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The Footprint of Our Food

Behind neatly packaged foods are hidden costs. Retail foods come at a high price compared to local operations.

Not merely a hollowing of your pocket; but a cost to your health, as well as the public’s safety, time and resources.

Many products begin on commercial farms, as plants that are treated with pesticides.

Pesticides are used to keep produce attractive and pest free. Unfortunately, some pesticides are absorbed by plants and can’t be removed by simply washing fresh produce. This is a major health concern.

Once in factories, many items are packed in airtight bags and placed in oversized containers. On the containers are displayed 10’s of billions worth of advertisements. Many of these costs are added to the retail price of otherwise cheap food.

When items are ready for shipment, the commercial trucks we are accustomed to seeing on highways, haul them countrywide to various stores. Trucks can seem intimidating on the road and fellow drivers who are not used to sharing the road with them have caused accidents. Likewise, truck drivers must drive several tons worth of products under deadlines, which can make for less cautious driving.

Between 2004 and 2008, 5,061 trucking accidents took place in U.S. Most accidents occurred during the day in rural areas. Overall, truck drivers have five times the risk of job related deaths.

After the journey cross-country, items that reach stores are subject to product placement. This strategy allows the colorful clutter of packaged name brands to catch the overwhelmed eyes of consumers and keep them astray from cheaper generic brands. It also deters one from the healthier options that use less packaging.

However you shop, surely we can all agree the presentation of products should not cost so much as a life.  Nor should it contribute to the depletion of the environment.

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