Are You Ready For The Price Of Food To More Than Double By The End Of This Decade?

By Michael Snyder – Economic Collapse Blog

produceDo you think that the price of food is high now?  Just wait.  If current trends continue, many of the most common food items that Americans buy will cost more than twice as much by the end of this decade.  Global demand for food continues to rise steadily as crippling droughts ravage key agricultural regions all over the planet.  You see, it isn’t just the multi-year California drought that is affecting food prices.

Down in Brazil (one of the leading exporters of food in the world), the drought has gotten so bad that 142 cities were rationing water at one point earlier this year.  And outbreaks of disease are also having a significant impact on our food supply.  A devastating pig virus that has never been seen in the U.S. before has already killed up to 6 million pigs.  Even if nothing else bad happens (and that is a very questionable assumption to make), our food prices are going to be moving aggressively upward for the foreseeable future.  But what if something does happen?  In recent years, global food reserves have dipped to extremely low levels, and a single major global event (war, pandemic, terror attack, planetary natural disaster, etc.) could create an unprecedented global food crisis very rapidly.

A professor at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University named Timothy Richards has calculated what the drought in California is going to do to produce prices at our supermarkets in the near future.  His projections are quite sobering

  • Avocados likely to go up 17  to 35 cents to as much as $1.60 each.
  • Berries likely to rise 21 to 43 cents to as much as $3.46 per clamshell container.
  • Broccoli likely to go up 20 to 40 cents to a possible $2.18 per pound.
  • Grapes likely to rise 26 to 50 cents to a possible $2.93 per pound.
  • Lettuce likely to rise 31 to 62 cents to as much as $2.44 per head.
  • Packaged salad likely to go up 17 to 34 cents to a possible $3.03 per bag.
  • Peppers likely to go up 18 to 35 cents to a possible $2.48 per pound.
  • Tomatoes likely to rise 22 to 45 cents to a possible $2.84 per pound.

So what happens if the drought does not end any time soon?

Scientist Lynn Ingram, who has studied the climate history of the state of California extensively, told CBS News that we could potentially be facing “a century-long megadrought” in California.  If that does indeed turn out to be the case, we could be facing huge price increases for produce year after year.

And it isn’t just crops that are grown in the United States that we need to be concerned about.  As NBC News recently reported, the price of cocoa is absolutely soaring and that is going to mean much higher prices for chocolate…

As cocoa prices surge to near-record highs on demand for emerging markets, chocoholics brace for a hike in price – and maybe even a different taste, as chocolate makers hunt out cheaper ingredients.

Cocoa futures are up 10 percent so far this year, hitting almost £1,900 on ($3,195) a ton in March. Last year prices rose 20 percent.

In fact, experts are now warning that chocolate may soon become a “high-end luxury item” because it is becoming so expensive.

Meat prices are also starting to spiral out of control.

A virus known as porcine epidemic diarrhea has pushed pork prices up to new all-time record highs.  It has already spread to 27 states, and as I mentioned above, it has already killed up to 6 million pigs.  It is being projected that U.S. pork production will decline by about 7 percent this year as a result, and Americans could end up paying up to 20 percent more for pork by the end of the year.

The price of beef has also soared to a brand new all-time record high.  Due to the drought that never seems to let up in the western half of the country, the total size of the U.S. cattle herd has been declining for seven years in a row, and it is now the smallest that is has been since 1951.

If the overall price of food in this country increases by just an average of a little more than 12 percent a year, it will double by the end of this decade.

What would you do if you suddenly walked into the grocery store and everything was twice as much?

That is a frightening thing to think about.

Meanwhile, all of our other bills just keep going up as well.  For example, we just learned that the price of electricity hit a brand new all-time record high for the month of March.

If our incomes were keeping up with all of these price increases, that would be one thing.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  As I wrote about earlier this week, the quality of our jobs continues to go down and more Americans fall out of the middle class every single day.

According to CNBC, there are hundreds of thousands of Americans with college degrees that are working for minimum wage right now…

While a college degree might help get a job, it doesn’t necessarily mean a good salary. According to a report released last month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 260,000 workers with bachelor’s degrees and 200,000 workers with associate’s degrees are making the minimum wage.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and the minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 an hour. Some cities and states have recently raised their minimum wage, but the BLS report defines only those making $7.25 an hour or less as “minimum wage workers.”

And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States has dropped for five years in a row.

This is why so many families are financially stressed these days.  The cost of living is going up at a steady pace, but for the most part our paychecks are not keeping up.  Average Americans are having to stretch their money farther than ever, and many families have reached the breaking point.

So what is going on in your neck of the woods?  Are you starting to see prices rise at the grocery stores where you live?  Please feel free to join the discussion by leaving a comment below…


  1. Lord Snow says:

    My advise is to seek out your local farmer and cut out the middle man. This will drive you to eat healthier food that is at its peak freshness for your locality. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA’s) are a great way to get fresh produce through the growing season by purchasing a “share” of the farmers yeild. Most have weekly pickups/dropoffs where you get foods that were most likey picked that morning. We have been doing this for years and the variety and taste cant be beat by stuff picked in Mexcio and shipped north. Meat is another item you can source locally. Every year we buy a half beef and this year we even bought a half hog. The meat is cleaner, open pastured, hormone free and delicious.
    The link takes you to a website that can help you locate farms in your area that offer items directly to the public

    • Lord Snow says:

      Oh, and forgot to add
      I have used that to find lamb and egg producers as well.

    • I agree. Another bonus w/ going local is that the more people who do so, the more local food production can expand, thus leaving the whole country w/ better food security. It might not make a huge difference, but better.

  2. Donna in MN says:

    I don’t have to worry much about much of those foods mentioned. I have much of it growing wild, and I plant some in my garden. That’s what I love about living here.

    If I have to omit beef from my diet, I can use venison, beaver, bear and snapping turtle as a substitute for beef.

    If carob is cheaper than chocolate, I’ll go for it. White chocolate has much less cocoa butter and I am game if it is cheaper.

    This article doesn’t mention inflation brought on by this admin’s out of control borrowing, spending, printing money, and high gas prices, which besides famines, diseases and shortages has a big play on food prices.

    What I found out recently, the freeze dried food storage I bought a few years ago was pricy, but the price of the same food fresh today cost more than the freeze dried I got 3 years ago. Buying this type of food storage then for years later down the road was a good food insurance policy.

  3. Rider of Rohan says:

    A big part of the food shortages and food price increases are directly related to the gov’t, through agencies like the EPA and BLM, driving producers out of business by imposing insane regulations on small farmers and ranchers. The Cliven Bundy ranch episode is a case in point. The BLM has driven 52 of the 53 cattle ranchers out of business in the Gold Butte area of Nevada. Just so corrupt politicians can make millions of dollars off solar energy and real estate deals. And environmentalists who claim concern for the lands and animals turn the other way, so the hypocrisy in it all is palatable. If you don’t think this is happening all over the West, then you haven’t been keeping up with current events.

    Another great example is the California central valley, with excess fresh water now being flushed into the Pacific Ocean that should be available for irrigation. Billions of dollars worth of food production taken off the market for what….some little 1-in. long fish that might or might not have been affected by pumps. Insane politicians at work. Now aquifers are being depleted to keep the smaller and smaller numbers of farmers in business, and as soon as that water is gone, then nothing. The entire valley goes back to desert.

    With the gov’t crushing the small farmers and ranchers out of business, guess what? The big corporate farms and ranches that pay off the politicians buy up the land. Or the Communist Chinese are given fire sale prices on land. So now the food supply is more and more dependent on corporations and other entities. Monsanto, anyone? New proposed EPA regulations seek to control water in ponds, ditches, everywhere it might gather on private property. We’ll need a host of gov’t regulators, and their mercenary contractors, to make sure all this water is used, or not used, in the way the gov’t desires. This is tyranny. The gov’t seeks to take de-facto control of just about all private property.

    There was a time in this country when the gov’t sought to make things better by encouraging people to produce products that advance civilization. And got out of the way so they could do it. No more. After what I’ve seen the past few weeks, it’s obvious that our SHTF event has already occurred. I’ve now committed my cash I held back for an emergency reserve to my prepping budget, and have entered SHTF mode.

    • worrisome says:

      + 1000 r of r… I am traveling…This is on my kindle…glad you are speaking out. And yes.. tents is going on right now… take care chat soon

      • worrisome says:

        Tents no….stupid auto speller. The s… hits the fan is what I meant..

        • Rider of Rohan says:

          Thanks, worrisome. And one more thing I guarantee you will happen. Though the gov’t is the #1 cause of lost food production in this country, it(along with its allies in the media) will blame food shortages and higher prices on hoarders.

    • patientmomma says:

      IMHO, big govt is giving big business the advantage so they can control all the food in the country. If big govt controls the healthcare, medicine, food and fuel, the public is totally controlled. The mark of the beast is near.

  4. In its never ending quest for more revenue, the fact that food prices are going up should surprise no one. As government (at all levels) increases it “share of the pie” that cost is passed on with an increase. I have never seen an increase get simply passed along, it is always added to. Say the wholesale price of an item goes up $.05, the retail price will rise by at least $.06. Heck, they just killed a tax for the Mexican-American war!

    This does not count the cost of the new layers of bureaucracy that then new regulations add. Tax regs require legal advise now. And specialized accountants, all of which increase the cost of goods and services. More government “oversight” is NEVER a cheap thing.

  5. Rider of Rohan says:

    Good Lord, I just came across this information, and if it doesn’t show you the level of corruption in our gov’t, and the utter lack of any honesty in the global warming cabal, nothing ever will.

    • LittleAnniePrepper says:

      My husband and I have been looking at data for quite a number of years. And, yes, we personally believe we are headed into a mini or small ice age. Just read an article saying that a once well known global warming climate expert has agreed that he was WRONG and the IPPC actually used data from one his books and tried to pass it off as their own. He has totally repudiated global warming. When I was a high school science teacher it was heresy if you didn’t believe in global warming.

  6. If this country does not stop the big government way of doing everything double prices on food at the end of the decade would be optimistic at best. We need to develop all of our energy production in this country, stop wasting food to make expensive ethanol, and de-centralize food production. we need more small farmers and less conglomerate-mega farms, we need state governments and local governments to continue to educate locals on how to grow food.
    Now this is all optimistic on my part, I think we will go in the opposite direction, but this is what I think we should do.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Bill Clinton took the world’s largest supply of low-sulfur, clean-burning coal off the market with one stroke of the pen in 1996. 64 billion tons valued at over $1 trillion dollars, all for a payoff from a foreign company. More proof that the Clintons could care less about America. You can read about it here:

    • RJArena,
      You keep saying “We need” and although I agree, the one true thing “We need” to do is vote all of the SOB’s out of office. Ultimately we get the government we vote for, so everyone should get involved with their local campaigns, tea parties, etc. to replace the current batch of greedy sellouts.

  7. A really good friend and I were talking about this just last night. The price of food has already become outrageous. It seems every time I go grocery shopping there are price increases. But this is *their* plan. Wasnt it hillary that said ‘those that control the food control the people’

    I may not be able to grow a lot of my own food, but I am growing what I can. I dont have a lot of room, but I am going to expand as much as I can. I think its time for those chickens too.

    • Henry Kissenger, secretary of state under Richard Nixon and Gerald Fords terms of office back in the 70’s was the one who said that, to paraphrase it…if you control the oil, you can control the country, if you control the food, you control the people.
      I can’t imagine trying to feed teenagers with things priced the way it’s going. We used to purchase whole beef as well as the venison and fish, along with a garden back then. I picked up a brisket today that was $30. Normally this time of year they’re closer to $20.
      This was written back during the ’80s and when it came up in my iPod shuffle the other day, I was shocked at how reliavent the song fits today.

      • LittleAnniePrepper says:

        We have 2 teenagers, our food bill keeps going up and the serving/container sizes just get smaller. We just went from 4 to 7 raised garden beds (4’x12′) and we may just put in some more before the summer is out!

  8. The monocropped Cavendish banana is in trouble. Panama disease is causing significant damage in banana cultivation in Southeast Asia. Scientists have demonstrated that the disease – caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense – has now also migrated to Jordan. This means that Panama disease is becoming increasingly widespread and major banana-producing countries in Africa and Latin America are also under threat.

    Look for orange prices to go up as well
    The gnat-sized Asian citrus psyllid, which is infecting citrus trees across the Sunshine State with huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease, which causes fruit to taste bitter and fall from trees too soon. Citrus greening disease has become such a problem this year that the US government has lowered its forecast for the upcoming harvest four times.

  9. Food prices may double by the end of the decade–I don’t think the U.S. will survive as the U.S. to the end of the decade. I expect the country to fracture into four or five smaller countries. I like my chances here in the South.

  10. I wonder….I really do…now, this may sound a whole lot like some kind of “tin foil” thinking but still….. I wonder if this is in all reality a sort of “foxes and rabbits thing. We cause alot of our problems ourselves. By that I mean our so called “government” as well as people’s not using their brains. So what happens? Well, like was said in the article we do stupid things and all for the goal of more money. We have had a “new” God here in America for some time now. It is called consumerism. The tv tells us to buy this….see your doctor to find out if you need this new medicine…..and on and on. In short, we as a specie are slowly but surely killing ourselves. Sad to say, there is something else….getting back to the fox and rabbit thing….call it disease, climate, whatever…..Mother Nature is trying to correct an imbalance. We are overpopulating ourselves. There is only so much of crop bearing land on this earth. Same with pasturage. Not to mention the deceit and corruption in governments as well as in big business and big banking. In short…it won’t be too very long until things get well…..really hairy. Hang on to your hats…..the ride will NOT be enjoyable.

    • mom of three says:

      I will have to agree with you on this too.

    • LittleAnniePrepper says:

      Agreed. In a cold, logical way my husband says the earth has too many people on it and a whole bunch are going to have to die.

  11. mom of three says:

    Here in the West, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. We have been blessed, but I believe the blessings will come to a close. I was able to buy a very good ham, from a local store for $9.25 , for a ham that one week earlier was $49.99. Just to think I bought one and hubby, made me go back to pick a second one up now I’m glad I did. I’m also growing as much as I can in my space, I’m thinking the grass may get a little less in my back yard.

    • JP in MT says:


      We picked up 2 bone in hams at $.99/lb. DW says she can dehydrate them, after we trim all the fat off. Hope so, I’d love to add some to the stash.

      • She can always can the ham JP. I did. Works well when you dump it into a pot of beans or some pea soup.

    • Took out a chunk of my front lawn this year. Planted more tomato’s, spinach,lettuce,herbs and bush beans. I live in the Northern California area about 50 miles from the growing area and let me tell you, enlarge your garden. There are a lot of section that aren’t getting planted due to no water. I drive by and see empty fields.

      • LittleAnniePrepper says:

        Thanks for sharing. I appreciate getting a first hand view of what is going on. We were going to take our kids to Yosemite this summer, but are afraid between food and gas it will simply be too expensive.

  12. Happy Camper says:

    Greetings pack and Happy Easter.
    I can only speak for what a I know of, I am in northern NSW Australia and I live in a sub tropical climate. We can buy local tropical fruits here, but vegetables, salad items, apples etc are grown further south where the weather is colder.
    In Australia our cattle farmers are committing suicide daily, I heard on the radio two days ago (again, again) how a farmer had shot his his last 200 head of cattle, shot his dog then shot himself.
    I own with my DH and DS a commercial fishing boat, so we are somewhat in the agricultural loop of getting govt info.
    To maintain the right to commercially fish a commercial fisher will now have to purchase more fishing shares. However the govt isn’t selling more shares off, the only way to obtain the shares is via another fisher.
    So that leaves battle among all the boat owners as to who is going to stay and who will go, it is going to literally close down fishing towns. The local council where I live has taken back already part of the boat harbour, the claim was due to soil contamination. I’m waiting with baited breath to see the foundations for a new apartment block to go up.
    So I’ve been forced by the govt decision to sell off our boat, business licence and shares rather than sink another $40,000 into it, I don’t have any more money to give.
    But about food prices, I can only comment on what I pay in Australia. We pay per kilo, which is 2.2 pounds to 1 kilogram.
    Here’s what is normal here:
    Chicken breast $14 kg or $6.36 a pound
    Whole chicken $8 kg or $3.63 a pound
    Chicken wings $5 kg or $2.27 a pound
    Beef $18-30 kg or $8.18 to $13.63 a pound
    Lamb $14 kg or $6.36 a pound
    Avocado $2 each
    Broccoli $4 to $9 kg seasonal or $1.81 to $4.09 a pound
    Grapes $5 to $10 kg seasonal $2.27 to $4.54 a pound
    Lettuce $2 to $4 a head seasonal
    Peppers $8 to $14 kg seasonal or $3.63 to $6.36 a pound
    Tomatoes $5 to $10 kg seasonal or $2.27 to $4.54 a pound
    Our petrol (what you guys call gasoline) we pay $1.55 to $1.75 a litre, so at 3.79 litres to a gallon we pay $5.78 to $6.63 a gallon of fuel.
    So please take note of Michaels awesome article, agricultural practices underpin so much, particularly the health of our people.
    Most families are lazy at maintaining the nutrition and educating their children on nutrition, so the easy option is a $2 McBurger.
    Aquaponics, mittleider gardening, vertical reticulating hydroponics MUST be learned !!
    We must take note of how our great grand parents survived and see that as reality.

    • Rider of Rohan says:

      Wow, it’s no comfort to me to see our cousins on the other SOTP(hat tip to chloe) suffer the same problems we are encountering here. But your prices! Yikes! It’s as if the entire Western World is committing suicide.

    • patientmomma says:

      Are your salaries/income keeping pace with food prices? Here in the US I’m lucky to have a good job, but I have not had a raise in 3 years so I have actually taken a salary reduction.

  13. Hunker-Down says:

    Thank you, federal reserve for printing enough dollars (on a spreadsheet) to drive its purchasing power to zero. Hello inflation.

  14. speaking strictly from a next to nowhere position here in the UP. We are pretty sparely populated to begin with and darn near everyone has a garden for veggies of their own. I live next to a beef farmer(or rancher, I guess) I am going to ask to buy a calf this spring and pay him to graze and care for it until its is 1 1/2 for butchering then. Within a mile of my house there are two egg farms. I have yet to find a pork producer to get a pig from but I am looking. There is a lot of wildlife here, but I am sure when the SHTF that will disappear real fast. I like to freeze 1/2 and can 1/2 of my garden production every year. I do like the taste of frozen over canned. Another thing that abundant here is apple trees. Now certainly the weather has a lot impact on fruit and veggie production, But there always seems to be enough to freeze and can. Last year was a bumper crop, but the year before was pretty small. All in all proper and prudent preserving is the way to hedge against the future shortfalls and expenses. But I believe I am preaching to the choir here,,, sorry. All you can do is what you can do. I am really glad to live in the sticks and not in NYC or Chicago for a myriad of reasons.

  15. We have been very blessed here in NC with abundant rainfall and warm weather. But, with prices going up everywhere all we can do is cut back where we can, enlarge our garden and just hunker down and hope for change in this next election. Families are struggling and we need people working at real jobs to get this country back on track. God bless…

  16. grandma bear says:

    Great article! Every week the grocery bill is higher and the grocery sacks are fewer! I know this is a little off subject, but I have a bone to pick. I have witnessed twice yesterday that while checking out at the grocery store, the ebt cards(food stamps) were used for prime cuts of meat and soda! I do not begrudge the gift of food just how the gift is used! I know this is not everyone but I must admit I would love to have a steak once in a while also! It is getting where we cannot even aford cheap hamburger. I am thankful for the bean, rice and canned meat in the store. Take care pack and remember we are all in this together!

    • Dear Grandma Bear,
      I understand your frustration because I know there are people gaming the system but please try not to judge. Each persons situation is unique. To give you an example that might help with your frustration I will tell you about my twin sisters. She uses an EBT card. She may buy a prime cut of meat but it is usually for her husband who has stage 4 colon cancer. He is 38 years old. She is trying to tempt his appetite. They have a 1 year old little girl and a 4 year old little boy. Between caring for her husband and her children she is unable to work. I would not begrudge her a soda if she wanted one, or any convenience food that might not be budget conscious. The old adage “To walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” is one we should not forget.

    • grandma bear,
      At least the prime cut of beef was not potato chips.

  17. Dear Grandma Bear,
    I understand your frustration because I know there are people gaming the system but please try not to judge. Each persons situation is unique. To give you an example that might help with your frustration I will tell you about my twin sisters. She uses an EBT card. She may buy a prime cut of meat but it is usually for her husband who has stage 4 colon cancer. He is 38 years old. She is trying to tempt his appetite. They have a 1 year old little girl and a 4 year old little boy. Between caring for her husband and her children she is unable to work. I would not begrudge her a soda if she wanted one, or any convenience food that might not be budget conscious. The old adage “To walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” is one we should not forget.

    • grandma bear says:

      So sorry to hear about your sister and family, they are in my prayers. You are so right there is always another story, and we have all had rough times and while I would not begrude the soda so much, a can or two from time to time, If the high end meat was exchanged for a lesser cut put in a crockpot ectra, the money would go farther. Thank you for your insite. God Bless.

Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!