by Karen Topakian
Last week when our Sunday Chron newspaper didn’t arrive I walked around the corner to our favorite market, Bi-Rite, to buy a copy along with one red pepper that Peg needed for dinner. On my short walk back home, I looked at the sales receipt and noted that both items cost nearly the same amount of money. $2.64 for the pepper, $2.74 for the paper.
Yup. One good sized organic red pepper cost the same as the Sunday edition of the San Francisco Chronicle.
How could that be?
A lot of labor and resources go into producing a Sunday paper with its endless raft of advertisements plus the 15 sections that comprise the actual paper.
I know the pepper required resources, too. Land, water, soil, labor, fuel, transportation…
But is the labor of growing our food equal in value and cost to the labor that combines to write, edit, lay out, print and deliver the somewhat hefty Sunday paper?
Were they really equal in value or just equal in cost? And how is that determined? Is the price based on the true cost of production or what the market can bear?
Could one of my smart friends explain this to me? I’m stumped.