Less Raisins, More Grapes

To conclude the lecture on “why we eat what we eat”, the class collectively took a single raisin and joined it in its journey from the vine. It’s amazing to know that we are all able to enjoy what was once a grape at such a cheap cost (although I do not like raisins), but I wonder why raisins and not grapes. In the videos, we saw how raisins were made, how large producers can make so many so quickly, but what was most interesting to me was to make connections to the other uses for the raisin precursor and how that can affect both the supply and demand of raisins, as well as their cost. Grapes are also in demand in the US and around the world (for wine, grapes, concentrates), and they compete for the farmers land use. Large scale production creates the economies of scale to drive prices down, but if farmers can make more money with grapes, there is no need to produce raisins. If there is a demand for raisins and the supply goes down, the price will go up to a point its worth producing, but less people can afford it, making it less available. The low price keeps people eating raisins, but would people eat them at a much higher price?
I can also see the feedback loop of raisins including the demand for grapes at the production level (as shown), as the more grapes demanded for production, the less space or raisins to be produced. At first glance this may seem like there is a connection between peoples’ demand for raisins and peoples’ demand for grapes, I see it as a farmer changing what they supply. If people eat more grapes, do they eat less raisins?

Raisin feedback loop

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