Saturday, July 19, 2008

Groceries

This picture was taken in 1940 and shows a Grocery Store front in 1940. The picture was taken in Salem, Illinois. I like looking at the simplicity of the items being sold, and the prices advertised in the window.

There was lots of discussion yesterday about gas prices and gas mileage. Today, the topic is Grocery Prices. Is it just me, or are food prices really starting to be painful? It feels like the price of everything in the grocery store has doubled in the last year. I think a lot of it has to do with the Ethanol mandate. I read that it takes 30% of the corn supply to make 3% of the fuel we use. This drastic increase in demand has driven up prices. This makes just about anything you eat more expensive, because most things like chickens, pigs, and cows eat corn, so pork, chicken and beef become more expensive. Also, as corn prices go up, more farmers plant corn, less plant wheat, and then wheat, and hence bread and pasta prices go up. Anyway, I am not so sure the whole Ethanol thing was a good idea.

9 comments:

  1. The whole cooking oil/ethanol deal was a quick political answer to a very long developing complicated problem and, therefore, by definition is not the best solution by any means. We are now an oil based and oil dependent society. It is used to transport us and our goods, power the machinery that grows and harvests our food and, finally, makes the materials we all use in our everyday lives(plastic bags and structural plastics, etc.) that we work and play with. When the price of oil goes up, so does nearly everything else but at a delayed rate.

    What all this means is that we need to eliminate oil (and coal)as our energy and materials resource. Not to beat a dead horse, but as I tried to say yestarday, wind, solar and nuclear energy used in combination are the way our delima. It will take time but we have few other alternatives at this point.

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  2. For most of us higher food costs are an inconvenience . . . in a number of countries, it is a tragedy, with people no longer able to afford even a meager diet.

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  3. It's ridiculous. Actually, pigs, chickens, and cows eat most of the corn and soy we grow on the planet. That's a lot of wasted food, in my opinion, a far bigger issue than the admittedly screwed up use of ethanol.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/weekinreview/27bittman.html?incamp=article_popular_3&pagewanted=all

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  4. yes! Grocery prices are atrocious! It's been about a month since I went on a good grocery buying trip and my cupboards were showing the signs of it. So I went out on Saturday morning to take care of that situation. I was shocked at how much more things were in just a few weeks. I spent $200 and got as much as I would have spending $125 - $150 during the past few months. I could have spent another $100 and not filled up my kitchen. This is just for a family of 4. These groceries will last for not quite two weeks, not to mention the trips to the store in between time to get odds and ends. I can't imagine what larger families are going through. Between that and the gas prices (I drive 100 miles a day/$18 gas a day) and no cost of living raises how are we going to make it? one day at a time and lots of praying! :) have a good day.....

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  5. I know the discussion is supposed to be about prices, but this picture reminded me of a funny story my Gram told me about the days when the grocer fetched everything for the customer.

    My great Gram went to the grocery store and placed a large order, including many items from the upper most shelves of the store. Once the grocer had painstakingly retrieved all her items and assembled them on the counter, he was surely thinking this would be a profitable sale. Great Gram surveyed all the items, ruminating over what she could make with the exotic and expensive ingredients, and told the grocer.....April Fools.

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  6. Regarding norkio's comments, I recall when I was a child, mama pointed out the different items she needed and the grocer took them to the counter. There were no baskets or carts. No self-help. If you needed bacon, the man cut it the thickness you wawnted with a big knife and laid the slices on a white piece of butcher paper and wrapped it up for you. Same with bologna, he just cut the slices off a big old roll of meat . The store was small, but they didn't carry a dozen different brands of the same item. Fresh vegetables were piles of carrots. squash or whatever, and there was a spray of water to mist them to keep them from wilting. I can still smell that store, especially the candy counter. Pretty nice. Love your blog, it is my first look of the day!

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  7. My Granny and Big Dad had a small farm in Oklahoma back in the 30's and 40's. They lived near a little town, population 1,700, but there were five grocery stores. Granny took her chicken eggs every week and traded them for staples like flour, sugar, dry beans, and even apples. In the spring she traded young fryers and vegetables from her garden. Not too much cash was involved. One thing about it, we had plenty to eat.
    I love to read the blog, it brings up old memories.

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  8. The alcohol as fuel is a good idea. It is just not a good idea using corn to produce it.

    http://www.permaculture.com/node/518

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  9. These prices are still out there. Old stores, manufactories and distributing companies were hidden. Greed put them away. When all the greed is done and ended, then the stores and the prices will come back out. Greed wanted not to work, raised the prices to sell less, for more. Instead of lower prices for volume. Plus that greed wanted to take over the world and have it all to oneself.

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