When you hear about people growing their own food, you probably think of SWPLs afraid of toxins who think that growing their own food is healthier or is more sustainable. But as documented by the NY Times, poor people in rural areas are increasingly growing their own food because it’s less expensive than buying it at the supermarket.
[I]n rural America, consumers are opting for locally grown food — from their own gardens and neighboring farmers — largely because it is cheaper.
Rebecca Frazier, a teacher here, said she had cut her food bill in half by growing her own and preserving and by buying in bulk from local farmers. She recently paid $10 for 40 pounds of sweet potatoes, a fraction of the store price.
“I’m getting twice the food for a whole lot less money,” she said.
Timothy Woods, a professor of agricultural economics at the University of Kentucky who has studied the evolution of farmers’ markets in the state, said more rural residents were selling surplus out of their gardens for supplemental income, a pattern that has helped double the number of farmers’ markets in eastern Kentucky since 2004.
Those markets are geared to shoppers who want to buy in bulk at the lowest possible price in order to pickle, can, dry and freeze, Mr. Woods said — unlike urban markets, where customers pay double rural prices and typically eat what they buy right away.
“You won’t see certified organic products or any fancy marketing,” he said of rural markets. “It’s a very different world.”
Because all the jobs created by the industrial revolution are either moving to China and India, or are reserved for children of the rich, poor people are reverting to pre-industrial ways.