'food prices' on Serious Eats

Commodity Costs Drop, Wholesale Food Prices Remain High

From the Los Angeles Times, a look at the battle between grocery chains and major food manufacturers over wholesale food prices: "The nation's big grocery chains contend that food manufacturers have raised prices too fast and too far, considering large drops in prices for fuel, corn, wheat, and other important commodities in recent months."... More

Recession Grocery Shopping: What Are You Doing Differently?

With budgets tightening across all economic strata in this country, many families are selectively bypassing organics to save money, according to the New York Times' Andrew Martin. The question that I find even more pressing is whether people are going to stop shopping at farmers' markets across the country, which are generally more expensive than both conventional and organic supermarkets. What are serious eaters everywhere doing to save money? Are organically and/or locally grown produce still important to you? As Martin put it, are consumers going to decide they can no longer afford to let their conscience dictate their shopping list? I for one will not stop supporting my local farmers. I have always felt that local and sustainable... More

Serious Cheese: Why Are Farms So Big?

On Tuesdays, Jamie Forrest (CurdNerds.com) drops by for some Serious Cheese talk. Photograph courtesy of FactoryFarm.org The answer, according to a recent study from the University of Minnesota, lies in the slim ratio between agricultural revenues and today's cost of living. The authors of the study found that it takes $74,804 in annual revenues to support a Minnesotan farm family of 3.4 people. This amounts to a herd of 127 dairy cows (where each cow earns a little less than $600 a year on average). By comparison, Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont has only 37 cows. And ten years ago the average U.S. farm had only 80 cows on it. Simply put, the cost of living has far outpaced the... More

All These Articles About Rising Food Prices are Making Me Depressed, Hungry

Australian droughts are killing rice fields. Flour prices are up. Hops shortages mean crazy-expensive beer soon. Maybe grocery stores aren't selling milk for $450 a gallon yet, but dramatic food shortages are happening globally, and the backlash is huge. After last week's fatal riots in Egypt, Cameroon, and Haiti, the World Bank stepped up Monday with a 2,500-page report on the growing international crisis, listing 33 countries in serious danger. More

The Price of Food: Big-Time Columnist Articulates the Peril

It's one thing when I and a few others in the food media write about the precipitous rise of food prices and the resulting devastating effects. It's quite another when Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman does. Krugman articulates the problem clearly and cogently. People in developing countries are eating more meat. Krugman: "Since it takes about 700 calories' worth of animal feed to produce a 100-calorie piece of beef, this change in diet increases the overall demand for grains." The price of oil. As Krugman points out, "modern farming is highly energy-intensive." Also rising economic powers like China are now competing with old, big economies like ours for scarce resources, including oil and farmland. Also, the... More

Rising Food Prices Explained

Slate's Explainer tackles the question: "Why are global food prices soaring?" The short answer: "Energy prices. The global food system is heavily dependent on petroleum, not just for shipping goods from one location to another but also for production, packaging, and processing. As the price of oil rises—crude oil is currently hovering at around $100 a barrel—so do the costs of planting, harvesting, and delivering food."... More

Are Rising Food Prices Affecting What You Eat?

These days it's better to be an egg farmer than to work at the Wall Street firm Bear, Stearns. That's the only conclusion you can draw after reading story after story about rising food prices. But what about the rest of us, the serious eaters who are neither egg farmers nor investment bankers? Here, according to Andrew Martin and Michael M. Grynbaum of the New York Times, are the cold, hard facts:... More

Are You Affected by Rising Food Prices?

2007 was a breakout year for agricultural commodities like corn, wheat, and soy. Corn prices finished the year at an 11-year high, while soybeans were at a 34-year high. Such trends are, of course, driving up food prices. Are we feeling the effects? More

In the News: Ethanol, Food Prices, Mountaintop Wieners

Don't blame us, say U.S. ethanol makers, in response to the high price of food. [Washington Post] Meanwhile, European food prices surge, too. [Reuters] A new foot-and-mouth scare in England. [The Telegraph] French couple raises the country's only certified-organic snails. Vive le free-range escargot! [The Telegraph] In Japan, fast-food chains jump on the trans-fat–banning bandwagon. [Asahi Shimbun] And China and the U.S. reach a food-safety agreement while Chinese officials plan to use GPS to track and safeguard Olympic food shipments. [Voice of America; AP] Back to the U.S., and there are more recalls on canned food. This time it's green beans. [Detroit Free Press] File under "obvious": For pre-schoolers, flashy packaging more important than flavor. [Fox News] Your RDA of... More

Cheese Prices Increase 55 Percent Over Last Year

Lately the news media have been abuzz with reports of rising cheese prices, and the effect this is having on the nation’s pizzerias. Cheese is the most expensive ingredient that goes into making pizza, so the reported 55 percent price increases this year have surely given pizza joints a run for their money. Pizza Hut and Papa Johns have both raised the prices of their plain pizzas to match those of their one-topping pizzas. Some have blamed the price increases on the rising costs of cattle feed, costs that in turn have been propelled by higher demand for corn in the production of ethanol fuel. Unfortunately this will all come to a head at some point in the future because... More

Food Prices: Up, Up, Up

The uptick in grocery prices in the first six months of 2007 is greater than that for all of 2006. "There's a ... combination of higher demand, natural disasters, higher energy prices—just a myriad of factors driving what price increases we're seeing across the food sector," says Chad Hart, an agricultural economist at the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development in Ames, Iowa. The biggest factor is the conversion of feed corn into ethanol, but labor shortages in the fruit and produce sector and a paltry winter wheat crop are also keeping your wallet thin. Photograph from iboy_daniel on Flickr... More

Lobster Shortage Drives Prices Osprey-High

According to the New York Times, lobster prices have nearly doubled in the past year, thanks to a "confluence of bad weather, extremely cold water, and a lack of reserve supply." Some current New England restaurant lobster prices: Anthony's Pier 4 (Boston): $112 for a 3.5-pound lobsterUnion Oyster House (Boston): $47.95 for a 2-pound lobsterWarren's Lobster House (Kittery, Maine): $28.95 for a 1-pounder According to the owner of Warren's, "We thought we might have to change our name to Warren's Chicken House or something."... More

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