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I think I've already lost you, but I'll try...

In the Westland case, the products get released on British markets (pick up a cucumber at Tesco's or Sainsbury's and you'll have a good chance to find Holland's glory). Now, the UK is of course not that far from Westland, but I just use it as example. Geographically, the UK is in potential perfectly capable to create vegetables grown in greenhouses, that also taste like water like Westland cucumbers. So instead of importing cheap, watery cucumbers the country needs to create its own locally produced Westland equivalent?

The horror, the horror...

Other example, then. Kiwi is not a Dutch local product, but we can get them from Spain, for instance. Only, those from Spain are, again, inferior in quality. I want my kiwi from Kiwi Country. Is the Spanish kiwi cheaper because of more cheaper mass production or because of the shorter transport route?

Mind that I keep organic, small-scale farming out of this discussion right now, which is what DoDo tackled.

by Nomad on Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 09:04:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK also imports tasty tomatoes-on-the-vine from Spain and other countries. It's a consumer choice. If and when transportation costs soar, the UK might start producing more watery tomatoes.

You yourself say that Spanish kiwi are of inferior quality. I have no problem with them being cheaper on that account, especially since they also qualify as "more local" produce than NZ kiwi. You pay two premiums for grade-A kiwi from kiwi country, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Anyway, I don't see any problem with crappy local produce other than it's crappy. Maybe local producers should shift to crops that are actually tasty when grown locally, except that there is demand for grade B and grade C produce. I have pointed out on a different occasion that the demand for organic produce might be inelastic: it's the people who either can afford the premium or were already paying a premium for higher quality produce that switch.

Is your problem that when peak oil hits you won't be able to enjoy affordable tasty produce shipped in from the antipodes and the decreasing quality of your kiwi will result in decreasing quality of life?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 09:18:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good, good.
Maybe local producers should shift to crops that are actually tasty when grown locally, except that there is demand for grade B and grade C produce.

Agree here, which is why I stated earlier that Westland will always have a market.

I have pointed out on a different occasion that the demand for organic produce might be inelastic: it's the people who either can afford the premium or were already paying a premium for higher quality produce that switch.

It might be, but we don't know yet... Since the mass produced Italian tomatoes still compete price wise by locally produced organic ones. Will the consumer who can afford buying higher quality produce switch to locally produced goods if quality is the same, but the price is slightly lower or comparable? Is that your dilemma rephrased?

Is your problem that when peak oil hits you won't be able to enjoy affordable tasty produce shipped in from the antipodes and the decreasing quality of your kiwi will result in decreasing quality of life?

If it would be my problem, I'd move over to live in New Zealand.

But taken less literally, yes, I would consider a decreasing quality of kiwi as gauge of a decreasing quality of life. (And I'm sure I'm not alone in this, otherwise the Dutch East India Company wouldn't have been a success either.) I would certainly regret that. Don't aspire for the marginal, is what I tend to say. If that makes me a snobby bourgeoisie, I'll accept that lot.

by Nomad on Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 10:09:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How can kiwi so central so your lifestyle?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 10:12:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
kiwi so central so your
kiwi be so central to your

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 10:15:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the first place, how do you pluck a Kiwi (click, I mean it!)?

But seriously...

Kiwi is a rich source of vitamin C. Its potassium content by weight is slightly less than that of a banana. It also contains vitamins A and E, calcium, iron and folic acid. The skin is a good source of flavonoid antioxidants.

Forget those bloody "an apple today keeps the doctor in Afghanistan". Kiwi! All the way, all the day!

by Nomad on Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 10:42:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you meant kiwifruit.

Now, how bad are Spanish kiwis in terms of nutritional value?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 10:49:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh! That was deliberate. So tell me, how do you pluck a kiwi?

And hey, you know the saying: a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. I never tested the nutritional value of Spanish kiwis, but I don't care if my taste buds are better off with New Zealand ones.

by Nomad on Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 10:54:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just season your Spanish kiwifruit with MSG for flavour enhancement :-P

Now, why can't we get quality kiwifruit from China, where it originated?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 10:56:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can't go wrong with a scientific name like actinida deliciosa. Makes my mouth water already!

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 10:51:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, kiwi is native to China, so I suppose your willingnes to move to NZ is just evicence of their agribusiness marketing success.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 10:53:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...they make superior tasting kiwis in New Zealand? Or the Chinese just used kiwis for decoration and never explored the exquisite taste?

You know, Columbus was perhaps the first European to discover cacao but dismissed it because it seemed a vile brew to him. It was Cortez who brought it to Europe and started its success.

I need to lay off...

by Nomad on Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 10:57:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Chocolate became successful in Europe when some nuns decided to mix it with sugar.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 05:38:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe that a decrease in Western quality of life is unavoidable in the medium term, by any measure (including, I suppose, the kiwi index).

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 10:14:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...it'll just be harder to find and be more expensive. So, an overall decrease, perhaps. I've been saying for a time now that it wouldn't be surprising that a new elite life style lies ahead in the future, those who can still afford airplane transport and an excessive life-style.
by Nomad on Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 10:35:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cheap air fares are positively criminal. We need to wean ourselves of them ASAP.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 12th, 2006 at 10:37:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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