All Articles Tagged "food prices"
They’re calling it the “dairy cliff,” and if we go over it, there are threats of $8 milk.
Along with the much-discussed “fiscal cliff,” which could cause a spike in taxes, January 1 is also the deadline for Congress to deal with a farm bill. Failure to pass this latest legislation could cause prices on dairy products to leap.
According to The Washington Post, the bill also deals with things like foreign relief aid and production issues to do with other food items. But because milk is produced all year round, it’s the most pressing item on the list.
Food costs for consumers could jump because of the outdated pricing laws that would go into effect, some going as far back as 1949, well before modern methods for farm production and sales went into effect. “[I]f Congress does not pass the bill by March, when it’s time for farmers to start planting crops, the antiquated laws could begin to roil production for other products, from peanuts to corn, by applying quotas discarded years ago,” the paper writes.
NPR is betting that the price of milk won’t actually reach this eye-popping $8 price that’s being buzzed about, which would be more than double the national average. “Dramatically higher milk prices won’t help Congress’ reputation for political gridlock. Farmers wouldn’t like it either,” that outlet’s blog says, citing the fact that it would bring unwanted attention to farm policy issues. It would also ultimately reduce demand, as consumers shy away from costly foods in favor of less expensive options. (Issues of food policy go largely unnoticed in this country, but play a big role in determining the American diet. Bestsellers like this and this go into further detail.)
More than anything, it speaks to Congress’ inability to do its job in the harsh and partisan environment that has taken over Washington. Parts of this farm bill actually expired in October. This coupled with the fiscal cliff are two reasons why the legislative bodies’ approval rating hovers around 18 percent.
-The Senate has voted to preserve the Bush-era tax cuts for people making less than $250,000 per year. This is great, in the sense that something actually made it through Congress without all the drama we’ve grown used to. But the argument is still being made that this is the worst Congress ever.
-Nas’ new album “Life Is Good” debuts at number one, selling 149,000 copies, according to Nielsen Soundscan. This is the artist’s sixth number one album. It’s his ninth number one on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange” slips from number two to number four.
-The drought that’s currently plaguing about two-thirds of the country is going to cost at least $12 billion, the most since 1988. The figure is an estimate right now, but an August 10 report will put the damage to crops into clearer relief. Insurance payouts to farmers promises to be huge, and food prices are going to increase, perhaps as much as three or four percent.
-Hope your mailbox can handle the massive size of the fashion magazines heading your way. The September issues, typically one of the biggest of the year for a number of titles, is going to be a record-breaker for a number of mags, including Elle, Marie Claire, Vogue and People StyleWatch.
-The London Olympic Games kick off tomorrow and NBC says they’ve sold $1 billion worth of television and digital advertising for the event. Even with that huge figure (it’s $150 million more than what was sold for Beijing in 2008), the network doesn’t expect to turn a profit. ???!
-The backlash against Chick-Fil-A is coming at them fast and furious. First because the company’s president and CEO Dan Cathy gave interviews in which he condemned same-sex marriage (Chick-Fil-A is known to have donated nearly $2 million to anti-gay organizations). Now because it appears the chicken chain has created a fake Facebook page to defend itself.
Get ready to pay more for your meals. The nation’s farmers are dealing with what Bloomberg describes as “a worst-in-a-generation drought” that will send food prices higher. States from the Midwest to the West Coast have experienced a severe lack of rain, leading to crop losses and price increases.
Shoppers already faced higher prices in 2011, but experts predict that prices will go even higher this year and next. The full impact of the lack of rain will come into sharper view in August and September.
Corn, soybean, and wheat crops have been pummeled, which, in turn, impacts the production of tons of other foods, including meat, cereal, and milk. And it’s not just the meals you’ll be making at home that will be affected. It’s expected that fast food prices will also go up as the prices for their ingredients also increase.
In the short term, we may actually see the price for meat decrease as farmers reduce the size of their herds to save money. But any price improvements will be short-lived.
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