U.S. CONSUMERS SHOULD BRACE FOR THE LARGEST INCREASE IN FOOD PRICES IN NEARLY 20 YEARS

August 21st, 2008

Via: Reuters:

U.S. consumers should brace for the biggest increase in food prices in nearly 20 years in 2008 and even more pain next year due to surging meat and produce prices, the Agriculture Department said on Wednesday.

Food prices are forecast to rise by 5 percent to 6 percent this year, making it the largest annual increase since 1990. Just last month, USDA forecast food prices would climb between 4.5 and 5.5 percent in 2008.

“It’s a little bit of a surprise how strong some of the numbers were in July,” USDA economist Ephraim Leibtag, who prepared the forecast, said in an interview.

“We’ve been waiting for some moderation, but especially with some of the meat prices and how much has come through relatively recently (at the retail level) leads me to believe the overall number may be a little bit higher for the year,” he added.

Leibtag said he expected food prices to moderate, but the timing depends on what happens to volatile energy and food ingredient costs.

Prices are expected to rise by 4 percent to 5 percent in 2009, lead by red meat and poultry. The forecast, if correct, would be the third straight year where food prices have surged at least 4 percent.

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8 Responses to “U.S. CONSUMERS SHOULD BRACE FOR THE LARGEST INCREASE IN FOOD PRICES IN NEARLY 20 YEARS”

  1. Eileen Says:

    Last year I bought a low wattage freezer that can run off of 75 watt panel if need be. I also bought this neet gizmo that can make the thing a fridge if needed.
    I don’t eat meat but once or twice a week, but found a farmer that grows grass fed beef, lamb, etc. I toured his farm a couple of months ago.
    It is the best meat I’ve ever eaten. So I am storing up.
    These days I’m thinking more and more about my parents and grandparents. The Great Depression stories.
    Saving and working all week so that Mom had a dime to chip in for the gas to go the dances on weekends. Mom walked to work down at the Westinghouse and gave her paycheck to her Mom.
    All I can say right now is I’m glad by arms are ripped solid with muscles from lifting Mom, cause I’m thinking I’ll be toting some barges and lifting some bales in the years to come. Just to eat!

  2. Kevin Says:

    Eileen,

    Is there really a freezer that only uses 75 watts? What’s the brand and model?

  3. Kevin Says:

    I went looking and found these:

    http://www.backwoodssolar.com/.....rators.htm

  4. Eileen Says:

    Oops, Kevin I did get the Crossley at Backwoodsolar (free shipping) 🙂
    I think it is that you can use a 75 watt solar panel to power it all day.
    NOT 75 watts per day.
    MEA CULPA.
    I’ll check the specs when at Mom’s tomorrow.
    Sorry.

  5. Eileen Says:

    Oh and by the way, I just ate some of Mose Miller’s lamb chops that he had for sale at the farmer’s market this afternoon.
    Holy crap. I only have a little tiny George Foreman electric grill to cook them on here.
    Oh my god. I’m feeling so nourished right now.
    I could thump on my chest like a caveman and suck the bones of all the tender morsel fat for a long while. But I will restrain myself so that I can floss my teeth and go to bed.
    YUMMY.

  6. Kevin Says:

    Man, I obviously haven’t looked into low power freezers lately. Some of those machines are like running a bright, household incandescent light bulb! Incredible.

  7. Eileen Says:

    Kevin,
    Don’t want to point out the obvious – but YOU sent me to Back Woods over a year ago:-) Don’t think I have the link anymore but there are some good things going on re refrigeration down under. The Crossley would obviously be primo circumstance storage for you if you plan to do another Herman Beefsteak.
    I can’t store things in freezer in comfort here in the ‘burg. My apartment rental has a refrigerator that seems to run nonstop for hours on end the minute I open the door. Quite ludricrous. I ought to pay some one to haul it off, but its not mine so I could do that but won’t just yet.
    Anyways, it is has been a lesson for me in this past year re refrigeration. I wish instead of a Sears refrigerator with a freezer on the top (very energy efficient), I would have bought two Crossley’s. The hell with who cares whether you open your refrigerator like a chest.
    If I am a correct it is a Crossley and it rocks.
    Almost one year of ownership with no need to defrost thank you.
    e

  8. gbell Says:

    For a low energy fridge, see:
    http://mtbest.net/chest_fridge.htm

    Note that Watts are units of power – flow of energy (J/s)

    And Watt-hours are units of energy – J

    So it doesn’t make any sense to say something takes 100 Watts per day – that’s like saying a river flows at 1000 Liters/second per day. Rate is instantaneous.

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