Food prices continue to skyrocket, even when gas prices fall
by: J. D. Heyes
Monday, July 11, 2011
Food prices are skyrocketing. Part of the reason why is because, as the world’s population rises, so too has food consumption.
Another reason, at least here in the United States, is because the dollar has slipped in value in recent months.
But one of the primary reasons why prices are climbing so dramatically is because fuel prices have shot up in the past year. Yet even as gas and diesel prices have begun to fall recently, food costs haven’t.
According to fuel price-tracking Web site Gasbuddy.com, prices have slipped nearly 20 cents in the past month, or just over 5 percent. But prices for commodities and some staples like coffee, bacon, fruits, meat, pastas and other items have shot up 40 percent in the past year. Cotton, too, has risen dramatically, making clothing more expensive.
As an example, the price of grapes has climbed 30 percent, while cabbage has risen 17 percent and orange juice 5 percent.
And while the government’s official inflation rate of 3.6 percent (annualize) doesn’t seem serious, that figure is masking the true cost of a number of commodities Americans traditionally buy.
For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics – a division of the Labor Department which tracks the costs of 76 items – said coffee has gone up 40 percent in the past year. Celery is 28 percent higher, and butter has risen 26.4 percent.