Food Security

Let’s get concrete. One aspect. Food security. There was a suggestion, a well worn mantra but nonetheless very true, to buy local. We’ll keep that narrowed to food. The presumption is that the more local food we buy the more local growers will be inclined to raise. Each additional pound of food gets us one pound closer to security. But there is another factor. The food has to be affordable.

Small farms, especially the organic farms and it would be ideal if all were organic, can’t get food to the market at the same price as agribiz. Agribiz doesn’t care about or thus factor in the external costs of pollution (and resulting health issues) from chemicals or gmo’s or any such thing. On top of that they get huge subsidies. The subsidies are added to everyone else’s tax bill.

So locally we should do the same. All local growers should be exempt from as much of their taxes they pay until they can A) get food to the market affordably and B) still make a living. Even if this means total tax exemption. This in turn reduces local tax revenue. To maintain services we raise the tax rate so all of us can enjoy and thrive on local produced food and the security it brings.

The poorest people, about half of our community, are protected from tax increases by the Income Sensitivity and Circuit Breaker programs. In short, we shift wealth from the haves to the have nots and no one feels compelled to commit anti-social acts just to live.

By the way…feeding people to the extent that they feel no need to “commit anti-social acts” is the meaning of the term ‘food security.’

Comments | 1

  • Social costs of poverty

    I was reading in an old book by George Bernard Shaw, the playwright and avowed Socialist, that even if you don’t feel it’s your place to support the less fortunate, that the social cost of allowing poverty to exist is greater than the cost of alleviating it. He went one further. He said that poverty should be outlawed, for the good of everyone and not just the impoverished.

    Anti-social acts such as stealing food are often desperate acts. In fact, a lot of crime starts because, for the potential criminal, it feels like the only way.

    Back to food — I would hope that farms produce food but I worry about the migrant workers that at least some of them depend on. Could local workers fill in if the usual workers can’t come?

    Also, in addition to supporting local farmers with our purchases, growing a few veggies is always fun and might even produce some edible produce. What if we loosened up some land for community gardens?

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