Economics, Literature and Scepticism

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I am a PhD student in Economics. I am originally from South Africa and plan to return there after my PhD. I completed my M. Comm in Economics and my MA In Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Cape Town, where I worked as a lecturer before starting my PhD.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Esther on Food

Posted by Simon Halliday | Tuesday, July 22, 2008 | Category: | this article by Esther Duflo at Vox EU - Food Prices: The Need for Insurance

It's a bit of an old article (in the blogging world) being from April (shock, horror). However, I wanted to refer to it because one thing I don't get is why she refers to it being paradoxical that it takes more grain to produce a calorie of meat than it does to produce the equivalent calorie with grain alone. To me it follows logically because our bodies (and the bodies of animals generally) aren't one-to-one calorie converters as far as I know, maybe I'm wrong here... That being said, the rest of the article is good.

Were I tempted to give up meat (previously, I dallied with vegetarianism for a while, and no-read-meat diet, and pescatarianism...) the 'grain required for meat' vs. 'grain required to feed the world' argument would probably be one of the strongest reasons. It's a bit hug-the-tree hippie-ish, but it makes sense to me and still makes me wonder whether I should give up meat entirely. It was biltong and steak that brought me back though. That and thinking about market forces and pricing. Hmm...

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