Saturday, May 28, 2011

Potential revivial of

I've been sitting on for quite a while now. It was inspired by the film Food, Inc., but also the fact that money was literally being siphoned permanently away from local circulation. Every dollar not spent on local payroll is leaving the community forever. There is a slow leak in the community's economic radiator.

There was a significant increase in foreclosures, layoffs, pay cuts, and prices on food, gas, and other goods, which means there is a very large inventory of extra stuff to find at garage sales, consignment shops, pawn shops and flea markets, and storage unit auctions. The cause was mostly man-made until we had severe crop-damaging rain, wind, hail, tornadoes, and drought in Texas. Now food prices will climb higher and faster than ever.

Retail-food prices will jump more than the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s estimate of 3 percent to 4 percent this year, said Chad E. Hart, an economist at Iowa State University in Ames. Companies will pass along more of their higher costs through year-end, said Bill Lapp, a former ConAgra Foods Inc. chief economist. -- May 25, 2011.
Potentially, there will be a significant need for websites featuring local products. There are sites featuring local farmers markets, and I hear advertised local meat markets, Turasky, for example which also offers Deer processing. I had Venison sausage once and it was not bad, very interesting. There are more.

It is imperative that we support local food producers because they will be robbed blind if they must sell their products to national food processors at commodity market prices. If commodity prices, or wholesale prices are driven down too far, local producers will lose their land to agriculture conglomerates that build environmentally damaging factory farms. The result will be Salmonella outbreaks in neighboring vegetable producing farms, like the Spinach and Bean sprout outbreaks in recent past.

To improve, it needs only needs links to websites of local product retailers, businesses that repair and refurbish used products, tailors and clothing makers, furniture makers, potters, etc. Leave comments here, or follow @BLSpringfield at Twitter.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's day 2 of my 3 days off. What next?

Today I posted to some of my blogs. I have at least 15, but I can't get to them all in the few days I have available.

I'm reading Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. I wish I had that book in the early COM classes at UIS, it would make a perfect accompaniment to Deliberative Argumentation. Of course it's biased toward a liberal social agenda. Alinsky is quite direct about it.

Communication students with any weight will not fear or admonish bias, but will recognize it for what it is and present the proper arguments as balance.

I'm hungry. Today was Taco Tuesday at Schnucks. I'm kind of bummed I missed it, but it's pricey.