Thursday, May 8, 2008


Food has gotten expensive.

Thus far we've been pretty well insulated from the rising food prices. We buy almost everything from Costco where the prices have been relatively stable everywhere but the meat section. However, I avoid buying bread, milk, and popscicles at Costco because of the size of the packages and the fact that we will NOT make our way through the dairy or baked goods before they go bad.

So this morning I made my weekly visit to Safeway for the items that we either buy in smaller quantities or go bad fairly quickly.

This week Safeway is having a massive meat sale, including the household favorite, NY strip steak (boneless of course). At just under $6/lb, that's over $3 less than COSTCO is charging at the moment. So I pick up a family pack of strip steak and a family pack of round steak ($2/lb right now) and added the meat to the usual order.

The usual order ends up being $40. This time I paid $90. $40 of that excess belonged to the beef.

That's only 5 meals worth of beef. WTF?

On top of the beef increase, the price of milk has risen 50%, ice cream 25%, and chicken and pork 25%, and soda 50%. What do all of these items have in common?


Whose bright idea was it to turn a food crop into a fuel crop? Who thought increasing the market for corn would NOT have an effect on the price?

Oh, and as a bonus since more farmers are cashing in on corn, less wheat is being planted, so now WHEAT is more expensive as well. Bread prices have risen 50% around here.

So how is ethanol going to save all of us again? By making food prices so high that no one can afford to eat?

Why can't we develop alternative fuels from sources we don't need in order to live? Why can't we make ethanol from sugar, or from grass clippings? Why can't we choose an alternative fuel base that won't transfer the high cost of gas to a high cost of food ( not that the price of gas is exactly falling due to ethanol either)? We have the smartest scientists in the world and this is what we come up with?

1 comment:

billy said...

Oh, the scientists can do better. They're trying. But your research only gets funded if someone signs off on your proposals. And, since a lot of research grants come from the government... who's ultimately determining where the money goes? Politicians: people who want to look like they're doing something about it, but aren't prepared to step up to the plate for the long haul solution. Many are just trying to get their next four or six years in office.
Meanwhile, kids in less well-off countries are starving at an even higher rate because of the increased cost of grains. Fantastic.