For those food nerds out there (like me), you probably have seen one or a dozen articles concerning the rising cost of food that began in March and is not slowing down. And if you have not seen these articles yet, you will. Gas and food prices will be serious water-cooler chatter coming into the summer. I would like to give you some food for thought.
Our country’s love of cheap food rides on the back of cheap gas. When fuel is inexpensive, the world is your oyster. Find cheap labor, set up shop, and just ship to market. Nothing really fancy about it. But what hap-pens as fuel prices go up? Well, all of the gains that you earned by finding cheap labor get gobbled up in fuel costs and you are back to where you began.
Therefore, when you see rising fuel costs, you know that rising food costs are on the heels. This is where we are at right now amigos. Is this avoidable? Absolutely.
To get off this manic roller coaster, we must expand our scope for long-term solutions to our food system. We need to look beyond short-term gains and build a consistent sustainable food model.
We all remember this from a year ago when the cheap food industry failed us as shelves were empty and over-crowded processing warehouses became the breeding grounds for Covid outbreaks.
At that time, our local and regional food network of many small producers coming together to sell as One, kept food on our tables as we did not have to go to the store. Our strength came from our diversity. We did not put all of our eggs in one basket and because of that we flourished in a very challenging time.
But that was then. Where are we now? Well we are obviously in a different situation than we were a year ago, but our local/regional model is still bringing us stability. We are not held hostage by the price of fuel. By cutting down food miles and cutting out the middle men (and women), we can maintain serious value in our offerings. And so yes, the local food model wins again.
We have built a little safe harbor in the storm of uncertainty. But also know that this is not by accident. The security that our food model maintains comes from decades of relationship building and from you sup-porting our vendors through the good and the bad times.
Our partners know that you have supported their efforts when easier or cheaper options were available; now they support you by not raising prices. A true Win-Win situation for producers and consumers. And I have to tell you that I celebrate these Wins in a marketplace that seemingly acts like if you have a Winner you have to have a Loser. You do not. And we are showing that.
So I invite (ok Encourage) you to browse the website. Our offering of fresh healthy foods has never been more diverse and value-packed than it is right now. Our partner producers are scaling up with more demand and that is decreasing the cost to support lo-cal/regional. And this will only continue to grow as we continue to support one another. It is really exciting to see.
I also encourage you to try all of the prepared foods our kitchen team is putting together. These are quick, convenient, and healthy options for you and your familia to enjoy. Chef Jules is showing us that we do not need to sacrifice quality just because we are looking for quick options to get food on the table.
Enjoy! Farmer Monte