Have rising food prices moderated?

Consumers have been hit hard in recent years with rising costs at every turn. While the effects of inflation will likely never be reversed, it appears rising food costs have moderated somewhat.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says his department is seeing some promising numbers.

“The grocery food that’s purchased for home, the inflation rate is less than 2%, well below the 20 year average of 2.7%, so that’s good news. So we’re seeing that inflation rate significantly come down and it’s now below average.”

This month’s Consumer Price Index suggests food prices did not increase at all during May. Despite the high costs of food, a significant amount is being wasted. That is why economists say the government is working to establish new standards to minimize those losses.

“What many people may not know is that 1/3 of all food produced for human consumption never gets eaten by people. In fact, food is the single most common material found in landfills, and 61% of methane generated by decomposing landfilled food waste is not captured by landfill gas collection, and is released into the atmosphere. Food loss and weights has been a focus for USDA for some time. In 2015, USDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set a national goal to cut food loss and weighs in half by 2030. And we really need to mobilize forces to make significant progress towards that goal, which is quickly coming around the corner,” said Jean Buzby.

To put those numbers into perspective, researchers in 2010 found the level of food waste each year comes out to 133 billion pounds, totaling more than $160 billion.