Too often as consumers we are only looking at the sticker price. However, to truly get a sense of the economic, social, and environmental impact of our consumption, we have to factor in all the hidden costs as well. Take vereniki, for example. To many Mennonites, these cottage cheese filled dumpling appear to arrive at the dinner table out of nowhere. Like magic. But let’s have a look at the cost, the true cost, of a single plate of vereniki.
The average Mennonite man consumes 10 to 15 vereniki in a typical serving and when he’s done he kicks back his feet, unbuttons his belt, and never thinks about it again.
However, vereniki is a lot of work.
First there’s all the unpaid labour of the Mennonite women who have to make the dough, roll it, cut it, stuff it, and boil it. This is time-consuming. At a standard wage of just $15 an hour, with five hours labour, that amounts to $75 just in labour costs alone.
Add this to the cost of flour and cottage cheese, which is always going up these days, and you’re looking at well over $100 a plate.
So the next time you chow down, think about the costs of your vereniki footprint. It may be bigger than you think!