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shopping math

Ever wonder why a Big Mac costs less than a salad?

The foods the US government chooses to subsidize might have a lot to do with it. (Yes, this picture is using an outdated form of the food pyramid for comparison. The point still stands.)



Hat tip to Essays & Effluvia at the BigPicture blog
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nan0_frog November 15th, 2007
That's sad.. veggies are so tasty :(
It's funny, it seems like the less money you have the healthier you tend to eat according to that pyramid.. since meat is expencive and veggies and grains are cheaper...

mewilliamson November 15th, 2007
other way around. the first pyramid indicates the amounts the government pays for these things to be created. so, theoretically meat would be cheaper as the government is paying for it. its not a very good comparison though, as it doesn't take overall amount produced and base cost differences for different pieces into consideration.

nan0_frog November 15th, 2007
Darn.. read it wrong. I take that back! Well... they don't seem to subsidize meat that much if that's the case.. it's expensive! Not that meat is a necessary part of life anyhow..

anitra November 15th, 2007
Meat would be a whole lot more expensive if it wasn't subsidized so heavily. Part of the subsidies that go in to meat are actually subsidies for corn, which is used for feed.

People used to eat meat as an occasional treat, or a very small portion as part of a meal, rather than the meat-at-every-meal expectation most of the US has now.

lil_cherub November 15th, 2007
The other aspect which is being missed is the concept of supply and demand. Farmers can produce a huge quantity of grain because they can plant a more then once a season. As a result the US has a very large supply of grains in silos, to the point where some farmers are paid to not plant crops and run the fields baron.

Cattle farmers don't have that same turn around unless they are selling veal. Same for chicken farmers, unless they are selling eggs. It takes longer to get meat, eggs & cheese to market.

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