Expect your grocery bill to continue increasing in the coming months. The worst drought to hit U.S. farmland in the Midwest and West in more than 50 years has desiccated much of America’s corn crop, causing farmers to plow under acres of these amber waves and send food prices up sharply across the world.
According to the U.N. monthly Food Price Index released August 9, prices had already jumped 6% after 3 months of declines, mainly driven by surging corn prices, which reached record highs around the time of the U.N. report. Global corn prices grew nearly 23% in July, exacerbated by “the severe deterioration of maize crop prospects in the Unites States, following drought conditions and excessive heat during critical stages of the crop development,” said the report. Also, cereal prices inflated by 17% in July, inching closer to the all-time high set in April 2008.
Experts surmise that grain prices could rise still higher, as cattle farmers seek substitute feed for their herds. Watch for a ripple effect in the cost of animal protein (which relies heavily on corn as feed) and perhaps even in the cost of processed snack foods, which also depend a lot on corn and corn byproducts as ingredients.
Perhaps this is a good time to suggest that clients consider a plant-based, nonprocessed food diet that does not lean so much
on corn to fuel it?
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