Food prices deliver blow to holiday budgets, survey finds
More than a third of U.S. consumers expect rising food prices to cause them to cut back on holiday spending, according to a new survey by Americas Research Group for Reuters.
A total of 28.4 percent of the 1,000 people surveyed by Americas Research Group said that rising food costs would cause them to cut back on their Christmas shopping somewhat, while another 7.2 percent said that they would most definitely cut back. The question was one in a series posed by Reuters and included in the research group's latest survey.
Approximately 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop is now devoted to ethanol production, reports the American Meat Institute. This increase in corn demand has driven corn prices to record levels, putting tremendous pressure on the livestock and poultry industries that traditionally have been major users of corn as feed. Corn prices have roughly tripled since the government in 2006 mandated ethanol be blended into gasoline and the Consumer Price Index for meat and poultry has risen steadily with it.
AMI has been a vocal advocate of a more balanced energy policy that would include federal energy policies that move beyond corn-based ethanol and don't pit food, feed and fuel needs against each other.
A petition supporting a balanced energy policy is online at www.cornforfoodnotfuel.com.