Food costs rising fastest in 17 years

NEW YORK - Steve Tarpin can bake a graham cracker crust in his sleep, but explaining why the price for his Key lime pies went from $20 to $25 required mastering a thornier topic: global economics.

He recently wrote a letter to his customers and posted it near the cash register listing the factors — dairy prices driven higher by conglomerates buying up milk supplies, heat waves in Europe and California, demand from emerging markets and the weak dollar.

The owner of Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies in Brooklyn said he didn't want customers thinking he was "jacking up prices because I have a unique product."

"I have to justify it," he said.

The U.S. is wrestling with the worst food inflation in 17 years, and analysts expect new data due on Wednesday to show it's getting worse. That's putting the squeeze on poor families and forcing bakeries, bagel shops and delis to explain price increases to their customers.

U.S. food prices rose 4 percent in 2007, compared with an average 2.5 percent annual rise for the last 15 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And the agency says 2008 could be worse, with a rise of as much as 4.5 percent.

Higher prices for food and energy are again expected to play a leading role in pushing the government's consumer price index higher for March.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080414/ap_on_bi_ge/inflation_squeeze;_ylt=A...

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We can give a big thank you to the people who brought us the ethanol farce. It takes more than one gallon of fossil fuel to produce a gallon of ethanol - that uses the corn up and gives us less mileage than that gallon of fossil fuel would to begin with!!

Corn going to ethanol is one of many factors in the cost of raising food prices. Stop puking up the right wing talking points and do a little reading and research. There are multiple things that are contributing to raising food prices, but the wing nuts can’t seem to get past a single bullet point…

We have draught –
http://southwestfarmpress.com/mag/farming_exports_drought_raising/

Drought conditions continue to worsen over much of the U.S. winter wheat area. The drought band covers nearly all of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky in the South. The northern drought band includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. Important winter wheat areas not currently impacted by the drought are the southern half of Kansas and parts of Missouri.

We have demand –
http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2008/02/14/pricey-wheaties-grain-prices-su...

First oil. Then copper, then lumber, and coal. And now grain.

The solid economic growth in the world's emerging markets that's caused oil / coal and commodities prices to surge is now fully hitting the grain market.

We have the falling dollar –
It’s cheaper for Asia and Europe to buy our grain and produce.

We have raising oil prices –
With diesel fuel at $4 a gallon don’t you think that it may be a bit more expensive to hull a truck full of oranges from Florida to Ohio?

And yes we have the demand for bio-fuels.

So-

Corn going to ethanol is one of many factors in the cost of raising food prices

So - according to you what I said is correct, but Im puking up right wing talking points? Reminds me of the time when after numerous requests, you finally gave up some issues that Fred on WSPD talked about that bothered you and it turned out that you agreed with his point on all of them.

Pretty humorous. I think that among other things in there, you're a closet conservative!

In the end, it's Bush and the right winger's support of the Iraq war and their inability and ineptitude to protect the American dollar has had more impact on the price of food then corn going to ethanol. Throw on top of then gas prices hitting all time highs (thanks Bush/Saudi/Big Oil love fest).

You just want to bitch about one small component of it. As a matter of fact, if oil/gas prices weren’t so high, ethanol would look a lot less attractive as an option.

http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008a/080220HurtGrain.html
With global demand for grain and oilseeds at record levels and a weak U.S. dollar, foreign buyers are outbidding domestic buyers for American grain. While the higher commodity prices are good for crop agriculture, there are disconcerting downsides, Hurt said.

BTW - agree with Fred of WSPD and the Morning Noise? Very Seldom. Unless Fred is a closet progressive…I do have the tendency to miss the last hour of his program.

I like my garbage picked up, I like swimming pools, I like libraries, I like metro parks, I like science centers, I don’t think our Police and Fire officers are over paid/compensated, I like softball diamonds and I think the LCIC is shit. I want Southwyck to be redeveloped out of per selfishness because it is in my neighborhood.

Cost of gas in 2001: $1.71
Cost of gas today: $3.45
100% rise in seven years.

We can thank the geniuses in the administration for this fiasco.
The American people still haven't figured this one out even though it's as obvious as the war clouds over their heads.

A friend of mine buys a lot of mixed frozen vegetables. He's noticed that these bags used to be corn-dominant. However, over the last months, these packages have been spilling out more and more green (i.e. less and less corn). He showed me the latest batch, and sure enough, corn was a distinct minority in that bag. Hmm.

That's how fast the Owner Class adapts. And all of this is what happens when you let Crony Capitalists run the economy from top to bottom. Depending on what the government does with regulation, food may well be the "next bubble", and that will just take a few more thousand dollars away from each American family each year just to satisfy the profit demands of the Owner Class.

The economy is now controlled almost entirely by corporations who believe that wealth is best obtained by stealing it. And the best way to steal is to control the legal apparatus that defines what stealing is. So we're going to be bled out like hanging cows in one asset-bubble after another, until the new American Civil War finally happens (or until the nation Balkanizes, whichever comes first). America can't be turned into an economic Indonesia or Zaire without violence. Period.

I just hope they don't replace the corn with more lima beans!

Too many people still believe coal is a dirty fuel source that can't possibly be used in environmentally safe ways. But energy companies, including BP, are investing in the carbon-based resource of which the U.S. happens to be blessed with the greatest amounts of deposits. Modern "scrubbers" in coal-fired power plants remove nearly all of the ozone-depleting emissions. "Liquefaction" technology makes it possible to turn coal into liquid fuel to pump into our cars' "gas" tanks. BP knows this. So do others in the energy business. Sure, it's more expensive, but it's achievable. Many, many years ago the Jimmy Carter Administration proposed two "synfuel" plants for West Virginia to turn low-sulphur coal into liquid energy. But Reagan got elected and promptly killed it, possibly because oil executive friends of his didn't like the idea. There was, back then, much more oil remaining to be pumped, after all. But the major point is the U.S. will emerge from the energy crisis. We have to reach the point where corporate captains decide that's is beneficial to their bottom lines to make the transition. The good news is America is sitting on a century's worth of coal, and that energy firms have the know-how to liquefy both the low-sulphur bituminous and the high-sulpher coal found in the Western U.S. As far as political advantages, we may never pay less for a gallon of fuel again but we will take ourselves off the Middle East oil-teat.

Patience is a great virtue.

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