Skip to main content

View Diary: Eating on $5 a Day, the Food Stamp "Entitlement" (302 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I thought you were on the west coast, (6+ / 0-)

    and that makes it even crazier. You live in the biggest produce-farming state in the country!

    I'm in NYC, and that broccoli and the oranges that I mentioned above come from CA. The bagged apples in our supermarkets come from WA (even though we grow our own here). Much of the supermarket produce here is grown in the Central Valley and shipped clear across the country. I wish they wouldn't, for obvious environmental reasons, but they wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't cheaper (for them) than sourcing locally!

    How can I be buying the same food, with 3000 miles' shipping and cold storage added on, for so much less? I could almost send you back a honeydew for less than you're paying.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 12:46:10 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Because they can. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lonely Texan, Mortifyd, kyril, sidnora

      They justify it by saying property values tripled in a decade even though the value was false.

      Remember California is where they dumped kerosene on oranges instead of give them to the hungry people in the Grapes of Wrath.

      "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:28:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Horace that is horrible! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, Horace Boothroyd III, sidnora

        (I lived in Seattle and remember how scared I felt when I couldn't eat a healthy meal for less than five bucks.)

      •  Forgive me if I'm displaying (0+ / 0-)

        my ignorance, but have you written here on this specific issue? Because it could use some exposure. I'm pretty interested in food/farming issues and this is the first I've heard of it.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 05:06:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The attiude there? (0+ / 0-)
          Remember California is where they dumped kerosene on oranges instead of give them to the hungry people in the Grapes of Wrath.
          They were hungry, and they were fierce.  And they had hoped to find a home, and they found only hatred.  Okies--the owners hated them because the owners knew they were soft and the Okies strong, that they were fed and the Okies hungry; and perhaps the owners had heard from their grandfathers how easy it is to steal land from a soft man if you are fierce and hungry and armed.  The owners hated them. And in the towns, the storekeepers hated them because they had no money to spend.  There is no shorter path to a storekeeper’s contempt, and all his admirations are exactly the opposite*.  The town men, little bankers, hated Okies because there was nothing to gain from them.  They had nothing.  And the laboring people hated Okies because a hungry man must work, and if he must work, if he has to work, the wage payer automatically gives him less for his work; and then no one can get more.

          And the dispossess, the migrants, flowed into California, two hundred and fifty thousand, and three hundred thousand.  Behind them new tractors were going on the land and the tenants were being forced off.  And new waves were on the way, new waves of the dispossessed and the homeless, hardened, intent, and dangerous.

          And while the Californians wanted many things, accumulation, social success, amusement, luxury, and a curious banking security, the new barbarians wanted only two things--land and food; and to them the two were one.  And whereas the wants of the Californians were nebulous and undefined, the wants of the Okies were beside the roads, lying there to be seen and coveted:  the good fields with water to be dug for, the good green fields, earth to crumble experimentally in the hand, grass to smell, oaten stalks to chew until the sharp sweetness was in the throat.  A man might look at a fallow field and know, and see in his mind that his own bending back and his own straining arms would bring the cabbages into the light, and the golden eating corn, the turnips and carrots.

          And a homeless hungry man, driving the roads with his wife beside him and his thin children in the back seat, could look at the fallow fields which might produce food but not profit and that man could know how a fallow field is a sin and the unused land a crime against the thin children.  An such a man drove along the roads and knew temptation at every filed, and knew the lust to take these fields and make them grow strength for his children and a little comfort for his wife.  The temptation was before him always.  The fields goaded him, and the company ditches with good water flowing were a goad to him.

          And in the south he saw the golden oranges hanging on the trees, the little golden oranges on the dark green trees; and guards with shotguns patrolling the lines so a man might not pick an orange for a thin child, oranges to be dumped if the price was low.

          I'm sorry you are not familiar with this masterpiece of Americana. Please read it.

          The attitude in California about the "property" rights is well documented. It goes back to the Don's and the Land grants form Spain because the Don's owned everything on the Ranchero. Even the people.

          "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

          by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 05:31:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, my comment was unclear. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Horace Boothroyd III

            Not only have I read TGoW and seen the film (also a masterpiece) multiple times, I could probably quote chunks from memory.

            I was referring to the present deformation of food prices, as we'd previously discussed. If what you say is true, and I have no reason to doubt you, those growers are willing to accept a return probably 3/4 less on the crops that get shipped out here and sold cheaply, than on crops with minimal shipping/storage costs, but which are sold locally for astronomical prices.

            If this is a heritage of centuries of aristocratic attitude towards land ownership, it would seem to me that there's a huge business opportunity just waiting for the first person who's willing to farm and sell using a rational business model. They'd be able to undersell the "Dons" and still make an enormous profit. Is all the land so closely held that there's no room for such an entrepreneur?

            "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

            by sidnora on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 06:28:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I'm getting broccoli for $1/lb (0+ / 0-)

      sometimes it goes as high as $2/lb, but I've noticed it's a food that the supermarkets game with - that is, one store I frequent sometimes has it at twice the price of the other.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 04:50:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site