Hugh Pickens writes:
Scott Adams of Dilbert fame writes on his blog that science's biggest fail of all time is 'everything about diet and fitness':
I used to think fatty food made you fat. Now it seems the opposite is true. Eating lots of peanuts, avocados, and cheese, for example, probably decreases your appetite and keeps you thin. I used to think vitamins had been thoroughly studied for their health trade-offs. They haven’t. The reason you take one multivitamin pill a day is marketing, not science. I used to think the U.S. food pyramid was good science. In the past it was not, and I assume it is not now. I used to think drinking one glass of alcohol a day is good for health, but now I think that idea is probably just a correlation found in studies.
According to Adams, the direct problem of science is that it has been collectively steering an entire generation toward obesity, diabetes, and coronary problems. But the indirect problem might be worse: It is hard to trust science because it has a credibility issue that it earned. "I think science has earned its lack of credibility with the public. If you kick me in the balls for 20-years, how do you expect me to close my eyes and trust you?"
Why is that a big problem? It's not like anyone from the government is actually stopping you from eating a steady diet of Pop Tarts, Doritos, TV dinners, and ice cream washed down with Coke and Bud Light if that's what you want to do. Even when New York banned selling 64 oz sodas, it was perfectly legal to buy two 32 oz sodas instead.
Most of the government efforts are about either (A) making sure you know what's in your food so you can make an informed choice if you so desire, (B) propaganda telling you to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and such rather than the swill I mentioned in the first paragraph, and (C) making it easier to buy fresh fruits and vegetables somewhere vaguely near where you live if you want to, e.g. setting up farmers' markets in cities.
(C) making it easier to buy fresh fruits and vegetables somewhere vaguely near where you live if you want to, e.g. setting up farmers' markets in cities
"They" ruined ours by hipsterizing and now the prices are higher than the nearby food stores. Annoys me greatly. Back when I was a crazy hippie for shopping at the farm market I got great deals, but now I can get the same food, cheaper, at the supermarket. "But the farmers market is so cool and everyone loves it!" I miss the days when the farmers mkt sucked. Can't wait for them to return.
Back when stall rental was zero dollars and 1st come 1st serve I got great deals. Now the city forces signed stall rental agreements for $4K for a season, WTF the .gov takes your first $160 per day for the privilege of not shutting you down (they don't do much else). And people wonder why the farmers mkt costs more than the food store.
They had this weird in-between era where marked spaces weren't free but they made vendors keep their parking meters full. That seems very fair, but no, they had to get greedy.
"They" ruined ours by hipsterizing and now the prices are higher than the nearby food stores. Annoys me greatly. Back when I was a crazy hippie for shopping at the farm market I got great deals, but now I can get the same food, cheaper, at the supermarket.
That's just the free market at work. Demand skyrocketed for "organic" food but supply didn't, so prices rose; demand lowered for "processed" foods but supply didn't, so prices fell.
There is no "them" at fault, just capitalism working as designed.
Demand skyrocketed for "organic" food but supply didn't
Supply of the same products from most of the same farms at the local health food / organic store is for all intents and purposes infinite 16hrs/7days-a-week
I will say its cool to see the same label on a carton of radishes that I'd see at the food store as at the farm mkt and meet the local dude who grows my radishes, at least my in season radishes. Its not worth paying more at the farm mkt than at the food store, but it is cool.
That's just the free market at work.
Yeah man, nothings freer than the government deciding who gets to sell what where when IF they approve your application, and charging 100x normal parking rates to screw over certain sections of the population they feel it would be fun to screw over, because F them eat the rich they got money we takes it, but thats OK its all part of central government control of food prices by proxy, because the food stores didn't want competition, so pay the mayor's campaign fund to "fix" the market in their favor by BS fees. Pass the weed dude I need another hit of freeeeeeedumbbb
Yeah man, nothings freer than the government deciding who gets to sell what where when IF they approve your application
I must say, I'm a fan of having a guarantee that the foods I purchase will for 99.9%-sure be free of anything that could make me sick or kill me. Sure, a few stuff covered with e-coli or mad cow prions or whatnot gets through every now and then, but without some kind of oversight you'd be playing russian roulette every time you went to the store. Without that oversight, all those "tainted" meats and vegetables could be sold by anyone at any time.
As for the rest of your complaints, as I said, just capitalism working as designed, which underscores the need for oversight, laws, and regulations.
but without some kind of oversight
The problem is, back on topic, they're not doing any of that. I can buy a flat of "WTF Organic Farms Inc" radishes in season at the local health food store for $4 or at the farmers market for $5, same farm, same packaging, same cardboard crate, same food (assuming one isn't getting fraudulent radishes?) if and only if the mayors office approves your application for one of the limited number of farmers mkt stalls, which I'm sure a little campaign donation will fix. I'm not really seeing any public health benefit to making sure the mayor gets his campaign contributions.
Likewise the reason the .gov charges an insane fee to park a farm truck in that spot on saturday mornings vs any other time, is because the local food stores (and not so local food stores) paid the mayor to make the farm mkt more expensive than their stores, you need election money and we happen to have some, meanwhile maybe you should boost the stall rental fee a little, like from $0 to thousands.
I'm a fan of having a guarantee that the foods I purchase will for 99.9%-sure be free of anything that could make me sick or kill me.
That isn't what the city is doing. The city is just charging for stall space and that's no guarantee of quality.
You only need "government oversight" to protect you from tainted food if youa) Don't know where your food really comes fromb) Don't communicate with your neighbors/community about quality of food stuffs/sources....of course, most Americans fall into both of these categories, so it looks like the oversight/protection is necessary.
I'd suggest researching the history of pasturization, which runs perfectly in lockstep with the history of the (US) Industrial Revolution. Nobody was worried about or severely affected by bad -- read "diseased" -- milk until it started to be mass-produced, with all the negatives that come along with that.
capitalism working as designed
Yes. Your intelligent designer at his best.
I don't know how much longer the farmers market is going to be necessary. With online e-commerce, it will be easy to buy direct from the farmer without a market at all.
My wife and I did something similar last summer. We bought a bunch of beef from a organic farmer, all organized before the cow was even slaughtered.
We arranged to meet them somewhere convenient to pick it up. Simple, effective, and no middle man.
I would be very surprised if that doesn't start happening more and more in the next few years, as locally grown food starts to catch on more and farmers markets become more commercial.
Yup don't even need full ecommerce, our beef supplier is a friend of the family thru my sister-in-law, never knew I was very tenuously related to an organic beef rancher but thru the magic of social media to coordinate the process, here I am buying half cows and sticking them in my freezer much as you do.
I imagine it varies by state but I pay the rancher for a cow and he delivers it to a "full service" butcher shop / meat processor and a couple days later my wife and SIL take a road trip to the butcher shop and come home with hundreds of pounds of frozen meat, after she pays the butcher separately for his work.
Another fun thing to google for is "community supported agriculture" or CSA. I have a desire to sign up but never quite make it. The business model all the CSAs use around here is getting friendly organic food stores to use them as dropoff points, on the assumption that bags of vegetables will ruin their produce sales but boost the sales of everything else. Which is probably true.
In decades to come I imagine some kind of marketplace will develop for CSAs and craigslist traders and who knows what else.