Voting with your trolley

Here's a very interesting article in the Economist about the socio-economical choices we are making when doing the groceries.

"Conventional political activity may not be as enjoyable as shopping, but it is far more likely to make a difference."

The article puts sense into what I intuitively adopt for myself. I don't buy organic food, because it doesn't make economical sense to waste resources while the rest of the planet is starving. Although I wholeheartedly buy and consume luxury food, I don't think it should apply to basic food that is worth the same nutritional value no matter its method of production. The biggest reason people invoke when buying organic produces is that it is a greener choice. This might not even be true, if you consider that organic production requires more resources, and more land than conventional growing, that relies on pesticides that work, and all sorts of modified crops that (I assume that plant biology is that advanced) can absorb water better, and grow more efficiently with lesser amounts of fertilizer.

Certainly, the Economist is a liberal newspaper, which supports free trade. It isn't a surprise that they also go in lengths at destroying the so-called myth of sustainability of Fairtrade. They're like subsidies in disguise to a sector that shouldn't be encouraged to expand. I think that ultimately what we, as consumers, attempt to do, is let more farmers live from coffee, despite the idea that it might not be the best for them, economically-speaking (maybe they should move to other types of crops, or maybe they should just give up agriculture altogether).

The article sites a book by Michael Pollan, called The Omnivore Dilemma. And I'm going straight for the Amazon as we speak. :D


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This page contains a single entry by Cedric published on December 10, 2006 5:19 PM.

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