Editorial for February 11: Grow your own

Food prices all over the world are at record highs, thanks to a combination of reasons including weather, inflation and the use of a large percentage of the corn crops to create biofuels.

Sugar prices are at 30-year highs and both wheat and corn prices are soaring. On top of that, oil prices are heading up fast, with some predicting gasoline prices as high as $5 a gallon this summer, meaning it will cost more to ship foods to Cayman.

Although overall prices have dropped in Cayman over the past couple of years – thanks mostly to falling oil and rent prices – food costs have already been trending upward, with fruit up 28.3 percent, vegetables up 16.6 per cent, and meat up 11.9 per cent since June 2008. Now the prices of those items are going to increase even more.

There’s not much we can do here in the Cayman Islands to counter the rising costs of food, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do.

One thing we can do is eat less; most people in Cayman are consuming more calories than they need in any case.

Something else we can do is start growing some of our own foods.

Although there’s only a couple of months left in Cayman’s primary growing season, there’s still time to get some fast-growing edibles in soil, whether it’s in a garden, in a grow box or in plant pots.

But even as summer approaches and the hot weather returns, there are a number of vegetable or starch crops that can grow here in Cayman, plus a lot of fresh fruits.

People who don’t have a green thumb when it comes to gardening can still find that buying fruits and vegetables here in Cayman at the markets at Camana Bay or Market at the Grounds can save them money over the cost of buying at the grocery store.  And since those fruits and vegetables are fresher than those shipped here, they taste better.

Eating fresh produce grown here is also a healthier choice than fast food or many other options we choose for ourselves and our family because of the fast-paced lives that we lead.