Rising Food Prices

Stephanie Luhring

Prices of food products have risen by .8 percent, according to a Consumer Price Index Summary released by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With food prices rising, careful grocery shopping is one suggestion made by Monte Streit, store director of Lincoln Center Hy-Vee.

He also said that meat and dairy products will be most affected by inflation.

“Meat and dairy could rise by 20 to 25 percent,” said John Beghin, professor of economics at Iowa State.

Meat and dairy are not the only produce to experience rise in cost, fruit and vegetable prices are also rising, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index Summary.

“Some things go up and some things go down,” Streit said.

Beghin said the input of the farmers is higher which causes the farm value of produce to rise. This impacts farmers and consumers differently, depending on how close to the produce source the consumer is.

Streit said the expenses of farmers rising can cause prices on the free trade market to rise as well.

“People are being more cautious,” Streit said.

Streit said he thought consumers would be more likely to shop advertised items and try to waste less food. Consumers might choose less costly cuts of meat when grocery shopping as a way to save money, Streit said.

“Maybe it will cause consumers to eat less nutritiously or maybe it will drive people to cook at home,” said Peggy Martin, the Extension To Families Specialist for the Family and Consumer Sciences Extension.

Lisa Egenberger, freshman in animal science, said she hoped meal plan rates do not rise beyond the previously proposed one percent increase in response. Egenberger also said next year she will have a seven meal plan despite living off campus. One option she liked is a hanging garden. She planned on growing tomatoes to use when cooking for herself.

“Do you shop more carefully or spend time growing your own food?” Beghin said when asked about consumers growing their own produce.

With food prices rising and Iowa State’s budget cuts, programs like Farm to ISU could suffer.

Farm to ISU allows Iowa State to support organic, alternative and local producers while providing fresh foods.

“It is healthier and can be more economic, but production is more costly,” Beghin said when asked about the Farm to ISU program.

Consumers should keep in mind that food prices fluctuate and they are not set rates, Martin said. Martin said she hoped it would encourage consumers to learn more about eating nutritiously, and she suggested Spend Smart, Eat Smart as a useful resource.