Shrinkflation, meet assize

Chapter 4 of Food Margins has a whole chunk about the medieval Assize of Bread and Ale, and about how I felt like that was too wonky and arcane to talk about when I was doing a public education project about farm history back in 2015.

And then dang if Cookie Monster and Joe Biden don’t go and make “shrinkflation” a hot topic and suddenly everybody’s talking about the politics and economics of price points and volume.

Some of the media coverage of this has resurfaced Keith Plocek’s great Slate article from a couple of years ago. Plocek pointed out this isn’t anything new and it isn’t necessarily nefarious. Amid all the fulminations and oversimplifications of political discourse at the moment, it’s nice to read something that gets at more of the nuances!

1 month ago

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