Saturday, June 12, 2010
The cost of cruising...
Down here in the Caribbean very little is produced food-wise, so pretty much anything you find to provision comes from some faraway place. As a result the price really has nothing to do with the cost of the food but everything to do with the cost of getting that food to you and various middlemen taking a profit in the process.
Take the cherries in the picture... Coming all the way from Washington state (and they certainly show the wear and tear) the price is $6.99 a pound which in this case translates to roughly over sixteen cents a cherry! I guess I should feel better as in Japan they often cost as much as a dollar a cherry, so it could be a lot worse. Then again, I am way too cheap to spend that kind of money on low quality cherries!
The other downside is that being at the end of the line of the food train we get the lower quality, picked over and damaged goods at premium prices... Bummer!
Sadly, what few locals foods there are, tend to reflect the price established by the imported products as opposed to what they actually cost to produce... Which means if someone here was growing cherries he'd price them to match or exceed the imported Washington state cherries which creates an even more distorted market.
Cherries are something that most of us can do without so it is easy to deal with the high prices by simply not buying them but what do you do about the items you really need and staples? How to you keep the food budget in check?
More on that soon...