Food Prices Increase!

For more than a year now I have been observing the widespread anticipation of rising food prices among those who claim to be experts on the subject as well as talk among everyday shoppers as they observe trends in the local grocery stores.

No one expects anything but higher food prices in the months ahead. But how well are we prepared?

Higher Prices Are Here Already

Two Gallons of Milk

Have you been to the grocery store lately? Just a few months ago I could run down to a local store and pick up two gallons of milk for $5.00. Not any more. Yesterday my daughter told me the best advertised sale price now for two gallons of milk is $7.00!

Now I know that official government statements about inflation tell us inflation is not high. Last year they say it was only 1.5%. This past year it jumped to 2.4%.

Even if I believed that those numbers had any real significance I would be disturbed by the fact that the rate has almost doubled in the last year. Clearly the direction is disturbing.

Higher Food Prices—A World Trend

Just today I read an article about the conditions in India. Rising food prices at least partially accounted for the downfall of the previous government there and the new leaders are facing a difficult challenge in trying to achieve the impossible to fulfill their promises of combatting the problem.

You might find it interesting to read this article, India Takes Steps to Check Rising Food Prices in the Voice of America. There is no doubt that the people of India face a difficult situation with inflation much higher than ours.

Unfortunately, the approach in India is largely to increase government management and control of production, distribution and pricing. I say unfortunately because these methods are more likely to exacerbate the problem rather than help in the long run.

Can We Combat Higher Food Prices?

On a very practical level, at our house we are trying to get back to growing more of our food, at least on a small scale. It is something we can enjoy—at one time we operated a farm market so we have an interest in gardening and know a bit about it.

Vegetable Garden

But most people will look for other approaches. No really good solutions are out there, I suspect, but in general there are two things that can be done. One is to reduce expenditures in other areas and another is to find new ways to increase our income.

The biggest problem may be a mental one. People in general are discouraged. It is easy to be that way when most projections for our economic future are so pessimistic. But people are remarkably able to cope if they set their minds on it.

Conclusion: Get On With It

Instead of worrying or getting depressed about our circumstances, the key is to just look at the situation and plan how we are going to deal with it. If we do we can come out on top.