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Food Prices Are Rising…Again

You may not have noticed yet, but food prices are rising…again. Food prices naturally increase over time thanks to inflation but after a massive drought in the United States and other places in the world, corn prices are rising which causes other staples like wheat and sugar to increase in price as well. Here’s the best video I could find that didn’t have “prepare for the end” or “buy survival food now” and explained what’s been happening with the weather and food production lately:

As an investor this world wide drought will definitely have an impact on not only my portfolio, but my overall Net income will be affected from spending more money on my food Budget. As food prices keep increasing, more and more people will be unable to afford fresh fruits and vegetables, thus hindering their ability to maintain a healthy diet/lifestyle. As I compensate for this increase in my food budget, I’ll have less funds available for investing and fun money which will affect my overall level of happiness.

While I don’t want to scare you with all of this gloom and doom, I do however, want to make you aware of how quickly things can change over something so simple as the weather. Now a lot of people are blaming “global warming” for why the weather has been wonky lately, but I’d like to share with you my thoughts on the subject.

My take on global warming

2012 has been a really weird year for weather. Normally it’s fairly dry here in Edmonton Alberta, but this year we’ve had record rainfalls. In parts of Ontario there have been drought conditions instead of the high precipitation levels. Immediately everyone is blaming “Global Warming” for what’s been happening when in reality it’s just a change in the weather.

The Earth’s temperature goes up, and the Earth’s temperature goes down. Deserts become rain forests, and rain forests become deserts. Volcanoes are erupting and icebergs are forming, not to mention the continents are moving. Doesn’t anyone remember learning about the ice ages in school? The Earth is constantly changing not only from its own isolated system of weather and the internal core temperature/pressure, but when you throw in the energy from the Sun, it adds a whole new string of variables to the mix.

The Sun is a dense ball of gas. It’s so dense that it takes thousands of years for light to travel from its core before it’s finally emitted from the outer edges; just one amazing fact that most people do not know. Now the energy that the sun emits can vary from time to time. Within the last year the Sun has been very volatile and a record number of massive solar flares have bombarded our little planet. I’m no scientist but couldn’t massive amounts of raw solar radiation that has the capability of wiping ALL life from the planet, if it weren’t for the Earth’s magnetic field, be responsible for the wonky weather we have been having lately?

Then add humans to the mix. We’ve only been on this planet in a blink of an eye compared to how old it is. I would also say that we’ve probably only been negatively impacting the world for the last 2000 years which is still being very conservative. While we are not innocent with all the CO2 we produce, I find it hard to see how it impacts the Earth’s temperature on the scale that some scientists are saying. In fact more and more scientists are now saying the Earth’s temperature is actually cooling! According to history, we are overdue for an ice age to occur! I digress.

How to cope with rising food prices

For those of you who kept reading through global warming on a finance blog, thank you! I just wanted to give you my opinion that weather is constantly changing and can’t be blamed on on some bandwagon propaganda. As food prices are influenced by this changing weather, it’s important to be able to juggle your finances accordingly.

More fruit, less indulgences- When your grocery bill is on the rise, you might want to cut spending in other departments. Limit the amount you eat out or spend less than $100 on a pair of jeans. Less Hugo Boss and more bok choy, damn it!

Stock up on sales- Staples like rice and flour can be stored in a freezer for a very long time. The less you have to spend on these staples down the road means more money that can be used to buy fresh fruit. Also stocking up on non perishables that you use every day that are on sale can save you more money down the road. You can never have too much TP!

Check out farmers markets- Some people would complain about paying $6 for fresh fruit off the tree, but they will go to liquor store and pay $25 for a case of beer. Growing fresh produce in small quantities without pesticides is hard work (trust me, I know!). Farmers markets are great places to buy quality produce for a marginally higher price. Your wallet may grumble but your colon will thank you.

And last and most importantly…

Grow your own food!- It’s very rewarding to eat delicious food from your very own garden. It takes a little bit of work, but the effort is so worth it. I spent $3.00 on seeds and have eaten $30 worth of fresh, chemical-free yellow beans and there are still more growing on the bushes. That’s just one vegetable from my garden and as the season progresses I’ll have fresh corn, tomatoes and potatoes to add to my plate. Not only do you eat healthier, but you get your exercise as well!

If we all grew some vegetables in either a garden or in planters on a balcony, it might not alleviate the pressure on the worlds food supply, but it would take some pressure off of our wallets when going to the grocery store.

Have you noticed a rise in food prices lately?

This article was written by The Loonie Bin. If you enjoyed this article, please consider subscribing to his feed.