My daughter, Jackie, called the other day to ask if I’d purchased ground buffalo meat from Costco in the last week. I had not and asked why she wanted to know. It seems the price had jumped three dollars a pound. The last time Jackie purchased ground buffalo it was $5 a pound. The meat was presently priced at $8 at the Costco near her.
The next time I was in Costco, I checked the price. It was $8 a pound. I called her and told her to “get used to it.” This is only the first of many price jumps in food.
According to official stats, America’s inflation rate is only around 1-2 percent, so there’s no problem. Really? The government’s official inflation rate is based on annual changes in the consumer price index (which excludes food and energy costs). This is very misleading.
Economists, like John Williams of ShadowStats.com, pegs inflation at a much higher 8.5 percent! If you have been in a grocery store lately, you know that Williams’ assessment is closer to the truth.
Add to the current inflation, the Federal Reserve’s most recent expansion of the money supply, dubbed “quantitative easing” or QE. (QE is just plan ol’ inflation.)
QE isn’t taking Ally by surprise. She’s been saving.
Bill Gross, a global investment manager, says the Fed’s latest action (QE2) may result in the U.S. dollar losing 20 percent of its value! You can expect BIG increases in just about everything during the next couple of years due to QE. You know the stimulus bills have to be paid sometime. (Bush added $4 trillion, then $10 trillion has been added so far under Obama.)
If there are no new taxes (you can’t convince me there won’t be), then inflating the dollar will do the same. The only surprise to me is that the Federal Reserve managed to wait this long. I thought for sure we’d be hit hard by inflation last autumn.
QE translates into BIG increases in the price of everything from food, utilities and gasoline.
Speaking of gasoline, if QE wasn’t enough, the price of oil continues to rise. Oil prices threaten our already damaged economy. Oil prices have edged closer to $100 a barrel in recent weeks and Brent crude hit $98 a barrel today. (Update: For the balance of January, crude oil fluctuated between $80 and $85. February 3 it rose to $103 a barrel and then settled just below $90 the next day. The oil market is sure to continue it’s rise.)
When the price of gas goes up, you pay more to get to work, take the kids to school and go to the grocery store. Not only are you paying more to get “there”, but when the price of oil goes up…so does EVERYTHING else. Everything we purchase is trucked to the store, so any increase in the price of gas is passed to the consumer (you).
World food prices rose to a record in December on higher sugar, grain and oilseed costs, the United Nations said. The price of oilseeds, cereals and sugar was at a 30-year high. Add to that, US grain stockpiles are the lowest in 30 years. Just about everything is up according to The Business Insider: Beef 23%; Salmon 30%; Coffee 45%; Barley 32%, Sugar 24%, Oranges 35% and Wheat 63%.
Other than “getting used to it” there are some things you can do to prepare. It’s not too late, if you act now. My next blog is Prepare for Food Inflation. Also you can check out the blogs to the right of this page in the Food Storage category.
For information on long-term food storage,