Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The economics of eating

I was reading Dara Moskowitz's latest article for the City Pages, Then There Were None, which laments the closing of Auriga, the last of a number of fine restaurants that have closed their doors.

Although I never made it to Auriga, I feel bad that this highly praised restaurant closed. It sounds like this is one of many that valued their food, their employees, and the quality of what went into the meals they served their guests.

As a family with a toddler, we do not go out to such places very often. Our son is a good eater and enjoys a wide variety of food, but we reserve going out to places on the high end when it is just the two of us. (For example, Melissa and I had a rare date on Saturday night, which included going to Nami.)

Her article contained some of the thematic elements of The Omnivore's Dilemma, including the price of food. Much of what we eat as American's is heavily processed food which is inexpensive because of the subsidies paid to the companies to keep food cheap. Unfortunately, like the coffee business, it is the small farmer who often gets screwed and does not get a fair wage for his or her product.

Where this impacts us as eaters is that it is far cheaper to eat at places that buy that artificially cheap and commodified food instead of being able for us to dine at establishments that want to improve both biodiversity and the food experience with choosiness about their ingredients.

I thought Dara's article to be a thought provoking one, which I recommend to people who are interested in fine dining or who want to understand some of the economics of operating a restaurant.

Tags: Twin Cities, dining, restaurants

1 comment:

TerraPraeta said...

Nice, Joe.

I'd never thought about the fine dining aspect of food... spend a lot of time worrying about what I buy at the store, but the other end of the market, not so much :-)

Thanks for point that out.