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(The Braiser)   Farmer blasts "farm-to-table" restaurants, which are more about inflating check size at table than helping the small farm   (thebraiser.com) divider line 63
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1347 clicks; posted to Business » on 12 Aug 2014 at 2:01 PM (18 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-12 12:03:40 PM  
It's a shame the halfwit blogger who wrote this particular "article" is so mind-farkingly stupid that all he managed to take from the actual article, which is actually an indictment of our nation's entire approach to food growing, was "grrr farm to table bad." And that subby, of approximately equal stupidity, linked to this worthless heap of shiat instead of the original article. Which is here, in case you'd rather read something that's actually worth the click:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/opinion/sunday/dont-let-your-child re n-grow-up-to-be-farmers.html?src=me&module=Ribbon&version=origin&regio n=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Most%20Emailed&pgtype=article
 
2014-08-12 12:07:58 PM  
And then there are the chefs. Restaurants bait their menus with homages to local food, attracting flocks of customers willing to pay 30 bucks a plate. But running a restaurant is a low-margin, cutthroat business, and chefs have to pay the bills, too. To do so, chefs often use a rule of thumb: Keep food costs to 30 percent of the price of the meal. But organic farming is an even higher-risk, higher-cost venture, so capping the farmer's take to a small sliver of the plate ensures that working the land remains a beggar's game.

the local "farm to table" place i frequent rarely has entrees over $20, and most of the menu is in the $10-15 range.
 
2014-08-12 12:34:58 PM  
Isn't the real money in getting the government to pay you not to grow stuff?
 
2014-08-12 12:42:59 PM  
It's better than stable-to-table.

I know, nag nag nag.
 
2014-08-12 02:03:15 PM  

doublesecretprobation: And then there are the chefs. Restaurants bait their menus with homages to local food, attracting flocks of customers willing to pay 30 bucks a plate. But running a restaurant is a low-margin, cutthroat business, and chefs have to pay the bills, too. To do so, chefs often use a rule of thumb: Keep food costs to 30 percent of the price of the meal. But organic farming is an even higher-risk, higher-cost venture, so capping the farmer's take to a small sliver of the plate ensures that working the land remains a beggar's game.

the local "farm to table" place i frequent rarely has entrees over $20, and most of the menu is in the $10-15 range.


My go-to restaurant is farm to table, very high quality and not terribly expensive. (all under $40 but most about $20) and my Uncle's restaurant in MD is about the same.
 
2014-08-12 02:09:19 PM  
When has this never been true for any line of farming?  Many of my uncles were farmers (I have 38 first cousins).  They drove school buses, performed odd jobs, picked up welding work, etc. to make ends meet.  When I was 10, I told my mother I wanted to be a farmer.  She told me how much farmers get paid an hour, how many different jobs they have to do, how many injuries they suffer, and the weather conditions under which they work.   That was the end of that romanticized idea.
 
2014-08-12 02:09:51 PM  
This has it's roots going back to the 80's, when Personal Greed became the national pastime.

Kind of for the same reasons, when gas was at its' highest, car companies started churning out gas guzzling SUVs and people lined up to buy them.

I took note somewhere around then when the cost of apples jumped and later, Orchid owners started letting half their crops rot on the trees, saying it wasn't cost effective to harvest them. Shortly after, the retail price of Green Bell Peppers doubled along with American grown tomatoes.

The Yuppies changed the face of business by using the new computer technology to invest in companies which yielded a large profit in the shortest amount of time -- meaning major companies found their stocks dropping since they produced a smaller profit -- consistently over the decades.

Basically, meaning reliability. So, companies reacted by slashing costs -- which meant employees. Retirement programs were gutted, older employees who had been loyal to the company for decades were fired or forced into early retirement and people hired at a much reduced salary to take their place.

Outsourcing was encouraged by the government, with massive tax incentives to expand overseas and grants to assist with this. However, that resulted in a huge amount of unemployment, which later turned things into an employers market, resulting in the 39 hour work week to avoid providing employees with insurance, overtime and other incentives.

Imports of foreign food increased, basically to garner good will from other nations, also to make things cheaper for wholesalers who sold to retailers and increase the profit margin. (See the above 80's comment.)

Farmers started facing huge cost increases due to the artificial inflation of diesel fuel -- the cheapest fuel produced from crude became almost the most expensive. That also affected a huge amount of independent truckers who delivered goods around the nation, forcing most out of business and allowing the big trucking companies to increase costs for greater profits.

Farm machinery mainly uses diesel. Step in Monsanto (?) which started buying up farms in distress and creating GMO seeds that would not produce viable seeds from the first planting, meaning farmers could not hold back 20% of the new seed to cut planting costs and had to buy a fresh batch.

Buying out independent farms meant an increase in food costs, controlled by corporate interests.

This encouraged the Organic Movement, which produced less but charged more. They also added competition to the regular farms. As wholesale costs fell for the product, farmers had to work harder for less.

A similar thing happened to the cotton crop, decades ago, when synthetics were introduced.

In order to produce enough affordable food for people, farmers used pesticides and artificial fertilizers, hybrids, recycled animal manure and even started using custom feeds, mixed by experts, to produce greater amounts of product for the exploding population.

The media promptly started informing everyone how Organic produce was so much healthier, neglecting to inform folks that the supply would be more limited, more costly and as Organic Farming spread via little 'gentlemen' farmers, traditional farmers found their profits shrinking due to the competition.

Farming machinery, designed to be labor saving and harvest things much faster, is durable, but expensive. Farmers had to pay for these machines and they also had to increase production of their crops to make up for the steady decrease in wholesale prices.

Major corporations found a cute way to avoid taxes: go overseas, rent a little office, declare it the headquarters of their business and escape billions in taxes from the US since most European Nations levied far fewer taxes.

(Check commercial tax law. It's legal -- even though the corporation is still actually run from within the US.)

So, more profit for them. Importing foods from other nations at lower prices and often of dubious quality increased profit also, while delivering a serious blow to US farmers. Corporations usually factor into their financial base a few million in settlements for importing contaminated food stuffs which can kill folks.

It's still cheaper -- for them. (The Chinese vegetables loaded with bacteria. Their products grown in human feces. Baby formula cut with a non-food filler. Shaky sanitation laws for exports.)

While the government throws grants and loans to the big corporations, the little farmer has to see his bank, which has probably been bought out by one of the major banks which explosively expanded in the 80s. These banks also have major investments in crude oil, meaning they loose money if the price drops so they work to keep it high. The farmer uses a tremendous amount of fuel. Then, to keep things running, he needs a loan against next years harvest -- a large portion of the cost being fuel. So he has to get a loan from one of the institutions working to keep prices high.

Being paid to not farm is usually given to huge farms, often owned by corporations. It originally was designed to help stabilize prices. So a surplus of say, peas, would not wind up selling for less than they cost the farmer to grow.

Also, to prevent farming of known toxic lands -- especially since developers have been buying up farms and saving money due to an agricultural law that makes farmland cheaper than development land.

Later, they develop the land and sell it at high prices, making major profits but removing a valued food producer from the chain of supply.

Food is big money. Since the 80s, middlemen have discovered how to make major profits off it, screwing both the farmer and the buyers.

We're allowing the people responsible for our food supply, provided at a reasonable price, to be pushed out of business in the name of major profits. We're also allowing prime farm lands to be bought up and paved over for profit, reducing the amount of good land left to grow things on.

BTW. I live in Florida. My city used to have acres and acres of valuable citrus groves and a thriving citrus industry. Today, the majority of the groves are gone, turned into housing developments. The citrus industry is no longer a major factor here. We also once had the famous Orchid Island Citrus, world renowned for it's flavor because of the unique soil it grew in.

That irreplaceable soil is now acres and acres of high end homes. It grows manicured lawns..

Florida also used to grow pineapples, had a major sugar producer, grew acres of tomatoes, watermelons, Honeydews, cantaloupes and a host of other things in its tropical environment.
The majority of those farms are now developments.

Lately, horse ranches have been popping up -- which contribute nothing to the food supply.
 
2014-08-12 02:09:55 PM  

doublesecretprobation: And then there are the chefs. Restaurants bait their menus with homages to local food, attracting flocks of customers willing to pay 30 bucks a plate. But running a restaurant is a low-margin, cutthroat business, and chefs have to pay the bills, too. To do so, chefs often use a rule of thumb: Keep food costs to 30 percent of the price of the meal. But organic farming is an even higher-risk, higher-cost venture, so capping the farmer's take to a small sliver of the plate ensures that working the land remains a beggar's game.

the local "farm to table" place i frequent rarely has entrees over $20, and most of the menu is in the $10-15 range.


There is a place by me that I like and is normally great, but they had a $50 steak on the menu the other day. I know quality grass fed beef is pricey, but that level of mark up was kind of insulting.
 
2014-08-12 02:10:05 PM  
Now with more brown.
img.fark.net
 
2014-08-12 02:18:33 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: doublesecretprobation: And then there are the chefs. Restaurants bait their menus with homages to local food, attracting flocks of customers willing to pay 30 bucks a plate. But running a restaurant is a low-margin, cutthroat business, and chefs have to pay the bills, too. To do so, chefs often use a rule of thumb: Keep food costs to 30 percent of the price of the meal. But organic farming is an even higher-risk, higher-cost venture, so capping the farmer's take to a small sliver of the plate ensures that working the land remains a beggar's game.

the local "farm to table" place i frequent rarely has entrees over $20, and most of the menu is in the $10-15 range.

There is a place by me that I like and is normally great, but they had a $50 steak on the menu the other day. I know quality grass fed beef is pricey, but that level of mark up was kind of insulting.


The most expensive thing on the menu is often the best deal on the menu.  The restaurant makes its best margins on the entrees just above the cheapest thing on the menu.  Basically, the best margins are the chicken dishes.
 
2014-08-12 02:22:19 PM  
I kind of feel like food should be dirt cheap.  And if that means that the older model of individual, family farms has to disappear, I'm sorry for them, but if we can reduce food prices, it's better in the long run.
 
2014-08-12 02:27:44 PM  

Rik01: Farm machinery mainly uses diesel. Step in Monsanto (?) which started buying up farms in distress and creating GMO seeds that would not produce viable seeds from the first planting, meaning farmers could not hold back 20% of the new seed to cut planting costs and had to buy a fresh batch.


As a note, the majority of food crops are hybrid crops,* and hybrid crops cannot be grown from last year's seed stock, whether they are genetically engineered and patented, or not.  Hybrids do not breed true.

This has been the case for decades going back unto at least WWII.  

*unless you are growing heirlooms, which have their own headaches.
 
2014-08-12 02:29:00 PM  

ToastmasterGeneral: I kind of feel like food should be dirt cheap.  And if that means that the older model of individual, family farms has to disappear, I'm sorry for them, but if we can reduce food prices, it's better in the long run.


I dunno.  You ever been to a Golden Corral?
 
2014-08-12 02:33:45 PM  

Rapmaster2000: ToastmasterGeneral: I kind of feel like food should be dirt cheap.  And if that means that the older model of individual, family farms has to disappear, I'm sorry for them, but if we can reduce food prices, it's better in the long run.

I dunno.  You ever been to a Golden Corral?


He said food
 
2014-08-12 02:36:13 PM  

Rapmaster2000: ToastmasterGeneral: I kind of feel like food should be dirt cheap.  And if that means that the older model of individual, family farms has to disappear, I'm sorry for them, but if we can reduce food prices, it's better in the long run.

I dunno.  You ever been to a Golden Corral?


Ha!

Point refuted.
 
2014-08-12 02:42:53 PM  

Pocket Ninja: It's a shame the halfwit blogger who wrote this particular "article" is so mind-farkingly stupid that all he managed to take from the actual article, which is actually an indictment of our nation's entire approach to food growing, was "grrr farm to table bad." And that subby, of approximately equal stupidity, linked to this worthless heap of shiat instead of the original article. Which is here, in case you'd rather read something that's actually worth the click:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/opinion/sunday/dont-let-your-child re n-grow-up-to-be-farmers.html?src=me&module=Ribbon&version=origin&regio n=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Most%20Emailed&pgtype=article


intriguing, but do you have a longer link for me to click?
 
2014-08-12 02:50:16 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: doublesecretprobation: And then there are the chefs. Restaurants bait their menus with homages to local food, attracting flocks of customers willing to pay 30 bucks a plate. But running a restaurant is a low-margin, cutthroat business, and chefs have to pay the bills, too. To do so, chefs often use a rule of thumb: Keep food costs to 30 percent of the price of the meal. But organic farming is an even higher-risk, higher-cost venture, so capping the farmer's take to a small sliver of the plate ensures that working the land remains a beggar's game.

the local "farm to table" place i frequent rarely has entrees over $20, and most of the menu is in the $10-15 range.

There is a place by me that I like and is normally great, but they had a $50 steak on the menu the other day. I know quality grass fed beef is pricey, but that level of mark up was kind of insulting.


That's not completely unreasonable.

The rule of thumb for restaurants is that food costs should be about a third of the price of the final dish.

I could see a nice steak costing them $15. Add in a few bucks for sides, multiply that by three, and you're at $50.
 
2014-08-12 02:51:07 PM  
Farm Economics 101: You will never be paid a premium for a commodity.

I am amazed at the number of my farmer friends and neighbors who don't understand this.
 
2014-08-12 02:56:56 PM  
FTFA: " *drops the mic* "

That had better be your mic, buster.

/don't drop the mic.
 
2014-08-12 03:01:13 PM  

Rapmaster2000: HotWingConspiracy: doublesecretprobation: And then there are the chefs. Restaurants bait their menus with homages to local food, attracting flocks of customers willing to pay 30 bucks a plate. But running a restaurant is a low-margin, cutthroat business, and chefs have to pay the bills, too. To do so, chefs often use a rule of thumb: Keep food costs to 30 percent of the price of the meal. But organic farming is an even higher-risk, higher-cost venture, so capping the farmer's take to a small sliver of the plate ensures that working the land remains a beggar's game.

the local "farm to table" place i frequent rarely has entrees over $20, and most of the menu is in the $10-15 range.

There is a place by me that I like and is normally great, but they had a $50 steak on the menu the other day. I know quality grass fed beef is pricey, but that level of mark up was kind of insulting.

The most expensive thing on the menu is often the best deal on the menu.  The restaurant makes its best margins on the entrees just above the cheapest thing on the menu.  Basically, the best margins are the chicken dishes.


Hmm yeah. Maybe it was just menu shock on my part, it just struck me as an absurd price. I asked the waitress if people order it and she said not many.

I think the other issue is that they have a solid menu with plenty of other tasty, filling options for less money. So I went with one of those.
 
2014-08-12 03:01:14 PM  

Pocket Ninja: It's a shame the halfwit blogger who wrote this particular "article" is so mind-farkingly stupid that all he managed to take from the actual article, which is actually an indictment of our nation's entire approach to food growing, was "grrr farm to table bad." And that subby, of approximately equal stupidity, linked to this worthless heap of shiat instead of the original article. Which is here, in case you'd rather read something that's actually worth the click:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/opinion/sunday/dont-let-your-child re n-grow-up-to-be-farmers.html?src=me&module=Ribbon&version=origin®io n=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Most%20Emailed&pgtype=article


Sounds to me like farming isn't much of a career, it's a lot more like a really expensive gardening hobby.
 
2014-08-12 03:28:09 PM  

Teiritzamna: Rik01: Farm machinery mainly uses diesel. Step in Monsanto (?) which started buying up farms in distress and creating GMO seeds that would not produce viable seeds from the first planting, meaning farmers could not hold back 20% of the new seed to cut planting costs and had to buy a fresh batch.

As a note, the majority of food crops are hybrid crops,* and hybrid crops cannot be grown from last year's seed stock, whether they are genetically engineered and patented, or not.  Hybrids do not breed true.

This has been the case for decades going back unto at least WWII.  

*unless you are growing heirlooms, which have their own headaches.



Longer than that FDR's VP for a while Henry Wallace produced the first commercially viable Hybrids well before WWII.
 
2014-08-12 03:37:15 PM  
Fair Trade products are the same deal.   Like fair trade Coffee you pay 50 cents more for a product that makes gallons and gallons of product.

The Coffee farmers would be better off if you buy the cheapest most un-trade friendly product you can and then directly send them the 50 cents.
 
2014-08-12 03:38:29 PM  

barefoot in the head: FTFA: " *drops the mic* "

That had better be your mic, buster.

/don't drop the mic.


dropping the mic really bothers me as well.  not only do you damage some innocent person's equipment, you also have a likely chance of creating a lot of noise, which is inexcusable at any level.

these two crimes against humanity will completely overshadow whatever point you were trying to make.
 
2014-08-12 03:45:00 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: doublesecretprobation: And then there are the chefs. Restaurants bait their menus with homages to local food, attracting flocks of customers willing to pay 30 bucks a plate. But running a restaurant is a low-margin, cutthroat business, and chefs have to pay the bills, too. To do so, chefs often use a rule of thumb: Keep food costs to 30 percent of the price of the meal. But organic farming is an even higher-risk, higher-cost venture, so capping the farmer's take to a small sliver of the plate ensures that working the land remains a beggar's game.

the local "farm to table" place i frequent rarely has entrees over $20, and most of the menu is in the $10-15 range.

There is a place by me that I like and is normally great, but they had a $50 steak on the menu the other day. I know quality grass fed beef is pricey, but that level of mark up was kind of insulting.


Considering that good quality beef is selling for at a minimum of $2lb on the hoof, that doesn't suprise me at all.  I've been looking at getting a few head of cattle and just can't justify buying 500-700 lb cows for $1,800-$2,000 each.
 
2014-08-12 03:46:58 PM  
Serious question - why should I, as a consumer/tax payer care about the small farmers?
 
2014-08-12 03:52:42 PM  

ToastmasterGeneral: I kind of feel like food should be dirt cheap.  And if that means that the older model of individual, family farms has to disappear, I'm sorry for them, but if we can reduce food prices, it's better in the long run.


And that i a nutshell, is the thinking that got us Wal-Mart.

The Push for cheap consumer goods and Cheap food comes from the fact that wages have been basically stagnant in real dollars since 1974  while prices have not.  Productivity has doubled, Corporate profitless  have tripled in that time, but the pocket money of the American consumer has stag anted meaning we turn to cheaper, low quality items that have to be produced overseas where wages are lower,  Even further depressing US incomes as lower middle class jobs basically go extinct, but even MORE downward pressures on the prices of basic consumer staples, etc etc
 
2014-08-12 03:55:18 PM  

Teiritzamna: Rik01: Farm machinery mainly uses diesel. Step in Monsanto (?) which started buying up farms in distress and creating GMO seeds that would not produce viable seeds from the first planting, meaning farmers could not hold back 20% of the new seed to cut planting costs and had to buy a fresh batch.

As a note, the majority of food crops are hybrid crops,* and hybrid crops cannot be grown from last year's seed stock, whether they are genetically engineered and patented, or not.  Hybrids do not breed true.

This has been the case for decades going back unto at least WWII.  

*unless you are growing heirlooms, which have their own headaches.


Only F1 hybrids don't breed true.  Many hybrids are just fine.

The thing is, you can't just "save seed".  Seed needs to be tightly climate controlled if you want something resembling a decent germination rate.  You can't just stick in a barn and call it a day.
 
2014-08-12 03:59:05 PM  

Rik01: Florida also used to grow pineapples, had a major sugar producer, grew acres of tomatoes, watermelons, Honeydews, cantaloupes and a host of other things in its tropical environment.


First off, Florida is not tropical.  It is subtropical.

Florida is a shiatty place to grow pineapple.  You need a full frost free year to grow ONE pineapple (one plant makes ONE pineapple).  Does Florida get no frost?  Of course farking not.
 
2014-08-12 04:00:44 PM  
Farm to table ain't gonna work for the 99%ers, unemployed, illegal immigrants and the poors/ non-whities... $50 Steak dinner my ass!

They put Wic card readers in at my local Sat am Farmers Market... But the poors can't afford the grandiose prices...

Glad you got money to burn, let me send you some of my over-due bills!
 
2014-08-12 04:10:03 PM  

Mugato: Isn't the real money in getting the government to pay you not to grow stuff?


That, or owning the land while other people pay you rent in order to farm it.
My great grandpa's farmland he bought in the 20's still provides the latest generation of heirs with enough money to have a nice dinner every month or so. No one in the family manages it or farms it.
 
2014-08-12 04:10:18 PM  

Magorn: ToastmasterGeneral: I kind of feel like food should be dirt cheap.  And if that means that the older model of individual, family farms has to disappear, I'm sorry for them, but if we can reduce food prices, it's better in the long run.

And that i a nutshell, is the thinking that got us Wal-Mart.

The Push for cheap consumer goods and Cheap food comes from the fact that wages have been basically stagnant in real dollars since 1974  while prices have not.  Productivity has doubled, Corporate profitless  have tripled in that time, but the pocket money of the American consumer has stag anted meaning we turn to cheaper, low quality items that have to be produced overseas where wages are lower,  Even further depressing US incomes as lower middle class jobs basically go extinct, but even MORE downward pressures on the prices of basic consumer staples, etc etc


Damnit, you beat me to it.

Reducing the cost of food will require us to give something else that isnt money away. Before we declare the price of food to be paramount, I want to know what getting that price down will cost me.

Food should be dirt cheap. Processed food should't exist. Food should be grown near you because otherwise the system is too costly to keep prices low (see: the world. Today.)

You didn't grow up around farms, did you?
 
2014-08-12 04:15:11 PM  

pute kisses like a man: barefoot in the head: FTFA: " *drops the mic* "

That had better be your mic, buster.

/don't drop the mic.

dropping the mic really bothers me as well.  not only do you damage some innocent person's equipment, you also have a likely chance of creating a lot of noise, which is inexcusable at any level.

these two crimes against humanity will completely overshadow whatever point you were trying to make.


But what if the volume level was really, really low?
 
2014-08-12 04:19:14 PM  
In Vermont:
Lovely website, but it's a pretentious assgarden.


Better representation. but it's a pretentious assgarden, as well.

truth is, any restaurant in the state with a decent chef will get the best local stuff they can find.
If you are advertising one thing and pulling prices off the menu and serving tartar, then you're a pretentious ass looking for praise and handouts.
You'll be out of business in less than a year.
 
2014-08-12 04:21:28 PM  
That's right.
That's a $90 steak at a Farm to table.
I'm sure farmer Brown is rolling in gravy.
 
2014-08-12 04:22:07 PM  

TelemonianAjax: Magorn: ToastmasterGeneral: I kind of feel like food should be dirt cheap.  And if that means that the older model of individual, family farms has to disappear, I'm sorry for them, but if we can reduce food prices, it's better in the long run.

And that i a nutshell, is the thinking that got us Wal-Mart.

The Push for cheap consumer goods and Cheap food comes from the fact that wages have been basically stagnant in real dollars since 1974  while prices have not.  Productivity has doubled, Corporate profitless  have tripled in that time, but the pocket money of the American consumer has stag anted meaning we turn to cheaper, low quality items that have to be produced overseas where wages are lower,  Even further depressing US incomes as lower middle class jobs basically go extinct, but even MORE downward pressures on the prices of basic consumer staples, etc etc

Damnit, you beat me to it.

Reducing the cost of food will require us to give something else that isnt money away. Before we declare the price of food to be paramount, I want to know what getting that price down will cost me.

Food should be dirt cheap. Processed food should't exist. Food should be grown near you because otherwise the system is too costly to keep prices low (see: the world. Today.)

You didn't grow up around farms, did you?


You're giving up complete nutrition for simple calories.  The good stuff - all manners of greens, vegetables, fruit, meat and dairy all need fairly resource intense farming methods, and are both seasonal (for the plants, at least) and very perishable unless you freeze them (and keep them frozen until use, which costs energy).  Grains (and to a lesser extent beans) are the super cheap stuff that can be produced on a large scale and stored nearly indefinitely. While they give you calories, they aren't close to providing  a well rounded nutritional profile.
 
2014-08-12 04:23:18 PM  
Have a laugh. I was actually shopping two months ago for fruit to make jam/great vodkajam  options ago when a "local" place (to be honest, they raise a lot of things) when a UPS truck showed up carrying lots of stuff showed up In front of a news reporter talking about how awesome they were for supporting local farmers markets.  I interrupted and asked (live noon time) "why do these deliveries on the boxes say..."  It hit the fan. The local place now has to state where things came from.

Darn sad because if they were honest,
 
2014-08-12 04:34:04 PM  

TelemonianAjax: Magorn: ToastmasterGeneral: I kind of feel like food should be dirt cheap.  And if that means that the older model of individual, family farms has to disappear, I'm sorry for them, but if we can reduce food prices, it's better in the long run.

And that i a nutshell, is the thinking that got us Wal-Mart.

The Push for cheap consumer goods and Cheap food comes from the fact that wages have been basically stagnant in real dollars since 1974  while prices have not.  Productivity has doubled, Corporate profitless  have tripled in that time, but the pocket money of the American consumer has stag anted meaning we turn to cheaper, low quality items that have to be produced overseas where wages are lower,  Even further depressing US incomes as lower middle class jobs basically go extinct, but even MORE downward pressures on the prices of basic consumer staples, etc etc

Damnit, you beat me to it.

Reducing the cost of food will require us to give something else that isnt money away. Before we declare the price of food to be paramount, I want to know what getting that price down will cost me.

Food should be dirt cheap. Processed food should't exist. Food should be grown near you because otherwise the system is too costly to keep prices low (see: the world. Today.)

You didn't grow up around farms, did you?


Exactly.   I live in a "locavore's" paradise right now.  The county has the highest average percapita income in the US, but at the same time is still filled with actual WORKING farms and vineyards (This is a list of Just the CSA's available in the county)  The farmer's market in town runs year round and isn;t just a bunch of guys with truck farms selling produce.   Pork, beef, lanb, goat, chicken, cheese dairy, bread, fruit, etc all made withing 20 miles or so is available in season.

 Especially now that I am mildly diabetic I would LIKE to exclusively shop for all my groceries there as I learn a lot about the links between Vit d depletion (which is critical to how efficiently you body uses insulin) in foods and modern factory farming techniques  (it turns out that giving plants a rough life where they are under attack from insects and disease cause them to make more vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants)

But whereas for many of my friends in the west  farmer's market"= "cheaper food"   here it means "paying about double what the store charges" which I would be more willing to do if I could better afford it.
 
2014-08-12 04:38:57 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Serious question - why should I, as a consumer/tax payer care about the small farmers?


Let me explain to you how this works: you see, the corporations finance Big Farm, and then Big Farm goes out... and the corporations sit there in their... in their corporation buildings, and... and, and see, they're all corporation-y... and they make money.
 
2014-08-12 04:40:33 PM  

vudukungfu: That's right.
That's a $90 steak at a Farm to table.
I'm sure farmer Brown is rolling in gravy.


Some farmers just skip the middlemen (and the food is goddamn good)- The restaurant is in DC but it is actually owned by a grange...the North Dakota Farmer's union


And this place in my little town is far from pretentious, but actually lists the specifc farm ingredients come from (and more than once I've seen the owners of those farms eating there, so I would guess its on the level)
 
2014-08-12 04:50:11 PM  

Magorn: vudukungfu: That's right.
That's a $90 steak at a Farm to table.
I'm sure farmer Brown is rolling in gravy.

Some farmers just skip the middlemen (and the food is goddamn good)- The restaurant is in DC but it is actually owned by a grange...the North Dakota Farmer's union


And this place in my little town is far from pretentious, but actually lists the specifc farm ingredients come from (and more than once I've seen the owners of those farms eating there, so I would guess its on the level)


Listing where the ingredients come from is only for super snobby douchebag restaurants...



90days90restaurants.files.wordpress.com

 
2014-08-12 04:51:44 PM  

exvaxman: Have a laugh. I was actually shopping two months ago for fruit to make jam/great vodkajam  options ago when a "local" place (to be honest, they raise a lot of things) when a UPS truck showed up carrying lots of stuff showed up In front of a news reporter talking about how awesome they were for supporting local farmers markets.  I interrupted and asked (live noon time) "why do these deliveries on the boxes say..."  It hit the fan. The local place now has to state where things came from.

Darn sad because if they were honest,


Some of the Amish stuff everyone goes ga-ga for because it is supposed to be "local/organic/term-de-jour" is trucked in as well.
 
2014-08-12 04:53:01 PM  

max_pooper: Listing where the ingredients come from is only for super snobby douchebag restaurants...


tell me that's not the line up for the local Republican convention.
 
2014-08-12 05:07:06 PM  

Magorn: ToastmasterGeneral: I kind of feel like food should be dirt cheap.  And if that means that the older model of individual, family farms has to disappear, I'm sorry for them, but if we can reduce food prices, it's better in the long run.

And that i a nutshell, is the thinking that got us Wal-Mart.

The Push for cheap consumer goods and Cheap food comes from the fact that wages have been basically stagnant in real dollars since 1974  while prices have not.  Productivity has doubled, Corporate profitless  have tripled in that time, but the pocket money of the American consumer has stag anted meaning we turn to cheaper, low quality items that have to be produced overseas where wages are lower,  Even further depressing US incomes as lower middle class jobs basically go extinct, but even MORE downward pressures on the prices of basic consumer staples, etc etc


Well...yes, to a point.

But the distinction you noted is that lower cost goods produced overseas cause a loss of those manufacturing jobs here.  Assuming we maintain our farmland - and the competive advantages we have for growing food means we'll likely retain food production for some time - then it's really a matter of whether the jobs are part of larger farms or smaller farmers.  Yes, there is more dignity to owning one's own farm rather than working on the conglomorate's land, but if the economies of scale mean that product is therefore less expensive, non-farm jobs on the lower end of the income spectrum, have to spend less of their income on food, and drive up demand for more goods.  True, if we don't incentifize the manufacture of goods here, that doesn't help as much, but that's a different policy issue, not really directly related to small vs. large farms, I think.
 
2014-08-12 05:29:38 PM  
Who cares?  Nice restaurants serve nice food to people with disposable cash and refined palates.  At what point in that equation was the benefit to the farmer (other than having someone to sell his purple kale to) ever present?
 
2014-08-12 05:40:09 PM  

HotWingConspiracy: Hmm yeah. Maybe it was just menu shock on my part,


Beef is through the roof right now.  Beef tenderloin is pretty much 15 bucks a pound right now.

Good time to be a rancher.  I am glad I still have elk and deer in the freezer.
 
2014-08-12 06:18:53 PM  

BMFPitt: Fark_Guy_Rob: Serious question - why should I, as a consumer/tax payer care about the small farmers?

Let me explain to you how this works: you see, the corporations finance Big Farm, and then Big Farm goes out... and the corporations sit there in their... in their corporation buildings, and... and, and see, they're all corporation-y... and they make money.


My neighbor who owns the farm next to and behind me is one of the richest men in the county. He told me a story not too long ago about getting the president of one of the banks he uses to open up on a Sunday and guarantee  a loan for a million + property that he knew was going on the market the next day. I know a lot of rich small farmers here. You would never know it if you stood next to them as they all dress like hobos.

But don't let the facts get in the way of your prejudging.
 
2014-08-12 06:19:07 PM  

TelemonianAjax: Magorn: ToastmasterGeneral: I kind of feel like food should be dirt cheap.  And if that means that the older model of individual, family farms has to disappear, I'm sorry for them, but if we can reduce food prices, it's better in the long run.

And that i a nutshell, is the thinking that got us Wal-Mart.

The Push for cheap consumer goods and Cheap food comes from the fact that wages have been basically stagnant in real dollars since 1974  while prices have not.  Productivity has doubled, Corporate profitless  have tripled in that time, but the pocket money of the American consumer has stag anted meaning we turn to cheaper, low quality items that have to be produced overseas where wages are lower,  Even further depressing US incomes as lower middle class jobs basically go extinct, but even MORE downward pressures on the prices of basic consumer staples, etc etc

Damnit, you beat me to it.

Reducing the cost of food will require us to give something else that isnt money away. Before we declare the price of food to be paramount, I want to know what getting that price down will cost me.

Food should be dirt cheap. Processed food should't exist. Food should be grown near you because otherwise the system is too costly to keep prices low (see: the world. Today.)


Nice derp statement.  If something was "too costly" to run, then prices will rise.  (see: The world.  Today.)

On what planet do you live on where food prices have been going down?
 
2014-08-12 06:21:09 PM  

CMYK and PMS: BMFPitt: Fark_Guy_Rob: Serious question - why should I, as a consumer/tax payer care about the small farmers?

Let me explain to you how this works: you see, the corporations finance Big Farm, and then Big Farm goes out... and the corporations sit there in their... in their corporation buildings, and... and, and see, they're all corporation-y... and they make money.

My neighbor who owns the farm next to and behind me is one of the richest men in the county. He told me a story not too long ago about getting the president of one of the banks he uses to open up on a Sunday and guarantee  a loan for a million + property that he knew was going on the market the next day. I know a lot of rich small farmers here. You would never know it if you stood next to them as they all dress like hobos.

But don't let the facts get in the way of your prejudging.


My wife's uncle still farms, apparently his revenue is over a million every year, but of course part of the problem is that his expenses are rather high.  Regardless, he's wise enough to plant in-demand crops when crop rotation lets him, and he quit his gov't job to farm full time.
 
2014-08-12 06:25:27 PM  

Shazam999: TelemonianAjax: Magorn: ToastmasterGeneral: I kind of feel like food should be dirt cheap.  And if that means that the older model of individual, family farms has to disappear, I'm sorry for them, but if we can reduce food prices, it's better in the long run.

And that i a nutshell, is the thinking that got us Wal-Mart.

The Push for cheap consumer goods and Cheap food comes from the fact that wages have been basically stagnant in real dollars since 1974  while prices have not.  Productivity has doubled, Corporate profitless  have tripled in that time, but the pocket money of the American consumer has stag anted meaning we turn to cheaper, low quality items that have to be produced overseas where wages are lower,  Even further depressing US incomes as lower middle class jobs basically go extinct, but even MORE downward pressures on the prices of basic consumer staples, etc etc

Damnit, you beat me to it.

Reducing the cost of food will require us to give something else that isnt money away. Before we declare the price of food to be paramount, I want to know what getting that price down will cost me.

Food should be dirt cheap. Processed food should't exist. Food should be grown near you because otherwise the system is too costly to keep prices low (see: the world. Today.)

Nice derp statement.  If something was "too costly" to run, then prices will rise.  (see: The world.  Today.)

On what planet do you live on where food prices have been going down?


Be careful when calling out derp. For when you herp the derp, the derp herps back.

/reading comprehension, motherfarker, do you have it?
// money is not the only measure of cost
///this was clearly said already
 
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