Have you ever wondered why home-grown/ homemade/ handmade/ handcrafted… is always expensive, and difficult to source? And all the while, their cheaper counterparts are readily available in abundance, at every nook and cranny of the city.
It’s the marketing of such dubious products that prey on our time-constraint and need for convenience. They know that these are the pressure points of customers like us, leading super busy lives, which makes us come running to them for ready-made, ready-to-eat, ready-to-assemble and door-delivered products. All these are targeted towards people like us, who have the money, but no time. Just look at the past five years’ development around your area; more than anything else, supermarkets and restaurants have mushroomed in every inch of space, so to speak. And no matter how many restaurants pop up, the crowd at these eateries is the evidence that people depend on them, so much more than ever before.
Now don’t get me wrong; I am not against eating out, in fact, we as a family love our time together exploring new cafes and restaurant. But my concern is the frequency and the tendency to ‘grab a meal rather than cook at home’. What’s more? It seems as though cooking at home is more expensive than those quick fast food items and not to mention the work involved in cooking.
We don’t have time to buy our produce anymore; we don’t have time to cook meals at home; we don’t have time to eat as a family anymore either!
Then what are we running around making all the money for…
Probably to enjoy life later… Right? But what enjoyment, when our health is compromised in the long run… Ever think about that?
Coming to my first question… it’s no wonder that people prefer the fast and easy over the exclusive items, which are obviously more expensive than their mass produced counterparts, made of cheaper materials, using harmful chemical alternatives to real food, real produce, real fabric etc. It might look cheaper on the surface, but is proving to be quite expensive for the environment, as we have all come to know now. Cheaper for us, but very expensive for the planet we live in. And very expensive for all of us, a little later on, when we will be paying huge medical bills. All this fast lifestyle is costing our health dearly; which we may not realize now, in the busyness and race to complete one deadline after another.
What we fail to understand is, whatever is made to look cheaper for us, is definitely coming at a cost… we may not be seeing it right away, but that’s how it is made to look by the giants ruling the consumer driven industries.
We need to look beyond the cheap labels and understand why we need to pay higher price for things which are home grown/handmade and so on…
Why is organic produce more expensive?
The produce is grown painstakingly by an organic farmer who lives by ethics and conscience, and refuses to add toxins in the food he grows. And therefore, he doesn’t add chemical fertilizers to the soil; thereby the production is good, but not as much. He also does not add any pesticides on his crops, even though he incurs huge losses due to pests compared to the others using pesticides. So he has less produce per acre compared to what the chemical agriculture would produce.
Of course, it’s going to be a bit expensive. Look at food for instance…The fast food culture is growing in leaps and bounds… and we need to really understand how they are able to sell food for less, when all the ingredients in the market seem expensive!
How exactly are they cutting costs to make the item cheaper? Is it something we should be worried about? Why is fast food so addictive? What could have been added in them to make it so?
Why are biscuits and cookies which claim to have cashews and other dry fruits, sell at ten rupees per pack, even though our educated mind knows that cashews and dry fruits don’t come cheap?
What about packaged juices claiming to have 100% fruit, selling cheaper than that fruit itself?
Those glossy advertisements, enticing our kids with various colourful treats (including all colours in the rainbow), shamelessly endorsed by film stars and eminent sport personalities, are they really any good?
Forget good, I am really worried about what potentially harmful things are they hiding behind those colours and flavours. Is it going to cause any damage to my kid’s health? Of course, it will.
We are all working so hard day and night, bringing home fat pay cheques, but not having the time to eat a proper meal in peace. This whole race to afford a good lifestyle, in turn to provide good health is actually making us run farther away from the very same thing… good health. Where is the possibility of good health, when we don’t eat a plate of good wholesome chemical free food? Plate after plate of food is only loaded with in-comprehensive chemicals in the form of vegetables and fruits coming to us from chemical drenched farming. It is just filling our stomach and satisfying our mind, but it is not doing anything to nourish our body.
All that money is not providing us good food and by good food I don’t mean a meal at a fancy restaurant… no. I mean a meal which we know, for sure, contains nothing harmful and has all the goodness it’s supposed to have.
We all know the vicious role these chemicals are playing, in our lives and with our lives…
So what do we do? We don’t have control over markets and what they sell, so what can we really do? We are helpless… right?
As consumers, we have lot of power; we just need to use them.
It’s time to create small communities to completely eliminate the middle-man out of the picture. This is how we can assert our rights;
Right to good clean food; Right to unadulterated provisions; Right to make a choice and not be rendered helpless in the hands of media moguls and giants in the food industries.
Let’s try to build small communities with known trustworthy circles of people, who are consciously doing what they do best!
Let’s find people who grow crops organically, let’s find home chefs who can cook healthy meals, let’s find people who make pastries without compromising on the quality of ingredients.
Let’s form such micro-communities that we can depend on, for our everyday needs; it might be slightly more expensive than the mass produced goods, but it will be worth the money, worth your health and your family’s well-being.
Let’s stop feeding the mass production culture and support small businesses instead.
There is just one more crucial thing we might have to do; something we have lost in the mindless rat race; and that is to develop patience and tolerance. Have patience and tolerance to go the extra mile to pick the best locally grown seasonal produce for yourself and your family. Only then can we have the health we all aspire for.
Because Good Things Take Time.
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