Prices Increase for Staples like Wheat, Rice and Corn

Has anyone else noticed that the prices of pantry staples, like wheat, rice and corn, have increased dramatically? A box of store-brand mac-n-cheese has gone up 25%, and a small bag of brown rice has increased 50% since the first of the year. It's almost impossible to get fresh loaf bread for under a dollar.

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From - "Wheat Price Increase Has Far Reaching Effect" March 15 2008:

LAKELAND (Bay News 9) -- A trip to the grocery store can quickly confirm that the price of groceries are going up.

And bread prices are among those that have jumped the highest. And that's because wheat prices, along with gasoline, have gone up dramatically.

So much so that bakeries have passed their costs on to customers.

The Country Hearth bread factory in Lakeland has eight giant silos that hold 100,000 pounds of flour.

In 2007, it costs $30,000 to fill one of the silos. The cost now runs $100,000.

That translates into $15 million in extra expenses a year.

"Well, the consumer is only willing to pay a certain price for the product,' said company comptroller Kenneth Reeves. "So we're having to absorb what we can and pass along what we have to."

Flour prices aren't just affecting corporations.

At the Cookie Jar Bakery in Bartow, Janet Skinner also is dealing with higher prices for flour.
"It's astronomical,' Skinner said of the prices, which have forced her to raise prices. "It's almost like gas prices."

At the Cookie Jar Bakery in Bartow, Janet Skinner also is dealing with higher prices for flour.

The price jumped is blamed on last year's poor wheat crop, increased demand from overseas and the ongoing push for corn-based ethanol fuel.

"They are using land that's normally used to grow wheat to grow corn,' Reeves said. "So that's cut back on the wheat crop which has increased the price of our wheat and increased the price of our product."

That leaves Hearth Bakery officials hoping congress will do something to help deal with the price of wheat - mainly hoping lawmakers earmark more land for wheat farming. Bakery Officials also would like to see limits on wheat exports.

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My point is .... right now, we depend on farmers growing wheat without incident, like no blight or drought or floods. We depend on availability of low-cost fuel to transport that wheat to the bakers. We depend on the bakers being able to buy all necessary ingredients at affordable prices so they can provide us with pasty low-nutrition bread for our burgers and sandwiches.

We need to get back to basics. Learn how to grow wheat, rice and corn. We grew a "test patch" of corn and did well for our first year as gardenrs. We'll change the kind of corn and increase the amount planted next year, in addition to trying to grow wheat. A friend of mine up in the Rocky Mountains is experimenting with growing rice right now.

What about you?