Why do we pay for food?

I know this question might sound a little silly, but when I thought about it food happened to be the most abundant thing on earth, fishes, trees, plants, they all give off food for us to eat so why is it that we put a price on it? Mother Nature surely didn’t want us to put a price on something that is already free to start off with? A lot of people go hungry for the inability to pay for food which to me sounds asburd and needs to be changed no one living on earth should starve. Any and all feed back would be greatly appreciated =)

Answer #1

You’re starting with two faulty premises, and it’s leading your logic onto a bad road.

First, you’re starting with the classification of ‘’food’’ as ‘’anything edible with enough nutrients to keep people alive,’’ which would include things like algae, yeast, grass, jellyfish, vultures, and poop, all of which are in great supply (except the vultures). Most people, however, would classify ‘’food’’ as ‘’anything that tastes good with enough nutrients to keep me alive.’’ So while the planet may be filled to bursting with things we can eat, the percentage of those things that people actually WANT to eat is minuscule.

Second, at any one time, yes, there is a lot of available food, enough to feed everyone on the planet, their livestock, and have a lot left over. But that food doesn’t sit in enormous stockpiles, growing larger and more abundant with each passing day, like some sort of food mutual fund. We can quibble about actual time frames, but it’s safe to say that the food that is produced at any given moment on Earth is used almost instantaneously. It must be constantly produced, harvested, manufactured, packaged, shipped, a never-ending cycle of production. A sociologist came up with a number once, saying that if the trucking industry in the United States broke down – not the food production, mind you, just the trucking – the supply of food would run out in 48 hours.

Now, there are lots of ways people live off the grid and get their food for free, of course, or at least very cheaply. But it is a very labor-intensive lifestyle and does not contain a lot of variety, certainly not at the level we’re used to. If you want someone to provide the labor and variety for you and in a never-ending stream, you’d better be prepared to pay for that privilege.

Answer #2

2/3s of humanity live in hunger, squalor, and hopelessness. This true now and probably pretty much always. The problem is overpopulation. Population grows until resources become scarce. The main difference between countries with high standards of living and underdeveloped countries is population. High standards of living require people to limit the number of offspring to the number they can afford to comfortably provide for. Places where people do this most people enjoy a good standard of living; places where they don’t most people have a poor standard of living.

Providing more food without family planning only delays the problem and makes it worse in the future.

Answer #3

I agree that paying for food is absurd and that no one should starve when food is readily available. I also agree in order to make food more readily accessible and better distributed people’s attitude towards food has to change (ex. eat things we normally don’t eat like crooked vegetables, stop or radically cut down on meat consumption, stop wasting perfectly good food!). And I whole heartedly agree that everyone, every community and every nation should apply family planning measures so that human beings can live in harmony with mother nature and what she has to offer. But somehow, all this doesn’t seem to answer the basic question: WHY did we as a species decide that food was worth something called money?

Which of course, brings me to how our societies are organized economically and politically. The why question comes from way back when someone agreed with someone else that food was worth money, before it was all barter, manual work force exchange or simple sharing. Of course food being worth something is also tied to the fact that when private property started to exist, people expected you to do something in return in order to have the privilege of eating whatever food was growing on their land. So now we have two things, private property and an economic system based on money as a just exchange for food or other items.

As long, as humans think it’s normal to own land, pay for food (and clean water) and create laws to protect this train of thought, we will continue living in societies that value money over life or one persons well being or many people’s well being. This is why I think your question is very important. If poeple don’t question not only the moral values surrounding the “price” for the privilege to eat or drink but also the basis of the logic that determines such a price (ex.: I own, you pay or starve) then we just keep repeating a destructive pattern that does NOT end with a better organized, healthier society or ecologically sound world.

So what’s the solution? Well that is for us as a species to figure out. Many poeple have already proposed and work every day on different types of economic systems, or different models of more harmonious with nature agriculture as well as many other options and alternatives to work towards better equality in distribution of food. In the end, it’s up to us, as an individual, then as a community :-)

Answer #4

mmm maybe..because.. the poeple who got the food for you had hard time to get it for you when all you have 2 do is go 2 the grocery store =D.. and if you go fishing …try the hard work …and if you get a fish..and sell it off ..how much would you put the price ? :) others put really hard work.. to plant food…and get the good ones everyday for us:p etc :p heheeh

Answer #5

Simple answer, there isn’t enough food to go around so someones got to starve. Since there is high demand for said food economics takes place to reward the hard working for the literal fruits of their labor.
Once new farming techniques and an infinite energy source comes along then we’ll have such a abundance of food that some foods will simply be free. That infinite energy source things a hard one to figure out though.

Answer #6

Because people have invented money, as my father said “a sort of game which people play, an artificial invention” and now the work which is expended in producing food has to be paid. But it would pe possibly to produce food and rationally distribute it. However if there would be a shortfall it could mean that unpopular people would not get fed!!

Answer #7

Well, I think the whole money process came to be because no one wanted to so anything or work so they made everything cost something and the only way to get money is to earn it through working. If everything was free no one would work and if no one worked we’d have nothing.

Answer #8

Because if it was free, think of all the chaos and people that might not get to the shop first and the manufactoror wouldnt make any money so there would be no point and they couldnt pay taxes… etc…

Answer #9

or ect… lol

Answer #10

People have lived off the barter system since well forever (or really really far back). At one point the barter system included food. Now we barter using money. Food isnt free. You have to feed cows, chickens, etc. To grow food you need land, fertilizer, tools. To process food into stuff that is edible, you need factories. All of that costs money. People arent going to spend money to then give stuff away. How would they continue to process the food. In certain places where people can grow their own food, there is less starvation than in places where food does not grow as abundantly. In Uganda plants just spring up. We generally dont have too much starvation there (unless there’s a drought). In Ethopia, the land is dry and food doesnt grow as abundantly. So there’s a lot more starvation. Mother nature unfortunately doesnt provide equally to everyone.

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