Well, I have been noticing some serious price inflation hitting these ingredients over the past few months. And, the pace of inflation has been nothing short of speedy. In fact, prices moved upwards so fast and so often on eggs, that I had to look at my receipts from prior purchases to make sure I was not dreaming about my "ideal" price vs. actual. Here's what I have found, on the identical product recently.
Eggs: 2.5 dozen grade-A Large eggs per flat/carton. Just a few months ago, these were running $1.99. I found that to be a bargain. Then, just a month or two ago, I see they have gone up to $2.99 (that's fifty percent increase in case you were opening Windows calculator program). But, it does not end there. Only a week later, it was $3.15. Then, today, nothing short of a shocking $3.59! (yes, now we are at eighty percent increase over a few months for my eggs!).
I can probably find them cheaper elsewhere on sale, but for an apples-to-apples comparison, and for the same product at the same store, this pace of inflation just shocked me. I wrote a prior blog entry back in September of 2006 about how I was concerned that Ethanol production was going to hit my gluten-free baking. Well, that time has come!
If you see similar increases in the prices of eggs you bake with, or in other ingredients or foods, here's some of what is driving the cost:
- The price of corn has doubled in the past year! (this is due, primarily to demands for Ethanol production)
- Corn (feed) is one of the largest price-components in raising chickens - which tend to be required for creating the eggs :)
- Corn is used to feed other livestock as well - so don't be surprised if meat goes skyward in general too - this just furthers demand for the commodity.
- Energy costs are high - you need to keep greenhouses and livestock (in this case chickens) warm in the winter, and this gets expensive.
Sugar will soon follow, since sugar beets and cane are also used for ethanol production. Then my molasses will go up (and Sorghum flour too). The worst thing is, there will be no avoiding the cost - it's not like purchasing pre-packages gluten-free foods will avoid the increases, since all the manufacturers are facing the same raw material cost increases that I'm seeing too. My favorite Bi-Aglut pasta is made primarily from Corn, and it is already expensive - wonder what it'll cost by year's end?
I apologize if I went on a bit of a rant here in my blogging. I'm just a bit concerned about this trend on a few levels. Anything that threatens my gluten-free food prices is always troubling to me. Now, I guess I could convert my front-yard into a corn-field in the springtime, and put some chicken coops out back for egg production... but, even that would likely fail since my favorite neighborhood roaming raccoons would probably eat all the corn before I could harvest it. Arghh... there's no escaping it.