Why Are Food Prices Going Up So Rapidly?

News Image By Michael Snyder/Economic Collapse Blog September 15, 2021
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For a long time I have been warning that global food prices would rise dramatically, and that is precisely what we have witnessed over the past 12 months.  Unfortunately, global wages are not rising nearly as quickly as global food prices are, and so this has pushed millions and millions more people into poverty and hunger.  

Here in the United States, nobody is currently in danger of starving to death, but many Americans have been getting a severe case of sticker shock when they go to the grocery store.  Not since the Jimmy Carter era of the 1970s have we seen prices escalate like this, and people are starting to get angry.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, global food supplies have been getting tighter and tighter.  When I first started writing about this, certain individuals derisively dismissed what I had to say, but now the truth is becoming apparent to everyone.

Very tight supplies and growing demand have pushed global food prices 32.9 percent higher over the past year...

Central banks and mainstream media continue to peddle the notion that soaring food inflation is temporary and the average Joe and Jane should not worry about it. But in a new report via the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), global food prices are on the rise, once again, and back to near-decade highs.

FAO released a statement Thursday that detailed after two consecutive months of declines, world food prices in August jumped due to solid gains in sugar, vegetable oils, and cereals.

FAO's food price index, which follows international prices of globally traded food commodities, averaged 127.4 points in August, up 3.9 points (3.1%) from July and 31.5 points (32.9%) from the same period last year.

Unfortunately, experts are telling us that food prices are going to continue to climb.

In fact, one is estimating that food prices will continue to go up like this "for the next two years or so"...

Grocery prices have been on an upward trend for most of the year, and some experts say that this will continue for at least the next several years.

"We're going to continue to see price increases, probably for the next two years or so," says Phil Lempert, an analyst and food trends expert perhaps best known as the Supermarket Guru.

This is really bad news.

So why is this happening?

Well, the Biden administration is blaming the greed of the meat processing industry...

During Wednesday's press briefing, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke about the actions the administration was taking to help alleviate what Deese called 'pandemic profiteering' from the top meat processing companies.

'One of the interesting findings of the report that we put out today, is that about half of the overall increase in grocery prices can be attributed to significant increases in prices in three products - in beef, in pork and in poultry,' Deese said from the podium.

Certainly greed is playing a role, but as Zero Hedge has pointed out, a whole host of other factors are contributing to this crisis as well...

A combination of global droughts, volatile weather, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions persisting from COVID, among others, have contributed to the rapid rise in food prices over the last year.

Heading into fall, soaring food inflation shows no signs of abating and may worsen. This may cause socio-economic turmoil in emerging market economies, mainly because people in those countries allocate more of their daily budgets to food.

The pandemic was supposed to be subsiding by now, and so by this time of the year prices were supposed to be starting to stabilize.

But instead the Delta variant is causing widespread panic, and this is causing more disruptions throughout our entire society...

The summer that was supposed to mark America's independence from COVID-19 is instead drawing to a close with the U.S. more firmly under the tyranny of the virus, with deaths per day back up to where they were in March.

The delta variant is filling hospitals, sickening alarming numbers of children and driving coronavirus deaths in some places to the highest levels of the entire pandemic. School systems that reopened their classrooms are abruptly switching back to remote learning because of outbreaks. Legal disputes, threats and violence have erupted over mask and vaccine requirements.

We already had a shortage of nurses and other health care workers before this pandemic, and now all of the various mandates that have been instituted threaten to cause a meltdown of the entire system... reported last week that about 39 percent of U.S. hospitals have announced vaccine mandates for staff members.

"It's not just nurses at stake with vaccine mandates. Respiratory techs, nursing assistants, food service employees, billing staff and other health care workers are already in short supply. According to the latest KFF/The Washington Post Frontline Health Care Workers Survey, released in April, at least one-third of health care workers who assist with patient care and administrative tasks have considered leaving the workforce," according to Fortune.

I can't even begin to describe how foolish it is to institute mandates that could potentially force thousands upon thousands of health care workers to leave their jobs right in the middle of a pandemic.

But that is what we are now facing.

The way that we have responded to this pandemic has been a complete and total nightmare, but those running things seem entirely convinced that they are on the right track.

Moving forward, there is going to be more panic, more chaos, more shortages and more price increases.

So even though food prices are already ridiculously high, now is the time to stock up, because food prices are only going to go higher from here.

I have been doing my best to sound the alarm, but sometimes I feel like I am pounding my head into a wall.

Most people just have an absurd amount of faith in the strength and durability of our system, and so they refuse to believe that it could ever fail.

But it is failing, and what we have experienced so far is just a preview of coming attractions.

Originally published at The Economic Collapse Blog - reposted with permission.

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