New Generation Confronts Unaffordable Luxury of Food –

by Gilbert Keith

" We talk a lot about exquisite food but we rarely talk about a corollary to our fixation with it — the financial toll it takes on people who do not in any real sense have the income to afford it. Last week Yaffa Fredrick, who is 23 and a production assistant at MTV, broke down the finances of her passion for me. After taxes, she makes about $30,000 a year, a little over half of which goes to rent.


Typically, she told me, she spends about $250 a week eating in good restaurants, which amounts to about $13,000 annually, and this does not include the additional $50 to $100 a week she spends on cooking classes, wine tastings and cheese pairings. Because about half of her salary is given over to food, she works an additional 10 to 15 hours a week tutoring and baby-sitting to supplement it.


Few of us are engineered to think this way, obviously, when we are young and we live in a moment when economists like Garett Jones have argued that memory ought to be considered a durable good. “Most of the joy — the utility in econospeak — happens when you’re not having the experience,” he wrote last year. "

I find it hard to believe this nonsense. Detailed explanations forthcoming.