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Rising Energy Costs Contribute to Rising Food Prices for American Families

'The things I buy every week, they go up. It seems it's a few pennies every week...Eggs are ridiculous, cheese, sugar, flour. Flour used to be one of the must reasonable things you can buy.'
- Joyce Jackson from Chicago, Illinois [Chicago Tribune, 2/21/08]

'Things like hamburger that used to be everyday food are becoming luxuries for us.'
- Luquita Hutchinson from Sacramento, California [Sacramento Bee, 2/21/08]


As our economy slows, American families are seeing prices increase at the gas pump and at the grocery store.  Rising energy costs and increases in the price of basic commodities such as grain and milk have resulted in a tighter squeeze on American families as they face the fastest rise in food prices in nearly 20 years. [Chicago Tribune, 2/21/08]

'A sustained rise in the price of oil can affect broad areas of the economy. Food can get more expensive, not only through increased transportation costs but also higher costs for petroleum-based animal feed and fertilizer.' [San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/20/08]

The biggest rise in food prices in 17 years:
\xe2\x80\xa2    The price of a gallon of whole milk has increased 26 percent since January 2007. [Bloomberg, 2/21/08]
\xe2\x80\xa2    The price of a dozen eggs has jumped by 37 percent since December 2006. [Mercury News, 2/20/08]
\xe2\x80\xa2    The price of a pound of cheddar cheese increased 56 cents over the past year. [Sacramento Bee, 2/21/08]
\xe2\x80\xa2    'Campbell Soup Co. said last week that it would raise soup prices an average of 5 percent in coming months.' [AP, 2/19/08]
\xe2\x80\xa2    'Wheat prices have soared 17 percent this year, driven higher by robust global demand and a shortage of high-quality milling wheat used to make bread, pasta and other foods.' [AP, 2/20/08]

Experts on the connection between the rising price of energy and food costs:
Ephraim Leibtag, economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture
'The biggest factor causing food prices to rise more than normal was high energy prices.' [Palm Beach Post, 1/27/08]

Charles Langley, energy analyst at Utility Consumers' Action Network:
'Everything we make and eat is very oil-dependent...When the price of oil goes up, everything goes up.' [San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/20/08]

Keivan Deravi, economy professor at Auburn Montgomery College:
'It is not just the price of oil in fuel...It is wound up in all forms of the fabric of lives we have...When gas goes up, you have to reduce somewhere.' [Montgomery Advertiser (Ala.), 2/21/08]

Rick Kment, a dairy and feed analyst at DTN in Omaha, Nebraska
'The energy to produce, manufacture and transport the food has really impacted the overall prices at the retailer.' [Palm Beach Post, 1/27/08]