Pleasure vs. Necessity

Tomato (Tamatar)

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Freakonomics podcast on the Tale of the $15 Tomato reminded me this post of mine about how things must be pretty good because we can afford to grow our own food.

The tale was about how someone bought a hydroponics tomato growing kit that produced about 15 tomatoes. Once they figured the cost of the kit, the electricity for the light to grow the tomatoes and the time they put into to growing the tomatoes, it cost them about $15 per tomato. And these were cherry tomatoes.

We use to grow our own food out of necessity. Now we do it out of novelty.

Why?

Because it is expensive (opportunity costs) and we’re not very good at it (comparative advantage) and others are much better (specialization).

Reminds me of a time as a young guy when I tried my hand at brewing my beer. I did it. Folks liked it. It was kind of neat to see the process. But, when we were drinking it one of my friends asked, “Why brew your own beer? Beer is so cheap.” I agreed and stopped brewing.

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