Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Things you never think about

I have a lot of contact with farmers and their families in my work with Cooperative Extension. Today a farmer wanted me to help him figure out the cost of each load of laundry done in hot water and then an electric dryer (just under $1). He has 450 cows and each uses 2 clean washcloths a day so they wash 900 washcloths each day. Tomorrow I want to find out how many washcloths they put in a load. I do know that they go through machines quickly as the farmhands tend to overload the machines. This expense is minor- the electric bills to keep cows is tremendous as well as the fertilizer for the corn they grow to feed the cow. Milk really is a bargain. When I see the work that goes into raising our nation's food I realize how blessed we are to buy food for as little as we are able yet we complain about the cost. At least I did as I paid 98 cents for a cucumber when I could not give them away this summer and peppers were $1.45 each this week! In August I had a ton and no time to freeze them!

8 comments:

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Wow! So you do cost analysis? Can we put you to work for the average homeowner?

It is humbling to consider where our food comes from and how much work it takes to get it to our tables. I hope that energy costs will level off so that we can all continue to do well. The cost of food is so high right now.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Hmmm, your comments may not be working...not seeing anything that lets me know that they're being saved.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Sure, so now it works! :D

Sue said...

Far from a cost analyst- I am a home economist and adult educator by degree but in my job I find a way to figure out whatever I get a phone call about. We get some pretty strange phone calls and then some normal ones. Yesterday a woman called and asked me how long it is safe to eat turkey that has been in the refrigerator. When I answered 3 days she quickly hung up the phone. One of my favorites was a call from a seamstress on removing a blood stain from a gown that was being picked up by the bride in less than an hour. Told her to try hydrogen peroxide. She later called back to tell me she was thrilled it worked and the couple was so happy to be getting married-they were both almost 90! Warmed my heart. I have actually developed relationships with several people through their consumer calls! I also write a biweekly column devoted to food and food safety questions- shopping cart germs have been a hot topic resulting from that. The follow up emails from people have been interesting!
Sue

BittersweetPunkin said...

I remember reading something like that in The Tightwad Gazette not too long ago....she had a system for figuring out things like that.

Hugs,
Robin

Lovella said...

Oh goodness that is amazing. Being farmers ourselves, I appreciate your realization of the cost involved to put food on the table. . and we certainly are blessed in North America to have food be so reasonable.

Donna said...

It is incredible how much work goes into our food supply. And now the EPA is proposing huge taxes on farmers with livestock (because of carbon emissions)! How stupid!

kari and kijsa said...

Wow- amazing at what goes on to provide food for our nation- thanks for sharing!
blessings,
kari & kijsa