Ok, I'm worried. Or beginning to worry. Food prices are still going up and there are many reasons for them to continue to rise. One is the weather. You don't have to look very far to see extreme weather. Snow measured in feet instead of inches, droughts that hang on and on, floods, tornadoes in places that don't get tornadoes.
And then there is the threat of diseases. Blights, fungi and bacterial problems are beginning to plague monoculture megafarms. Loss of seed variety, encouraged by Monsanto and GMO practices, add to the threat. It's becoming more and more difficult to maintain heritage seeds - seeds that are needed to ensure the continuation of food crops.
Crop failure, no matter what its cause, can be disastrous now more than ever, because we live in a global world. Preferring local food can be seen as backwards and nonproductive.
What product prices should we be most concerned with? Start reading the labels on your shelves because those products very probably contain some of these.
Wheat - bread, rolls, cookies, cake... pizza dough, cabbage rolls and the hundreds of items that use wheat and/or gluten.
Corn - popcorn, sweet corn, corn meal, corn flour, corn starch, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup... this affects the cost of literally thousands of products.Corn has almost doubled in the last 6 months or so.
Soy is another one that has seen rising prices. Not just in soy sauce or soy milk, soy is found in many, many products.
But maybe you've heard this before? In 2007, there was great concern (although much of it behind closed doors, they tell us) about rising food prices and possible shortages. Food prices did rise, but not so much that we didn't adjust and go on. Will it be that way this time?
I don't know, but I'm hearing rumbles that I never heard before. Rumbles of crucial food shortages, of hunger increasing, of government programs not being able to keep up, of food banks having to turn away people. Do you think our government will tell us if there was a serious food shortage? No way... people panic. People act stupid when they fear anything, and the government knows it.
Hunger and food riots have always happened somewhere else... not here in the USA. We have lots of cheap food... don't we? I believe the near future may tell us a different story.
Pay attention to the overall picture and watch your food budget closely.