Blog Action Day, Part 2

Yesterday I happened upon this book at the library.

Being keenly interested in the topic of organic food, I tossed it in my over-stuffed book bag. While Jeff was doing the bedtime routine tonight, I started checking it out.

I am deep in Chapter 1, wherein one of the co-authors (Anna Blythe Lappé) is explaining about our food supply and food system and discussing it within the framework of the "Six Illusions." They are the Illusion of Choice, Safe & Clean, Efficiency, Cheap, Fairness and Progress.

Well as usual I am horrified by what I read about industrial agriculture. In section on the Illusion of Fairness, I learned that "economists generally agree that once four companies control 40 percent or more of a market, real shot." (Campbell R. McConnell and Stanley L. Brue, Economics, 16th Edition, New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2005, p. 468).

Drumroll, please....

The four largest producers in each of the following categories control the following percentages: 84 percent of the beef market, 63 percent of the flour and 80 percent of the soybeans, 80 percent of the commercial seed market and as far as GMO seeds, 90 percent of THOSE are controlled by one company, Monsanto. (Grub)

Excellent. So glad I already buy as much organic food as financially possible. Where is Coupon Mom for moms like me Oprah?

Moving on. Why am I posting twice on the topic of poverty for Blog Action Day> It's because of what I just read
on page 22, still in the Illusion of Fairness: "Wal-Mart, which entered the food sales market only fifteen years ago, now collects roughly one out of three of our food dollars." (Grub)

The author then tells an anecdotal story about visiting Paris, MO, with a population of less than 2,000 that while small, is surrounded by farmland. There was not a single store or restaurant selling fresh food of any kind. Unless you count tater tots or the tomato sauce on a microwaveable pizza.

And to bring it closer to home, I share a fact the author quotes from Christopher Cook's book Diet for a Dead Planet: in a San Francisco neighborhood, low-income residents paid 64 percent more for equivalent food than their wealthier neighbors.

Um. No, Jaden. Mommy getting to stay up later than you is not unfair. People not having access to fresh, healthy food at all or at higher prices is unfair. Gosh this discussion of poverty in America is a GREAT diversion for me during a PET scan week. It's enough to make me want to buy apples and spinach (organic, duh) and pass them out to everyone.

I am steaming mad and I'm not an artichoke so I don't like the feeling.

I might even host a Grub Party!
Would anyone come?