Good food promotes health, is produced in a sustainable manner and is affordable. In comparison, cheap food offers a superior low price delivered by an industrial food supply chain dependent upon massive consumption of pesticides, energy, fertilizer and antibiotics. Cheap food's emerging long-term health impacts include obesity and diabetes.
The environmental impacts of cheap food are enormous. The production and delivery of food accounts for 50 percent of U.S. land use, 80 percent of our water consumption and 10 percent of our total energy use. The waste stream of cheap food is a staggering amount of garbage. For example, we throw away 25 billion paper cups each year because they are “free.” That adds up annually to 363 million pounds of waste and the loss of more than 9 million trees. Because food is “cheap,” we throw away 40 percent of it, representing $165 billion of consumer spending being annually dumped into landfills.
Cheap food’s super size portions and $1 menu items that are rich in fats and sugars have made most of us overweight, created a national obesity epidemic and is a major factor behind the alarming 23 percent increase in children afflicted by diabetes over the last eight years. The question of whether we can afford cheap food is becoming much too real.
Look for the upcoming companion article to this posting on “Restaurant Green Best Practices That Win Customers and Grow Profits.”
Bill Roth is the Founder of Earth 2017. He coaches business owners and leaders on proven best practices in pricing, marketing and operations that make money and create a positive difference. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles business case studies of pioneering best practices that are proven to win customers and grow product revenues.
Founder of Earth 2017. Author of The Boomer Generation Diet: Lose Weight. Have Fun. Live More that Jen Boynton, Editor in Chief of Triple Pundit , says is "Written in Bill Roth's lovable, relatable tone. A must read for any Boomer who is looking to jumpstart their health and have fun at the same time. I hope my parents read it. "