Lunch with the President & Food Price Hike

Lunch with the President & Food Price Hike

Lunch with the President & Food Price Hike plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Diners at the Gateway Breakfast House in Portland were a little more than surprised by the noon time patron that walked in on Tuesday. President Barak Obama slid into a booth with three veterans, ordered lunch and started a conversation. Stunned lunchers took turns getting pictures with the President before the President paid for his cheese sandwich and split pea soup and left. Just another day at the Gateway Breakfast House. Check please...

Well it appears the current drought will cause a larger than normal hike in retail food prices next year. Ricky Volpe, USDA food price analyst discusses the first food price inflation forecast for 2013.

VOLPE: The bad news is that we’re now on track for a year of above average food price inflation in 2013. We’re looking at all food to increase 3 to 4%. Food at home, which is grocery prices, is also projected to increase 3 to 4% and our forecast for food away from home which is restaurant prices is 2 1/2 to 3 1/2%. All three of these numbers are higher than our forecast for 2012.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

Ag Secretary Vilsack is correct in wanting the Farm Bill to be known as the Food, Farm, & Jobs Bill. A large portion of the media likes to call it the $1 trillion Farm Bill, which creates misconceptions about the ag industry and the Farm Bill itself to the general public. That one trillion dollar amount is spread over a ten year period. Strange in and of itself, since the Farm Bill has a five year shelf life. Then, 80 to 85 percent of the Farm Bill budget is attributed to “mandatory spending programs” such as food stamps, WIC, and school lunches. Why are these programs, and others like them, in the Farm Bill? Good question. Speculation is that it was a political decision made in order to move a farm and rural legislative package more easily through an increasingly urban swayed Congress. In all honesty, it’s worked fairly well, up until now. The 2012 Farm Bill has stalled not because of farm programs or related targets, but because of food stamps. Perhaps we should go one step further than what Secretary Vilsack suggested and once again separate the issues, taking nutrition programs out from under the Farm Bill umbrella. That way the two can stand or fall on their own merits.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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