Why is it so much more expensive to stick to my diet?
With the economy and supply chains are still under tremendous stress after the COVID-19 pandemic. Every American is feeling the prices of common everyday goods going up. What does that mean for clean eating and for those of us on strict diets? Well here are a few ways to keep the diet but also beat inflation at the grocery stores.
First, we should look at why food prices are going up!
Thebalance.com states that there are five standard causes for an increase in food prices.
- Higher Oil Prices
- Government Subsidies
- WTO limits stockpiles
- Climate Change or Unfavorable Weather
- Consumption of grain or corn-fed animals
Higher Oil Prices are the direct result of a massive drop in oil demand during the global pandemic. Global oil producers had to scale back production during the pandemic to meet demand. Many producers dramatically reduced the amount of oil they were producing and have struggled to catch back up with demand. Another lesser-known factor is the amount of petroleum-derived fertilizer products that modern farming requires. With lower production of fuel, we have fewer byproducts that can be used in food-growing fertilizers. Yet another good reason to go all organic!!
Next, we have government Subsidies. A great example to look at is corn. Corn farmers in America are subsidized
by the American government to take a portion of their harvest and convert it to Biofuel. Less corn in the food supply means fewer cows get fed, and with the War in Russia also pulling resources from already fragile supply chains, you have record high inflation of corn and other farmed goods.
WTO stockpiles have also played a role in the price increases, as they aim to level the playing field for small and medium-sized farming operations, around the world. The WTO manages and monitors the growth of many farms in America. This is a way to level the playing field for everyone, but in times like this, the effect can apply unnecessary pressure on the products.
Climate change continues to wreak havoc on America’s farmers. With drought conditions worsening year over year with 2022 being one of the worst seasons on record and very little is pointing to any improvements over the next several years. The scarcity of clean water is so great that the United States Government is going to extraordinary measures to force states to solve their water usage and management of resources. The future of agriculture is looking bleak, but we have experienced similar cycles in the past and have overcome them. Until then the price of goods will continue to rise as crops fail and water increases in demand.
The fifth reason is consuming grain-fed meat. As we eat more meat from grain-fed animals, the quality of that meat continues to decline. Grain-fed animals receive the cheapest, low-quality crop on the market and the nutritional value of the meat is much less than pasteurized animals.
Food prices were estimated to raise more than 10% over the next 2 years as supply chains catch up with demand. The COVID-19 lockdowns affected every country differently and each border has treated supply vehicles differently.
How can you sustain your diet?
The key to sticking to a diet and eating healthier foods that beat the prices at the local grocery store is looking local. In Colorado and Arizona, we have access to local farmer’s markets and local cattle farmers. Purchasing your produce from a local farmer supports your neighbours and saves you money. Reaching out to your local butcher for pasture-raised beef and chicken will help you eat better and save money when you can purchase in bulk.
So in conclusion, there are several factors as to why food prices have been increasing and could still see higher prices over the next two years. Now that the pandemic lockdowns have ended it is time to support our local farmers and reinforce our local economy to better provide for our neighbours.