Local organic fare costs more, & why it’s worth it

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Becky Ensinger milks a goat in Dayton, Tenn. (Photo David Tulis)

Becky Ensinger milks a goat in Dayton, Tenn. She makes goats milk soap that sells online at Dixie Does Alpines. (Photo David Tulis)

DAYTON, Tenn. — I’ve been mulling over the question over why Wal-Mart milk prices and quality raised by the caller to your show while I was a guest. I think he had a really good question and is really the question your show is claiming to answer. So let’s answer it.

By Bill Ensinger 

Our goat milk is:

Different product

Better quality

Raw milk

Delivered directly

Low volume

Goat milk not available at Wal-Mart

These things justify the higher cost. But does it help the local economy more? When you buy Wal-Mart milk:

$5 stays in your pocket.

$3 goes to Wal-Mart.

A portion in taxes.

A portion goes to the store.

A portion to workers in the store.

A portion to Wal-Mart corporation stockholders.

A portion to Wal-Mart corporation for running the company and central office.

A portion to the top executives.

You support, in other words, the corporate America structure with its ties to national government, pushing regulation that hinders small business. With Dixie Does Alpine farmin Dayton, you get a better deal. Here’s how the money is divided:

$8 to us:

A portion for base infrastructure: land, barns, goats, etc

A portion for feed

A portion for the equipment (jars, milking pail)

A portion for delivery and market fees

The remainder for my time milking

Buying local supports the idea that individuals should be able to build a means of supporting themselves without the hinderances of government regulation that for various reasons shouldn’t apply to them. Such regulation typically tries to solve specific problems, but isn’t universally applicable, such as those laws dealing with raw milk.

All these amounts would have to be worked out and I’m not sure exactly what they are, but we can estimate.

A locally produced product isn’t always in the best interest of local economy, especially if the cost is considerably higher than the same or very similar product produced by a larger corporation.

Bill Ensinger talks with David Tulis on Aug. 7 about local economy and the blessings of local food. (Courtesy Noogaradio)

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