Monday, March 10, 2008

No such thing as a cheap lunch

It's times like this where I'm happy that I'm one person, and not a family of four. Why? Because the cost of feeding a family a four is rising at the fastest rate in the past twenty years.

According to a Boston Globe article, "Milk prices...increased 26 percent over the year. Egg prices jumped 40 percent" and "Food accounts for about 13 percent of household spending compared with about 4 percent for gas."

So what does this mean? It means that a quarter of spending for an average family is rising at a rate we haven't seen since the heady days of the H.W. Bush.

So what's causing this spike in prices? You guessed it, oil. It costs more money to package and transport food than ever before, and the increased demand for corn (due to ethanol) has driven its price up.

So what to do? I'd imagine that buying local, from farmers markets, would help, as you're not paying for a whole lot of packaging or transportation costs.

Beyond that? Hey, I'm a blogger, not a economist.

What do you think should be done to address this problem? Have you been affected by the rise in prices? Has this changed the way you eat?


Britni said...

It really is almost cheaper to just go buy a sandwich from Subway then to buy lunch meat and cheese and all those condiments now. It's getting tough trying to stay on a budget and buy fresh and healthy foods rather than the packaged stuff.

Anonymous said...

What should we do about it? We should contact our representatives in Congress to let them know we disagree with the subsidizing of the ethanol industry, which isn't environmentally beneficial and is, as you state, resulting in massive disruptions to food prices. Increased corn prices affect the price of all foods.

I'm willing to pay a high cost to solve our energy and environmental crises, but only if that cost is a result of methods that are effective.