Hidden Costs Of Food

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  • As per a UN report the price of the food we consume is about a third the actual cost, which includes hidden cost to the environment and human health.
  • These hidden costs or ‘externalities’ that do not reflect in the market price of harmful foods makes sustainable and healthy food less affordable.
  • Also, the omission of external costs destroys the environment, heightens food insecurity, health risks and festers social evils such as underpayment of labour and inequality

What is the true cost of food?

  • From the use of petroleum-based fertilizer and pesticides to the effects of soil degradation, water pollution, climate change, and the obesity epidemic — to name just a few — our current food system has a significant number of hidden costs to the natural environment and human health.  These costs are in addition to normal production costs, and together they make up "the true cost of food."

The economics externalities 

  • The current externalities are estimated to be almost double ($19.8 trillion) the current total global food consumption ($9 trillion).
  • These externalities accrue from $7 trillion (range 4-11) in environmental costs, $11 trillion (range 3-39) in costs to human life and $1 trillion (range 0.2-1.7) in economic costs.

Source : Down to Earth

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