23 March 2009

On Food for Poor, Price Rises the Steepest

'Tis exactly what I've been saying and my budget has been telling me.

In the 4th quarter of 2008,

the food price index accounted for over 60 per cent of the increase in the CPI, compared to six per cent in the first quarter. The increase was mostly the result of a 3.9 per cent annual rise in prices for food bought from stores. The annual pace of growth in the prices of store-bought food has been increasing since 2003. The steepest rise in prices came from staples such as bread, rice, flour, milk and eggs.

Those would be the food items which the poor depend on. In other words, the food industry knows it can jack up the prices of these products because the most vulnerable, trapped market has no choice but to buy them regardless of the increases. Except that people like me just keep buying less.

As for food bought from stores, WISE storyteller Anna, made these very wise comments:

For the 15 years of my life in Canada, this is the first time that I have owned a garden. I am very much enjoying it because it reminds me of how I was raised. It was natural for every family member to have their own little patch of land, to grow their own fruits and vegetables....

Here, people without gardens must go to grocery stores. That’s how the corporations have taken over. It used to be that people would make cherry pies or vegetable dishes or whatever. They were able to sell that to the neighbours and they would survive that way. Now there are all types of liability issues and insurance and licensing and...

When you look at all these big manufacturers, what are they doing but making that very same pie and earning millions and billions in revenue and profit? They’ve managed to take away the very essence of life in terms of how we survive, and turned it into a multi-billion dollar business. The pie that we get at the grocery store now is less nutritious and has no value and no meaning. In fact, we cannot afford the pie anymore. (p16)

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