28 February 2009

More Hardship as Food Prices Soar

Things are going beyond desperate for those already living at the bottom of the well. The grocery bill is the only discretionary item in their budget and it keeps going higher and higher and higher. Which means less and less and less food, and nutritious food increasingly falling off altogether.

A comparison of food prices tracked by Statistics Canada shows that from January 2008 to January 2009 food bought from Canadian stores rose by almost 9%. Fresh fruit went up by 16%, vegetables by 20%, breads and cereals by as much as 11% and non-alcoholic drinks by 12%.

"Food prices rose dramatically around the world last year and there is no one simple answer to it," said John Scott, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers.

Part of the answer is the principle of sticky pricing. Once prices go up, they tend to stay there, particularly prices on staples. Why? Well, just because.

However, there IS something people can do about the rising cost of food. Consider this:

"Canadians buy food from all over the world and those foods are traded in U.S. dollars so when our dollar goes down, relative to the U.S. dollar, food costs more," said Jack Carr, an economist at the University of Toronto.

Solution: Follow the 100 mile diet. Buy local.

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