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Would you pay more for green grub?

The Local · 20 Jan 2012, 15:33

Published: 20 Jan 2012 15:33 GMT+01:00

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While Germans are widely viewed as socially and ecologically conscious, recent revelations about the country’s agriculture system have called that reputation into question.

Nearly all of the country’s poultry live in cramped conditions that can lead to disease – and to keep the birds alive, more than 90 percent are fed antibiotics, according to government-sponsored studies.

Birds aren’t the only animals that live in difficult conditions. Animal rights activists say cows and pigs are also often packed together like sardines on German farms.

The problem is, according to politicians and industry leaders, that consumers are simply not willing to pay more for more humanely-produced food.

They point to studies like this one, that show Germans pay less for food than consumers in Spain, Italy and Great Britain and, though they profess to prefer high-quality fare, also like to shop at discounters like Lidl, Aldi and Netto.

At the same time, Germany really has been a leader in making agriculture more environmentally friendly. Take the fact that Germans rejected genetically modified crops so strongly, that the last of the companies still developing them here this week moved its operations abroad.

Would you abandon ultra-cheap shopping to be kinder to animals and the environment?

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Your comments about this article

16:30 January 20, 2012 by Landmine
Depends on the price hike!
17:10 January 20, 2012 by derExDeutsche
I always try and source the best and healthiest ingredients possible, and not worry about the cost. Within reason, of course. GMO is really scary! But I am a have a half acre Vegetable garden that is almost always producing something. I think I may give Aquaponics a try. Also, we have laying hens and the occasional chicken dinner from the birds that run around all day. Now THAT is ultra cheap.
18:18 January 20, 2012 by ChrisRea
I prefer to pay for good food than for "repairing" my health.
18:20 January 20, 2012 by KKHamburg
It's not just friendliness to the animals and the environment. Healthy, sustainable, organic, non-GMO as-local-as-possible food is better for your body. You need less food when the digestion of it is more properly assimilated into the body. Corporate, long shelf-life processed foods are very low in nutrition. It may be cheaper to buy and eat them and move them through the body - but the purpose of eating - nutrition and health - is not well served by consuming these types of food. A healthy lifestyle, taking time to eat and enjoy wholesome, nutritious foods and an appreciation for the earth and the animals and people in the world go hand in hand with good food assimilation in the body, joy and good health. Remember, preservatives, processing and flavor additives cost money, too. Why continue to pay in to that system and support that when there are so many wonderful health alternatives?
18:45 January 20, 2012 by willowsdad
As long as it's not a "stepping stone" to something like banning meat altogether, I'd have no problem with it.
18:45 January 20, 2012 by SusannahM
Yes, I'll pay more - and I do.

People eat too much as it is anyway. Buy better food and eat less of it (more grains / plants, less meat), so the financial output is the same. Hmm, side effects: losing some weight, fewer health problems, feeling better physically and mentally... and more.

"Ultra-cheap shopping" and food is not a very good combination.
19:02 January 20, 2012 by stablemate
no i would not want to pay more for free range cows.....pigs...or chicken sooo i would feel better about my food this earth crazy thing is putting world economys in danger......grow as many pigs and cows and give the food to the poor of africa if you want to make a difference and stop making petrol out of corn
19:15 January 20, 2012 by LecteurX
Hard to believe that people can be stingy about the price of their food. Of course if you're poor, then you may be tempted to go for the cheap option. But really, it's such a pleasure to eat decent, tasty food. It's not only good for the environment or for your health, it simply tastes better.
19:35 January 20, 2012 by ChuChu
No problem! I would not mind at all..No pesticides or GM food

will be a blessing..Thank heavens Germany has said NO to GM foods..."stablemate" u obviously don't care about animals..The poor in Africa will only breed more poor when given more food. So where do u draw the line? Do u want to populate the whole of Africa with poor people. I come from Africa so I know what i'm talking about. Having more children knowing other people will feed them is NOT the solution.
20:40 January 20, 2012 by ovalle3.14
It's like buying Apple products. You pay for an idea rather than a reality.
15:28 January 21, 2012 by storymann
This is an unfair question, because it dos not clearly state what type of reforms and how they are going to control them if instituted.

I am all for better conditions, but have no knowledge about present conditions other than the analogy "they are packed like sardines".

Sure I would pay more for reasonable conditions for farm animals if it was not to outlandish.
11:26 January 23, 2012 by twoamis80469
yes i would ABSOLUTELY pay! let's do this!
21:59 January 23, 2012 by neunElf
There have been peopled killed by organic certified food in the USA, but I can find no record of any deaths related to any GM foods!

This nonsense of how these organic foods are healthier is not borne out of any statistics, after all people are living longer, healthier lives now than ever before in human history, largely due to the tremendous advances in chemistry, pharmaceuticals and food science!
12:34 January 24, 2012 by Harry Grouse
Sure if I was rich but I am not so I will just have to eat somthing else maybr radiated veggies
20:32 January 25, 2012 by carlm
Green grub, what's next, green asphalt? This whole green thing is a fraud by the looney left with Al Gore at the helm. He and that idiot Prince Charles go around lecturing us proletariat on the virtues of living like a pauper, while they live like kings. And millions of dummies around the world fall for it. With few exceptions, the purist form of capitalism is also the greenest form of production as waste harms the bottom line. Green methods are the most expensive because they're the most inefficient/dumbest and are touted by the worst/most corrupt business people in order to give them a chance where they'd otherwise fail.

Germany didn't get rich by embracing inefficient methods of production.
21:41 January 25, 2012 by Antone
I have to be able to afford my meals. I can afford a "feel good" green meal now and then.

They use green methods in Africa. They are starving.

But, they are green.
05:14 January 28, 2012 by stablemate
no way.....grow pigs for the world......big or small like in portugal you can eat a little pig 2 months old from a stick on bbq....sooo what?.....stop feeding corn to autos and give it too animals to provide a real meal......why stop protein from enter world food supply....
12:15 January 28, 2012 by aceroni
If they would factor in the cost of the meat that of the thousands of death for antibiotic resistant bacteria which are mainly caused by [ab]use of antibiotics in meat production I believe the meat won't be cheap anymore anyway. Better would be to completely prohibit the immense use of antibiotics in cattle raising
18:58 January 29, 2012 by chica21b
After recently watching a few American documentaries on this subject absolutely would I pay to be able to have grass fed animals.

It's completely changed the way we look at food. Does anyone know of a website that tells you the local farmer's by area of Germany?

I would absolutely prefer to buy directly from the farmer than a grocery store.
22:29 January 29, 2012 by brokenladder
A vastly superior option is to simply go vegan.

- Veganism reduces our environmental impact.

- Veganism is cheaper (i.e. you can feed more people with the produce of a given plot of land than by feeding that produce to animals and eating the animals).

- Veganism reduces the horrendous suffering inflicted upon animals.

- A typical vegan diet will be more healthy than a non-vegan one.


Why should meat not be banned altogether? The suffering inflicted upon animals by the meat industry makes the holocaust look small in comparison. Billions of animals are slaughtered every year. While they may have a lower IQ than humans, their ability to feel depression, isolation, anxiety, fear, and physical pain is absolutely comparable to that of humans. There is no logical reason we should treat the meat industry substantially differently than any other holocaust. The reason we don't generally view things that way is simple selfishness. We have the power and we are happy to mistreat those poor creatures for the petty benefit of a little extra flavor. Our species is, by and large, appallingly cruel and thoughtless in this regard.

But the general trend is toward enlightenment. Women can vote in most democratic countries in the modern world. Slavery is illegal (at least nominally) in the vast majority of the world. We look back at the holocaust as a terrible and disturbing chapter in human history. And I believe that, someday, we will look back on the animal holocaust in much the same way. We will wonder how we could have been so thoughtless and barbaric.

Whether or not that happens, one thing is clear. There is absolutely no rational argument you can make against outlawing meat. It is murder, pure and simple.
09:11 February 1, 2012 by heyheyhey
carlm is sounding as though he has some form of organic brain disease, likely brought on by eating the toxic sh!t meat that he grows. He spews forth this nasty and snide bullsh!T belief system in every post.

Makes me wonder how he treats his family.....sexism, racism, barbarism.......

what a fine fellow.
00:58 February 2, 2012 by neunElf
Heyheyhey, would refrain from personal attacks and address the issues carlm has presented?

I doubt it, you leftists never think for yourselves, you are programmed to attack but never to engage!
09:20 February 2, 2012 by Mh0926
Why bother to argue, it really depends on everyone's pocket, isn't it? If we really want to make sure healthy food resource, let's have own farm, some veggis, chicks, or even one or two pigs,,, (if your neighbors don't mind.) ;)
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