Hidden costs of food
Premium for a better product.
You might be spending more today than if you were to shop at a supermarket and buy cheap watery meat. But you are ignoring the hidden costs. You are basically subsidising a negative outcome and impact on the world if you buy cheap. Treat animals well and they treat you well back.
The true cost varies according to how the food is produced and how well or poorly it contributes to a healthy diet.
The mainstream approaches to food production, distribution, retailing and consumption are causing significant damage to the environment, to soil, to the climate, to biodiversity, to rural communities and to public health. We are paying the costs of diet related disease.
The costs are often deferred on to future generations or other countries. You only have to look at the news today to see examples of climate change, soil degradation, rainforest destruction and species extinction. Despite the fact that food appears never to have been cheaper, when we look beneath the surface, we are actually paying far more for it than we might possibly imagine.
What can I do about it?
You can make a start by shopping with transparency - make sure you know where you food is coming from and how it is produced. Eat a healthy and sustainable diet. Gain on-farm experience - connect with the farmers.
Just ask yourself when you are looking at a cheap bit of meat or veg, why is it this cheap? There maybe perfectly good reasons for instance it might be wonky or nearing shelf life. But more often than not it is probably because the veg has had plenty of chemicals used in its growing, or the chicken has lived an uphappy and pent up life.
It's a mind shift that needs changing. There is actually a massive trend going on in food and agriculture. You might even be part of it, where provenance and sustainability and healthy diet is at the top of your buying credentials.
Why not set a goal of just asking yourself the provenance question when you buy some food, do you believe it and are you happy with it.... It will make shopping more interesting I am sure.