Vote With Your Wallet Each Time You Eat

Free Market for Farmers’ Markets

There’s an interesting editorial in the Kansas City Star written by somebody who was revolted by a front page photo of pigs in a modern factory farm. Instead of rallying her readers to implore government action on the matter, the author encouraged them to “vote with your wallet each time you eat.” She specifically mentioned the Kansas City Food Circle as a resource for finding “responsible” food; the group describes itself as “an all-volunteer, grassroots organization created to promote the development of a permanently sustainable local food system.”

The power of consumers to influence producers with their money is something we’ve discussedbefore on Show-Me Daily. It is not a pipe dream, either, considering that companies like McDonald’s are listening. Entire businesses (like Whole Foods) have sprung up around the environmentally-conscious consumer.

Last semester, as a final project for my research methods class, my group conducted a survey about people’s meat-buying habits and their knowledge of farm conditions. Although I can’t mention specific results — we conducted the project for educational purposes only — we generally observed that most people claimed price to be the biggest factor when they bought meat. After we showed them pictures and information about industrial farms, a significant percentage said that knowledge of farming practices and conditions would affect their future purchasing decisions.

If these sort of things are important to you, voting with your wallet — and encouraging your friends to do the same — is the best way for the market to select for companies that most closely align with societal norms. One common misperception about free markets is that profit is the only important factor, and that the only way for a company to survive is for it to offer the lowest prices — and cut quality accordingly. But that’s merely a straw man: Product quality and any number of social considerations, including “eco-consciousness,” can have value for consumers.

Price is a limiting factor for some people, and they may not be willing or able to pay a higher price in order to make purchases that satisfy whatever environmental concerns they may have — and that should be their prerogative. Many people say they want environmental concessions, but they may not be willing to pay the difference in price that those concessions would require. Government regulations can therefore harm some number people by increasing compliance costs and therefore raising the price of food. By using the market as a tool to affect change instead, people can make their own cost/environmental-consciousness trade-offs. Voting with money allows companies with successful business plans — for some, that will mean alternative production methods or types of food — to succeed. It is the most democratic of processes, because each person is able to decide where they wish to draw the line.

Local Haitian Relief Effort ~ K.C. Shows Love and Support in the Form of SEEDS


Seed Donation Drive at the
BADSEED (Local Organic) Farmers' Market

(1909 McGee, KCMO)

Two (2) Fridays, Feb. 5th and 12th (4-8 PM)

Many of us have been touched by the recent earthquake in Haiti that has left hundreds of thousands of people dead or in disarray. We desperately want to help, but the idea of sending actual dollars that will most likely get plundered before ever reaching the physical hands of those in need is unsettling. Therefore, let's show our love and support in the form of SEEDS - physical seeds that will produce physical food and nourishment for the the families that sow them.

Bring a packet of seed for donation (this Friday or next) to the BADSEED Farmers Market. (Suggested crops and local retailers are listed below). Seeds will be organized and shipped to a reliable NGO in Naples, Florida who will be the on-ground distributor.

Seeds should arrive in time for Haiti's next planting season which occurs in mid-March.

A single packet of seed costs as little as $2.00, but the bounty of food that comes from it is invaluable. Such a small sum of money is a realistic donation for most, and for those of you who are able, larger quantities are encouraged.

*A limited quantity of seed will be available for purchase at the BADSEED Market for those who are unable to procure seeds before-hand.


Please feel free to forward this e-mail to your friends!!!

"An Urban-Organic Farm & Market
Celebrating Local Food,
Culture, and Community"


Appropriate Seeds For Haiti
& Local Seed Sources:

Haiti has a tropical climate. Vegetables and herbs grow year-round, and
farmers are able to produce both warm-weather and cool-weather crops depending on the season.

Without getting too particular, the following
crops are acceptable (and of course, organic or untreated seed is encouraged) - Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Lima Beans, Black Beans, Southern Peas, Melons, Sweet Corn, Okra, Eggplant, Tomatoes (roma varieties do better), Hot Peppers, Cucumbers, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Pumpkins, Kale, Mustard Greens, Collard Greens, Radishes, Turnips, Carrots, Cabbage, Beets, and most Culinary/Medicinal Herbs

Local retailers that
carry (organic) seed

Planters Seed

513 Walnut St

Kansas City, MO 64106

(816) 842-3651

Local Seed Companies (for ordering on-line) include:

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

2278 Baker Creek Road
Mansfield, MO 65704

Morgan County Seeds

18761 Kelsay Road
Barnett, MO 65011-3009


If you can't get to BADSEED on the
next two (2) FRIDAYS, you can also
to the following addresses:

4223 Gibbs Road
KC, KS 66106


c/o Lew Edmister
921B W 17th St
KC, MO 64108

Lew (the originator of this grassroots relief program) can be reached at
816-842-4432 or
herbngardener (@) kc. rr. com


Rebuilding Haiti’s Food System

Looking to Agriculture to Help Rebuild in Haiti