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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    merely aesthetic -a terrible shame

    For more than forty years the cost of food has been rising. It has now reached a point where a growing number of people believe that it is far too high, and that bringing it down will be one of the great challenges of the twenty first century. That cost, however, is not in immediate cash. In the West at least, most food is now far cheaper to buy in relative terms than it was in 1960. The cost is in the collateral damage of the very methods ...Put it all together and it looks like a battlefield, but consumers rarely make the connection at the dinner table. That is mainly because the costs of all this damage are what economists refer to as externalities: they are outside the main transaction, which is for example producing and selling a field of wheat, and are borne directly by neither producers nor consumers. To many, the costs may not even appear to be financial at all, but merely aesthetic -a terrible shame, but nothing to do with money. And anyway they, as consumers of food, certainly aren't paying for it, are they?

    1. What does this mean here? I can't get its meaning here related to "beauty."
    aesthetic
    2. Does this "shame" mean "regret" or "disgrace"?

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    #2

    Re: merely aesthetic -a terrible shame

    I assume the part you left out (...) was discussing the methods of modern agriculture? That seems to be the key to understanding what they think is ugly.

    Yes, "shame" here means it is a disgrace.

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    #3

    Re: merely aesthetic -a terrible shame

    I agree. The omitted text undoubtedly says that modern farming methods include enlarging fields, removing ancient walls, and other changes which dramatically change rural landscapes.
    I am not a teacher.

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