Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Real Costs of Food II

In my last blog, I made a statement that for a while local food is going to cost more than your average grocery store alternatives, and it should, because food in general has cost far too little for too long. My point was not that food, or anything else for that matter, that is more expensive is better simply because you shell out more money for it. Eveything, and especially food, should reflect the real costs that went into producing it. Food, the sustenance of our bodies, has such a profound effect on us and the world we live in, that the price we pay for food should include all costs. I suspect that over time, as global transportation becomes more expensive and the costs of food production more normalized around the world, the cost of producing food right around your corner will be cheaper than something produced half a world away. This is as good a reason this morning to protect open space and preserve local farms. Once they are gone, they can't be brought back. And since my supposition is that what goes around comes around. Then once the basic need for local food production comes home to roost, we need some open ground to plant those seeds. But for today, it costs more to grow food locally than least as defined by the ring at the register. The long term survivial of our communities requires us to look past the short term savings and support your local farmers by paying a little bit more. You'll appreciate it tomorrow and so will your kids. That's all I am saying.


Blogger Shannon said...

Hello Mike,

In the last few months, you may remember receiving an email invitation to become a part of the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher Program. With all the recipe-writing and food photography to be completed, we know emails can easily get lost in the shuffle, so Foodbuzz would like to re-extend our offer of inviting you to be a part of our food blogger network. I would love to send you more details about the program, so if you are interested, please email me at


Shannon Eliot
Editorial Assistant,

2:15 PM  
Blogger Cooper said...

Yes - food costs too little. Yes - local commerce makes everybody stronger.
But folks will only buy your peaches and my chicken if they believe it is better, in some much more immediate, personal, tangible way.
Once you get them to your door, taste, texture, immediate observation of proper husbandry, processing and care, whether apples or lambs, win the day. So that is what you promise them, not that they can help save the world.
There is a big advantage here - this is a promise we control.
Folks won't come back for long to be noble. They will to eat well.

7:59 PM  

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