Today’s Editorial for April 30: Look locally for food price answers

Don’t look to Government to help offset your grocery bill as food prices soaring around the world hit us in Cayman.

There isn’t a whole lot of import duty on most staple foods, so Government can’t step in to control prices.

Don’t bank on retailers either.

They are all being good corporate citizens, but at some point they are going to have to increase prices on goods so they can make a profit and pay employees, who in turn put money back into our economy.

What we can be thankful of is that while we may grumble at the increasing price of gasoline, bread and rice, we aren’t faced with the violence being seen in other countries.

At least six people were killed earlier this month in Haiti during riots and clashes with security forces and demonstrators protesting increasing food prices.

In Ivory Coast last week women rioted against higher food costs. One person was left dead.

Price increases of 40 percent or more for rice, wheat and corn are stirring unrest from Egypt to Vietnam.

What’s worse is that the UN International Fund for Agriculture predicts food riots will become common on the world scene for at least a year.

The escalating prices can be blamed on a range of causes – high oil prices, growing demand, bad trade policies, bad weather, panic buying and speculation and bio-fuels derived from food products.

But all is not despair. There are things we can do here at home to keep our grocery and petrol bills down.

For starters, carpool. You’ll save money on gas and diesel, keep harmful emissions out of the air and help alleviate some of our traffic woes.

Ride a bus or take a bike.

If you live close enough to the supermarket or your job, walk there. You’ll be amazed at the things you’ll see on your way that you normally whiz by and ignore while behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle.

We still have some areas of our country that are zoned agriculture where farmers raise and sell goats, pigs and cattle.

Local produce is in abundance in East End and North Side and at many supermarkets.

It’s easy to find a fisherman just about any day of the week willing to sell his fresh catch.

Locally produced fish, meats and produce will not only help you save money, but it will also lead to a healthier diet.

Our forefathers survived just fine off the breadkind of the land and the food from the sea. Meat was a treat, usually reserved for Christmas.

They were healthier than most of us are today and they didn’t have to worry about keeping the vehicles in their two-car garages in running order.

In view of increasing prices for all goods and services we would do ourselves a favour by adopting some of the habits of our elders.