Saturday, November 19, 2011

Organic Versus Pasture-Raised

Grist has an interesting article from a small poultry outfit on the trade-offs between raising organic poultry/eggs and raising free range poultry.  It triggered some nostalgia.  One factor the author doesn't mention which we faced in the 1950's and he doesn't face today is big variation in prices.  In the 1950's the poultry industry was still in the process of consolidation and vertical integration, operating under the influence of the forces of specialization and economies of scale (see preceding post).  That meant egg prices could go from  $.30 a dozen to $.70 a dozen in the space of a year or 18 months (figures based on memory).

Today, after all the "sturm und drang" of the "creative destruction", something beloved of economists and hated by those who are destroyed, I'm assuming prices of eggs and chicken are much less variable. That difference in variability is probably one reason we found it necessary to have both poultry and dairy, while the author can focus only on poultry.

No comments: