More bad news today about the cost of food. Some economists predict prices will go up at least 7% in the U.S. next year.
But is this really bad news? For people who are struggling to put food on their tables now, it is bad news. But for those addicted to cheap food– and I admit to being one of them– this cloud has a silver lining.
The main reason for the rise in prices is the cost of grain which is skyrocketing because a large percentage of the grain crop is being used to make fuel. Much of the rest of that grain crop goes to feed cows, pigs and chickens.
Until lately, grain has been a cheap way to to feed and fatten livestock. Now that it’s getting more expensive, the playing field between mass-produced feedlot meat and grass-fed and naturally-raised meat is being leveled.
To most people it’s natural to go to the store and want to buy the least expensive item. When one package of chicken is $2.99, why would you pay $5.99 for an equal sized package? But if the prices of conventionally-raised meat and free-range, natural meat come close to (or even achieve) parity, why WOULDN’T you buy meat that was raised the way God intended?
Also, if the cost of meat goes up, maybe we’ll eat a little less of it and make room on our plates for more vegetables, grains and legumes.
As food prices go up, we’ll start to see the REAL cost of food.
The way I see it, this is great news for the small farmers and ranchers who raise meat humanely, it’s good news for the animals that may not have to spend their lives packed into polluted feedlots, it’s good news for the environment because of the pollution caused by the feedlots both directly and indirectly, and it’s good news for anyone who eats because we won’t be forced to make a choice between what’s healthy and what’s cheap.