The Local Economy

I’ve been thinking on something for a while.  Perhaps the farm blog is not the place to get political, but why not?  The fact that we have this farm at all is something of a political statement.  It says I don’t trust my government enough to believe it will keep me safe and provided for.  It says I think things have been completely bungled to the point of no return.   Robert at Robert’s Roost wrote this post which turned on a light bulb for me. 

We all know local food is ‘good’ right?  But why exactly?  Fresher food, smaller carbon foot print;  health and environmental reasons galore.  but what about the political statement you make when you spend your food dollar with someone local instead of Kraft (ceo Irene Rosenfeld -2010 compensation $16.7 million), Archer-Daniels Midland (Patricia Woertz $11 million) or Monsanto (Hugh Grant #13 million).  Every time you spend money with one of the big corporations you are in fact endorsing business as usual.  You are saying it’s okay that big business is better represented than the populace, it’s okay to put profits in front of people.

Our county has approx 140,000 people residing in it.  If the average food expenditure per week is $40 per person that would put our county’s food expenditure at 5.6million dollars a week, 291 million per year!  Imagine what our county would look like if just 10% of those millions stayed here in the county an were re-spent with-in the local economy.   29 million dollars floating through local dentists, restaurants, auto dealers, etc.  It boggles the mind.  It we could collectively see past the short-term gain of buying that ground hamburger on sale for $2.99, or take the extra time to go pick apples instead of getting them shipped to us from Chile, imagine the benefits long-term!   We are selling ourselves to the lowest bidder every time we open our wallets.

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One response to “The Local Economy

  • Judy

    What a great way to look at local foods. I guess I know that keeping the money local is a good thing (I’d much rather pay my neighbor than some faceless corporation) but I never really thought of the total amount of money spent on food in the county before. Thanks for the eye opener.

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