Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Dairy the new oil? Every piece impacts the whole

A headline in the local paper's business section shouts "Is Dairy the new oil?" Essentially the article discussed the fact that as corn now shifts into being utilized for ethanol fuel production--mostly for use in our cars, it is being diverted from feed for cows that produce milk and other dairy products like cheese. The result? Prices on dairy and cheese are predicted to go up 30% in the next few months as the cost of their production now skyrockets.

As I read this I wondered how many people really made the connection of how our addiction to oil is now overflowing into other vital areas of our lives? Rising gas prices have put large crimps into many people's budgets--and now it would appear that this will impact at the grocery store too as dairy and most likely other food prices go up in response to production costs increasing as 'corn' goes into the gas tank instead of our stomachs! What worries me is that it is our children who generally consume milk and cheese in greater quantities than adults--and as milk prices head towards $4.00 a gallon, will families have to cut back and thus, nutritionally our children will lose?

As with the individual Life Puzzle--every piece impacts the whole--the same is true in the much larger "Community Life Puzzle". Change one piece and everything else changes. Individually--the foods we eat power our bodies and mind--eat better quality, we end up with healthier bodies, able to manage our feelings and thinking which leads to being more proactive etc.

That may be quite easy to see, but often we don't make the same connections within the larger Community Life Puzzle. Especially when it comes to an issue like oil. We all want lower oil prices but we see this as a stand alone issue. But its not! It impacts so many other pieces of the community--now it is impacting feed prices which impact costs for meat and dairy--and likely all foods as costs for shipping go up too. This impacts our children's nutrition as families have to cut back on milk when it hits $4.00 a gallon. This could have long term impact on their health--strong bone formation is needed in the calcium and Vitamin D found in milk and it has to happen in these crucial developmental years. This will impact the medical system 30 years forward as knees and hips need to be replaced earlier than one would've expected. Cheap oil also means we continue to drive too much which impacts air quality, increases road production to address all the cars on the road! Thus the environment suffers as the community of plants and animals lose habitat to pavement. Well, you get my drift--every piece impacts the whole!

No comments: