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THIS NARRATIVE MUST CHANGE.

YOU WANT HOW MUCH FOR THAT?

When did the narrative about the cost of food change? At what point did we start believing that we could buy a quality chicken for €5.00? At what point did we start believing that a farmer could spend months nurturing a carrot from seed to maturity and we get to pay only .49cent per kilo? When did this crazy narrative about food begin? Somebody is paying the real price for this and it seems likely that it will be us.

We pay it in terms of reduced quality, reduced flavour and probably reduced nutritional value. This author is not qualified to scientifically comment on any of the above however it seems that we have become ‘brainwashed’ into thinking that food should be cheap, cheaper and then some more.

Why is this? We ingest food directly into our bodies. It can make us feel great, invigorated, energised or lethargic and sick. It is incomprehensible that we have got to the stage when we could potentially buy enough food to feed a family of four a meal for the price of a packet of cigarettes. The multiples spend considerable resources on telling us how much we can save on our weekly food shop by buying it ‘cheaper’ from them?

Are we missing something here? This narrative has also spilled over into the realms of eating out. On the national airwaves recently, a woman protested vehemently at the price she had paid for what sounded like a very large ‘full Irish’. Others piled in with ‘horror stories’ of what they were charged in cafes, restaurants and pubs. Can we get real here for a moment? If we decide to cook a fry up at home having paid attention to the quality of what is going on the plate, it is going to cost us in real terms. If we decide to ignore the quality of what is going on the plate from the sausage to the pudding to the eggs, then yes, we could potentially have it for very little money. There is a very large caveat, you are not having to pay rent, rates, commercial electricity charges, water going in and out, wages, VAT, pest control, waste management, parking charges and a very long list of other costs associated with running a business. All of those costs virtually without exception have risen dramatically in the last year.

The choice is entirely ours. If we care enough, we can change this narrative. A quality carrot cannot be grown for .49c a kilo, a quality chicken cannot be bought for €5.00 and a quality ‘full Irish’ cannot be sold for less than it costs the business to produce it. It’s as simple as that. Your thoughts welcome.