How would you feel about avocados being a rare seasonal treat? Would your trip to Chipotle be complete without that glob of guac on top? On my mind this week are thoughts about how changes in national (US) policy might affect my family.
Deportation of migrant workers, many of whom have falsified work papers (I didn’t know they were fake!), would immediately affect the prices of fresh food, most of which comes from California’s Central Valley. Farmers hope their existing work force could be legalized, or that temporary work visas might be available to agricultural workers. These low paying jobs are back-breaking and difficult to fill with US citizens, who can go work easier jobs for 10.00 an hour. (For more background on this, read this article.). Crops need to be picked when they need to be picked and if labor is deported, millions of dollars of crops would be lost.
Rising fresh food prices could necessitate home gardens, canning, and buying local/seasonal. Kind of a throwback to the ’40s — before strawberries were available fresh year round.
The other piece of the food price puzzle is whether the government places trade restrictions and taxes on imported goods (say to pay for building a big wall), and importing fresh food like avocados and strawberries from places like Mexico quickly becomes cost-prohibitive.
Honestly, if the US sufficiently aggravates other countries, they may not buy goods from our farmers, who are barely hanging on as it is. This could drive up subsidies which we pay for as taxpayers.
Changes in the cost of items can happen rapidly, as we have experienced occasionally with lettuce, citrus, and recently avocados due to things like weather and labor strikes. What would your diet and budget look like if food prices increased? Do you have a means to take advantage of food in season through canning or freezing?
Personally, I’m not ready to start stockpiling 5 pound cans of green beans, but it does get my mind turning about gardening and what we might grow that we will use and won’t be eaten by rabbits. I have canned jam but never anything for food preservation; I do think this is a useful skill to have.
Do you think the scenarios above are possible? Probable? Canadian friends… where do you get your fresh produce from?