Published on: April 29, 2008
Responding to a story yesterday about rising egg prices, I commented that when I was a kid growing up in a big family, eggs were always a cheap meal when money was tight. Which led MNB
user Cindy McGarrigle to write:Even at today’s retail prices, eggs are still a strong value and very affordable. At $2.20 per dozen, you can still serve a family of four a center-of-the-plate all-natural high quality protein for about $1.50. Eggs deliver a big nutrient bang for your buck! One nutrient dense egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals – all for only 75 calories per egg – and allows people to feel full longer, stay energized, and maintain a healthy weight. Eggs are versatile and delicious, easy to prepare and can be served at any time.
user Kurt Kreher wrote:It is difficult to understand why you think that eggs do not make an inexpensive meal. If your mother wanted to make a scrambled egg dish today to feed you and your six siblings, do you think she would need three dozen eggs? Quoting the price for eggs from your article, she would spend less than $7 for the main protein portion of the meal. Would she have to spend another $7 for some vegetables and perhaps another $4 for a half pound or so of cheese? In my opinion, $20 for the cost of a meal to feed a family of 7 children and two adults is not too bad. (Granted, I assume that someone trying to feed a family of 9 on a budget is not selecting fancy cheeses.)
You both make an excellent point. I think I was suggesting that it was not as cheap a meal as it used to be, not that it was expensive when compared to other things.
Yesterday's piece that was critical of the US government's handling of the food and energy crises led one MNB
user to respond:Read today's MNB and have to say that I agree with you on the government's handling of the food and energy crises.
The housing woes, the propping up of Ethanol with hefty subsidies, and a lack of international investment in sustainable development have indeed created the "perfect storm."
Any government actions now can only be seen as reactionary and are likely to be "too little, too late."MNB
user Donald S. Currie disagreed:The fact is, these increases are a global phenomenon and are the result of global commodity price increases. I wouldn’t assign so much of the blame to our government as that would imply they could fix the problem, which I don’t believe they can. I do agree that this crisis is a “perfect storm” situation but disagree with your characterization of the cause.
Responding to one piece about a bill that would require imported foods to meet US food standards, another MNB
user wrote:The head of the FDA recently testified in front of Congress. He was asked a simple question, if the Senate were to raise your budget, how much would you suggest that you could use effectively and efficiently. He said he would have a difficult time with any large number, simply because he is short qualified people. My take was that, while he would like the American people to throw money at the problem...he needs professional people and money can't solve that problem. I thought that was a very compelling answer. To establish an international presence, for inspection of imported food for safety reasons, would require years to implement. (If in fact we are entering a period of food shortages, there will be plenty of unscrupulous companies that will enhance foods with killer fillers.
There has been some criticism of how the media has reported the global food crisis, and (as usual) I found myself in the position of defending the media…but one MNB
user wasn't buying my argument:You don't believe that the media is hyping this slowdown, while the first
MNB article today contained the suggestion from the New York Times that we will soon be eating dog food? Please....
Consider the single fact that most people (polled) perceive the economy is very bad, but state that that their own situation is very good. That alone suggests a huge gap between perception and reality.
You say that "the quality of the reporting is the least of our problems"? I would respectfully disagree.
Sorry, I'm not budging on this one.
I would respectfully point out that the New York Times
didn't make up that quote. It was said by a highly respected food industry analyst with many years of experience and, I think, a level of objectivity. I would have had a lot less respect for the NYT
if they hadn't used it.MNB
user Philip Herr wrote:It seems there are at least three related stories covered by MNB this morning about rising prices and media coverage thereof. I remember during the early days of the Reagan/Volker era when inflation was abating. And yet, advertisers and the media in general, continued to exploit our fears for one or two years. And that was about trying to sell something today because tomorrow the price would be higher. Not particularly responsible. Almost 30 years later we have 24/7 news and as many RSS feeds from the web as we choose. So the proliferation of stories can easily reach cacophony stage when it comes to panicking consumers.
Now I don't for a moment want to minimize the pain felt by many households that operate close to the poverty level. However, the percentage of income that US families spend on food is still the lowest in the world. I recall a quote from the New York Times article that suggested consumers would rather cut back on food, clothing and other expenses to retain their expenditure on video games. Just perhaps it is the fear of no longer taking low food prices for granted that is causing these behaviors rather than the absolute levels they have reached. I ask that we all keep some perspective.
And another MNB
user wrote:Although I don't deny at all the seriousness of food shortages and prices, I find all of the attention given to the matter to be mostly in the "if it bleeds it leads" category.
Concern should be directed to areas of the world where people are actually going to starve to death because of price increases, not towards Costco shoppers. I find it difficult to feel much empathy or sympathy for a woman who has to replace her $4 box of sugar-and-air-in-a-pretty-box Lucky Charms with (horrors) a store brand of more sugar and air when she would be doing her wallet and her children's bodies much more good with a canister of plain oatmeal with some raisins tossed on top.
I'm sorry to sound harsh but it just gets to be so much hype, you know?
I would agree that the 24-hour news cycle and huge proliferation of news outlets does create a steady drumbeat of woe. And I would certainly agree that I would prefer it if the legitimate news operations would spend more time on a broader range of serious news stories. On the other hand, this all strikes me as serious news.MNB
user Lou Scudere wrote:I don’t have time to rant today. But, in the last paragraph of your commentary you said a mouthful. Unfortunately, we seem to have grown up in a generation that has always only been interested in short-term gratification. I’m just hoping that as our kids start to have grandkids, we can pull our collective heads out of our third point of contact and take a longer term view of our situation.
Onto less weighty matters…
While I maintain that "Bull Durham" is the best sports movie ever made – even though Sansolo, above, says that he thinks it is "Hoosiers" – MNB
user Cal Sihilling offers his choice:"Raging Bull" for pure grit.
Both "Hoosiers" and "Raging Bull" would make my top five. (I especially love "Raging Bull" because I knew the guy who helped to train DeNiro for the fight sequences.) But "Bull Durham" still rests atop my list.
user writes:The debate for best sports movie could go on for years, my vote is for “Miracle on Ice."
And still another MNB
user writes:Oh come on Kevin, "Bull Durham" is a relationship movie set with a baseball backdrop. In fact, I think my wife liked it better than I did.
Heck, I view "Tin Cup" the same way and between the two, I prefer "Tin Cup."
Now, for a sports movie, you have to rank "A League Of Their Own" pretty high. I also liked "The Rookie" and "Invincible." All three of these were based upon actual events and people, even if the producers took a liberal amount of artistic judgment. The focus of all three of them was sports, not conquest of the girl and all three involved diversity and inclusion issues. Of course, none of the three had any lines as good as "I believe in opening your presents on Christmas morning rather than Christmas eve. I believe in the small of a woman's back and that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone..."
Certainly "A League Of Their Own" and 'The Rookie" are up there in my book.
I'm also a huge fan of the original "The Longest Yard" with Burt Reynolds, and "North Dallas Forty," with Nick Nolte.