I certainly don’t ever want to be a vegetarian. Those folks just ain’t right. Pasty, scrawny and weak. Not right in the head. But I also certainly am NOT eating as much meat as I used to and it seems to get worse all the time as meat prices keep getting insane. Just in the last five years my daily ( weekdays, when I’m in town for work and I stop at the store for fresh meat- although I might soon have no choice and have to switch from fresh daily to one shop a week and use works freezers to partition up a big chunk ) meat budget has gone from two to three dollars. And now it looks like THAT might go up. Three bucks is bad enough- that is for two people and less than a pound. But, as is usual with a widespread systematic collapse, many forces converge at once to screw with business as usual. After forty years, centralization has gone from savior to villain. When Nixon gave our gold standard the last coffin nail, prices went insane. The response at the time was to push for centralizing production to gain efficiencies ( read: replacing expensive people with machines and oil ). But like all centralizing efforts in our society, that one has ran up against diminishing returns. Now it is hurting us.
Centralizing meat and milk and egg production is now, after decades of really low prices, biting us in the ass. One contaminated batch of eggs means shortages and doubling plus of prices. Oil never wanting to fall too much under $100 a barrel means transporting costs hurt rather than save. One area of centralizing production means a local drought triples prices. And the only way to go back to localized production would be to deny money to local governments and deny profits to big business. In other words, NOT going to happen. For every moronic Yuppie Scum agitating for zoning controls to protect “home values”, another farmer goes out of business. For every city or county collecting high property taxes on old farmland now valued at suburban home prices, we lose a bit of food security. Right now, pig prices are the reminder how we have screwed things up. About one third of current prices went to pig farmers. Those costs, the price the farmer charges, just doubled due to the latest widespread pig diarrhea epidemic killing off the poor little pork chops. So, it was a buck a pound to them, one to the processor and one to the retailer ( I generalize of course ). If the farmer is now charging TWO dollars a pound, and if no one else raises prices, four buck a pound pork is here shortly. Have you seen bacon? Five or six bucks a pound ( I imagine bacon contracts for the big fast food chains are frozen in price so the consumer gets the short end of the stick ). Remember the good old days when we changed our diets to meat and potatoes because we had such a huge surplus of food? Add population pressure to our lists of ills ( pretty soon, immigrants won’t just be taking your jobs, but the food off your plate ).
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