The High Price of Fresh Veggies

Here’s an interesting question: Why do veggies cost more than meat?

I like this question. After all, it takes a lot fewer resources to grow onions than to raise cattle. Among other things:

2. Quality matters a lot. Meat is often of pretty poor quality (think McDonalds), and people seem fine with that. Low quality vegetables turns everyone off.

3. Meat can be stored for longer periods of time, making it easier to ship and optimize distribution.

The delivery, storage, and quality issues don’t end at the point of purchase either. Vegetables in any significant quantity (we’re not talking about the pickles on your hamburger) are only available at limited locations relative to meat. The cost of getting to a supermarket, farmer’s market, or veggie-friendly restaurant can be greater than the cost of getting to Taco Bell. If you manage to get to the supermarket, you can freeze the meat but fresh veggies can only be refrigerated at best, which means you have to buy small quantities frequently.

(via Chris Blattman)

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