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True Cost Accounting

True Cost Accounting

True Cost Accounting

True Cost Accounting

By considering all of the external expenses factored out of the cost of food, an economic principle called true cost accounting helps consumers understand the real cost of the food they buy.

The Lexicon of Sustainability's Know Your Food is a short film series that introduces consumers to key terms and principles that can help them make more informed decisions about the food they eat.

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This is a great topic, but is presented in ways that bash farmers. Most fundamentally, farm culture has long traditions of emphasizing community values, not narrow self interest. That's more a product of the urban revolution, (which brought us the power complex, and scientific reductionism [scientism]). The "children's story" is grossly unjust and based upon a false dichotomy to artificially divide farmers, while ignoring the massive role of corporate agribusiness. The bad farmer is portrayed as the polluter, the subsidy recipient, and one putting "profits above people." In fact farm subsidies were given only after massive reductions (8 times bigger, which were taken from farmers and given to agribusiness, which showed no need, but rather had record profits and returns on equity, year after year). And as USDA's Economic Research Service has shown, for a sum of 8 major subsidized crops, farmers lost money in the market place vs full costs every year 1981-2006 except 1996, and on to 2014 (6 of 7 years) for 5 of them, and all of them again recently and dairy every year since 1993 except 2007. The farmers' share of the food dollar (with the Monstanto/John Deere input share removed,) was projected to be zero by 2020 by Stewart Smith, and that seems to be continuing. It's the consumers who have been subsidized by farmers, not the reverse, when net results are figured (cheap prices + subsidies = net). This issue should not be reduced to consumer choices. There are huge policy issues, starting with the farm bill. Subsidies, (long opposed on a massive scale by the farmers getting them,) are used to dupe people into blaming farmers while ignoring agribusiness benefits, (as the food movement and mainstream media have done). Cheap prices have then led to farmers losing livstock to CAFOs (4 hog CAFOs own 66% of the hogs), so then they have no use for pastures and hay (alfalfa, clover), no economic basis for Resource Conserving Crop Rotations. "Greedy" farmers didn't do that, it was done to farmers who previously had great crop rotations. Farmers have long called for BOTH Price Floors and Price Ceilings (upper limits on how much they're paid). Food leaders of today didn't (2008 & 2014 farm bills) support Price Ceilings for consumers, only farmers (ditto, surely, for 2018). The graphic here leaves out the injustices to farmers and their communities, (the destruction of culture,) and the destruction of our economy, (of wealth and jobs creation, as dozens of studies have found, ) through these changes.

This is a great topic, but is presented in ways that bash farmers. Most fundamentally, farm culture has long traditions of emphasizing community values, not narrow self interest. That's more a product of the urban revolution, (which brought us the power complex, and scientific reductionism [scientism]). The "children's story" is grossly unjust and based upon a false dichotomy to artificially divide farmers, while ignoring the massive role of corporate agribusiness. The bad farmer is portrayed as the polluter, the subsidy recipient, and one putting "profits above people." In fact farm subsidies were given only after massive reductions (8 times bigger, which were taken from farmers and given to agribusiness, which showed no need, but rather had record profits and returns on equity, year after year). And as USDA's Economic Research Service has shown, for a sum of 8 major subsidized crops, farmers lost money in the market place vs full costs every year 1981-2006 except 1996, and on to 2014 (6 of 7 years) for 5 of them, and all of them again recently and dairy every year since 1993 except 2007. The farmers' share of the food dollar (with the Monstanto/John Deere input share removed,) was projected to be zero by 2020 by Stewart Smith, and that seems to be continuing. It's the consumers who have been subsidized by farmers, not the reverse, when net results are figured (cheap prices + subsidies = net). This issue should not be reduced to consumer choices. There are huge policy issues, starting with the farm bill. Subsidies, (long opposed on a massive scale by the farmers getting them,) are used to dupe people into blaming farmers while ignoring agribusiness benefits, (as the food movement and mainstream media have done). Cheap prices have then led to farmers losing livstock to CAFOs (4 hog CAFOs own 66% of the hogs), so then they have no use for pastures and hay (alfalfa, clover), no economic basis for Resource Conserving Crop Rotations. "Greedy" farmers didn't do that, it was done to farmers who previously had great crop rotations. Farmers have long called for BOTH Price Floors and Price Ceilings (upper limits on how much they're paid). Food leaders of today didn't (2008 & 2014 farm bills) support Price Ceilings for consumers, only farmers (ditto, surely, for 2018). The graphic here leaves out the injustices to farmers and their communities, (the destruction of culture,) and the destruction of our economy, (of wealth and jobs creation, as dozens of studies have found, ) through these changes. The farm justice movement has long supported fair farm labor wages. Bottom line: farmers are always subsidizing your food, and it's destroying them, their environments, their communities, and their economies.

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