expensive food

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On a recent trip to Hawaii, I discovered that the prices of food were high. I can understand that a small cattle industry would cause beef to be expensive, but why is seafood such as mahi-mahi so much money too?

-- April Argereow (aargereow@ipass.net), January 14, 1999


One part of the problem is the cost of labor. The wages are a lot higher (even minimum wage) for a company in Hawaii versus one in Mexico so it is a lot cheaper to catch the Mahi Mahi in the waters off southern California or Mexico and ship the fish in frozen. That's why there is a lot of frozen Mahi Mahi and the fresh one is so expensive.

Another problem is the cost of doing business here. Besides the gas, and electricity, you have some very high taxes, workers comp insurance, and other benefits.

Another problem is the shipping. I don't understand how it works, but because of the unions, consumers end up paying for empty containers going back to the mainland!!! We could be shipping recycle things or old tires or scrap metal at a cheaper rate, but it is against the union/shippers rules???? So the recyclers here have a tough time making it here. A lot start up and a lot fold.

Catch this, you mentioned meat. The Big Island has one of the largest ranches in the world. There used to be a processing plant there, but they had to shut it down. Know why? It is cheaper to ship the live cattle to the mainland for processing than to ship fresh or frozen beef. Something about they class of what you shipping. Guess it cost way more for a refrigerated container. Some of our frozen meat could travel farther than the people who eat them.

Sorry for the lecture, but this is one of those areas that just don't make sense except to the ones who control...

-- Steven Helton (shelt@lava.net), January 14, 1999.

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