Happy Labor Day to you Americans out there. It seems more relevant this year than most others; usually, to me it just means another day off and a telethon that interferes with my usual shows. But this year is different, as evidenced by this U.S. unemployment chart.It looks grim, and we haven't yet hit the 10% level the experts are predicting.
One of my first thoughts when the economy started to tank was, "how long are people going to be willing to pay higher prices for local, sustainable, or higher-quality food?" After I lost my job, my first thought was, "how long am I going to be able to do keep buying the products I am used to buying, at the shops where I have been used to buying them?"
I have tightened my belt, but I have done my best to support my local grocery store, cheese shop, coffee roaster who roasts the fair trade coffee I buy, the green market, and those companies that offer quality products and use sustainable practices to produce their goods. Now that I have even fewer dollars to spend, I want to be sure that they are speaking for me as loudly as possible. I may be eating out less often, but I make sure my entertainment dollars are going to local restaurants instead of national chains.
I have been fortunate to find work again, but I still have to watch my spending to the penny. Even so, I have found a way to stay as true to my food politics as I can. Not everyone has the luxury to do so, but if you do, I hope you will keep in mind that spending less can sometimes cost you more, in the long run.