Originally published March 25 2015
Food inflation on the rise - list
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) If you've read any economic news lately, you've probably been treated to a host of stories touting a "strong" U.S. recovery, really low unemployment, and very little inflation. And, if you're like most working class Americans, you've probably read those stories while shaking your head in disbelief and wondering if the writers are talking about people in another country.
Yes, says the government, the official unemployment rate is about 5.5 percent, the lowest it's been since the Great Recession. But that government-supplied statistic doesn't include so-called "missing workers" - those workers who are no longer in the workforce because they have dropped out in frustration. If they were counted, says the Economic Policy Institute, the real unemployment rate would be 9.0 percent.
And yes, according to the government, there has been some job growth - about 295,000 in February, according to the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. But in order to replace the jobs lost during the Great Recession, that figure would have to be much higher.
As to the government's line about inflation - namely, that there isn't much - well, one trip to the grocery store or the gas station or the clothing aisles, even at Walmart, will tell you different. Prices for food, clothing and energy have been rising steadily for years, and none of that has changed just because Barack Obama became president.
'Official' reports only tell half the story As reported by The Wall Street Journal in July 2014:
The consumer price of ground beef in May rose 10.4% from a year earlier while pork chop prices climbed 12.7%. The price of fresh fruit rose 7.3% and oranges 17.1%. But prices for cereals and bakery products were up just 0.1% and vegetable prices inched up only 0.5%. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts overall food prices will increase 2.5% to 3.5% this year after rising 1.4% in 2013, as measured by the Labor Department's consumer-price index. In a typical supermarket, shoppers are seeing higher prices around the store's periphery, in the produce section and at the meat counter.
Why aren't these figures reflected in monthly federal inflation reports?? Because the government's "official inflation rate" does not include "volatile" commodities like food and energy. That's because, the government says, prices for those items can fluctuate. While that's true, the general trend has been that prices for these items rise, not fall.
Consumers are especially feeling the pinch over food prices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' own data indicate that, as compiled by James Quinn of TheBurningPlatform.com:
A whole host of other items and services have risen as well, he notes, such as electricity (+2.5%), hospital services (+4.3%) and prescription drugs (+5.6% - so much for Obamacare lowering the cost of health care), and so on.
- Beef and veal +22.5%
- Ground beef +21.0%
- Steaks +14.9%
- Pork +7.4%
- Ham +11.5%
- Whole Chicken +6.1%
- Fresh Fish +3.5%
- Eggs +8.2%
- Cheese +7.8%
- Fresh Vegetables +4.3%
- Lettuce +12.2%
- Tomatoes +9.6%
- Coffee +6.7%
- Butter +19.5%
- Restaurant food +3.1%
But rising food costs hurt the most people because, after all, each of us has to eat to survive.
'The era of cheap food is over' As stated previously, food inflation has been an issue for years, and it is only getting worse. Back in 2008 NBC News reported that food inflation had reached its worst in 17 years.
"The U.S. is wrestling with the worst food inflation in 17 years, and analysts expect new data due ... to show it's getting worse. That's putting the squeeze on poor families," the network reported online.
In 2011, Britain's Independent declared "the era of cheap food" over, forecasting ever-higher prices worldwide as demand increased, drought persisted and wages rose in some countries.
"The era of cheap food is over, and prices are likely to rise significantly in coming decades, due to the increase in the global population and a worldwide shift towards eating more meat and dairy produce, a major study into the future of farming has concluded," the paper said on its website.
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