The cost of food

Images-1I read a really interesting article in the December/January issue of Monocle called Milked Dry by Sophie Grove.  She wrote about the cost of food. 

More and more people are interested in knowing exactly what they are eating.  There is a wave of consumers who want to buy local which I hope turns into a tsunami.  That means buying from their local farmers for fruits, vegetables and grains at the greenmarket and their butchers that source meat locally including purveyors who are making food that has no additives in it.  I am one of those consumers.  

There is no doubt that the cost of buying food like this is expensive.  You are paying for the cost of producing food in small quanities on family farms.  The upside is that you know what you are eating.  This concept is the return of Main street where people would stop at their cheesemonger, their bread maker, their butcher or their vegetable stand until someone came up with the idea of a one stop shop grocery store.  That was when everything changed.

Here are some interesting statistics that Grove noted in her article.  In 1930 we spent 21% of our disposable income on food, in the 1950's it dropped to 17% and now it hovers around 6% (3.9% for eating out).  The policies have been oriented towards lowering prices creating cheap mass manufactured food. Those policies have also led to obesity and heart disease. 

It won't be easy but I'd like to see us slowly turn back that clock.  Smaller portions with more vegetables with high quality meats that aren't injected with hormones.  Create more farming jobs that provide locals with their food supply and pay them what they deserve for healthy products.  It is good for our health and it is also good for the econmy.