Sunday, January 9

see? i was listening to my economics professor!

Zzzz. Marginal propensity to consume. Zzzz. Oligopolistic behavior. Zzzz. Supply and demand. Zzzz.

Why it is that healthy food costs so much more than junk food? Is it because of supply and demand, or are the ingredients of junk food (salt, sugar, processed flour, etc.) just cheaper than those in healthy food?

Maybe it's because of the way they make healthy food: start with junk food, then add a fat-sucking (sugar-sucking, salt-sucking) stage to the process?

This morning, I ran out of cat food so had to make an emergency run to the grocery. While there, I had a short list of other stuff to buy, but since the usual crowd was non-existent, I decided to buy a bit more than usual. When the crowds are light, I often take longer to shop, since I don't feel pressured to grab something and get out of everyone's way. I like having time to mosey.

If you buy low-carb, or sugar-free (same thing) or lowfat versions of foodstuffs, inevitably you pay more (either via smaller portions, or increased cost per quantity). I like buying stuff in bulk (but now have to avoid Sam's Club due to their Radical Right persuasion), but there's not a lot of healthy food available in bulk. There is often aisle after aisle of deep-fried this or sugar-coated that. It's too bad that Whole Foods doesn't have a warehouse operation!

I often look for those wonderful red tags which mean an item's being discontinued. Oftentimes those are priced at/near cost, and it's commonly something I wouldn't normally buy, anyway .. so it makes for a nice change of pace. So, I found a couple of those items today.

I've also learned to compare the store brand with a name brand minus coupon (if I have one).
Deep Thought #56: Sometimes the only difference between a store brand and a name brand is the picture on the label. Should I pay more for good photography?
Alas, my moseying didn't come without a price. When I returned home, I found that Beta (the wonder dog) had done both a #1 and #2 in the hallway. Geez Louise! I let her out for 30 minutes or so this morning. I guess she held it, huh?


William Bob said...

I used to wonder why unleaded gas cost more than leaded gas — after all, they just leave the lead out, right?

It turns out that the lead played a crucial role in the refining process and that making unleaded gas is actually harder, and therefore more expensive, than making leaded gas.

Aside: does anyone else remember that leaded gas smelled really good? Unleaded smells bad, and unleaded with MTBE is absolutely putrid!However, with low-whatever food I suspect that the price differential is due to the evil twin of supply and demand: what the market will bear.

Gene said...

I gave up sniffing gasoline soon after taking up sniffing glue, William, so not sure how to advise you.