That depends on the kind of food you’re looking for and where you’re looking. Often, organic food is cheaper at a farmers market than at a grocery store. However, without the combined presure and purchasing power of stores like walmart, buying out of season fruits and vegetables would be more expensive if factory farming ended. In colder climates where the growing season was too short to support the population, food prices would probably rise due to short supply. Food prices can be higher at grocery stores for in-season fruits and vegetables than places where non-factory farmed foods are sold because factory farms are more likely to need to ship their foods farther to sell them, therefore raising the prices.
We would have to adjust the way we eat and at what times. If you stick to things that are locally-grown and in-season, food will not be too expensive without factory farming. The problem is that Americans have grown accustomed to having fresh pineapples in January and other things that are out of season. These things must be shipped (and loaded with preservatives) in order to get to you. Once we adjust to eat just what is available at that time in our region, we won’t have a real need for factory farming (and thus the issues that come along with it).
Meat, milk, and eggs would be more expensive, but not prohibitively expensive. We would probably simply eat less meat and more vegetable products. Traditionally, meat is a food that has been reserved for special occasions. People in poor countries often get most of their protein from beans instead of animal products, and only eat meat on special occasions instead of daily like Americans do.
Milk and eggs are less expensive to produce than meat. Plus, chickens are easy to keep. When food prices get high, people can always garden. During war times when we experienced food shortages, people planted “victory gardens” to grow some of their own food. Home gardens have many advantages over factory farms. For one thing, you don’t have to transport the food over long distances. For another thing, the food is fresher and you can grow it without harsh chemicals.
Personally, I think that factory farms should be banned and more people should have chickens in their back yards. Not everyone needs to have chickens, just more people. My chickens lay more eggs than I can eat, so I often give them away to friends.
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