Thursday, April 10, 2008

Consumers Edit Grocery Lists as Prices Soar

Brooklyn grocery shoppers are relying on comparison shopping and product substitution to minimize increased grocery costs as food prices surge. One grocery store customer likened her continuing search for cheaper groceries to the practice of driving all the way to New Jersey for cheaper gas; while other customers have had to cut expensive items out of their diets, to be replaced with cheaper options like pasta and canned tuna. Staples like milk and eggs have been subject to the highest increases, with the cost of a gallon of milk rising 33 cents in the past month. Food stamp benefits have not been adjusted to reflect inflating prices, forcing many recipients to rely on overburdened soup kitchens and food pantries. Like individual consumers, emergency food programs are now rationing resources in order to make ends meet. The increase in food prices is expected to continue as the cost of grain surges, due in part to the demands of the rapidly expanding biofuels industry.

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