to say that I’m really intrigued by the sharing economy and have used lots of useful services.

It’s not just Airbnb, Uber or Borrow My Doggy either – there are also more practical services like renting out your washing machine to someone local so they can use it when you aren’t or even in some cases, hiring out your front room for a few hours each day so someone can come and work from it. And if I had my own place then I could definitely see myself renting out my washing machine for a couple of hours.

So where do you stand on this? Would you share your washing machine for a few hours, your car or culinary skills with a complete stranger? Can you think of anything else you’d be willing to share?

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