Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Inflating Grocery Prices

Have you noticed grocery prices are up? I'm sure you have, but in particular I am noticing that lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers are really expensive! Those are our salad staples and we usually have salad about 5 nights a week.

I did a little research, and it's just like the signs in the produce department say: that freeze in Mexico last month damaged so many crops that the supply is drastically reduced. Thus prices are up. In addition, I read on the Amazon fresh blog that much of the fruit we're getting now was picked back as the freeze was starting - a sort of salvage effort on the farmers' part - so anything we buy is already old and will go bad much more quickly. The good news is that produce prices are expected to be lower by the end of the month when crops in the U.S. start harvesting.

It's not just produce. I have found it harder and harder to find eggs for $1 a dozen and butter for less than $1.67. I'm happy to pay up to $2 for 18 eggs now and $2 for a pound of butter is a great buy. What else do you notice is getting more expensive?

I saw that eggs were up 74% in this WSJ article! I hope this is not a trend, but am starting to realize how blessed we are in the United States to have such inexpensive food available. In the documentary King Corn it is reported that Americans spent less than 10% of our disposable income on food. This isn't entirely good news because the cheapest foods are the worst for you, but even healthy food, grown locally, is still available at a significantly lower cost (% of income) than most of the world enjoys. Maybe it's one the reasons America is the "land of opportunity."

Maybe next time you're cringing at the cost of produce, you can remember that we have it pretty good and thank God there is even food on the shelves!


1 comment:

  1. I was just commenting that it seems like our fruit is going bad more quickly than normal. I usually like QFC produce the best of the major chains but was noticing it with their produce as well (especially the berries). That explains it!
    We just started buying our eggs from a local gal so pay a bit more for eggs ($3.99/dozen) but they sure are good. We go through 2 dozen/week in our house so I figured it was worth getting good, wholesome, hormone free eggs.


So, what do you think?