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Food random

2008-11-07 16:09:57.35956+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

Charlene has been on a diet that involves her going through a lot of vegetables. It ain't cheap, but she probably peaked around a size 18, she's down to a size 8 now, so I can't complain. What it has done, however, is change how I think of the food portion of our budget. Groceries are now a big portion of the pie chart, which means that things that used to be extravagances in the food budget are now noise. When we're spending that much on kale and chard every week, does it really matter how much the olive oil that we buy every few months costs?

As China's food system experiences systemic breakdown (and do you know how much Chinese cream is in your butter? How about your candy bars?), and that olive oil is increasingly suspect, this is letting me get in touch with our food supply chain a little bit more. I eat less cheese, but it tastes a lot better, and I think I know which fields those cows graze. Today the Press Democrat has an article on the local olive oil business.

In general, I think this is the trend of the libertarian thinking on food safety: We can't trust governments to keep our food supplies safe, we have to start rebuilding those personal relationships ourselves. This is going to cost a lot. The costs of food as a percent of our budget are going to go back up to the proportions that they were earlier in the last century, possibly even higher. And this will have an impact on the rest of our spending...

[ related topics: Politics Libertarian Food Bay Area Current Events ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-11-07 17:45:15.85751+00 by: ebradway

Sounds like a localvore to me... And I've been a big believer in "victory gardens". The safest (and cheapest) food is what you've grown yourself.

Asha and I are always shocked when we look at our food bill - especially when fresh veggies are in season and the center of our diet. Lately we've been padding the diet with whole grains (rice, barley, buckwheat).

Fortunately, we have a choice of both natural grocery stores and great local TSAs. We generally shop at Vitamin Cottage. They only stock organic and focus on locally produced food. Of course, that means they are frequently out of stuff we liked to get year-round and it's not always the most appealing to look at. This is in contrast to Whole (Foods) Paycheck which happens to be right next door to the Vitamin Cottage we frequent (they even share the parking lot). Prices are still stiff because it's hard to get anything to grow in Colorado. But at least the quality is there.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-11-10 22:44:08.475508+00 by: radix

Buy and eat local just makes more and more sense: 1) food security 2) healthier (processed less, may be organic, may use natural pest repellants, fresher) 3) if you grow it yourself, you may be able to save money (definitely herbs!!)

This is my spring project I'm preparing for. Right now I'm deciding how to manage the deer and rabbits. (buy a dog? build/fortify fence? open to ideas....)

#Comment Re: made: 2008-11-11 01:54:19.211728+00 by: Dan Lyke

When I was a kid, I seem to remember a few tricks we used to combat the deer, including planting the outer few rows of corn a week or two later than the main field, and I know neighbors had automated shotgun sounds. But both of those require some acreage.

I know when we lived in Lagunitas I was this close to just considering the deer local food...

#Comment Re: made: 2008-11-12 04:03:57.515455+00 by: Larry Burton

Rabbits and deer aren't local food?

#Comment Re: made: 2008-11-12 14:01:49.727541+00 by: Dan Lyke

There's a bunch of processing that needs to occur...

#Comment Re: made: 2008-11-14 03:16:16.043957+00 by: Larry Burton

Okay, with deer there is a good bit more meat than one would eat all at once so there is going to be some butchering, but with rabbits the only processing is gut, skin, cook and eat.