Consider the Lowly Mango
By Paul H. Betancourt
Copyright June 2012
There are food activists who want to mandate changes in our food supply. They are concerned about America’s diet, climate change and other things. I understand their concerns. My point is that markets change things with demand from below, not commands from above.
Consider the lowly mango. Thirty years ago you had to hunt all day to find a mango around here. Now they are two for a dollar at the local grocery store. What changed? Demand changed! There is new demand for mangoes and the system responded. How about ginger? Have you noticed the mounds of ginger in the stores in recent years? Where did that come from? Changing tastes now that we have more new neighbors from India.
Growers, shippers and marketers make their living selling stuff. They wouldn’t do very well if they tried to produce and sell things people don’t want would they?
The lesson to be learned is-
We don’t have to mandate changes to our food supply
When consumers change what they buy markets will respond.