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Research: food is too cheap

Updated: May 8, 2021

Without agriculture there is no food. However, their production often causes environmental damage and consequential costs that are not taken into account. Researchers have calculated the "true prices" for some products.

Week after week, supermarkets and discounters in Germany lure with special offers. According to a recent study, meat, milk and cheese should actually cost much more than customers normally pay. Milk and Gouda cheese would be almost twice as expensive. In the case of minced meat, almost three times the price would have to be paid, as a team led by business IT specialist Tobias Gaugler from the University of Augsburg has calculated.

The research work, however, was not published in a peer-reviewed scientific magazine, but was commissioned for a grocer. On behalf of Penny, a discounter belonging to the REWE Group, Gaugler calculated the "real costs" for a total of 16 private label branded products in the retail chain, taking into account not only the "normal" production costs, among other things, the effects of greenhouse gases and the consequences of overfertilization.

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