La Tierra y Bicicleta: The Earth and Bicycle

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Here are some reviews/further information on the Omnivore’s Dilemma: Eco-Worriers, We Are What We Eat, Unhappy Meals, and The Omnivore’s Delusion.

My further thoughts on the book: The Omnivore’s Dilemma is a worthwhile read and is well researched. The biggest problem I have with the book is Pollan’s solution to the industrial food production system, that is, one based upon locally grown organic foods. Unfortunately, this is only possible for the affluent because not everyone can afford Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck).  Pollan would argue that cheap food is cheaper because it doesn’t account for environmental, economic, and social externalities. This is true.  But with the raising cost of even so called cheap (non-organic) food, families across the world still struggle to put food on the table and sometimes they have to settle for the $2.99/gallon conventional milk vs. the $5.39/gallon organic milk. When organic foods are priced competitively Pollan’s alternative to the industrial food system will be possible. Why is organic food so expensive, anyway? Organic food typically costs 10-40% more than the same conventional product. These organic farmers also do not receive federal subsidies like conventional farmers (like the corn & soy bean farmers in particular). One of the first steps in creating an even playing field for organics is to end these corn/soy federal subsidies. I have to wonder at times if organic foods somehow operate outside of the supply and demand model. This link here is one of many that suggests that the supply is limited to the insatiable demand. Shouldn’t a higher level of demand create a larger supply? Where are the $11 billion/year organic profits going to? Apparently not expanding operations to lower cost.

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Written by latierraybicicleta

November 19, 2009 at 1:42 pm

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