The True Cost of Sustainable Food – A Paradigm Shift

The True Cost of Food

The True Cost of Food


Every vote with your food dollar helps shape the future of food in Jozi and encourages some farmer who cares about doing it properly to continue to do so.
Remember when you are comparing the price of pastured animals versus factory ‘farmed’ animals that you are not at all comparing apples with apples.
There are no short cuts with the farmers we choose, they are not using cheap food, antibiotics, growth hormones and feeding them junk.
The chicken is not farmed in mass volumes. The commitment to their welfare and roaming area is obviously way more expensive than battery operations – a free range farmer doing it properly like Mandy is rearing 5 chickens in the space a commercial operation would fit 20 – minimum and I’m being generous in my comparison.
They are not injecting the chicken with brine. You are paying for the flesh of a healthy chicken, not chlorinated water and antibiotics.
The sizes of these chickens also vary and are generally much larger than your typical store versions. Where our average chicken size at the moment is around 1.7kg’s, your typical chicken in the stores is only at 1.2kg.  It was killed earlier which also lowers the feed cost for the larger battery and conventional farmers.
Our farmers are not taking short cuts for efficiency sake. It is only efficiency that lowers the cost of things. In real food terms, efficiency means short cuts taken that compromise the quality and welfare of the animal’s life.
That is where the efficiency in price cuts gets affected, which isn’t cute when it’s life you’re talking about.
With conventional fruit and vegetables, the cost of efficiency comes at the expense of the quality of the health and life of the soil. Infertile soil means lost land to future generations and water systems polluted with pesticides and artificial fertilizers. Organic fruit and vegetables on the other hand involve keeping the soil, plants and water systems clean and unpolluted.
When you are about to purchase cheap food – you have to ask yourself – who is covering the true cost of it,  if it isn’t you?  The animal? The soil? The water table? The life of insects that are wiped out with conventional pesticides? How about bees? The animal’s welfare? The environment? Does it come at the cost of your health?
Is the price saving happening at the expense of live soil? Where is the cost actually being incurred?
There is no cheap food other than that which you grow yourself.
I need to stress that whenever you see ‘cheap’ meat, and trust me that conventional meat is ‘cheap’, the saving you are making in your wallet comes at the expense of the quality of that animal’s life. The cost is being outsourced to the environment somewhere along the line. Every single time.
Animals fed on their natural diet and not grown in ‘efficient’ factory farms, cannot ever compete with factory farms where the animal is nothing more than a product in an assembly line. I’d rather drive a rubbish car and pay what I need to for humanely reared and properly nourished and fed animals, than look for the cheapest food which costs some animal dignity and a life and pollutes the earth I inhabit.
We need to place a higher value on food and the interconnected health of all, perhaps prioritise it over other material possessions?
You’re paying how much for your face wash but you want your animal protein cheap?
It pains me when I watch somebody pay a small fortune for a commercial clothing brand, handbag or car but quibble over the cost of their chicken or carrots. It’s insanity. Truly. What has become of our values? Why are we valuing lipstick over carrots and eggs? Over nourishment?
Why do we spend so much money trying to fit in and ‘look good’. And we don’t question this? But we’re want all our saving to come out of our grocery bills?
As a society, we’re paying an absolute fortune to conform to absurd ideals set by the media and to ‘fit in’. Hold that notion in your head and look at how much money is actually going into ‘looking good’? That is money wasted because it is never going to buy you what you think it is. Your Lois Vuitton bag is not going to make you more attractive or get you more love. It is probably more going to help attract people into your world who are just as insecure and confused about their worth.
Why do we value this kind of nonsense over farms, the future of our planet, our nutrition and what we’re fuelling out bodies with? Our children’s bodies with?
Is the Jozi Real Food Revolution – a revolution in values more than anything?
Where we start to place the highest value on our nutrition and the farming of our food and the resurrection of soil over and above material brands and commercial nonsense?
I hope so. I’m here because I think we are shifting and we are returning to a more life more centred on more meaningful values.
I think the bubble in the illusion that branding means anything has popped, we’ve seen the abuse that occurs behind the scenes of factory farms, we’ve seen health fail monumentally in western societies, we’ve watched the industrial margarine generation eating off conveyor belts get heart disease despite being told the industrial oil would prevent heart disease over real butter, we’re watching obesity soar, we’re hearing more and more about how common food additives and conventional food props are actual carcinogens, we’ve seen rats grow tumours on GM corporate maize. The crises is making us turn around and realize the true value in society of our farmers, of our water, of our animals, or our plants, of our insects, of our air, of our soil. Of nature.
I will do my utmost to get you the best prices but I will never squeeze a sustainable farmer and threaten their livelihood.
Any efficiency he makes comes at the cost of the quality of the feed, or the animal’s welfare. A farmer trying to lower the cost has to either cheapen the feed or grow the animal quicker (hormones) and reduce the space that the animal takes up so that he can do higher volumes (take living space away from the animal and when the effects of the poor diet, stress and cramped conditions hit the animals immune system and they get diseased, add antibiotics to their feed).
We’ve learnt that outsourcing the cost of food to the environment, harms her. We’ve polluted the sea, we’ve polluted the soil, we’re getting fatter, we’re getting sicker, heart disease, cancer and diabetes levels continue to soar, it’s time to prioritize our food spend a little more highly. Over cosmetics, over all the props we use to ‘look good’, over luxury vehicles, over clothing, over gadgets, everybody can adjust their budget to better reflect being more committed to nutrition, the earth, the ethical treatment of animals, the quality of your nutrition and the future of your soil and planet.
I would suggest that it makes more sense to pay less for your handbag off a Chinese conveyor belt and more for a chicken raised properly.
Your health will thank you for it.
 
 
 

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