"Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." --G.K. Chesterton

Monday, October 28, 2013

Metro Vancouver wants us to eat local

One of the undeniable benefits of the (relatively) free-market system which our society has embraced is that it provides us fresh food from all parts at the world, year-round at affordable prices.
On the other hand, history has shown us repeatedly (hello, North Korea, etc.!) that centrally planned economies, especially centrally planned agriculture, don't work.
That's the big picture.
The small picture takes us to the Metro Vancouver regional government (officially known as the Greater Vancouver Regional District). Its basic job is to coordinate land-use planning, and water, sewer and garbage-disposal services, which it does fairly well.
(from Metrovancouver.org)
But it also has shown a propensity to grow. And one of the areas into which it appears to want to grow fairly large is the coordination of food-production in the Metro area. It's all part of Metro's "sustainability" agenda.
The region has been nosing into the food-production area for several years now; evidence can be found all over Metro's website, including reports on annual grants to encourage non-profits to educate the public about farming. There's also this draft report from three years ago. 
And now, Metro is planning to stage a "Regional Food System Roundtable" discussion (Nov. 20, 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at the Executive Plaza Hotel in Coquitlam). According to Metro, the roundtable is the "first step" in developing an "Action Plan" (the capitalization is Metro's) for implementing a "Regional Food System Strategy."
Really? Do we really think that central planners at Metro can devise a better food system than the marketplace can? Is this what we want Metro to be spending our taxes on?
I have no idea what the initiative will cost, but every time a committee or board meets, the politicians involved get extra pay. More expensive, though, are the bills associated with staff time, material production, room rentals and the like.
And, of course, there's also the cost of feeding attendees. I suggest that organizers take advantage of our excellent food-production and -supply system, and look for the best-quality food at the least-expensive cost.

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