Saturday, September 18, 2010

Gardener Alert and Escalating Prices

Postscript: My integrity and that of my sourcing have been questioned by a blogger who wrote that some of my statements were "incorrect or misleading... fishy". Folks, one thing is clear when I post - I research and only use reputable sources. I spent too many years as an analyst to get my facts wrong. Here The, the PR Newswire, Guardian UK and the UN, and Financial Times speak to the rising food costs, and actually, the main source is our pocket book following a trip to the grocery store and the comparison of our register receipts. You and I both know it. How does someone turn that into politics and misinformation? (posted 5:37 pm PST)
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Tell me it's not true. I am dumbfounded as to the extent we are being regulated and controlled. Did you know that rain falling from the sky belongs to the government in some parts of the country?

Water: According to this article, it is illegal to collect the rain water from your roof in Colorado or Utah, and in Seattle, WA you must obtain a master water permit.

Food: WSBTV reports in this video that in DeKalb county Georgia, an organic farmer, Steve Miller, has been fined $5000 for growing too many vegetables on his own land. He grows his own food on his own property, shares it with family and friends and sells some at the local farmer's market.

Currently, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn brings to our attention bill S.510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 that would add another $1.4 billion dollars to our escalating debt (current debt stands at an unprecedented $13 Trillion dollars). Here is some additional detail he highlights.

Why is this worrisome? This Act will give the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) control over ALL food.

Control of our water and food, then what is next... the air we breathe? It so happens to be part of Cap and Trade (Tax). God help us.

Escalating Food Prices

We closely monitor the cost of food. In March of this year, food prices jumped their highest in 26 years: fresh and dry vegetables up 56.1 percent; fresh fruits and melons + 28.8 %; eggs for fresh use up 33.6 %; beef and veal, + 10.7 %; dairy products + 9.7 %.

Over the last two months cotton prices have surged 28%, the highest in 15 years. Coffee futures are up 44% since June: the 3-pound bag of coffee we normally buy has gone from $10.95 to $14.95. Wheat is at its highest in two years...

However, on Friday the Labor Department reported that the August CPI (Consumer price index) rose 0.3% and in-line with expectation, but the core CPI which excludes energy and food, was unchanged; therefore, there is no inflation.

Rant: Our government so cleverly excludes nearly everything we need in our daily life - food and energy- and voila! if no rising costs, then no inflation, therefore no inflation adjustments for Social Security benefits. I know that any of you over 65 now feel much better.

Perhaps it's the cool rainy day with so many unripened tomatoes and/or the pints of hot peppers that did not seal that has me a bit testy, but frankly we are so concerned as we experience escalating costs of living, increased taxation and regulations (not just on gardeners) in order to feed the bureaucracy.