28 January 2005

The food here stinks

In the excellent economic blog Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen recently wrote, “Raw ingredients in America—vegetables, butter, bread, meats, etc.—are below world standards. Even most underdeveloped countries have better raw ingredients than we do, at least if you have a U.S. income to spend there, and often even if one doesn't.”

Why is that? Today Cowen posted some guesses, all very interesting. Perhaps it's “an exogenous demand-side question. Americans have bad taste in food, just as the Chinese have bad taste in lounge music. Why, for that matter, do the Japanese like karaoke so much? Why do the Scots serve deep-fried Mars candy bars?” Why, indeed.

Or maybe it's just that canned and frozen foods are so cheap here, and we're so used to them, that the good stuff looks awfully expensive by comparison.

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