Will the drought increase food prices?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-price-increase/MY02184
- With Mayo Clinic nutritionists
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.read biographyclose window
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.Katherine Zeratsky and Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.N.S.D.
Jennifer Nelson is your link to a better diet. As specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, she plays a vital role in bringing you healthy recipes and meal planning.
"Nutrition is one way people have direct control over the quality of their lives," she says. "I hope to translate the science of nutrition into ways that people can select and prepare great-tasting foods that help maintain health and treat disease."
A St. Paul, Minn., native, she has been with Mayo Clinic since 1978, and is director of clinical dietetics and an associate professor of nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
She leads clinical nutrition efforts for a staff of more than 60 clinical dietitians and nine dietetic technicians and oversees nutrition services, staffing, strategic and financial planning, and quality improvement. Nelson was co-editor of the "Mayo Clinic Diet" and the James Beard Foundation Award-winning "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook." She has been a contributing author to and reviewer of many other Mayo Clinic books, including "Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody," "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and "The Mayo Clinic/Williams Sonoma Cookbook." She contributes to the strategic direction of the Food & Nutrition Center, which includes creating recipes and menus, reviewing nutrition content of various articles, and providing expert answers to nutrition questions.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, she is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She's active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
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Aug. 1, 2012
Will the drought increase food prices?
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
It's been a long, dry summer. And the effects are expected to persist into next year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts that drought conditions in the U.S. are likely to push up food prices:
- Beef, pork, poultry and dairy retail prices will increase in the next few months and into next year. This is due to the increase in the price of feed (corn). At first prices for meat may decrease as farmers sell off animals. However, as the supply lessens the prices will rebound.
- Packaged or processed foods, such as grains, cereals and bakery products, will cost more, but the increase may take 10 to 12 months to appear.
- Vegetable and fruit prices aren't expected to increase. Most of these are irrigated crops.
This news is scary. Scary for those with failing crops and farm animals. Scary for those on a tight food budget. Scary for those with food-related jobs who may see their businesses fail.
If there is a silver lining to this, it may be that we have a window of time to take stock of what we have on hand, make the most of it and hopefully lessen the impact:
- Take stock of staples. Check your canned goods and nonperishables such as rice, beans, lentils and flour. How do you currently use them? How should you use them? Do you need more?
- Cook wisely. Prepare only what you're sure you will eat. Keep peelings, bones and scraps to make your own soup stock. If you have leftovers, make them over into salads, soups and sandwiches.
- Put up produce. Take advantage of summer produce. Learn how to preserve foods for later.
- Plan ahead. Make plans now to have a garden or patio plot to grow some of your own food next year.
- Don't forget those in need. Remember to give to food pantries.
Another important step is to adjust your eating habits. Here's how:
- "Right size" portion sizes. When you eat less, you save more — and there will be more for others and less demand to drive prices up. Remember that the serving size of meat or poultry is about the size of a deck of cards. For fish it is about the size of a checkbook.
- Don't buy unhealthy grain-based snacks. Instead purchase whole-grain cereals and bread. Don't throw ends away — make stuffing for a side dish.
- Eat more dried beans and lentils. Use those staples and canned products. Same is true for what you have in your refrigerator and freezer. Don't let items expire — don't feed food to your garbage can.
Many people are doing these things already. If many more join in, the impact of the drought may not be as scary. What are your thoughts? Share your ideas about what more we can do.
- Jenniferblog index
- Food price outlook: Summary findings. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-price-outlook/summary-findings.aspx . Accessed July 30, 2012.
- Food price outlook: Highlights. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-price-outlook/highlights.aspx. Accessed July 30, 2012.
- Karnowski S. USDA says drought will push up food prices in 2013. BusinessWeek.com. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-07-25/usda-says-drought-will-push-up-food-prices-in-2013. Accessed July 31, 2012.