2.19.2011

Food Crisis and Book Buying Bargains










I wuz gonna raise the topic of the loomin' food crisis--ya know how thar's food riots in some parts of the "developin'" world? Uh huh.




Iffin' y'ain't noticed it yet, we'uns has a food crisis too --jes' take a look at yore grocery receipts.

I akshully seen Uncle tilt back on his heels when the three lemons in his hand--the onliest thang he bought, cost two bucks. He looked confused, an when the clerk said, "ya heard it right sir" Uncle looked around at the other shoppers as if to say, "Is y'all hearin' this? I musta heard wrong."

But heah's the thang. He bought the lemons anyway.
I say, doan buy 'em! They's from California, anyhoo. Why's a Florida fella gonna sweeten the pockets of a bunch of fruits and nuts? (Florida lemons is a comin' soon an will be better priced)

But when I stop to think: hmmmn...the lemons is from 3000 miles away, and the gas to transport, the salary to pay the trucker, the cost of maintain' a haulin' rig....mebbe 2 bucks fer three lemons is about right.



What ain't right is fer Uncle to encourage that monstrous game. When I pointed this reasonable idea out to him he jes' shrugged his shoulders an' said, "We gotta have lemons fer the iced tea."

No. No we doan. Put mint in yore tea--it grows in the garden an' is nearly free.



But ya' see whar' I'se goin' wif this? We can blame big bidness all we like fer the risin' food prices, but we ain't resistin' in the easy, obvious places. Soon enough the easy resistance opportunities (ERO) will disappear and riots will be all thas' left to the folks in the street.



Turn that same coin over --I wuz gonna turn it. Wanted to discuss how commodity prices is soarin'--more'n gold in some cases. While it is true that Russia and China each has had a wheat crisis, the real culprit behind risin' commodities may simply be that the gamblin' game of "investments" in the market moved from the Stock Market to the Commodity Market.




But I ain't got time to jaw about it right now cause BORDERS done filed fer bankruptcy, an mah local store is goin' OOB-- liquidatin' ever'thang. So I'se hitchin' up mah skirts to go forage among the book shelves.

Reckon ya heered how Borders lost out in the E-reader craze. An' as "books" move to digital (very very dangerous--but thas' another post) the virtual is drivin' out the actual. An' thas' a topic of it's own too.

Hope yore Saturday is what ya need it to be--productive, relaxin', restorative.



18 comments:

Aunty Belle said...

What books would ya go fer first in a dash fer book bargains??

Troll said...

My sources say ethanol subsidies and other socialist policies are driving food prices.

Haven't bought an E-Reader yet. Which is best?

I don't trust OOB sales generally. And the nearest Borders is a long way away.

moi said...

So far, our Border's doesn't look like it's one of the shops on the chopping block . . . But if it does dissolve, I'd hit as many of the hard bound classics and art books as I could, even though we are trying to get RID of books.

To that end, I bought S.B. a Kindle for Christmas, thinking that it would appeal to his anti-materialism, but he sent it back within the first week. He didn't like the way it felt and looked and also because we read the same books, so that wasn't going to work. But my step dad has one and LOVES it.

So to Troll, I say, get one, see if you like it and if you don't, almost everyone has a foolproof return policy.

foam said...

and at one time these large book store chains such as borders and barnes and nobles caused the demise of smaller locally owned bookstores.

i'm not sure what i'd buy. perhaps some fiction i've been curious about and never get from the library because i always forget to return the books. ummmm...
come to think about it, i still have the book i checked out 6 months ago. hmmm .. now i feel guilty ..

just yesterday a colleague was eating a peach. i asked if it hailed from somewhere south of our borders. it was from chile. i can wait for our own local peaches or those that are from my neighboring southern states.

Karl said...

Good afternoon Aunty Belle,

The commodity prices have much more to do with investment than availability of product. Troll is correct in that one of the reasons for the price increases is the ethanol subsidy. Not only in food, but also in keeping the price of oil artificially high. Take away that 50¢ a gallon incentive and then the farmers go back to making food. The cost of gas goes up by 50¢, people drive less, use less oil and the investors flee the commodity markets. Stability returns. Just like housing when the government gets involved. They create an artificial demand and screw the market up.

Most of the books I read are in the library or not found at a book store, so I can’t say one to look for. Plus my environment in hard on books. However I am interested in the consensus on e-readers. I wonder over the long run, what it more energy efficient the book or the e-reader?

Pam said...

OF course, I just got an e-reader and it is the one associated with Borders. Hmmmm. Will see how it goes.

chickory said...

tons of image heavy art books. Agree 100 percent on the food. and today we bought leaf bags at Lowes...they were the same price, but less bags and much thinner. they split very easily. thats a few ways to ascertain the health of our dollar.

im not an e-reader. I dont read novels and most of my books are things to look at more than read. i have an ereader: the computer. I have downloaded books on itunes to listen to while i work.

agree on ethanol - we dont use sugar cane we use mostly feed grains. makes the market smaller for an essential building block of the food chain. animals eat it, we eat it....bad policy. one of millions.

this whole thing is a sham and we all know it.

fishy said...

Sounds like I better get books on
square foot gardening, composting,
canning, seed preservation and how to dry herbs. Then if I am not broke; art, architecture, design books and maybe a basic primer on how to make a gunny sak.

A word of caution Aunty, expect cotton prices to soar! There have been blights, floods, weevils , fire and replacements of the world cotton fields so the shortage is looming. Best be about securing bedding and batiste do you can comfortably read your stockpiled books.

On the poll, no I do not use an electronic reader. I have a notion all this back lit screen staring is bad for vision.

chickory said...

and then there is the matter of having hard copies of content, before the "ether" changes things up to suit the new world order. grrrhehahahaha. you wrote about this before, aunty.

Floridacracker said...

Lemons from 3000 miles away should be at a premium price due to the obvious cost of transport.



But...
The real premium prices should be the local farmer at the farmer's market.
With no middlewoman to get most of the price, let the local farmer get her fair share for once.

I don't see our very low food prices rising as a food crisis. We get by easier than most folks in the world.

Brick and mortar book stores are toast, I think. As are paper books in the near future.

Neither thing bothers me much. If you believe in the free market then Borders and paper publishers going under are simply part of the market's eat or be eaten rules.

I can buy any book I want at Amazon for a fraction of the cost of walking in to Barnes and Nobles, and get it in 2 days with free shipping (Amazon prime).

In fact, I can get almost anything from Amazon from perfume to tractors.

(It always amazes me how many people hate Walmart, yet never badmouth Amazon ... )

Short of nostalgia, how are ebooks dangerous?
They make books more affordable and with so many e-publishing opportunities, almost anyone can publish their book now.

I don't own one, but will probably own one before the year is out.

Boxer said...

I either buy real books or audio books. I have no idea why.

As for food; I remember in 1986 asking my brother in law to bring strawberries up from California when he came home for Thanksgiving. I wanted fresh berries for a cheesecake I was making for Thanksgiving. Back then, fruit was only available (easily) when in season. Nowadays, I get annoyed when I can't find raspberries in JANUARY. See the insanity? No wonder they cost a ton and I won't buy them anymore. I only buy local berries when they are in season and freeze them for those days when I want "fresh."

Only a few Borders are closing in my part of the country. I guess Seattle likes their books.

Aunty Belle said...

All,

I does have a year old Sony Daily Edition that I like fer carryin' around documents and references so I doan need to tote all that when I hit the road. it let's ya make margin notes ... but ya has to connect to yore 'puter to download thos notes an' make use of 'em.

I doan read fer fun on a Reader. I may some day, but fer now, I like the real thang when I'se readin' for me.

At a recent book club meetin' I noticed the two members wif readers were not as fast as real book owners when it came to finding the passages they wanted to reference--though that might be a learnin' curve matter for them ladies.

I'se prolly gonna get a new reader this summer. The combo of reader/ tablet/ netbook wif wireless might be a good gadget to pare down stuff ya need to take when ya gotta be away from home to work.

I'se very interested in y'all's experiences.


Troll-Man

I agree that them ole' ethanol subsidies is a manipulative tool.

The OOB at Borders wuz not fantastic unless yore thang is high end magazines which wuz 40% off. Other wise, on top of the regular discounts, ya got yoreself another 20% off of books, BUT the real deals were "remainder" books-- 3,4, 5 bucks.

Moi,

SB sent it back? LOL! I likes this fella.

Me an' Uncle doan hardly never read the same thangs--he be too delicate fer much McCarthy
( though he did read All the Pretty Horses and liked it) since Outer Dark give him the willies. An after NCFOM, he kept askin'
"But what do it all mean???"

Foamy,
yep, they sure did. Two of mah all time favorite bookstores in the world is daid now. The Old New York Bookstore in Atlanta( I know---weird) wuz a placw where onc't upon a time ya could find ANYthang.

Thar's a place in Micanopy Florida, a town about 20 miles from whar' them Gators play--it still has an ole' bookstore whar' dead professors book collections wind up--an it is heaven!

As fer the peach--Chile sends us their peaches when it is winter heah-- it's summer thar'. But they can legallay feretilize food crops wif Millorganite an we cain't. Doan eat it!!

Aunty Belle said...

Karl,
thas' very interestin'. I need to learn up on the whole commodity thang. From Fishy's comments, mayhap we should all be buyin' cotton futures. I jes' giot the feelieen' that the big time speculators has moved from manipulatin' wall street to manipulatin' Chicago boards.

As to whether the E Reader or a real book is more energy efficient, I cain't fathom--good question.

PamOKC,
doan worry--they say that will remain in place durin' their regor.

Chick9,

ya know what--I looked But they wuz gone. Wanted some on American art. An what?? I never knowed ya could download books via I-tunes. Huh. Well. kool.

Fishy,

heh. Not a bad plan! I need a book on basic sewin'. Done give away mah ole machine, but now that the dry cleaner's want a fortune to put in a new zipper--I gotta get back to basics.

The cotton market is screamin'? dang it! Cain't they leave ANYthang alone?

Chick9,

Oh yeah, youse tellin' true. I is manic/ panic on that point.

Listen folks, true now, when the print versions disappear, expect a sentence left out here, a chapter there-- the revisionist history will be all the "history" the E readers will have--jes' look at the Huck Finn thang. I has written on this afore-- I collect history books fer 4-7 graders written afore 1970. Fer one thang, you'd be stunned what we used to expect kids to learn by age 10.

the other thang is personal experience done made clear to me that data disappears offa the net. In Aunty's files is printed and disc-copies of material that ain't no longer available on the net about who did what durin' the oil-for-food scandal.

What will dissertation and "original research" gonna draw on when all thas' left is net-files? No printed books, only virtual libraries?

Aunty Belle said...

FC

Hey good sir--hope all is well wif' yore folks.

I like yore plan fer the local farmer. Amen to all that!. We tries hard --usually--to keep it local. Why jes' today I read about a South Carolina fisherman who is sellin' subscriotions to whast he catches--so it stays local. Like community supported ag, but this is community supported fishin'. Kool, huh? Does somebody to that up yore way?


As fer bricks' an mortar stores vs. Amazon.com--I buys a boatload of books/ music from Amazon. After all, I can shop in mah nightgown at 3 a.m. But really, onc't in awhile, I doan know what I'se lookin' fer till I see it--an fer that, I need a real store.


Youse a good E-reader candidate, FC. They's real handy fer some thangs. But the curling up in a big chair or floppin' in a hammock jes' cries out fer a real book, doan'cha think?


Boxer-babe,

raspberries? moan-- love 'em.
But I does admire ya fer goin' back to seasonal .AMEN!

As fer books-- I like audio books too. they sure make a drivin' trip more entertainin'.

An' I does imagine yore Borders will stay on its feet--we have two others heah thas' not closin'. But Seattle loves books? Now thas' a city I could love!

foam said...

belle,
that's what i told my colleague too. i said you can never be sure what kind of pesticides they use south of the border.

fishy said...

Aunty,
Back when Mermaid was a college freshman she wrote a paper on "Erasable History" warning against the long term effects of a temporary system. She is a 20 something who spends discretionary funds on books. She says, "when the 'big horror' you elders worry about shows up, I will have a fine library to sustain me".

My favorite bookstore is a local, independent, housed in a charming cottage on a tree lined street that was once a neighborhood and now is limited professional. She does buy the libraries of declining university professors in these parts and you can buy just about any novel( paperback edition) for $2! She also carries new books for a good bit below MSRP and has a robust online shop. I can shop at 2am and run by there at 9am to pick up my order!

Love the fishery subscriptions.
Love that our county has a 'keep our county green protect heritage farms' policy. Now our schools and county programs are mandated to buy as much as possible from local
farmers,growers, suppliers.

LaDivaCucina said...

I rarely buy books because they are expensive, I have no place to store them and you can't resell them at a decent price. I go to the library. If you've moved as much and as far as I have you wouldn't have a huge library either, it costs a LOT to keep books and the dust is not good for my allergies. My girlfriend told me how convenient it was for her to carry the one electronic ereader as opposed to all the books and magazines she reads while she travels for her job. Make sense to me. Also, I don't like heavy books when I read in bed but I can already see problems when I read in the bath, I don't think they make waterproof kindles yet, do they?

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