Food Prices Might Be Rising, But You Can Do Something About It

Reader Contribution by Mike Lieberman

The rising food prices have been written about a lot lately and frequently show up in the mainstream news. It was one of the causes for an uprising in Egypt.

In the United States, we are feeling the effects of the rising food prices as well. When you take a deeper look into the prices, it’s not the food that is causing the price to rise. It’s everything else that goes into getting the food to your plate that’s causing the increase.

The Daily Green had a post For Every Dollar You Spend on “Food,” Less than 16 Cents Pays for Foodwhere they clearly broke down where the money is going.

Wait how much money goes to the food?
The title of the post says it – less than 16 cents goes towards the actual food. That other 84% goes towards the middlemen and marketing of the food.

That 84% can be broken down even further to food processing (19%) and services (34%) that make up the bulk of that 84%.

Food processing do just that. They process your food into the “food” products that can be found on the shelves of stores. Food services distribute, package and label the foods.

To quickly sum it up – nearly all of the money that you are paying for your food is going to the middleman. It’s not going to the actual food or the ones that are growing it. This system doesn’t seem sustainable for the long term.

That is the real issue.

Ok, but what can we do about this?
The way that our current food system is set-up, we have to rely on the middleman to provide us with our food. We cut out the middleman and we cut out a big cause of the rising prices.

Here are a few ways that you can do that and get your food from closer to the source. 

  • Start to grow your own food. You might not be able to grow only one herb or veggie, but every little bit matters.
  • Shop at your local farmers market and buy directly from the grower. There is no middleman involved there and you’ll be supporting the local economy.
  • Join your local CSA. This is a good way to connect with others in your area and to support the local farmers.

By doing any of those or a combination of them, we can have a direct impact not only on our own personal budgets, but also bring about change in the country as well.

What are other things that we can do about the rising food prices?