Food Prices

by Shirley Ball

Grain prices spiked late last year, and ethanol production was heavily blamed by the food companies as being the reason for the higher prices and the increase in food prices in the grocery store. Fuel prices also reached all time highs in the past year, and many studies reported that fuel price was a more significant factor in food prices then is the price of grain. Ethanol received much criticism for driving up the price of grain. As this issue of the EPAC newsletter goes to print, the price of grain is in the dumps, and will return less than the cost of production to the farmer who is raising the crop. The price of gas has also come down. Yet the price at the grocery store continues to climb.

An organization called reported that Kraft profits are up by 24% this year compared to last year. They also reported that Kraft chose to shrink the Chips Ahoy packages by 5% while selling the cookies for the same price. The web site stated that “You might be surprised to learn that major food companies like Kraft, Kellogg and General Mills are profiting from the recent hike in food prices at your expense.”

Well, we are maybe not surprised, but I think we need to publicize the true culprit in the costs that we consumers must deal with. Thanks to Senator Chuck Grassley for his letter to the Grocery Manufacturers Association that is carried on this page of this newsletter. Let us ask other national and state leaders to follow his example and maybe we really can bring some truth to food pricing.