Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cheap food

I've written before about the problems of cheap food. Our hunger for it is feeding a lot of terrible practices, such as giant agribiz monoculture farms, overuse of pesticides and fertilizers, not to mention sad, bland produce and fake food products on the grocery shelves (Snacknotsowells, for example).

The picture I paint on this blog is that we should all be shelling out real dough for local, organic produce at the farmer's market and grassfed/pasture raised meat and dairy. Well, maybe that works if you have the access and the funds. But as it's becoming painfully clear, most of the people world do not have the access and funds to buy their food this way. They need cheap food. And it's only getting worse.

Bee Wilson reviewed four books on this subject in this week's New Yorker:

It's a fascinating article. Here's the clincher, as Wilson puts it: "No one has yet discovered how to raise prices for the overfed rich without squeezing the underfed poor." It's become clear that The Market hasn't solved this problem. So what do we do? How do we solve this conundrum? Wilson ends with this quote from Roberts: "the real question is no longer what a rich country would do voluntarily but what it might do if its other options were worse."

1 comment:

liz said...

off the subject......i thought of you today when the east bay municipal left a recorded message about water rules for the day. i guess there are days like no burn days and they leave a message to tell people.

anyway- interesting. timely.