Here's another interesting article I came across in this morning's paper. It talks about the current trend towards higher food prices.
This is a cut and paste directly from the article showing the changes in food prices over the last year:
Canadian food prices: Percentage changes June 2007 - June 2008
- Fresh or frozen meat (non-poultry) -0.7
- Fresh or frozen poultry +2.8
- Ham and bacon -3.9
- Dairy products and eggs +3.6
- Bakery and cereal products (excluding infant food) +13.1
- Rice (including rice-based mixes) +24.8
- Pasta +35.9
- Flour and flour-based mixes +44.5
- Fresh fruit -2.8
- Fresh vegetables +1.4
- Coffee and tea +0.4
Source: Statistics Canada
You'll notice the grain based items have increased the most, presumably partially from the creation of bio fuels. I find it interesting (and reassuring) that the highly refined foods have gone up the most in price.
I say reassuring because they are also the foods that are the most harmful to good health, if you believe the theory that the closer to nature a food is, the healthier it is. (Obviously there are exceptions: any nutritionist would probably say that red meat is not healthier than whole grain bread, but generally speaking, the more manipulation a food has undergone, the less it helps our bodies.)
I guess where I'm going with this is that maybe the increase in some food prices is all a blessing in disguise. For example, instead of getting my selenium, manganese, thiamine, and folate (to name a few) from that whole grain bread, maybe I'll now get it from nuts, leafy vegetables, beans, peas,chicken, cranberries or spinach, for example. In addition to replacing all those lost nutrients listed on the bread bag label, I'd also be consuming a whole host of other beneficial compounds not found in grain based foods.
What it all comes down to is changing our view of food. If dieters can adapt to the carb free Atkins diet by skipping the slices of bread in their sandwiches, why can't consumers let go of sliced bread tradition and adopt sliced veggies instead?
Just food for thought (sorry, I couldn't resist ;-)