Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution has been pondering the question of why America has inferior raw ingredients for cooking compared even to developing countries. He had a list of reasons of which number 3 (efficient transportation) and number 4 (efficient large scale agriculture) are instructive. The American market has made the (I’d say rational) choice of having good quality with plenty of quantity. Those other markets may have marginally superior quality but at the expense of markets that don’t provide the goods reliably. We have the distinct advantage of being able to walk into a grocery store any day of the year except December 25 and purchase a can of any number of vegetables at a price so low that it’s awfully hard to go hungry here. These developing countries may have superior vegetables when they have them, but when they don’t they eat some pretty unappetizing replacements. So Ethiopia beats us on quality, but in this case I’ll take quantity and a dash more cayenne, thanks.