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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Why buy local?

Behold the locally-made cake. It is a thing of beauty in so many ways. This cake was freshly baked to order by a small locally-owned bakery, using eggs from locally-raised cage-free chickens. The baker didn't cut corners by using cheap, suspect ingredients produced in a low-wage country under questionable conditions. She decorated it with skill (and food supplies) that would reflect well on her, sure that we would cross paths often, and she charged a fair price for her hours of labor without apology. The cake cost more than a less beautiful, less delicious cake would have cost at a giant retail grocery store . . . but what is the real cost of a "cheaper" product?

Let's see:
Lower price likely=lower pay for the store baker, cheaper ingredients, lost business for the locally-owned baker, lost business for local graphic designers who don't design the retail giant's advertising, longer wait in line at the giant retailer that doesn't hire enough clerks to prevent slow-moving checkout lines, less consumer control over the cake ingredients (add your own)

Locally-made=developing relationship with the local baker, larger portion of the cake's purchase price is invested back into the community, no waiting in long line at retail giant after purchasing unnecessary items while wandering across the stress-inducing store, no going to customer service to correct wrong price scan, more work for local graphic designer who designs the baker's logo and labels (add your own)



Mighty Aphrodite said...

That is a beautiful cake!
I agree that supporting local is a wonderful idea. Anymore, consumers have no idea what goes into the production of the item which they are purchasing. Heck, a toy can be full of lead and put together by a child in a sweat shop overseas.
Maybe that is me being overly negative but it is possible.

HappyHibiscus said...

Local food vs. Organic food, I go local every time. We have to support each other, not corporations, nor large companies that undercut our communities.