The price of food

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The price of Limes has skyrocketed in the last two weeks. We used to pay about $30/case and cases are now selling for over $100. The mexican crop blossoms in late fall and they had lots of rain which knocked the blossoms off the trees. No blossoms, no fruit. Wheat is supposed to go up this summer and of course, because of the enviros, the price of Corn has risen by four times in the last ten years. Now these words from Remus at Yer ol' Woodpile Report:
Food prices
Chase van der Rhoer at Bloomberg has noted the CRB spot price for the Foodstuff Index has risen 19% since the first of the year. Given the drought in California and southwestern states, the PED viral infection killing off piglets by the millions, the diversion of corn into fuel extender duty, the smallest cattle herd in more than sixty years, the decline in the bee population, et alia; it all adds up to a sound bet: food prices will continue to rise.

Since the first of the year pork is up 45%, corn and wheat are up 14%, coffee is up 42%, and cheese is up 21%. All grain-fed livestock, chicken included, are up and so are eggs and dairy products. Vegetables are taking out all time highs. Even the determinedly inattentive have to notice the weekly increase in their grocery bill. It's easy to miss while shopping, granted, the rise in prices is well disguised, commonly like this:
  1. Smaller quantity but in the same size package and same price as before
  2. Smaller quantity yet, in a smaller package, at same price
  3. Same small quantity and package, but of lower quality, at same price
  4. Same small quantity and package, same low quality, but higher price
  5. Even smaller quantity and package, same or lower quality and same price
  6. Repeat 4 and 5
Coffee is a one example. The standard three-pound can became a more or less two-pound can in small steps. Quality is being lowered by replacing Arabica with Robusta�the swill of coffeedom, but cheap and hardy. Less quantity is the only way out for some items, those where quality isn't a useful variable. The twelve-ounce package of bacon for example, which is gradually replacing the standard one-pound package. Perhaps there'll come a day when it's sold by the strip.
Remus then goes on to talk about today's Food Stamp program, its genesis in the Depression and eating during wartime. Time to plan your garden. The next couple of days are supposed to be nice. As I left this morning, Lulu said that she was looking forward to spending some of the day in the garden getting the beds ready. I got the germination benches ready two days ago and will start some seedlings this week.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 1, 2014 10:11 AM.

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