Food Costs

Have you ever seen the silly meme saying something like: “If we all gardened and traded our surplus with each other, we could eat for free!”?

When I see that I wonder what the person’s definition of “free” is.

I think of “free” as meaning “without cost”; something for nothing.

Even when I pick Rocket Mustard, purslane, or prickly pear out of the yard to eat, there is a cost. It takes labor. Both for harvesting and for preparing.

If I were to garden, the cost would be even greater. There’s labor, supplies, and (around here, anyway) water. TANSTAAFL, you know. Maybe you can avoid a bit of “taxation” this way, though.

Anyone who thinks only in terms of money traded for the food is missing almost everything related to cost.

This doesn’t mean I am opposed to growing your own and trading the surplus. I’m not. I think it’s a great thing to do and I encourage everyone to try it. But let’s not fool ourselves that the food produced is in any way “free”.

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Kent McManigal

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