Expect Higher Prices for Groceries Soon!

Jul, 24, 2012

By James Harker-Syren

Throughout the U. S. Midwest, we are having a drought unlike anything seen in over 50 years!  It’s so bad that 26 states have been declared natural disaster areas.  The reason for the increased droughts is the warming climate due to climate change.

Given where this drought is happening (the Corn Belt in the Midwest), corn is being hit the worst, and its prices have already increased 50% since May. Soy beans also are at risk, depending on how long the drought lasts.

The price of corn tends to have a ripple effect throughout the economy.  Many products use corn (think cornstarch, corn syrup, etc.) and corn is used to feed animals for meat.  Corn is also used in ethanol, so gas prices likely will be impacted.

Experts expect higher prices in grocery stores because of the extent to which our food supply is dependent on corn. This got me wondering whether some products will be affected more than others.  Yes, this will have a broad impact on the economy and, specifically, on food.  From what I can tell, the greatest impact will be on processed foods and meats.  Corn and related products, like cornstarch, corn syrup, etc. are in tons of processed foods.   Meat prices also will rise, given the use of tons of corn to cheaply feed their livestock.

I will be watching prices at our farmers market this fall to see what type of impact the draught has.  Sadly, I expect the greatest impact to be on low-income families who aren’t as educated about diet.

James Harker

James is a Green Dad. He has been married to Green Mom (aka FredriKa) for 17 years and is a father of 3. His primary career has been in software. He has started two software companies, worked in San Francisco, London, San Diego and now Stockholm. He is the Chief Product Officer for eBay Sweden. James’s interests outside of work round out his character. He is an Eagle Scout and loves nature and the outdoors, especially hiking and camping. While living in London, Fredrica and James started practicing yoga with more focus and intensity, and he became a certified yoga teacher. James hopes to inspire other dads to bring more consciousness to their family life … in the time they spend with their kids, in the impact they make on the planet and in the mindset they have about how we all live our lives.

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