Several news sources out there are reporting about food prices, and it is not sounding too great. Droughts in the West (of the US, particularly California), heavy snows and rains, small cattle herds (smallest since the 1950s) and a raging, untreatable pig virus are all factors in rising prices across the board. Over the past month, I have collected a series of articles about the increasing costs of pork, beef, shrimp, orange juice and other food. Here is my shortlist, starting with an article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune and ending with Bloomberg:
- Cost of Beef and Pork: http://www.startribune.com/business/256849901.html
- Cost of Beef and Shrimp: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-15/soaring-food-inflation-full-frontal-beef-and-shrimp-prices-explode
- Cost of Shrimp: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-15/shrimp-price-surge-making-noodles-s-pad-thai-more-costly.html
The future looks dim as well. Supply and demand are always a cost-driving issue, but throw in animal and plant viruses, weather issues and water shortages, and you might find that your paycheck doesn’t stretch as far at the grocery store check-out counter.
- Food Prices May Double in the Next Decade: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-20/ready-price-food-more-double-end-decade
Now you might ask: isn’t this all just a pile of doom and gloom from people wearing tinfoil hats? Perhaps, but there is no question that the packages in the stores are getting smaller while the prices are increasing dramatically. Increasing food costs is a great concern, especially for people with fixed incomes and people who are carefully managing their budgets.
In a world where the cost of living is always increasing, we need find ways to do things differently.
I am not suggesting that you have cows, pigs and chickens roaming in your backyard. The neighbors or municipality might give you a hard time about that (unless you are in a rural area)!
I do think one way to approach this problem differently is by starting a garden. Instead of relying on big corporations to supply food to grocery stores that charge astronomical prices for genetically modified food, perhaps this is an opportunity for you to start gardening and perserve your own harvest. Sure, there is an initial startup cost, but in the long run, you will find that clipping fresh basil from your garden is less costly than running to the store to pay $3 for a package!
The point of this blog is that you don’t need to be an expert gardener to start. You might think you have a black thumb or just are overwhelmed by the amount of information out there. Anyone can do it! The good thing is that there are a variety of ways to start: from a small container of herbs to self-watering buckets to square foot gardens to a larger garden plot in your yard.
My goal of this blog is to be a resource for you. After all, it is all about having a maximum impact in a small (or large) space. The first step, however, is deciding to try!