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Is Food Too Cheap?

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The Huffington Post

I was looking for three chicken breasts. Not eight. Or four. Just three. I was visiting my parents in Arizona and shopping for dinner. They're Canadian snow birds, flying south for the winter in search of sun and lower priced food. Due to a variety of reasons -- a lower population, higher food taxes,lower government subsidies to the farmers -- Canadian food is notoriously expensive -- especially meat and cheese.

I was at Basha's, the local super-sized super-market near Phoenix. It's a cavernous place that feels like an airplane hangar. Everything about it is big. The aisles are wide enough to drive a tractor through, the cereals are family-sized for a family of ten, the end-of-aisle displays are monolithic towers, screaming their offers out as you round the corner, "80% off when you buy two bags of Tostitos and dip!" This is grocery shopping in high definition. As vast as the store is though, it was also eerily empty. It felt like someone had thrown a huge party, put out all the food, but no one was showing up. The registers were lit but no one was paying. This only added to its bigness.

I know I'm comparing it to shopping in New York City where you shop with a hand basket over your forearm, and stores don't have parking lots and where you can buy bread in half-loaves, but still, this tipped the scales at over three football fields.

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