Daily Column – 4th November 2021

Viral videos can lead to many things – overnight stardom for creators, extreme popularity for products and attention to issues which may otherwise be neglected. Similarly, a video by CNN has brought peoples attention to  the issue of rising milk and other food prices. In the video a family complaints about the current price of milk ($2.96 per gallon) versus it’s earlier price of $1.99.

For a variety of reasons, the video was slammed on: Because the family has 11 individuals and buys 12 gallons of milk per week (! ), their grocery bills aren’t typical of the ordinary American home. Plus, a gallon of milk hasn’t been $1.99 in decades, so costs haven’t increased that much.

Nonetheless, the video touched a chord because…

The cost of food is increasing.

Milk prices have increased by 26% since 2018, even before the epidemic, due to reasons such as the rapidly diminishing number of dairy cows.

However, Covid is undoubtedly exacerbating the problem. Meat prices, for example, have risen by 28% in the previous year as meatpacking facilities struggle to fill low-paying, physically demanding, and frequently dangerous positions. Even down on the food chain, several fertiliser firms are reporting severe shortages as a result of the present energy crisis. This might hurt farmers, resulting in fewer food output and, as a result, higher pricing.

The big picture: Food prices are rising everywhere.

Snack makers claimed they’re hiking prices on your favourites like Bagel Bites (10%), Cool Whip (10%), and EZ Mac boxes (3.5%)—and your Kroger won’t cover all of the costs.
According to a new UN report, global food prices reached a 10-year high in October, disproportionately affecting lower-income homes and communities.

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