The Rising Costs of Food

Why it's good that food prices are finally rising after years of bargain groceries

Nina Berman / Redux

Overabundance at a typical supermarket in Bentonville, Ark., prices are low, but at what cost?

All but the wealthiest readers will have noticed by now that food costs have risen this year. In May grocery prices were 4.4% higher than they were the previous May. If 4.4% doesn't sound like much--you spend $104.40 now for a cartful that was $100 a year ago--it's a huge deal to food producers and to budget shoppers, who are making lots of casseroles. The Department of Agriculture anticipates that grocery prices won't significantly fall before January; if the USDA is right, you would have to go back to 1990 to find a bigger single-year increase.

The reasons that food costs...

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