Why is Local Food So Expensive? Or is it? Posted on 25 Oct 15:27

Market Wagon's Co-Founder & CEO, Nick Carter, was asked to submit an article to Hoosier Locavore blog.  The topic seemed almost an affront to our business.  But in the end, it's a great primer for discussion of local food.

Here is an excerpt:

"I used to get mad. I got really mad. When some well-to-do yuppie would tell me that buying local was “too expensive” for their budget, I would roll my eyes and offer no sympathy. It was infuriating. Until my wife pointed something out to me: Local food is expensive. She would know, of course, being the one who actually shops for groceries in our family. And she was right..."

When we took a closer look, we found some interesting things.  As the article points out, "A dozen grass-pastured eggs can be found at the farmers market for a percentage more, sometimes the same or less, than comparable brown eggs at the supermarket. The same is often true of your staple vegetables, and even meats."

The real cost differential comes in foods requiring preparation, craftsmanship, and packaging.  Nick points out:  "When it comes to locally sourced prepared foods and value-added items, the preparation is expensive because it’s manual. It’s hand-crafted and qualitatively a different item. And if cost is your biggest concern—or even a concern at all—you probably don’t splurge much on these kinds of items, whether they’re local or not."

In the end, though, Nick gets to the heart of the matter with this simple question: Why is the other food so cheap?

If you want to read more, the article was published and you can read the full article here: