Unbeknownst to most people there are illnesses and environmental affects that are impacting the mortality rate or productivity of a variety of food products. Pork is being devastated in many areas by the porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus that kill piglets at a very high rate. Shrimp prices have risen 61% since last year, because of early mortality syndrome which is a
The drought conditions that have existed for several years now in Texas and California, just to name a few large food producing states, are having an incremental impact not only on the cost of food, but on the availability of some products in general. Many Texas cattle producers had to reduce the
size of their herds dramatically to stay in business at all when the drought was at it's worst. And their drought is not over, by the way. This article clearly points out how the cost of beef is affecting everyone, from the prices at restaurants, to your kitchen table. How many families have had to limit their intake of meat due to rising costs? How many people have gone to buying the cheaper processed food products to fill in the gaps? When the cost of fixing a hotdog or hamburger for your children gets to be a luxury, then what?
According to Food Business News, the bread basket in the middle of our country is seeing the affects of our unusually cold and prolonged winter weather this year. Corn crops in some parts of the country have had to be delayed because the weather is too cold and wet to plant. There are areas in Kansas and Nebraska that are experiencing drought conditions which may impact their wheat production this year. There are also some areas that the winter kill of wheat has not been determined yet.
And then, there is the drought in California which has been written about in many places. It still amazes me that there is any debate at all on choosing
between food production and the habitat of a fish or bird, but that appears to be the case. One thing is for certain. The water supply in California for the major food producing areas is dwindling at an ever increasing rate, be it the aquifers, snow melt, rain fall or the reservoir or lake levels, they are running out of water. Thus, another area of the country is experiencing shortages in production and increasing costs that are being passed on to the consumers. The Wall Street Journal recently had an article with a very interesting graph. It gives a visual for many of the statistics we keep hearing about.
If these projections come to pass and continue following these trends, what will that mean for your family food budget? How will it affect what you put on the table for the family meal? Will you be able to sustain your current standard of living? If not, what will you cut to make up the difference? How deep will you have to cut?
Until next time - Fern