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Food Prices Are Getting Skyrocketting and It Is Time To Eat Less!

December 10th, 2010 · 3 Comments ·
 
 

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Not only the gasoline price is getting higher these days, the food price has increased too, as much as more than 100% for the past 1 year. Staples like wheat and rice, which millions of people, be them poor or rich, depend on them daily, become more expensive and made lives tougher. If you often do grocery shopping yourself, you realize that eggs and bread have become expensive too for the past 12 months. From Yemen to Haiti or Bangladesh, high food prices have sparked protests in many countries around the world.

Here are some of the food prices in the US in May 2007 and 2008 for comparison:

May May Percent
Field Crops Unit 2007 2008 Change
Barley Bu $3.12 $4.76 52.56%
Beans, Dry Edible Cwt $3.08 $5.06 64.29%
Corn Bu $3.49 $5.12 46.70%
Cotton Lb $0.44 $0.61 37.95%
Flaxseed Bu $7.08 $16.60 134.46%
Hay Ton $138.00 $166.00 20.29%
Lentils Cwt $13.20 $32.70 147.73%
Oats Bu $2.49 $3.46 38.96%
Peanuts Lb $0.18 $0.20 12.29%
Peas, Dry Edible Cwt $10.10 $16.40 62.38%
Potatoes Cwt $7.95 $9.21 15.85%
Rice, Rough Cwt $10.00 $15.00 50.00%
Sorghum Cwt $6.49 $9.18 41.45%
Soybeans Bu $7.12 $12.30 72.75%
Sunflower Cwt $16.60 $27.40 65.06%
Wheat Bu $4.88 $8.80 80.33%

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May May Percent
Vegetables Unit 2007 2008 Change
Asparagus Cwt $91.90 $99.80 8.60%
Broccoli Cwt $26.70 $27.30 2.25%
Carrots Cwt $32.00 $25.50 -20.31%
Cauliflower Cwt $24.90 $37.40 50.20%
Celery Cwt $18.30 $37.70 106.01%
Cucumbers Cwt $28.50 $17.50 -38.60%
Lettuce Cwt $13.60 $16.80 23.53%
Onions Cwt $24.20 $31.70 30.99%
Snap Beans Cwt $38.80 $39.60 2.06%
Sweet Corn Cwt $21.40 $23.10 7.94%
Tomatoes Cwt $35.60 $40.40 13.48%

Few possible reasons of food getting more expensive:

  • As more countries are developing, living standard has improved. When people become better off, they start to eat better. They eat more meat, which livestocks are fed on grain. They also eat more meals a day. Instead of eating one plate of rice per day, people may eat two now. So, stronger global demand for food and together with the growing population have made things worse.

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  • Severe droughts in major wheat-producing countries from Australia to Central Europe have damaged destroyed wheat crops.
  • High oil prices are pushing up the costs along the entire food production chain. Higher oil price means more expensive to produce and ship goods. Someone needs to pay for the extra cost and in most cases, end consumer is the one who pays.
  • In order not to rely mainly on oil, in the last few years large agriculture-producing countries have started growing corn and sugarcane to create ethanol, and oil crops to create biodiesel, as an alternative to petrol.
  • Similar with oil, food (wheat and rice) are traded on financial markets, which means that these items are susceptible to speculation and volatility of the markets.

For me, I do not even dream on buying organic food which is even more expensive. I have to make conscious effort to cut back more expensive food. In a way, it is a good thing. No more unnecessary ice cream or soda in my fridge nowadays, not even for guests at home. One of my neighbors are planning to start her own little backyard garden, growing veggies which are expensive to buy. Female friends are cutting down chocolates and other junk foods which is a good thing and I look forward to seeing them slimming down.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has clearly said that food is one of the most basic needs. No matter how expensive my food bill is, I still have to eat. Even if the price goes up to the roof, I have no choice but to give up my magazine subscription, Internet service at home or any other nice to have things.

Life is tough nowadays, isn’t it?

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3 responses so far ↓
  • Jazzy L // Dec 10, 2010 at 11:41 PM

    Very Helpful Article. Thanks! I heard about a new site at Church. It compares prices at the 4 top stores here in Atlanta. From what I’ve read, it updates every week and shows where the lowest prices are on a few hundred items. You can print out your shopping list or have it sent to your phone. (I’m not savvy enough for that though). I email them since their not up yet, and they told me they will be up in January in Atlanta and Birmingham AL. then other cities. I can’t wait to try it.

  • Patrick Kallie // Dec 20, 2010 at 6:10 AM

    We have to start eating less anyway, because their might be a world food shortage in the near future…if things keep going the way they are.

    That a big problem in the America – we tend to eat to much fast food and neglect our health. Something has to change for sure!

  • LDR // Jan 7, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Yes You are right :)
    Today I Went to Buy my EAS protein which has 5lbs and 1 month ago it was 25 dollars, Today that I went it cost me 28 dollars, So it is a 3 dollar difference, Sour cream Too, used to be 3.64, today it was 4.50, So yeah, practically everything is skyrocketing on prices, I already told everyone in my family that I want to have a meeting and talk about eating less and be more conscious about spending money on unnecessary foods, Thanks for the Article, We all appreciate it ;)

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