I can’t say how many times I’ve tried to explain all of this when people complain about the higher price of local food- you’re paying higher prices for it no matter what, even if it doesn’t show up on your receipt.
Some salient facts from this really quite excellently written article:
- People in the US spend only 7% of their income on food, compared with 13% in France, and an astounding 38% in Vietnam.
- The US has lost 800,000 small farmers and ranchers in the last 40 years (in large part thanks to consolidation – Food and Water Watch has a great report on this)
- From 1970 to 2006 the US lost 88% of its dairy farms, while the average size of the farms went from 19 to 120 cows.
- The US uses 22% of all pesticides in the world- 1.1 billion pounds per year.
That cheap food isn’t as cheap as it seems.