To the Editor,
Re: We’re getting less for more these days, Letters, Jan. 22.
Last month a local grocery store flyer advertised a bag of peppers for $3.99. For a heat-loving vegetable that’s been trucked here from Mexico in January, the grocer doesn’t ask for much. But are the peppers truly cheap?
Personally, I don’t think so. When you buy ‘cheap’ food at the supermarket, someone else subsidizes your meal. The grocery store doesn’t take the hit; it passes the costs on to the people who grew and harvested your food. And when we ship cheap food all over the place, the environment pays the difference.
The letter writer suggests the government look at “wage and price controls.” In my opinion, if supermarkets faced wage and price controls, they would force farmers to make up the difference. That, or they would lower the wages of their already underpaid on-the-floor employees.
However, I love the idea of growing food rather than ornamentals. Who needs cheap peppers in January, anyway? My partner and I grow our own food. We save piles of money, we eat well, and we have good food to share with our neighbours. I think if enough people start growing their own food, we’ll see an increase in food security for the whole community, and, hopefully, an increase in local small-scale farming.
People who live in poverty may have little choice about where their food comes from, but I think everyone would benefit from a food revolution.