Monday, January 2, 2012


 As we bid 2011 farewell, I'd like to note that while incomes didn't go up, food prices did. The crazy weather patterns brought droughts to some areas, flooding in others, and natural disasters such as tornadoes that wreaked havoc on crops.  Good Housekeeping Magazine's test kitchen listed five of the most dramatic price increases at  Here they are:
1. Nuts: According to Market Analysts Mintec, the average wholesale cost of nuts, including almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, brazil nuts, pistachios, peanuts, and macadamias, increased 36% from April 2010 to April 2011.
2. Eggs: Prices rose by 22.8%. However, when you can  buy them for around $2 a dozen, they are still an expensive protein source with a lot of other nutrients as well. 
3. Apples went up 12.3%, and Good Housekeeping says it's partly because of consumer demand for the trendy varieties like Honeycrisp. 
4. Potatoes: According to the Consumer Price Index, potato prices were up 11.9%. With twice the average rainfall in the east and cold spring weather across North America, crop losses and delays were significant. But on a trip to Cache Valley last fall, I was able to buy a 50-pound bag of recently picked potatoes for just $12. What a bargain, considering that potatoes around $1 per pound in supermarkets. When you buy a huge amount such as 50 pounds, there's the risk that many will go to waste. But with the holiday season, I was able to use them in mashed, scalloped, au gratin, roasted, and in many soups. 
5. Fats & Oils: Surging soybean prices in 2011 made the commodity prices of fats and oils go up 11.1%.

 Because of the rising hay and grain prices this past year, it's obvious that next year we will see higher beef prices. Maybe we should start growing hay on our lawns for extra income. We wouldn't have to mow as often.

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