I had a longer post in mind for tonight, but I’m up to my ears in a programming project that’s due Monday. It’s 11:30 PM and the only reason I’m writing a post at all is that my program takes 20 to 30 minutes to test each time I run it.
Anyway, I saw something at a grocery store recently that reminded me of what I wrote in a post titled The Wisdom of Crowds Is On The Menu:
A lot of us have very legitimate complaints about the food supply, with all its processed garbage and meats that come from grain-fed animals raised in what amount to meat factories. A question I’m asked now and then is How do we change this horrible system?
We don’t have to change the system. All we have to do is buy foods that enhance health and help spread the word to the crowd. You can complain all you want about the evils of capitalism, but even the greediest capitalist can only sell you what you’re willing to buy — the exception being when government takes your money and does your buying for you.
Remember when every damned thing on the grocery shelves was labeled low-fat or zero cholesterol? That was the market responding to consumer demand. Yes, the federal government helped create that demand with lousy dietary advice, but it was nonetheless consumer purchases driving what was produced.
That’s still how it works. But now the Wisdom of Crowds effect is kicking in and changing what people demand. When food trucks are offering grass-fed burgers, it means somebody in management noticed a change in consumer preference. When restaurants add a new Gluten Free section to their menus, it means somebody in management noticed a change in consumer preference. As more and more people choose grass-fed meats and other healthier foods, that’s what the producers will produce.
Here’s what I saw that reminded me of that post:
Yup, this store wants you to know you’re buying locally sourced produce. They even have pictures of the nice folks who grow it.
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean the nice folks are growing organic produce. (Personally, I think the “organic” label is overrated.) But if you live here, it’s nice to know your squash wasn’t shipped from California to Tennessee. According to Google Maps, Elora (the red A on the map) is about 90 miles from Franklin.
Given my druthers, I’d still rather get my squash from Chareva’s garden, but you get the point. Those big signs featuring pictures of the local farmers cost money. If the store went to the effort and expense, it means someone in management decided consumers want locally grown produce. So what was this store? Whole Foods?
Nope. These signs were in our local Kroger. Not exactly a store for the soy-cheese and Birkenstock crowd.
But crowd is still the operative word here. The Wisdom of Crowds effect is continuing to change what consumers demand, and in turn what producers sell.
Now back to that pesky code. It’s going to be a long night yet …