Typically, though, dogs on a garbage and cigarette diet aren't going to be very healthy. And feeding a dog garbage is not going to help the millions of starving people in the world that can't get food.
I do agree with you, though, that the best food for your dog is the one that they do well on. But looking for good ingredients is a start in finding a food that your dog will
do well on. Our dogs did okay on cheaper brands, but the coats improved, energy level went up, and poop volume went down when we switched them to Innova a number of years back. I actually prefer to feed a better food if it will decrease my vet bills in future.
I suspect the ethanol phenomenon is driving up food prices to a much greater extent than the premium dog-food industry. In the case of ethanol, the food is burned, not eaten, and the government (at least here) is trying to increase our demand for it. IMO, that's not a good trend...