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Why is Some Food Cheap?

I Can Only Afford Conventional Food

Rather than complain that organic food is expensive, perhaps we should be asking why is some food so cheap?  The cheapest food in the grocery store is always the processed foods.  Chips and soda, boxed foods and frozen meals.  Why is this food so cheap?  Even conventional vegetables seem beyond a weekly food budget for some.  But what are the consequences of this cheap food?

And is it really true that we can only afford conventional cheap food?  Is that really true?  Really?  Really does the world need to survive on processed foods?  Is this the only way to feed the world?  

Ask yourself this: Is it right that my hard earned tax dollars are going to support cheap corn prices so I can eat cheap beef, corn chips and soda? 

When I talk about what I can afford to buy, do I really want to defend a shopping list out of foods that have been sprayed with chemicals and cheaply processed?  My common sense says, no.

I believe that cheap crops actually cost us more because we have to consume more to get the same nutritional value.  What is the cost of a low-nutrient-density diet and a diet full of GMOs?  Health care expenses.  It’s the cost of diabetes, the cost of liver disease, the cost of celiac disease, the cost of cancer.  It’s the low productivity results of these diseases.  It’s not just a cost to society, but it is a direct cost to you.  Your health care bills and your health insurance costs all are related to the costs of poor public health.  Think about comparing your monthly health bills and your grocery bills.  Wouldn’t you rather give more money to small farmers than to insurance companies?

Around much of the world, and most prevalently in the United States, we are accustomed to eating large quantities and lots of calories because of the food choices that we make. 

We enjoy eating giant plates of pasta and foot-long subs and eating our hamburgers whenever we have the urge.  We are in the habit of indulging. 

But habits can change and when we become attracted to integrated living and finding providers who care about our needs those changes will be supported. 

We will find ourselves shopping at markets that offer real, whole foods to nurture and nourish our bodies and we realize that the real value of our food is reflected in the cost of organic farming. 

The real cost of food is not reflected at the fast food restaurant or down the middle aisles of your grocery store.  The cost of that food is underwritten by the government because BigAg and AgroChem, among other industries, profit from subsidized support of the underlying crops that are grown.  Is the real cost of food reflected at your local farmers market?  Who knows.  Perhaps the reason why that food is expensive, in relative terms, is because the other stuff is getting government subsidies.  As long as the current system exists as it does, perhaps we will never know what the true cost of healthy food is.  But I believe we can get back to a society where eating organic foods is readily available and accessible and easier on your monthly budget because as more demand produces more supply those costs will come down too. 

As we build a foundation within ourselves of awareness and understanding and as we begin to truly value our own lives and the lives of our family, making healthy choices just becomes a way of life.  These are choices for everyone.  Everyone can live an organic life. 

~Kristine

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