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View Diary: Sad, but True: Cheetos Cost Less Than Apples (40 comments)

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  •  Well, that stuff is cheaper (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GeoffT, a2nite

    which is part of the problem.  Those subsidized junk foods would be more expensive if they weren't subsidized and better food was cheaper.

    Nobody, however, is seriously trying to solve that problem.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 01:19:37 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Junk food is simply cheaper to make (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Puddytat, elfling, Mike Kahlow, viral

      There may be some validity to subsidies helping lower cheetos costs, but those are probably mostly at the bulk wheat level, and not on the production side.

      But the apple and the cheeto are not equal.  The apple grows on a tree.  One apple tree can only produce one apple crop a year.  The apples grow at a rate decided by the tree, not a production manager.  The apple tree can't exploit far flung resources to maintain a production rate.
      If there are droughts or freezes or insect damage, the apple crop suffers, and customers will reject inferior fruit, raising prices.

      The cheeto meanwhile is manufactured on an indoor production line, which runs as close to 24/7/365 as possible.  It isn't bothered by the weather.  Raw ingredients can come from all over the nation.  As the wheat is mashed and cooked and flavored, initial quality can be much lower.  Many of the ingredients are artificial and themselves made on other 24/7 lines.
      And the nationwide cheeto production line probably fits in less space than one apple orchard.

      Junk food is cheaper because it is mass produced by machine.  If cheetos grew on trees, then one little cheeto would cost the same as one apple.

      •  Forgot another very important point on cost (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling, viral, Puddytat, Alexandra Lynch

        If demand for apples suddenly increases - as in lots of people deciding that eating apples is a good thing, supply cannot rapidly increase.  A new apple orchard planted this year will take several years, maybe a decade or more, before it is producing mass quantities of fruit.  The apples available for sale this year come from old, established orchards.
        Yes, some adjustments can be made, such as diverting fewer apples to applesauce or cider.  But those processes can also use lower quality / less consistent apples.  For the most part, the supply of good quality apples is fixed.  If demand goes up, cost goes up.

        If demand for cheetos rapidly increases, the factory can much more easily and cheaply expand the production line.  When demand goes up, cost probably comes down.

      •  Pig food (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat, viral, Alexandra Lynch, SadieSue

        What is now known as 'Cheetos' was created by a pig farmer in my Wisconsin home town as a cheap way to fatten pigs.  

        A local entrepreneur had the bright idea of adding cheese and selling the resulting junk as a 'treat' at a large markup.  He patented the farmer's process and eventually sold it to Frito-Lay.  

        That old farmer's pigs probably ate better than most citizens living in food deserts eat now.  

    •  Infinite shelf life (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Puddytat, viral

      is also part of the market advantage, both for the sellers and the buyers in every part of the distribution chain.

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

      by elfling on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 02:34:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When you're hungry long term (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SadieSue, Puddytat, FloridaSNMOM

      Then your concern is getting enough.   We would get government cheese and butter, then hope for a potato sale.  If we were lucky the local community center would bring in surplus veggies and then we'd have some toppings for the taters.  Otherwise, you could eat green beans all day and never get full.  That's why the poor don't think to eat healthy.  They're on a starvation diet for as long as they depend on snap.  

      Bad things aren't bad! And anyway, there's mitigation!

      by Nada Lemming on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 10:43:58 PM PDT

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