I really appreciate your post! It is eye-opening, isn't it?
Really? I haven't noticed anyone putting a gun to my head to force me to buy crap. I have eyes to read, a brain to think and a wealth of information at my fingertips. What I have noticed is that as the consumers in this small town where I live have educated themselves and made choices to eat real food, the availability of locally-produced grass-fed meat, dairy, vegetables and even (gasp!) grains has skyrocketed. There are now 3 goat's dairies, 4 grass-fed meat producers and probably 40 organic fruit/vegetable farmers within a 15 mile radius of this town of 10,000. These producers did not exist 10 years ago. And now, their prices are gradually starting to fall, as there is more competition.They got us by the balls.
In every town I've lived, there has always been a food co-op or buying club. If there hadn't been, I would have started one--that's how important good food is to me.
I eat really well on a budget of $75 a week in a very expensive part of the country (for food.) Is that a lot? I don't know, but to me, it's more satisfying to eat good real food than to buy new clothes or go out to eat.
Choices. Priorities. Consumer Power.