Taking Responsibility
Global Warming
Local Food  
Grow Your Own
About Start Now and Glenn & Jean
Contact Us


What You DON’T See
is mostly what you get at the supermarket

How about spending more of your food dollars on FOOD?

It’s a fact. More than 94% of the money you spend on supermarket food goes to somebody else, not the farmer. Maybe 10% goes for fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, other farm inputs. The rest, over 84% (!) goes for what can loosely be called marketing. None of this improves, most of it degrades, the quality of the food you get. This includes:

  • Transportation – often over thousands of miles

  • Storage – vast facilities at a number of points along the route

  • Brokerage – organization and management of transportation and storage

  • Refrigeration – in storage facilities, trucks, boats, trains and stores

  • Processing – turning whole foods into diminished products with longer shelf life

  • Preservatives – when even processing isn’t enough to prevent rot

  • Coloring – to replace the natural color of fresh food

  • Flavoring – artificial flavors to replace the natural flavor of fresh food

  • Enrichment – adding back cheap, manufactured vitamins to replace some of what was lost in processing

  • Packaging - for which you pay, and pay again to haul off, and pay again to buy and maintain landfills

  • Advertising – to convince you that some brand of processed food is “better” than another

  • Promotion – the “special deals” that enhance advertising

  • Shelf space – a premium paid to retailers for prominent placement of their products

  • Retailing – the great, big supermarket, with its own set of transportation, storage, brokerage, refrigeration, etcetera

Do you know that food producers in many foreign countries use pesticides that are banned in the United States? Do you know that there are no restrictions preventing foods from those producers from coming into our markets? Do you know that soon labels showing country of origin may be eliminated?


As fuel supplies tighten, prices go up, and restrictions loom, think about how much fuel you want to spend on marketing your food. Think about all those trucks and refrigerators running all the time, and the tremendous energy demands of the processing and packaging industries, the chain saws cutting the trees, the logging trucks going to the mill, the plants making and rolling out the pasteboard to make the cereal box for you to throw away. You pay for it, you don’t want it, and it robs energy from applications far more important to your life.


Is this really what you want to buy? If not, start a new habit. Grow your own, of course, but if you can’t, buy fresh food, grown locally. You’ll help yourself and help your community, and get far more of what you want for your food dollars.