Tuesday, October 14, 2014

THE RISING COST OF FOOD

Ten years ago a weekly trip to the grocery store for food cost about fifty bucks, not including toiletries. And there were three of us. 

These days I go to the grocery store, spend about 150 dollars, and run out of things before the next shopping day.  There are still three of us. 

We used to go out for breakfast every weekend and the total cost was less than ten dollars. Now, we are paying over ten dollars each. Needless to say we don't do that very often any more, perhaps once or twice a year.  

So, I figure one of two things is going to happen, either we are all going to get very thin, or we are going to do without other stuff in order to pay for food. 

Something's gotta give. 

The cost of meat has skyrocketed this year, not to mention chicken and fish. I've read about diseases galore with beef, pork, and shrimp, and it is scary stuff. Even the cost of oranges has gone up due to some kind of insect- born disease. And coffee growers have been dealing with the worst drought in years, as well as a fungus they call coffee rust.

I’ve never looked through store flyers or used coupons, but I’m finding that when I do come across a coupon I tend to use it and I also grab the flyers as soon as they are distributed in the mail room. I have come to understand the meaning of “price matching.” I tend to cook in bulk, making large pots of stew, soup, and chili to portion and freeze. The Bulk Barn has become my number one grocery store because less packaging means it costs less. 

When I was a child oranges were a Christmas gift in our stockings. Grapes and apples were only affordable once a year at Christmas, as well as nuts and seeds. We lived off the land hunting and fishing and growing hardy vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and potatoes. And, if we came up short, there was always bologney. We might have been a lot healthier back then, too. Nobody talked of high cholesterol or diabetes. 

Now, I’m wondering if we will have to revert to that way of life. I mean it seems with regard to climate, we have come full circle. Last winter was one of the worst winters in ten years, and not just in Ontario. So, it only stands to reason that our food industry will change as well because climate affects food supply. 

I guess all we can do right now is hope and pray that our government will review its policies on biofuels, invest in smallholder farmers, and support emergency reserves.