Food prices rise without inflation

(News & Editorial/ Food prices rise without inflation)

A. It’s Happening Now: Famine is Coming To A City Near You
14 Feb 2014,, By Lizzie Bennett Underground Medic
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foodprice crop

We watch the famines that roll by in foreign nations and most of us have a mixture of feelings. Sympathy at the suffering, anger at those nations rulers for not doing more…there’s a gamut of emotions particularly for the children who are powerless to do anything about it. What rarely crosses our minds though is ‘how would I cope?’. The reason this doesn’t enter our heads is that we live in lands of plenty, where food has always been available, and always will be…or will it?

Famine has many causes. War and civil strife, with populations always on the move is a major contributor in countries like Sudan. Itinerant populations don’t plant crops, there’s little point when you are constantly upping sticks and fleeing either from your own government or from one of the numerous militia groups that roam the country side.

Syria, a country wracked by civil war is another example of conflict leading to food shortages and history is littered with other examples where the cause, and the outcome are the same.

There are also numerous examples of famines caused not by war and conflict, but by heat and cold, by drought and flood and there is no reason at all that a weather related famine could not happen in the first world.

The weather is changing around the globe, not as a result of global warming in my opinion, but just as part of a cycle the Earth goes through.

On a personal level I believe the planet is actually cooling, more and more scientists are changing their mind about global warming, quite simply because the planet isn’t warming anymore.

A cooling planet will present problems we haven’t had to deal with before, growing zones will change, and with it the foods that we eat. More and more weather related incidents will prevent haulage from moving foods from the warehouses to the stores. The unprepared will be hungry, even if it is just for a few days until the latest storm passes.

What though if it doesn’t pass in a few days?

Here in the UK we have been warned that such is the level of groundwater that we will in parts, be flooded for months, and that’s if there’s no more rain.

Arable land lies under feet of water, tainted with salt from sea flooding in many places. Like the United States the UK works on a just in time delivery network, a network that isn’t working too well at the moment due to power cuts that prevents the computer systems from listing what needs to go where, even if it worked so many towns are cut off the trucks delivering the food can’t get through.

Now for a small country like the UK this is not insurmountable, boats float on water and nowhere is more than a couple of hundred miles away from somewhere the power is still on, so stuff can still be moved to where it’s needed. If however this was a truly national crisis, where for example the whole country had no power we are talking a different thing altogether. It would be chaos.

Now scale this up to a country the size of the United States. A country much, much bigger than the UK. The United States has an area of 3,790,000 square miles against 94,600 square miles for the UK.

To put it another way your country is just under 41 times bigger than my country.

Try to imagine the logistics of keeping the whole country fed if a proportion of it is in famine conditions. If it was the west of the US that was experiencing shortages due to drought, as California currently is, then the food supply for the whole country is reduced. What they do produce will most likely stay in the state to feed the people of California. Think of it like this, you wouldn’t grow a garden full of veggies then give them all away without saving enough for yourself first would you?  This will leave the US in a really odd situation where the parts of the country WITHOUT the weather issues end up being the parts of the country with reduced food on the shelves.

As we have seen with recent storms food goes very fast when people perceive there is a problem coming, and there is a problem coming, and it won’t be too long before it gets here.

The dictionary definition of the word famine is: fam·ine (făm′ĭn) noun
1. A drastic, wide-reaching food shortage.
2. A drastic shortage; a dearth.
3. Severe hunger; starvation.

So simply not being able to afford the food that is available would put people into a state of famine. As I said in ‘It Has Begun…’ , we are already on the road to food shortages and price hikes, we are already on the road to famine.

The most important thing you can do right now is plant food. Gardening as a hobby is rapidly going to become a thing of the past, gardening for survival is going to take it’s place. Don’t wait. Now’s the time. Plan, plant and survive because there’s a very good chance that famine is coming to a city near you.


B.  Bread, Beef and Other Foods That Will Cost Way More Next Year
16 Dec 2013,, by Martha C. White
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Tina Fineberg / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Got milk? You probably will next year — reports of $8-a-gallon milk are overblown, but there are some food items that will have you digging deeper in your pockets next year.

Beef: Where’s the beef, indeed? Beef prices have been on a tear lately, experts say, and it’s not likely to let up anytime soon. Corinne Alexander, an associate professor at Purdue University, tells trade publication Supermarket News that because of several factors, “beef prices are probably going to stay high for at least the next few years.

Market research firm the NPD Group says in a new report by restaurant industry analyst Bonnie Riggs that “expected price increases” for beef will create a headache for restaurant-goers, but it’s likely to hit consumers even harder. NPD Group vice president Harry Balzer says that while only about 30% of what we pay at restaurants reflects the costs of food, around 80% of our grocery bill is food costs.

Bread: Our daily bread might get more expensive next year, according to a USDA report update in October. “both wheat and wheat flour prices increased last month—wheat by 4.9 percent and wheat flour by 3.6 percent. These increases support the notion that inflation for bread and cereal prices in the supermarket will pick up in 2014,” the agency’s Economic Research Service says.

Cereal: The most important meal of the day could cost you a little more if your breakfast consists of digging into a bowl of flakes, puffs or o’s, according to that same USDA report.

Is It Time to Start Stockpiling Bacon?

Wild fish: According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization, the price of wild-caught fish has come close to doubling between 1990 and last year, although the price of farmed fish hasn’t gone up nearly as much. The Economist blames overfishing for the fact that the amount of wild fish caught has barely budged in more than two decades, even as global demand for fish skyrockets. With more demand and limited supply, experts say there’s only one place for prices to go, and that’s up.

Chocolate: Sorry, chocoholics; your habit is about to get more expensive. CNBC says the cost of the raw ingredients that go into a chocolate bar climbed by 28% between the beginning of this year and October, and experts say prices are only going to climb higher, a combination of growing demand, unpredictable weather and political volatility in the world’s biggest cocoa-producing areas. Chocolate expert Angus Kennedy warns CNBC that consumers with a sweet tooth and the means to indulge it “are prepared to pay” nearly six-and-a-half bucks for a two-ounce chocolate bar.

How to Beat Rising Food Prices: Be Smart About When You Buy.

There is some good news on the horizon when it comes to food prices, though: We won’t be seeing pigs fly in 2014. Earlier increases in bacon prices appear to be on the way to a reversal, as a 38% drop in corn prices made it cheaper for farmers to fatten up their pigs. “Pork-belly prices plunged 23 percent since the end of September, and hog futures will fall 14 percent next year,” Bloomberg reported yesterday.


C. Steak to become a luxury item as food prices tipped to soar by as much as 6% in 2014
9 Dec 2013,, By Steve Hawkes, Consumer Affairs Editor
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New report forecasts that food prices will rise above inflation next year and for the rest of the decade as growing global demand and climate change hit the industry

Prestige claim that some restaurants are already switching beef for pork to save money and keep a lid on

Food prices will rise faster than inflation next year and for the rest of the decade, forcing restaurant chains and caterers to cut back on serving “luxuries” such as fillet steak and prawns, it was claimed last night.

foodprice butcher

Some big name chains are already switching to cheaper cuts of meat – such as pork shoulder – and serving up smaller portions of salmon to keep a lid on cost, according to a report by consultants Prestige Purchasing.

David Read, Prestige chief executive, told the Daily Telegraph that food prices could rise by as much as 6 per cent next year, but at the very least were likely to jump by another 3.8 per cent. He said Britain was in a new era where food prices would continue to soar because of growing global demand and the effects of climate change on harvest and higher commodity costs.

He said: “Last year we predicted 4.4 per cent for 2013 and we have seen food prices go up by around 4.2 per cent. Next year we think it will be around 3.8 per cent and that food prices will be above inflation for the foreseeable future.

“Restaurants and caterers are going to be innovative with food and ingredients and the way they deliver value on a plate in ways they have never been before. “There are going to be a lot more composite dishes, with say a smaller serving of salmon with salad and pulses.

“There will be more pork, more lamb instead of beef, more clams and mussels instead of prawns.” He added: “Prime cuts, fillet steak, sirloin steak, are going to be much more of a luxury item in the coming years.”

High food inflation has contributed to the unprecedented squeeze on Britons’ incomes. Fruit and vegetables soared in price by as much as 12 per cent earlier this year because of unprecedented fluctuations in the weather.

Prestige said it feared the price of wheat, grain and cereals could leap by 15 per cent next year, with rise expected to jump by 6 per cent because of smaller crop yields in Brazil and China. Cheese is expected to rise by as much as 5 per cent and beef by between 4 to 6 per cent following a 17 per cent rise this year.

A report in August revealed that pubs, hotels and restaurants had shrunk the size of beef burgers they were serving up to cope with rising costs. A study by Horizons, a foodservice consultants, added that the average sirloin steak was 8 per cent lighter than three years ago. At the time Horizons said inflationary pressure explained the re-emergence of the hot dog on menus, as they are “relatively cheap to produce”. A Government advisor in July warned that food prices could treble over the next 20 years because of the boom in the world’s population.

Professor Tim Benton, head of Global Food Security, said there could even be shortages in the UK as the emerging middle class in south-east Asia trigger a revolution in “food flows” such as the train in grain and soya around the world.


D. How to Beat Rising Food Prices: Be Smart About When You Buy
17 Aug 2012,, By Mark Di Vincenzo
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The severe drought in our nation’s breadbasket has a lot of people worried about rising food prices. That makes this a great time to know when to buy food — because knowing when to buy can save you a lot of money. Here are a few guidelines:

James Worrell / Getty Images

foodprive milk-fish-vegeMeat. Buy meat in the morning on weekdays, when you’re more likely to see “Manager’s Specials,” which often must be sold by noon that day. You’ll find discounts of 50 percent or more. Freeze what you won’t use right away.

Eggs. Most shoppers don’t know that grocery stores sometimes put eggs on sale when they’re approaching their expiration dates. For some food, expiration dates equate to the last day that food can be safely eaten. But eggs can be eaten three to five weeks after the expiration date, so buy them when you see them on sale and don’t worry about getting sick.

Prepared foods. If you like rotisserie chicken, sushi and other prepared foods, you know they’re expensive. Go to your grocery store about an hour before it closes, when many stores mark down prepared foods that can’t be sold the next day. Expect discounts of 40 percent or more.

Bread and baked goods. Shop in the late afternoon and evening, when some stores drop prices by 50 percent rather than throwing out this food at closing time. Bonus tip: More and more dollar stores sell brand-name bread for a half to a third of what you’ll find in grocery stores.

Frozen turkeys. Some grocers will lower the price of turkeys before Thanksgiving and Christmas to attract shoppers, but the best prices tend to be right after the holidays, when grocers are trying to get rid of unsold turkeys, which take up a lot of space in their frozen-food cases.

Produce. Buy fruits and vegetables when they’re in season. The flavors are at their peak, and the prices are usually lower then because they’re more plentiful and grocers don’t want to see them rot in the stores. The U.S. Department of Agriculture website lists the best times to buy in-season fruits and vegetables.

Coupons. Use them only for items you usually buy, and always use them for staples, such as ketchup, toilet paper, margarine and cereal. Bonus tip: Everyone knows that Sunday newspapers include lots of coupons, but the most serious coupon clippers know the first of the month is when many of the most serious coupon sites –,, and others – offer a new round of coupons.

Grocery shopping. Wednesday is the best day to go. Weekly sales at grocery stores almost always start on Wednesdays. If you shop then, you won’t have to worry about popular items selling out, and you won’t have to hunt for items because stores typically are well staffed to take care of larger crowds.

Bonus tip: To reduce impulse buying and save money, make a list and stick to it, shop once a week or less often and don’t take your kids.



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