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leave it to the french, to make the supposedly unattractive-- quite seductive ;)

on a serious note, nothing wrong with it. It is not toxic, just a little deformed. Billions of folks in developing countries eat just that, and not by choice. Not only saves money, but also a down-to-earth camaraderie with impoverished peoples in poor countries.

save the perfect, glorious, and more expensive produce for the likes of queen elizabeth and the kardashians

So smart!!  Like creating solar panels as the shade in covered parking!!! DUH!  Hello?  How smart is that? Anyone been to El Chorro in Scottsdale lately?

El Chorro History - Scroll to bottom

While everything is true with regards to the food wholesomeness, I would point out it is the government(s) that subsidize crops using stolen money and then demand only those fruits with their specified perfection can be sold.  All falling outside of this perfection are either ordered for sale on lesser markets (juicing, livestock food, manufacturing) or destroyed.  The act of subsidizing means they "own" the crop and may do as they wish with it.

The second truth on perishable food marketing is the very best unblemished fruits and vegetables are shipped the greatest distance.  This is for two reasons--their scarcity in the regions furthest shipped makes them the most profitable and local consumers are (hopefully) more willing to pay more to purchase the rarer item--and the more unblemished a fruit the likelier of its surviving the time it takes to ship.  This means the crap left for you to buy is locally grown.  OK, I had a little fun with that last sentence but it is true that the locally grown food in the supermarket is going to not be the nicest offered for sale but instead the least acceptable (to the government). 

There is an interesting exception.  Small growers who sell in farmers markets and the like do not get subsidies.  And they too select only the best (appearing) of their crop for sale of these markets.  The remainder goes to local market arrangements then any CSA commitments.  Leaving the remnants ("crap" in my vernacular) for themselves. 

Nothing wrong with eating crap.  My take on the commercial is Americans had best get used to eating crap, because the good subsidized stuff is being shipped to the new buyers, the Chinese. 

Now I have nothing against shipping food wherever the market demands it.  I simply reject the subsidies and the regulatory interference in the marketplace.  And I support non-approved non-beautiful foods being offered at lower prices (what the market will bear) where buyers will make the choice.  I just find it kind of melancholy that the party is over and the hangover is starting at the new dawn.  You know . . . maybe that is what all those crazy people running around shouting "locally grown" and "sustainability" meant. 


Out of curiosity - what does farming look like without subsidy?

There is another interesting phenomenon with government demands on subsidized crops.  They specify its harvest.  For example the USDA mandates picking tomato crops when 5% red.  How do you tell 5% red?  They make an spectrophotometer that measures it.  Why would anyone pick a tomato that was 5% red?  Because it is so tough it will ship well.  And they have a protocol to "ripen" the tomato (by which they mean turn it red) using gases, and temperatures and likely other things I'd rather not know to make a tomato with a wonderful appearance for you to be tempted to buy.  Yum!

Even locally grown subsidized foods get picked under this schedule even when they could be picked later and still safely shipped to the local outlets.  Picking a monocrop more than once is a big added cost to the grower.  Yum!

Those unsubsidized farmers can pick when ripe or near ripe and get it to the market in 24 hours or less.  Now that doesn't sound good at all does it?  ;-)

Leave it to the French, Indeed!  Government policies and practices aside, I think it is fabulous.  Given American culture's love affair with 'perfection', I wonder how well that would fare here in the States? 


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