4 February 2024
I read an article this week about how stubbornly high the cost of food remains. (Inflation has fallen. Why are groceries still so expensive?). If you want to know the reasons, you can read the article, but the thing that stuck out for me was the reference to this graph.
I mean…it makes sense that poor people would need to spend a larger share of their income on groceries than rich people. But it seems extreme that lowest earners are spending a third of their income on food, while those in the highest quintile are spending only 8%! With skyrocketing rents now taking up more than a third of lowest quintile's income, it's no wonder we have a food/healthcare crisis at the moment. And the $16K annual grocery bill of each wealthy household keeps demand (and prices) up.
What foods would you buy with $300 a week?
So how can we make food more affordable for everyone? Ironically, many farmers - the ones who produce food for us - suffer food insecurity. Small farms are often least capable of weathering the effects of climate change (pun intended!); they are not the ones making money from high supermarket prices. And yet, farms that have been able to use regenerative methods find that the resulting healthier soil is more resilient than pesticide-laden mono crops.
If you get a chance, watch The Biggest Little Farm to see the magic in action. It's a long process to get to sustainable farming, but the future of food is at stake. For the time being, we can eat more plants (5-10 servings of fruits/vegetables + legumes daily), support regenerative farmers (and advocate for the federal government to assist) and limit the foods that are designed to make us overeat!