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The Daily Dose - How The Drought is Affecting Food Prices

Drought & Rising Food Prices Causing Hunger In America

With one in five Americans saying they were unable to put sufficient food on the table, one is four in Mississippi, we have arrived at what many would dub a crisis point in this, the biggest economy on the world. This is due to many worldwide phenomena but is exacerbated greatly by the worst drought in 50 years. The USDA announced that grocery prices were likely to rise by some 5% next year. Inflation is definitely higher than most in government would like to admit. Gas prices are also rising which in turn affects food prices. Transportation is an issue that raises costs. For the first time in many years, the mighty Mississippi had to be closed in a few stretches. This is important because so many goods are still moved from North to South on this waterway.

This current situation is based upon our current state of affairs and should there be a major drought or climate calamity elsewhere in the world, we could see a compounding of this already accelerating problem with further potential food price hikes that would hurt even more families.

Food wastage is a big problem in the US. Any significant remedy to this problem could bridge the gap and help to make already challenged budgets work better. According to NRDC we are throwing away some 40% of our food here in the US. This is a very significant number and if reduced it could have a knock on effect both for families and businesses. Businesses pass on the cost of waste in increased prices so lowering waste can help keep prices down for consumers.  Such waste has deeper costs than we would think such as loss of water used to grow those wasted foods, oil wasted to transport them, all in addition to the estimated 1400 calories lost per person per day. Some strategies that work well are freezing leftovers, buying in bulk, avoiding processed foods which tend to be more expensive and others.

 

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