Food costs are far from unreasonable

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Your recent story regarding the high cost of Christmas dinner has, in my opinion, missed an important point.

Your article leaves the reader with an impression that the cost of a Christmas dinner is too high - I beg to differ.

The items listed represent enough food to feed a minimum of 12 people. Considering the total cost is set at $77.60, that works out to $6.40 per person.

That is a reasonable cost for a turkey, ham, salt beef and vegetable dinner by most people's standards.

And how about the traditional soup that usually follows Christmas dinner? Liquid from the cooked vegetables combined with meat leftovers make a nutritious soup.

It is reasonable to assume six additional meals could be had from Christmas dinner leftovers.

In summary, even if we raise the total cost by an additional one dollar, we are able to provide 18 meals for average cost of $4.80 per meal.

That is about the same cost as a large double-double with a honey crueller thrown in.

The point I wish to make is this: food is cheap in this country, dirt cheap. We need to recognize and appreciate this fact.

I agree with your article's point that food prices are likely to rise in the near future; I differ, however, on the likely cause.

Food prices may rise due to the fact the agriculture industry is failing to attract young people. In Newfoundland and Labrador, this is a very serious challenge.

Put simply, the young do not want to follow the way of the back-brace.

Hard work, long hours and limited income make the industry unattractive.

The number of farms in this province is down, way down. The average age of current farmers is 56 and there are no lineups to fill those empty tractor seats.

Since Christmas is a time to give thanks I propose the following: as we sit around our festive tables full of bountiful, reasonably priced food, let's raise our glasses and give thanks to farmers.

Let's salute the hands that feed us.

It won't cost a dime.

Mike Fleming

St. John's

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's

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Recent comments

  • RJ
    December 31, 2012 - 00:56

    3 yrs ago I was in Russia.1 litre milk was about $4.75 canadian.Dozen eggs $5.25 We got it pretty good here....I had to line up for 3 hours for bread over there. Ppl need to stop complaining and be grateful we have it so good.

  • Anon
    December 30, 2012 - 10:34

    Food is not dirt cheap. If it was dirt cheap, then people that are dirt poor wouldn't have to pick kraft dinner and pepsi over a vegetable pasta dish with milk. If you've had to pay rent and buy groceries on minimum wage (and god help you if you're a single mother) then you know that food isn't cheap at all and entering the workforce without an education is a practical death sentence.

    • Christopher CHafe
      December 31, 2012 - 09:46

      Well how about you change your life to get out of the minimum wage society.

  • David is the one who is small minded. David are you implying that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians should all move off to the mainland with our natural resources?
    December 29, 2012 - 20:55

    David you said "Yes...I must be, Willy. Because no one in Newfoundland can think beyond their the end of their own nose, or have an opinin that isn't perfectly small-minded, wildly oblivious to reality, and based on a Newfoundland-centric universe "DAVID IT APPEARS TO me that you have described the inept politicians, both provincial and federal, who have governed Newfoundland and Labrador over the past 63 years and who gave away our great natural resources in the raw state so that other areas of Canada could prosper because that is the way Ottawa and Canadians in general wanted it . The politicians, Ottawa and the jurisdictions that became the beneficiary of our raw natural resources prospered but Newfoundland and Labrador suffered greatly. It should have been a cinch to have created the greatest economy in Canada given Newfoundland and Labrador's strategic location and its great resource base. DAVID STOP TRYING TO PULL THE WOOL OVER NEWFOUNDLANDERS AND LABRADORIAN' EYES. With the way technology is today, business can be conducted anywhere on earth and yes David Newfoundlanders and Labradorians consume food, too, are you saying we should go to mainland Canada along with our raw natural resources so that we can consume our food.

  • Sick of people with opinions like David's who wants to make a killing
    December 29, 2012 - 12:50

    David you don't have your thinking cap on, if the suppliers of groceries were going in deficit from operating in Newfoundland and Labrador, they would not be here, they would quickly abandon their operations and pass it over to the local suppliers. I pnly wish they would do that it would make room for a Newfoundland and Labrador local supplier of groceries to move into their spot and become ultra-rich.

    • david
      December 29, 2012 - 15:21

      My "thinking cap" is just fine, thanks. Try a little reading comprehension instead of arriving at your own, completely fabricated interpretations.

  • david
    December 29, 2012 - 09:59

    It amazes me that anyone bothers to be a supplier of groceries in Newfoundland. Given the market's geographic requirement for more low-volume store locations, the logistics nightmare called Marine Atlantic, the general frugality (both economically circumstantial and simply genetic) of Newfoundland consumers, and of course every one of their staff has to be paid a steadily increasing minimum wage, and I really don't see the business case for being here at least, not for the miniscule profit margin they might currently have.

    • willy
      December 29, 2012 - 13:29

      You must be a supplier of groceries who can't make it so you are blaming your customers.

    • david
      December 29, 2012 - 15:44

      Yes...I must be, Willy. Because no one in Newfoundland can think beyond their the end of their own nose, or have an opinin that isn't perfectly small-minded, wildly oblivious to reality, and based on a Newfoundland-centric universe.