Please note: After several successful years, the Open Minds blog will be closing. For further details, please visit our FAQ

Currently showing: Food security > Farming

17 Oct 13 07:38

Today is Word Food day and the slogan is "Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition". Currently we have none of the two for a large part of the global population - and the reason that it is this way is…
Because we don't value food.

We say that we want organic farming, secure incomes for farmers and the best healthy food available.
And when we go to the supermarket we buy the cheapest largest pack of meat for our barbecue that is out there.

When we find out later, that this meat comes actually from factory farming we are shocked.
But why really? What did we expect? Good food does not come cheap.

A fair wage for a farmer means that consumers have to pay for it.
Organic farming means less yield and more work - consumers have to pay for it.

If we really want better lives for our farmers and with it a better quality of the food on our table, we have to put our money where our mouth is.
So we have to pay more especially for organic food and good wages.

If we are not willing to do this we should no longer complain if what's on our plate is not what we want.
After all, we get what we pay for.

Cheap food is an addiction we must break

Tobias Jones: It's easy to make Tesco a pantomime villain, but shoppers and farmers must share the blame

Category: Food security: Farming, Food industry


Rashunda Tramble - 17 Oct 2013, 9:06 a.m.

What about someone on a fixed income who doesn't have that much money and has to watch their pennies? They get what they deserve too? I'm not sure if the sitaution is as simple that.

Edited to add: I'm looking at the background of the Guardian article's author on his website. I'm not really sure he's ever had to pinch pennies.:-)

Alicia Montoya - 17 Oct 2013, 11:06 a.m.

I agree with Kurt: You get what you pay for. Having said this, I have to say my experience in different countries could not differ more. In London and Belgium many focus on getting more for less. I think Switzerland is exceptional in the average willingness to pay more for local, quality food.

And I agree with Rashunda in that ALL food sold should be safe and nutritious.

Point is, middle class households used to spend up to 30% in food. Today, they spend less than 10% on average. So I say let's demand basic standards from the FDA and equivalents in other countries so that all food conforms to proper standards.. and let's learn to value our food more and spend a little more time and money on buying, cooking and eating quality food.

Rashunda Tramble - 17 Oct 2013, 1:28 p.m.

I think taking country and community situations into account makes a big difference. I watched this special on "food deserts" a few days ago:

Although I don't totally agree with the concept of "food deserts" (I think there are some situations in which healthy food is available, but folks choose to buy stuff I wouldn't feed my neighbor's cat) the argument is an interesting one: there are areas where people do not have a real choice. @Alicia: I totally, totally agree. There should be basic standards across countries. I also think subsidies and tax breaks for organic farmers could help with costs.

Paritosh - 18 Oct 2013, 6:44 p.m.

The food is expensive cause we, the people who are on the internet, want taste and we don't mind to waste.

If you want to know the real value of the food, fast a complete day and feel that hunger! This hunger is what people who do not have regular income, are afraid of. The fear of this hunger is what makes people fearless of their life and commit crimes....

Frankly, I feel it funny to even choose between organic and inorganic food, when I am surrounded by people who just want to eat that cheapest food and wishing they will have the same luck tomorrow and the day after!

If you would like to leave a comment, please, log in.