Texan Thirst & Hungry Wallets: Drought Sparks Soaring Food Prices.
We highlighted the cost of food and how much it's risen in the last year or so. There seem to be some very common themes as far as what is rising and by how much. The bigger question is WHAT causes the price of food to rise and why only certain things?
I wasn't satisfied with just knowing which foods were jumping in cost, I wanted to know WHY we're having to pay so much for certain items.
I decided to do some digging and see if I could drill down what exactly was causing certain things to keep jumping up in costs and why we weren't seeing the prices come down, even slightly.
The one constant theme was this...drought.
We've known for a while that Texas and a whole lot of other places around the country are embroiled in a severe drought, and things weren't helped here in Texas at all by the winter freeze we had back in 2021. Long story short, not enough rain or precipitation creates dry conditions. When it stays dry, the rivers, lakes, and areas where water can be pulled from start to dissipate to points where farmers can't get what they need in order to keep their crops growing.
It's not just limited to the crops either.
With the severe lack of moisture Texas has endured, the farmers around the state can't grow their crops to the full size they're used to. They ultimately stall out without enough water, and you either have to harvest what you can, or let the crop go and try to start over.
For example, sugar cane farmers say their stalks are usually six to seven inches high. Recently, they haven't been able to really get them past three or four inches, which means companies that buy the crops are paying way less money and the farmers can't provide enough to make it worthwhile for them.
Have you noticed the price of things like oranges rising? I noticed the other day in Market Street that you could only purchase so many bags of oranges, so if the price doesn't go up, limits get put on them. Unfortunately, the drought is severely affecting citrus fruits, so think oranges, limes, lemons, etc. That will jump the price of orange juice on top of the fruit itself.
So why is red meat rising? That's not born from crops or anything. No, the issue there is they can't continue to grow the grass and whatnot that the cattle graze on, therefore cattle farmers aren't able to feed the cattle enough in order to allow them to grow at the rate they need. Instead, they're having to sell some of their cattle to stay afloat to people that CAN get the cattle what they need to grow. Therefore, those costs rise because there is a shortage of ready cattle.
At the rate we're going, everyone is going to end up on a keto diet whether they want to be or not. Either that, or you're going to need to be really well off financially to be able to continue to afford the things you consume now.