The cost of bio food production
Posted on February 26th, 2014
It has been said that "For the foreseeable future, organic food production can make vegetables so expensive that many of the poorer people in society will not be able to afford them so that their diet and health will suffer."
Which society are we talking about here, because the poorer people in Europe are very different from the poorer people in Africa? The health of Africans is already suffering today and not through lack of chemicals, but lack of management. The oil money in many African states that could be ploughed into irrigation projects tends to buy weapons instead. In Europe, the obscenity is in the contradiction of saying that we need high productivity to feed the poor but also massive choice to feed the whims of the wealthy. And the choice comes through high energy consuming imports in general, not employment-creating local farming.
Lowering productivity and improving quality, means producing fewer varieties of low meat high fat content sausages and a limited choice of high quality lean nutritious, slow-growing fruits and vegetables. It appears that bio food is more expensive. But privilege quality and not quantity and you may find that for the same cost, you need less food, since there is indeed more nutrition in it. I suggest some real work is needed here to determine whether bio food is better or not. I have no doubts about that, but what is the battle here?
To convince science that it is wrong? No! That is not the aim because, of course, each individual has the freedom to choose his way. But if it were true, we could exit from this consumerism, over -production, hell for leather life. (I believe that there is a parallel with our fear of death: we produce and cure because we do not accept that as there is life there is also death. We wish to play God. In any case God for me is a human construct as part of a megalomaniac alter-ego.
Look just at the way that God and religion has been used far more for domination than for peace!) But the generalisation of bio methods, through effective communication can reduce the costs, but when in competition with the food distribution system as it has evolved, with individual wrapping and costs going into, not the foodstuff, but the presentation, bio food may not be competitive. But the question is not just economics, it is: what is better? The contradiction between economies of scale and producing just what we need is not negligible. Bio methods and economies of scale are probably contradictions in terms.