Wednesday, April 2, 2008

You read it here first

Last month I speculated:

I wonder if the rising prices of food, combined with escalating fuel prices to ship it, may make local produce, and particularly growing your own, increasingly attractive economically, not just from a flavorful and ethical standpoint.

Now in today's NY Times there's an article along similar lines.
with Michael Pollan wondering, as I have, if the rising price of corn and the competition from the biofuel industry might push up the price of high fructose syrup and thus the price of many industrial foods, making local produce more competitive.

I heard on the radio this morning - or was it yesterday morning - that projections show the amount of corn planted this year will be less. That should escalate things.

Meanwhile, in a puzzling development, at the market today the organic California Haas avocados were 99 cents, and the conventional California Haas avocados $1.89. What's going on there?

Finally, today's Press Democrat reported that the food stamp users in Sonoma County have increased by 76% since 2000. I'm not surprised. The story featured a household of 6 people, a pregnant woman, and her roommate, a single mother with four children ages 3 to 19. Together their food assistance runs to about $600 per month, which does not stretch very well.
Again, I'm not surprised, though I suspect those two middle children qualify for free school and summer lunches, which could help. What annoyed me was that I don't think any of those people know how to cook - if they did, they might eat better for more days in the month.

"The month starts with lunch meats, some cuts of beef or chicken to throw on the barbecue, bread and fresh vegetables. But by the end of the month, they have exchanged bread for rice, cut out meat and almost all vegetables."

And the key interviewee reports that she eats well for a week and a half and then it's just rice.
Maybe it's cooking AND budgeting - those skills that have been lost.


John Leech said...

FYI Paul Krugman, "Grains Gone Wild" - on the world food crisis - in the New York Times

John Leech said...

Worth checking out
True Food

Rebecca Morris begins a year of eating 'real food'

following Michael Pollan's advice

'eat food - not too much - mostly plants'