THE PARADOX OF FOOD

It is interesting to contemplate the paradox of food.

There are many strange and almost juxtapositional situations about food.

Possibly the most standout one is that in some parts of Earth food is in great abundance and oversupplied to the point of glutting markets, lowering prices and causing food producers to cut supply or downsize on outputs. Agriculturally, in oversupply situations farmers are encouraged not to grow products. They are paid to keep land out of production or resigned to having to plough back tonnes of unwanted produce.

The juxtaposition to that is in other parts of Earth people are starving hungry. There is no equitable distribution of food and if there were a way of moving oversupply into areas of need, I doubt very much whether there would be food famines or hungry people anywhere.

Another interesting juxtaposition relates to the worth of product. This is specific to niche markets. When we were on Groote Eylandt In the Golf Carpenteria in the late 1970s and early 1980s Kailis Fisheries were operating at Bartalumba Bay. Prawns were all the go. The fishermen would catch big heaps of Morteon Bay Bugs. These were not worth anything! Fisherman would give them away free!! For a carton of beer (reasonably priced in those days) you could pick up 10, 15 or even 20 kg of bugs. At Christmas time just gone, this same product was selling at Woolworths delicatessen for $40 a kilo. That was for whole bugs, The head and the shell as well as the tail. Taking account of the edible bits of bugs customers were paying around about $100-$110 a kilo. In 40 years bugs have gone from being worthless to being priced almost out of the domestic market.

Vagaries associated with food are everywhere. These are just two of the anomalies that strike me as being peculiar and sad.

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