Why is that Americans will spend $$$$+ on a car or clothes but only $ on food?
In this chapter, Joel says, “Never has a society spent less of its disposable income on food, as a percentage of all expenditures.”
Have you noticed that society also spends more on medicines now too? Coincidence? I think not.
If you’ve read this chapter, and I hope that you have, you will remember Joel’s stories about how being a farmer is not considered a “viable occupation” in the eyes of many government agencies. (remember the story our apprentice who wanted to marry a girl from Canada?) And yet it’s farmers who feed the world, or is it a machine? I’m always forgetting. (notice my sarcasm here)
Joel writes: “We started this chapter talking about cheap food policies and disrespected farmers. I would suggest that the real elitists in our culture are those who would deny the first-line stewards of our nutrition and our landscape their rightful place in society. I’m all about restoring the Jeffersonian intellectual agrarian. Every one of us – farmers, urbanites, condo dwellers – can join this great return to Jeffersonion normalcy by elevation the place of food in our lives to its rightful altar. That can be one giant step toward restoring normalcy.
“How about some practical ideas?
- Complain to your farmer that he isn’t charging enough.
- Display good stickers on your refrigerator or car bumper: “Know your farmer” -type language.
- Do some price comparisons between processed and unprocessed foods.
- Look at your expenditures and see what is unnecessary. Add that amount to your food budget. Do that for 3 months and then tell me you don’t have enough money for good food.
- Before saying anyone can’t afford good food, make sure their house contains no alcohol, coffee, tobacco, soda, frozen dinners, flat-screen TV’s, iPods, tattoos, or unsingable music.”
Michael Pollan, Author of Omnivore’s Dilemma, says
“Cheap food is an illusion. There is no such thing as cheap food. The real cost of the food is paid somewhere. And if it isn’t paid at the cash register, it’s charged to the environment or to the public purse in the form of subsidies. And it’s charged to your health.”