Re-thinking the TRUE cost of food

A topic that's constantly on my mind, and one that is at the heart of our mission at Bread Brothers, is the way we perceive food and its value.

Have you ever stopped to think about why we expect food to be cheap? Truly, I've asked myself many times "who started this cheap food narrative and why?" Somehow, our society has come to see inexpensive food as a given, almost a right, rather than a privilege or a reflection of its true worth-something we're proud to have and are willing to work hard to attain.

So why should food be cheap? What's the basis for that assumption? When we delve into it, we realize that the idea of cheap food is, in many ways, illogical.

First, there's the reality of production costs. Quality food requires quality ingredients, which come at a price. We know this when we're talking about cars or trucks, clothing, construction materials and art. It also applies to food.

Whether it's sustainably farmed vegetables, ethically raised meat, or artisanal products, these items demand resources — time, effort and a higher monetary investment. Yet, we've somehow come to expect these products to be available at rock-bottom prices, competing with the mass produced poison foods in the marketplace.

Then there's the hidden cost of cheap food. Behind every dollar menu item or heavily processed snack, there are externalities that aren't factored into the price tag. The greatest cost being the terrible long term impact on our health. We pay thousands upon thousands of dollars and lose precious time battling the side effects later. Cancer, obesity, heart disease, metabolic disease & diabetes kill too many Americans every year. And the numbers keep rising. With all of the wonderful resources we have, why is our life expectancy going down and why are so many people on a litany of pharmaceuticals that they'll rely on for the rest of their life?

The answer is FOOD. It's DIET. Our generation has consumed highly processed foods for so long, it's true effects are finally becoming manifest in disease.

So knowing all of this, why do we feel entitled to cheap food? Maybe it's that we feel more "programmed" to expect our food to be inexpensive. Maybe it's because we've been conditioned to prioritize immediate savings (gratification) over long-term sustainability (takes discipline). Or maybe it's because the true cost of cheap food is conveniently obscured behind clever marketing and subsidies. In any case, cheap food is poisoning us, our friends and our family, and quality food is what heals us!

We need a shift in perspective. Instead of seeking out the cheapest option available, we've got to consider the true value of food — not in terms of its price tag, but its impact on our health. Health is attached to our freedom, to our happiness, to our ability to live and enjoy life. And yes, it's also connected to our financial well being. Vibrant health is a very worthwhile long term investment. Being overweight, diabetic, sick, lethargic and discouraged isn't how we're meant to live.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. What's your perspective on the value of food? Let's continue the conversation! Leave us a comment so we can talk.

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