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Monday, May 20, 2024

I spend an awful large amount of time looking at food blogs. Like, a whole lot of time. If you looked at my Google Reader feed, it's pretty much mostly food blogs at this point.

Looking at such fine examples of culinary creations every day sort of gives me a mental complex. I call it "food envy."

Week after week, these blogs are updated with delicious-looking dishes that I could never hope to achieve in making. I get so mad that I don't own a stand mixer or an oven. Thanks a lot, dorm life.

Where do you even find figs, at this point?

These bloggers somehow get their hands on some of the best ingredients available - the ones in Whole Foods that are always outside of my price range.

Needless to say, it got me thinking.

Why are the healthy and organic ingredients or products the most expensive? There are less chemicals and pesticides used in their production, so it should cost less for us not to poison ourselves. It's not fair that the cheapest fruits and vegetables are priced that way because of the methods of production.

I'd much rather have a large organic apple than a puny processed one, but for some reason I'm supposed to pay much more because of that.

Does that seem right or fair?

I hope some stores are catching on to the idea that organic doesn't have to be so overly priced to be worth selling. I hope organic will become the new norm for produce. It just doesn't seem necessary to make the least-tampered-with fruits and vegetables the most expensive.

So here I am, complaining about having too many food options and prices when some people in this world have much more serious food problems to deal with.

I still believe there has to be a way to reduce waste while simultaneously boosting either the production of food in other countries or increasing their imports of food. Just like the wealth gap here in the United States, there is a food gap between us and the rest of the world.

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For that matter, there's still a fairly large food gap within our own country.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2009 the U.S. produced about 34 million tons of food waste, with 33 million tons being thrown away that year.

Not only are we selling the best food at the highest prices, but we're also throwing away an amazing amount of food. To me, it seems that we are not living sustainably.

I'm not going to try to force-feed "hippie" rhetoric down your throats. There's just something wrong with the American mindset.

We're trained from birth to throw away absolutely everything.

On average, a baby will use between 2,000 and 3,000 disposable diapers in his or her first year of life, according to KidsGrowth.com.

The new iPhone 4S sold about 4 million units in the first three days of its release.

The American culture is one of excess, which comes from a need to be the best. Being "the best" must mean having the most of the highest-priced items, whether we use them or not.

As we run into the holiday season headfirst, try to remember the gaps in our community. Support local producers whenever you can. If you make a lot of food during the holidays, then you'd better eat all of it.

Sami Main is a journalism junior at UF. Her column appears on Tuesdays.

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