The Hypocrisy of Abundance. Why we will no longer buy cheap food
We hear that the “age of abundance is over”, but what does it mean exactly? It would be more accurate to say that the system of selling cheap food simply imploded, because it could no longer be sustained. Abundance was just an illusion. War, the energy crisis and the climate emergency have put food on our tables at risk. Producing a tomato is expensive, Italian pasta has to cope with the drought in Canada that is causing a wheat shortage, the blockade of the ‘Granary of Europe’ highlights the fragility of the food system that cannot withstand the impact of the lack of a derisory percentage of grain. We are facing a systemic crisis whose consequences will be profound. Producing food costs more, buying it too, and this is a problem because, over the years, we have become accustomed to the idea that food should cost nothing or almost nothing. But when Emmanuel Macron mentions ‘the end of abundance’, what does he mean? It would be more correct to say that what has ended is the era that seemed to be one of abundance because it was doped by cheap food, by the idea of being able to fill your shopping trolley with a few euros in any supermarket of the world. Through the voice of sector experts, the protagonists of the supply chains involved, with a look at the history of the main food crises and the dynamics of international trade, we are taken on a global journey whose repercussions influence our daily life. Stopping them requires the effort of everyone of us in considering ourselves not mere consumers but collective subjects who take voice in society.