Sigh… yet another story about how food prices are going up and up and up.

I think the key issue is one of expectations. People expect to be able to afford everything they want, and expect that everything they think they need, they do actually need.

You don’t need everything you think you do. The first photo associated with the linked to story above is a good example.

  1. You don’t need to eat meat with every meal. Beans are a cheap and easy source of protein. Even a single boiled egg will give you enough.
  2. You don’t need to eat dairy. You can get all the stuff in dairy from other sources. That includes calcium. In fact, especially calcium.
  3. You don’t need to eat tinned goods. Most tinned goods can be made yourself at a much-reduced cost. Watties spaghetti is effectively a luxury. You can make it yourself with spaghetti and real tomatoes.

I could go on.

Yes, the rising cost of foods should be a concern to everyone. But only in as much as they need to think about what they’re eating. Don’t just go, <cue waving of arms and running in circles>”SWEET JESUS!!! BUTTER IS HUGELY EXPENSIVE!!” Just stop eating it.

Look, screw Fonterra. This is a market economy, and if Fonterra thinks it can force you to buy their product at inflated prices, they’re wrong. Their are plenty of substitutes on the shelf at a much-reduced price. When they see their sales dropping, they’ll think about dropping their prices. Unless China buys everything. In which case you were behind the eight-ball in the first place…

Another way to look at it is that most of the things we used to think of as staples are now luxuries. Sound tough, but adjusting your diet isn’t actually all that difficult. Food is still plentiful and no-one is going to starve (except the poor, who have always starved). You just have to start seeing butter as a want, not a need.

Finally, think about volume control. Are you actually eating too much to begin with? If so, then maybe high prices are actually doing you a favour… So cut back on high-sugar, high-fat luxuries, and rethink your staples. Maybe a little more fibre, a little more leafy greens.

Yes, greens are also increasing in price. But not as much as beef, butter and chicken.

GPs all over the country are probably sounding a sigh of relief.