Saturday, February 12, 2011

Food Prices Going Up... again

Photo from Myki Roventine's photostream

One of the things I simply cannot grow or make myself is coffee (unless I win the lotto and build a mega-dollar heated greenhouse!)... and coffee is supposed to increase by 10% soon. (I expect other foods will quickly follow. You'd best get your seed order placed, and your pantry re-stocked ASAP!)

We all know that coffee isn't sold in pound increments anymore; in the last few years it has been generally packaged in 12 oz. bags, rather than the old one pound cans. It took a while before everyone noticed the ratio of size to price changed back then... (Size changed, price didn't.) Two weeks ago I bought a pack of coffee without looking closely; it's what I always buy, and nothing looked different. It was the same visual size as all the other packs on the shelf, so nothing alerted me to the fact it was only 10 oz. (and the same price as the 12 oz. was a month ago) until I got it home. Grrrrrr...

I recommend you look closely at package size as well as price when shopping. More and more items visually appear to be the same quantity as before, for the same price.... but a closer look may prove that as deceiving. Meats, chicken and beer have risen recently and grains are taking a big hit. Volume pricing is generally less expensive BUT you must check the unit price... because sometimes a larger box costs more per unit.

Those of us who care about food quality are no doubt more than merely dismayed at the recent approval by the current Administration of TWO Monsanto genetically altered crops. (I prefer to think it is simply Hanlon's Razor at work, rather than a giant conspiracy of some sort to control our food.... although Henry Kissinger did say, "Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people."

I read in one of the news blurbs that the President said he feared there wouldn't be enough food if these crops were not allowed. So, the hungry need to be fed sugar, and alfalfa? Gimme a Break. The sugar will just increase profits made off of our already unhealthy national diet, and I'm not sure who benefits from the GMO alfalfa besides Monsanto.

Mark Bittman had an interesting post in the NY Times earlier this month, "A Food Manifesto for the Future". I'll list his ideas below, but one of them strikes me of worth more than a quick perusal. It's the suggestion to break up the USDA... citing among other things their conflicting goals. He says, " can’t sell garbage while telling people not to eat it."

Mr. Bittman goes into more detail about each of these goals in his article linked above. As he says, they are goals frequently discussed in many places... but not implemented anywhere. Frankly, I personally doubt they ever WILL be as long as BigBusiness pulls the strings.... but they are reasonable, sustainable goals within our reach otherwise.

*End government subsidies to processed food.

*Begin subsidies to those who produce and sell actual food for direct consumption.

*Break up the U.S. Department of Agriculture and empower the Food and Drug Administration. "Currently, the U.S.D.A. counts among its missions both expanding markets for agricultural products (like corn and soy!) and providing nutrition education. These goals are at odds with each other; you can’t sell garbage while telling people not to eat it, and we need an agency devoted to encouraging sane eating."

*Outlaw concentrated animal feeding operations and encourage the development of sustainable animal husbandry.

*Encourage and subsidize home cooking.

*Tax the marketing and sale of unhealthful foods.

*Reduce waste and encourage recycling.

*Mandate truth in labeling.

*Reinvest in research geared toward leading a global movement in sustainable agriculture.

Photo from cambodia4kidsorg's photostream

I do get very tired of my voice not being heard, or perhaps heard but ignored... and I know I am not alone in the battle for real food.


  1. It just won't work. The government is only looking to save the economy here and that means getting people to buy---anything. If we made it all ourselves and did all that home cooking, we wouldn't have to buy near as much.

  2. Hi Darius,
    I think we need to end the FDA, the USDA, and "corporate personship". We need to end the revolving door between bigag companies so people like Michael Taylor can't go back and forth and people like Clarence Thomas must recuse themselves in deciding these cases. Mandatory food labeling and education about the true dangers of gmos might take a nick out of bigag's pocket, and spending all that money for the USDA to cozy up to its dairy and meat buddies who brainwash us into thinking their products are good for us...but sadly, the broke in debt feds are going to come after us even more thru the whole alphabet soup of govt agencies. And maybe their isn't a conspiracy, but Kissinger and all his buddies sure do want it all, so who cares if there's a conspiracy or not--there are many forces trying to usurp all our rights and our money.
    People my age will pay into SS but will never see a dime back.

  3. Becky, I don't buy much outside of food because the goods available are so shabbily-made... or so expensive they are unaffordable.

    Perhaps Quality eloped with Integrity and fled?

  4. Yesterday I saw on Yahoo a story about a tiny mini dollhouse lending library a man started.

    How awesome would it be if all of America had Tiny dollhouse recycle libraries on post right by the mailboxes.

    The structure could be large enough to hold seven small items every week. The stystem would work on your honor (take an item leave an item / or as they say if you haven't got anything to leave leave a nice note.)

    IN this way we could all help each other out and cost would be almost none as we all clear the clutter out of our homes and swap via a simple system.

    The system could work like any other system that offers (time shift when each person is doing the drop off and pick up) In this way it makes the system work for all!

    We just all need the Recycle Hut (or dollhouse type Lending Library on the post next to our mailboxes)

    1. What a great idea! My personal library has many, many OOP books related to sustainability that will probably get trashed when I die.

      The public library in my town sucks if anyone reads higher than 6th grade level or doesn't love pulp fiction.


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