When Americans sit at Thanksgiving tables, many of the items in front of them are more expensive than last year. Especially pies. And climate change is a factor.
Inflation has hit every area of the economy and food is not exempt. However, much of the material that goes into holiday pies has been hit by floods, fires and droughts, causing shortages and pushing up prices.
For example, the crust. Wheat prices are now at their highest level since 2012, rising by more than 10% last month alone. Severe droughts in the western and northern plains of the United States will cause the USDA estimates to be the worst wheat production in almost 20 years.
These higher costs of wheat, as well as alfalfa, make feed costs higher and raise the price of dairy products. Cows also produce less milk during a drought.
Next is the pie stuffing.
“The Pacific Northwest had a terrible year between heat and drought. There were many things they were good at, such as cherries and apples, which had a huge impact on production from normal locations.” Michael Swanson said. , Wells Fargo Agricultural Economist.
Pumpkins are also more expensive due to the heavy rains in the Midwest that caused a shortage of pumpkins. The average price of pumpkins was 15% higher this fall.
Even honey. Wildfires in the west left little food for bees. In states such as California, Colorado, Montana, and Utah, nearly half of bee colonies have been lost in the last two years due to disease, hunger, and extreme weather.
Imports are also affected. Prices for vanilla and Brazilian chocolate in Madagascar are also rising due to bad weather and floods.
“Now we are worried about freezing in Brazil and flooding in China, so we can’t escape or hide from global stormy weather events because everything is part of the food chain,” Swanson said. Says.
The Washington, DC pie shop processes all Thanksgiving orders and piles up pies, but so does the cost.
“I think there are a lot of ingredients that will almost double last year in a few weeks,” said Sandra Basanti, who has been running the shop for 12 years with her husband.
Basanti is trying to procure ingredients locally to keep costs down, but large items such as flour, sugar and eggs must be purchased from bulk distributors. She also makes delicious pies that require beef, and the cost is rising.
All of that has been a particularly big blow to her small business.
“Usually Thanksgiving is when we can make a little extra money to relieve us for the late winter, but this year whether we can even really make a profit. I don’t know, “she said.
Basanti said he has raised prices by perhaps 10% for over 12 years, but that’s not enough to make up for the recent rise in production costs. She said she didn’t want to raise the price right now because “there aren’t many things you can actually charge for a pie.”
Pumpkin pie prices rise due to climate change
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