First, let me say that I’m not happy about the world food crisis in so much as people are starving and dying and rioting over the cost of rice. That’s not really what this post is about. However, in the western world, we’ve had it pretty easy for a very long time in terms of food costs. We’ve demanded cheap food and the corporations have met that demand. Governments are subsidizing farmers to notgrow food, and cheap junk or processed food is contributing to a variety of health concerns.
But as food commodity prices rise, along with the cost of the oil required to produce and acquire those foods, it’s kind of refreshing to see articles like this one in USA Today that shows people reverting back to real food, and even growing their own.
For a long time, advocates of Slow, ethical, local and organic food have been bewildered at the fact that people are just not willing to pay higher prices for food. The same person willing to spends $1000 on a sofa, or (sweet sassy molassy) $3000 on a handbag, will go eat at a fast food drive-through because it’s cheap. We care more about the quality of what we put on our bodies, or what we put our bodies on, than we do about the quality of the food we’re putting in our bodies. Which is absolutely shameful.
So while I’m not celebrating the fact that higher food prices are putting people in dire straits, I can’t help but hope that maybe higher food prices will get people thinking more about what they eat, or that it will get them into the kitchen to cook their food from scratch, or out to a farmers market to spend their hard-earned money on real food, not processed fillers and crap.