It appears that one contributor to rising food costs is our way of life. “Our” as in “American”. (That would be “American” as in “US”, as opposed to “North American” or “Western Hemisphere resident”.) And our way of life is excessive and wasteful – which is certainly not news.
In a study reported in the NY Times, Americans consume 3770 calories each day compared to the Indian average of 2440. And that would be “Indian” as in “a part of Asia”. I don’t know if that is American middle class compared to Indian middle class, or average of the total population. In either case the disparity is significant: Americans consume 50% more than Indians?
Why single out Indians? It seems that our government, in trying to explain significantly increased food costs, have tried blaming India. Which is angering Indians, who are bringing our excessive and wasteful ways to public attention, and offering their own comments on food prices and how we can bring them down.
There are two recommendations for fighting increasing food prices
- Go on a diet. Or at least cut back on the calories purchase, whether that be better food management (less food thrown out), or fewer calories consumed (we DO weigh too much), or both.
- Move away from diets rich in energy-expensive foods, like beef, and toward foods that take less energy to get to our table, like locally grown vegetables and fruit.
Based on supply and demand, this is a sensible approach. We are taking that approach at the gas pump by seeing what we can do to curtail the amount of driving we do, so why not see how we can can curtail the amount of food we purchase?
PREDICTION: We will soon begin to see chain email suggesting that we fight back against higher food prices by all getting together and not buying food from a certain grocery chain, or the big 3 (or whatever it is in the world of the grocery industry). Yeah! That’ll teach them! We’ll buy only from 7-11!