Luxury is a word we all understand. It’s enigmatic because it means something a little different to everyone. For some, luxury is defined by price. While for others, the mere discussion of price is nothing less than vulgar. Scarcity has also been the hallmark of luxury. Sometimes, even the taint of illicit prohibition can cause a shift from the denigrated to the divine. What we can agree on is when you acquire luxury; you’re really doing something special to pamper yourself and/or people you care about (or people you want to think you care about them.)
The lurid mythology of the world’s most expensive cigar is a by-product of the Cuban embargo. When similar stories began to surface regarding Kobe beef, there seemed to be a glimmer of hope for the western world. Kobe beef comes from cattle that are raised and pampered in Kobe, Japan. In addition to being fed an extraordinary diet of grains (no animal by-products) and beer, these cattle are massaged daily by the thighs of Cuban virgins. (Ok, I made that up but they are massaged daily.) This special handling is said to produce the most tender and tasty beef known to man. A Philly Cheese Steak sandwich of Kobe beef can be found on the east coast for $100. (I’m sure that I can beat that price in my kitchen!)
What would happen if the ultra, super and kinda rich began to insist on such luxuries as pesticide free food or tomatoes that don’t have frog DNA to make them herbicide resistant? What if the rich and powerful demanded that their food and the food they feed to their children be pure, fresh and clean? It meets all of the standards of luxury that they have grown accustomed to: it’s pricey; it’s scarce and if you throw some organic hempseed oil on your salad it even has that taint of prohibition. (It seems Congress still can’t tell the difference between hemp and pot and until they can you can’t grow hemp in the United States. Never mind that it is a sustainable hardy crop with almost as many uses as the peanut.) Folks, I think the winds of change would blow with such a shift.
I know it seems radical to remove pesticides, herbicides, hormones and antibiotics from their diets. I know it seems even crazy to give up the plump three breasted headless chicken brought to you with the latest, untested in long-term studies, GMO technology. Maybe if they ate better infertility would be less of a problem for the rich. Maybe if they were a bit more discerning about what their kids ate, they could keep their kids out of rehab for eating disorders, among a myriad of other things. Don’t get me wrong, I am not crying for the luxury impaired rich.
In short, (I know it’s a little late for that) significantly higher demand among the rich for organics could result in more available organics for the rest of us and frankly, I am ready to stop paying $6 a gallon for organic soy milk anytime now.