Thursday, December 27, 2012

Looking to the new year.....

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I have really enjoyed our Christmas break thus far.  Having a little 'down time' (which, by the way is really unusual for me), I have been thinking about the what the New Year will bring. Unless you live under a rock, there is a looming financial challenge facing the United States and despite your political leanings, it will hurt.

This is not the only challenge facing us.  I wish to quote from the USDA:

Food Price Outlook, 2012-2013
Retail food prices, despite the severe drought in the Midwest, have been flat in 2012. The food-at-home Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased a total of 0.3 percent from January to November 2012. Prices rose for beef and veal, poultry, fruit, and other foods in 2012; however, prices fell for pork, eggs, vegetables, and nonalcoholic beverages. For the remaining food categories, prices remained unchanged for the most part. The drought has affected prices for corn and soybeans as well as other field crops which should, in turn, drive up retail food prices. However, the transmission of commodity price changes into retail prices typically takes several months to occur, and most of the impact of the drought is expected to be realized in 2013.
Based on these conditions, ERS's inflation forecast for both all food and food-at-home (grocery store) prices in 2012 remains unchanged at 2.5 to 3.5 percent. Looking ahead to 2013, inflation is expected to remain strong for most animal-based food products due to higher feed prices. Furthermore, inflation should be above the historical average for food categories such as cereals and bakery products as well as other foods.
I agree that it will take several months for us to feel the impact of the drought.  I see this as a level of good news.  Purchase your animal based food products now, right now.  Plan on stocking up on meats in particular.  However, you may be surprised to know that the following items will also be impacted:

So, what is the big deal for "Gelatine?"  Well, you know that Gummy Bears you like and all the Jello your kids like....guess what, they require Gelatin.  In particular, I use this product when I make my own Gummies or Fruit Snacks. 

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Do you like that flakey crust?  How about your French Fries at the local fast food restaurant?  What about those Refried Beans? These and many other products use Lard.

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Vitamin D-3 is often used for better heart-health and is often prescribed by your health care provider.

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Whey is also an animal based product.  You can find Whey used in foods like crackers, cookies, and bread products.  If you partake of candy bars, pastry mixes, non-fat ice cream, and fast food entrees with 'cheese', please know these contain Whey.  This product is also found in cereals, and some beverages, and in particular....if you are a fan of McDonald's thick will pay more for your favorite.   

In regard to long-term storage, there are several brand-named milk substitutes that are made from Whey.  Some that you may be familiar with are brands like Morning Moo, Delight Milk Substitute,  and Instant Milk Alternative,   If you have been looking to stock up or if you use these products regularly, the good news is that you should stock up now.

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Stearic and Lactic acids are also animal based products.  Why should you be concerned?  Well, these items are used to condition dough. They help to bind oils to things that they normally do not bind to.  If one is a vegetarian, this is a product that is often avoided.  

Lactic acid is contained in carbonated drinks and dressings.  

So, take the opportunity and stock up now on the items that you store or wish to store.  Save the funds now...because we may need the additional funds to pay for the political financial folly that we all see playing out in Washington.

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