Must reading from today's New York Times for anyone interested in local, sustainable eating:
As the price of fossil fuels and commodities like grain climb, nutritionally questionable, high-profit ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup will, too. As a result, Cokes are likely to get smaller and cost more. Then, the argument goes, fewer people will drink them.
And if American staples like soda, fast-food hamburgers and frozen dinners don’t seem like such a bargain anymore, the American eating public might turn its attention to ingredients like local fruits and vegetables, and milk and meat from animals that eat grass. It turns out that those foods, already favorites of the critics of industrial food, have also dodged recent price increases.
Higher food costs, [locavores, small growers, activist chefs and others] say, could push pasture-raised milk and meat past its boutique status, make organic food more accessible and spark a national conversation about why inexpensive food is not really such a bargain after all.
Obviously no one would wish increasing food prices to cause true hunger in America, which economist and Pace University professor Robert Parks called a possibility last week in the Christian Science Monitor. But to spark a national debate on the true costs of cheap food? The loss of the dollar burger might be worth it.