Sharp rise in food prices

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lagatta
Sharp rise in food prices

Food prices are supposed to rise in Canada even more in 2016 than in 2015, with the falling loonie an important factor.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/food-prices-inflation-1.3382872

Canada is very exposed because so much of our produce is imported. However I've also noted a significant increase in the price of pasta and baked goods, although most wheat and other grains are grown in Canada (hey, even Italian pasta comes from Prairie high-durum flour). There has been a huge increase in the prices of goods supposedly on "promotion" or "sale", which is so important for people with very limited budgets who can only eat anything nutritious by watching these like a hawk, though the rise certainly has an impact on all working-class families and people living alone.

I note that almost all the quinoa (just as an example) that I see in shops is imported from Andean countries, though it has been successfully grown on the Canadian Praries. What gives?

As for some of the advice in the article, I always look at frozen produce, which has improved in quality, but find that frozen vegetables have also been VERY expensive recently.

I already do pretty much everything else the article advises.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

What are these bar graphs supposed to mean?  Is that first bar actually showing a 4.5% increase??

Notwithstanding that innumeracy, I hear you.  Everything at the grocery store seems more expensive these days, and not just by the usual inflationary margin.

NDPP

You ain't seen nothin yet...

Canada's Central Bank Expresses Trepidation Over Economic Downturn

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/12/29/cana-d29.html

"...In all Canada's economy has failed to grow in seven of the year's first ten months. Recent weeks have witnessed a precipitous fall in the value of the Canadian dollar, as the country's economy is rocked by the collapse in commodity prices and by anemic growth in the US.

Analysts are predicting the currency will soon fall below the 70-cent mark. It has already lost 17 percent of its value this year, falling to an 11 year low against the US dollar. The deepening economic slump is being driven by the global crisis. Last month Ottawa was overtaken as Washington's largest trading partner by China.

A recent Bank of America/Merrill Lynch report noted that capital outflows from Canada are taking place at the fastest rate among developed countries. Even worse could still be to come.

There are mounting fears that a collapse of the overheated housing market, or a series of bankruptcies among oil producers in Alberta due to a decline in the currency and oil prices, could provoke a broader crisis..."

cco

Funny how that works, isn't it? I've been living here for close to 12 years, and the exchange rate has been all over the place, but whether the loonie is high or low against the USD, it's inevitably a reason for prices to go up.

Nothing at the grocery store got cheaper when we were trading at $1.10. Then the story was "high gas prices make it more expensive for the food to be transported". Now shipping costs are far lower, but the prices of food grown and produced entirely in Canada are going up, "because of the exchange rate". Hmmmmm.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

One food savings thing that I never really used to do, and now do all the time, is buy things when they're on deep discount, and freeze them.

The No Frills I shop at will sometimes have huge pork loins (not the tenderloin, but the rib loin) on sale for about $2/lb.  So I get myself a cryo-packed 7 pound hunk of pork for about $13, then cut it into four or five portions and freeze them.  A great pork roast, for $3.  Sometimes they'll have good deals on large trays of ground beef/pork, and those get similarly ziplocked and stashed for when I need them.

If bacon is on sale for $2.50, I'll grab up six packs.

And for me, at least, there's always Chinatown.  The other day one store had ten pound bags of onions for a dollar.  I was kind of bummed, as I'd just bought a big bag a few days prior (and I'm pretty sure you can't freeze those).

Even in Chinatown, though, a humble cauliflower (and a fairly small one at that) is currently trading at $5-6.  When did that happen?

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Magoo... no you can't freeze onions (unless you plan on using them for something like a curry base where they are going to liquify as part of the cooking process anyway) but you can dehydrate them. A dehydrator can be purchased for about $50 or $60 (although you can pay well over $100 for ones with all the bells and whistles) - also useful for dessicating herbs, hot peppers, etc.

IF (and it is a big if) you have access to a freezer, you can also buy in bulk items with large season fluctuations in price (strawberries, apples etc.) - I did this over the past summer and cleaned/peeled them etc., then broke them down into the volumes I needed to make pies, also cajoled people into giving me their Halloween pumpkins and rendered them down as well (and you can make a perfectly acceptable pumpkin pie from plain old field pumpkins).

The underlying problem with the advice to "purchase in bulk" (whether it is something that can be frozen or not) is that those who can most profit from it usually do NOT have the surplus money on hand to actually do so. I too take advantage of those large cryo-packs when they go on sale, but I can afford to put down the extra dollars - people who are tightly budgeted often simply cannot do so (something that was really driven home for me speaking with my mother who volunteers with the St-Vincent-de-Paul charity that provides emergency food hampers for those who are "overdrawn" at the local food bank and not otherwise eligible -- she has way too many horror stories about people on fixed income [esp. the disgusting AISH {Alberta's Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped}] program foregoing groceries in order to keep a roof over their heads). The best I can find the "average" Canadian household spends approximately 10% of their on food - of course when your income is less than half the average income, you are spending more like 20-25% on food, something the commentators always ignore when they talk about food prices affecting inflation.

Helpful hint on dealing with food prices - some things should NEVER be purchased in supermarkets. Case in point, I needed to purchase Anise seed in order to make some biscotti for a favourite uncle (he used to get it from his sister each Christmas, but she is now in her 90s and just not up to baking for her spoiled youngest sibling and only brother) - I was in a large supermarket and looked in the aisle where spices are sold. A house brand bottle of Anise seed (50g) was $9.89 ($19.78 for 100g). I went to the Bulk Barn chain and was able to purchase the spice loose for $2.38 per 100g - a 700% difference. (I have yet to find a spice that isn't a small fraction of the price in Bulk Barn as opposed to a regular supermarket - and I suspect that it not because the house brands in supermarkets are bottled in hand-blown Bohemian crystal containers...).

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
IF (and it is a big if) you have access to a freezer, you can also buy in bulk items with large season fluctuations in price (strawberries, apples etc.)

Technically, I guess I have a half-sized "chest" freezer in my basement, inherited but never cleaned or used by me.  I just use the freezer that's part of my fridge.

One fruit that freezes great, and is actually difficult to find at the wrong time of year, is cranberries.  Just after Thanksgiving or Xmas, they're usually like two bags for a couple of bucks, so I'll buy them up and freeze them in one cup bags -- exactly the amount I'll need to bake a lemon-cranberry loaf in the spring.

Quote:
The underlying problem with the advice to "purchase in bulk" (whether it is something that can be frozen or not) is that those who can most profit from it usually do NOT have the surplus money on hand to actually do so.

I get that, and I certainly wouldn't suggest to such folk that they need to buy a side of beef to save money.  And at a certain point, if you don't really have enough money to eat, you surely won't have enough to buy meals for next week.  But when ground beef is $2 a pound, if you can buy an extra pound and freeze it then it's going to save you $2 next time you need ground beef, which you can then use to stock up on something else and so on.

Quote:
I went to the Bulk Barn chain and was able to purchase the spice loose for $2.38 per 100g - a 700% difference.

Good discount.  Another great thing about "bulk" places -- you buy what you need.

That said, I just recently discovered that one of my favourite Portuguese groceries sells pretty much all of its spices for $2.19.  You might get more dried oregano than saffron, but all the packs are the same price.  I like that.

Best place IN THE WORLD for a lot of spices?  An Indian corner store.  Good chance they'll be in plastic cups with plastic "take out" lids or whatever, but cardamom and cinnamon and a whole whack of others for so very much less than anywhere else.

Quote:
and I suspect that it not because the house brands in supermarkets are bottled in hand-blown Bohemian crystal containers...

My herbs and spices are all in fancy containers from the House of Mason.  Infrequently used stuff in salmon jars, common stuff in jam jars, the very popular stuff in pints.  Most of them I didn't pay for at all -- people seem to throw away mason jars all the time.  Maybe they're like coathangers or shopping bags to some people.

lagatta

I did buy most of my Mason jars, but 25 cents each at La boutique du Chaînon, a charity that helps women in crisis. Finding them has become more difficult with our new hinged recycling bins.

There is a bulk spice place near where I live called Anatol, that also sells cello packages of them for ... used to be $1, perhaps $1.50 now? The Bulk Barns are in suburbs. There are quite a few places where I buy them that are many times cheaper than bog standard supermarkets.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I did buy most of my Mason jars, but 25 cents each at La boutique du Chaînon, a charity that helps women in crisis. Finding them has become more difficult with our new hinged recycling bins.

Well, all in all that's probably better all 'round than if you did find them.  A quarter a pop is a pretty reasonable price for something that can be used and re-used for years and years, and if it helps someone who could use the help, that's great.

When I've found masons, it's never been in a "wheelie bin" -- folk seem to put them out in plain sight, knowing that someone will take them.  A few years ago the church rectory near me discarded more than I cared to take -- I took some of the sizes I needed and left the rest.  And recently a similar thing in an alleyway in my neighbourhood -- someone discarded lots of them, so I took some and left the rest.

Note to anyone scavenging Masons:  many companies sell things like soup, or pasta sauce, in what appear to be Mason jars.  If you find one of these it's perfectly OK to wash it out and store masa harina in it, or whatever, but if the jar says "Ragu" and not "Mason",  don't try to can with it (i.e. don't make relish, fill the jar, then sterilize it in a boiling water bath or pressure cooker) because while they're the same size and shape as a real Mason jar, and use the same lids and rings, they're made for single use, and may or may not survive being boiled or pressure cooked.  Save them for dry goods and suchlike.

lagatta

Yes, I had a very sad outcome making stock and putting it outside to cool in the winter... something I do all the time with the real Mason jars. I do let them cool down a bit, and it wasn't very cold, but the jar cracked, and I lost about half the stock I'd made. That includes the President's Choice and Classico sauces.

I've also given quite a bit of stuff to Le Chaînon.

6079_Smith_W

Just pulled the last of my 2013 chard cans out of the basement to turn them into spanakopita.

Speaking of which, is this really a sharp rise, or just the burst of a bubble? Much of the stuff available now we didn't have when we were kids, at least not year-round. Never mind no strawberries 52 weeks of the year; we only had Mandarins at Christmas time. There aren't too many things that are like that now. Beaujolais Nouveau and pomegranates are the only ones I can think of.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

My fave example of something that hasn't yet become a year-round commodity is fiddleheads.  Sure, they're a 0 weeks of the year thing in New Mexico, but even here in Ontario (and Quebec, and NB) it seems like they can't really be grown cheap in a greenhouse... yet.  You get 'em when they're on, or you don't.

One of my very oldest memories is of my parents and I driving to the outskirts of town to pick wild asparagus, back when asparagus was like fiddleheads.  Now, if I want asparagus in December, I just have to pawn something.

lagatta

And it comes from Peru or somewhere. Like the haricots fins from Guatemala... Somehow that bothers me more than Mexico. Guatemala is so much poorer.

I never buy berries or asparagus out of season, but I do crave having some kind of greens. Of course we could always sprout legume seeds. And I do try to have frozen spinach on hand.

There is an "urban farm" here called Lufa, atop a manufacturing building in Ahuntsic, north of where I live. It uses the heat from the building to heat a greenhouse operation. For the moment it is a niche operation and fairly pricy, but the model could be expanded. https://montreal.lufa.com/

By the way, Canadian quinoa is a thing. The first hit I found, but not the only producer or marketer: http://www.quinoa.com/

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Cherries. Blink and you miss them.

Webgear

I have several concerns about upcoming year; I think we will be in a rough patch for a bit.

I will be increasing the size of my garden this year, focusing on vegetables and fruits that can be canned or persevered. I am also going to try and increase my amount of wild fruits; I know have access to a large amount of wild berries.

I am trying not to buy store bought jams and jellies this year. My wife and I will start baking more home-made bread and buns for daily consummation in order to cut down on store purchases.

Wild game meat will be also increased this year, likely eating more duck and wild turkey next fall. I just purchased a side of local grown beef, which helps the local farmers out. 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

[...]

Quote:
The underlying problem with the advice to "purchase in bulk" (whether it is something that can be frozen or not) is that those who can most profit from it usually do NOT have the surplus money on hand to actually do so.

I get that, and I certainly wouldn't suggest to such folk that they need to buy a side of beef to save money.  And at a certain point, if you don't really have enough money to eat, you surely won't have enough to buy meals for next week.  But when ground beef is $2 a pound, if you can buy an extra pound and freeze it then it's going to save you $2 next time you need ground beef, which you can then use to stock up on something else and so on.

[...]

@Magoo - you have my sincere apology if I what I wrote left you with the impression that I thought you "didn't get it". I have been on a slow boil for several days after hearing a disembodied voice (the radio equivalent of a talking head) blathering on about how consumers can cope with the pinch of the expected rise in food prices in the coming year. True to form this CBC commentator completely avoided any mention of people on fixed or low income - hence my being on a slow boil and not taking care if I left the impression I was speaking to or about you when I made my remarks (which were intended to be entirely general in nature).

It is not that I shrink away from saying something insulting to or about anyone else, just that I prefer to do so intentionally. I kind of consider it a point of honour to avoid being unintentionally rude.

iyraste1313

...the falling loonie!"...what about the total control of the corporates over the food supply...corporates built on cheap debt, which now seems to be withering away what with the withering of governmeent corporate QE scams...

what I don't get here, is why isn't this issue being politicized? That the mainstreamers have no solutions? That maybe some serious alternative political movement must arise to deal with the inflating basic costs and increasing poverty and starvation?
(We expect to have to set up our own "solidarity kitchen" by the spring to not watch the neighbours pinch pennies to eat!

quizzical

in Ft Chipewyan AB 4ltre milk is 17.79, doz eggs 8.19, 1 ltre minute maid  9.59, pkg bacon 11.39, 510kg  hamburger 11.01, lg box frosted flakes 18.79, case of 12 pop 24.59, oranges 9.59/kg, bag of 3 romaine hearts 10.99, 3lb carrots 8.15, bag of celery 8.75, 10lb potatoes 21.69

eta all american products except for Beatrice milk

6079_Smith_W

And is your political solution to make the food for your kitchen magically appear out of the air, or will it come from the same corporate source?

Don't get me wrong, it is nice that you are doing it, but what is this with mainstreamers having no solutions and this issue not being politicized? If you have been reading you might notice we are talking about the political aspect of this. And many of us are taking the very political step of growing and storing what we can, buying from local producers what we cannot, and working generally on sustainable food issues.

Or maybe me bringing my frozen compost pail in this morning so I can thaw it enough to dump in the bin isn't sexy enough to be a "serious alternative political movement".

Besides, no movement is going to change the realities of where the water is not, and the value of our money relative to other countries. So sorry, the only real solutions are to learn to adapt and make do with limits, just like people did before we were sold this line that we could have everything all the time.

 

 

 

lagatta

quizzical, I've worked in Kuujjuaq - I know Northern prices, and we had Boom Boom reporting on them from the Lower North Shore - not as far North, but just as isolated until the road went through.

But why the US products? Potatoes? Hamburger? There is no beef in Alberta?

Bagkitty, that slow burn is why I started this thread. This means many people will go hungry. They've already been cooking lentils, making soup, chasing loss leaders (often on foot). I belong to a neighbourhood association. There are (among other groups) Haitian and Maghrebi ladies who make exquisite food with an old hen and some vegetables and rice, or couscous. But even stewing hens have spiked in price, as has the frozen fish at my Vietnamese supermarket. You can make very good food with very little, but not with nothing, or if a key element like cooking oil is missing.

Webgear, one can do a lot worse than duck and wild turkey... I did a braise with decent turkey legs (thighs and drumsticks). Can imagine how good that would be with a wild bird, though of course the slow cooking would take a lot longer...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
@Magoo - you have my sincere apology if I what I wrote left you with the impression that I thought you "didn't get it".

No worries.  Impression not left.

Quote:
True to form this CBC commentator completely avoided any mention of people on fixed or low income

And if it was anything like what I've read here and there, completely avoided anything that wasn't pretty much common sense.

  • Buy things when they're on sale!
  • Don't substitute starfruit for apple in an apple pie!
  • Eat your leftovers, rather than discarding them!
  • If possible, raise your own beef cattle!
  • If something is expensive, consider purchasing something else that's less expensive!
  • Fasting purifies the mind and body!

6079_Smith_W

lagatta wrote:

But even stewing hens have spiked in price.

Unfortunately not enough so that cities afraid of being seen as too rural will relent and allow people to raise them in their back yards - something which is legal in Vancouver.

 

quizzical

lagatta wrote:
quizzical, I've worked in Kuujjuaq - I know Northern prices, and we had Boom Boom reporting on them from the Lower North Shore - not as far North, but just as isolated until the road went through.

But why the US products? Potatoes? Hamburger? There is no beef in Alberta?

don't know why all US products. we get our share here too though and milk is close to 7.00 for 4ltres but it's for Vancouver Island milk other milk is 5/. love this time of year when we get PEI potatoes for cheaper than BC. the bags are even paper not plastic.

Alberta has lots of beef. agra biz in AB is larger than oil biz. NZ beef is cheaper than AB beef here which is only 1 hr away

 

mark_alfred

Potatoes, beets, carrots, frozen peas, oatmeal, raisons, dried cranberries, apples, soymilk, cheap sponge bread (like wonder), red lentils, brown rice, onions, canola oil, peanut butter.  That is my entire diet.  Hopefully the price of these items doesn't rise.

lagatta

Do you have to eat the cheap sponge bread? I make flatbreads in a countertop convection oven, buckwheat galettes (a thick crêpe or thin pancake), and can buy decent day-old bread cheaper than the toxic sponge. Guess it depends on where you live...

mark_alfred

Yes, I guess I don't have to.  Force of habit, I guess.

6079_Smith_W

If it is Northern Stores, since they are national they probably bulk order, and they probably do so from the cheapest source that they can get a steady supply from

Guess where?

And the same goes for any wholesaler shipping up there.

Surprise. It's the same company:

http://www.northwest.ca/operations/canada.php

 

 

quizzical

we will ever - as a society - get it together?

we did 2 gardens last year and will do 2 hopefully this year again. i'm very wasteful. trying hard to be not so much. parents and grandparents raised me to be not wasteful but i am anyway. i don't know if it's rebellion or what. if food prices go to the levels of Ft Chip it'll be a different story.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

In terms of easy bread, and beside the no-knead bread recipe here, here's a great recipe for naan bread that requires very little besides some flour, some yeast, some water, and some yogurt (for which I'm sure you could substitute sour cream, buttermilk, or just a bit more water).  All you need is a skillet.

And here's a recipe for wheat flour tortillas -- even fewer ingredients, but still the cast iron skillet.

While we're here, why not my go-to pizza crust recipe?

If you prefer your grilled cheese sandwich on some nondescript white bread I totally get that -- I do too -- but if you can find a big old sack of all-purpose flour and you have some yeast and salt and water, and a pinch of sugar, these will save you a few bucks over the ridiculous price of flatbreads, tortillas and pizza dough.

NDPP

Aid Agencies Warn of Global Food Crisis in Early 2016

http://presstv.com/Detail/2016/01/01/444037/WFP-Syria-Oxfam-Yemen-elNino...

"Aid agencies have warned that hundreds of millions of people around the world are threatened by a lack of food and water due to severe weather conditions and war in early 2016..."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i believe you can get a whole lot of nutrition out of breads. enough to almost sustain onesself. txs for those suggestions magoo.

Webgear

Yes, I found cooking wild game is longer than normal but it always taste better in the end. I do enjoy my beef and pork however the cost are rising too much now, however there are some local farmers that are willing to sell directly. I am glad there are some good butchers in the area.

lagatta

More on this from the St. John's Telegram, linked to me - though I suspect people in NFLD would consider the lettuce at my local public market illustrating the article a bargain! http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2016-01-12/article-4401923/Falling...

 

6079_Smith_W

CBC interviewed someone from a restaurant here in town about how they are dealing with this. Not high end, but not cheap either.

I was surprised only that she admitted the obvious on the radio: cabbage.

Considering the cost in dollars and on the environment people should be eating stuff like lettuce seasonally as it is. Of course the drop in the dollar is not a good thing, but if there is a silver lining it should be in pointing out some things which should be obvious about where we get our food from.

And funny, I remember 20 years ago that red peppers were about the same price as they are now in winter. It is only in the years in between that they became cheaper. So is this an anomaly, or is it back to normal?

 

 

lagatta

Red peppers have traditionally been "put up" for wintertime in jars. That is what I bought this week. They are more a decoration than anything else, except in season when they are rich in vitamins and tasty.

Cabbage is very nutritious; it can be fermented slightly (as is common in Central American curtido), even if you aren't making full-on sauerkraut, for people who have a hard time chewing or digesting it. http://www.whats4eats.com/salads/curtido-recipe I cut mine finer than in the photo, and add shredded carrots.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

This piece showed up in the Star today.

Quote:
However, the sliding loonie and a drought in California have helped drive cauliflower prices toward double digits a head, causing a cauliflower crisis. At least one restaurant chain famous for its take on cauliflower is passing on some of the extra costs to its customers.

What's kind of funny, to me, is that when cauliflower was first becoming a precious commodity in late summer/early fall, its cousin broccoli was selling for 50 cents a pound in Chinatown. 

Quote:
And funny, I remember 20 years ago that red peppers were about the same price as they are now in winter. It is only in the years in between that they became cheaper. So is this an anomaly, or is it back to normal?

I remember when green peppers were modestly priced, red were more expensive, and yellow, orange or black were up there with kobe beef.

But the other day I wanted a green pepper, but couldn't bring myself to spend 3.99/lb on one.  Red were the same price, and orange were a buck cheaper.  For most of the fall, orange peppers were cheap as onions in Chinatown.

lagatta

PA Supermarket is advertising cauliflower for $1,99, this week. Who knows, they might be tiny. They also have green kale for $1. I'm going there tomorrow (I have to go to a bank nearby) and will see if these vegetables actually exist, or are a Soviet-era fantasy.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I saw some cauliflower today in Chinatown, 2 for $5, but they were scarcely bigger than a softball.

On the other hand, I got a 2lb bag of onions for 79 cents (and 66 cents if I bought three).

Basement Dweller

How bad is Walmart meat? I would never consider buying it, and I eat meat, but i've talked to people who are now eating it.

6079_Smith_W

I have seen cauliflower around $6 a head here. Not on my plate though.

(edit)

One sobering thought. I happened to catch the tail end of Cross Country Checkup as I was walking past the kitchen, and heard someone say they were living on KD (no name brand, more like) and hungry all the time.

And this just happened:

http://thestarphoenix.com/news/local-news/patrons-say-closure-of-good-fo...

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I've never bought any, so I can't comment on quality or freshness.  But they do two things that many groceries don't:  they sell a lot of meats "pre-seasoned" (so, just pop it in the oven, or whatever) and they have "prix fixe" prices for things like their pre-seasoned roasts, so for example maybe they're all $7, rather than priced exactly by weight.

The Walmart I'm slightly familiar with around here is at Dufferin Mall, which also has a No-Frills, and that NF's in-house butcher is Pavao Meats -- one of the larger and better Portuguese butchers.  Walmart would really need to use its purchasing power to beat Pavao.  Pavao regularly has good ground beef for $1.99 a pound, and I don't think Walmart can touch that.

Regarding cauliflower, I can't remember exactly where I saw it, but I did see a ten dollar cauliflower recently.  I should have got a selfie with it, being such a rare and exotic object and all, but there were velvet ropes keeping the masses back.

Basement Dweller

Here in Metro Vancouver, pre-seasoned meat is quite common, even at an independent butcher. But the "prix fixe" seems a bit unique.

I've heard rumours that Walmart and and other stores pump their meat with saline solutions.

lagatta

I've actually been to that No-Frills (I was staying with a friend in Etobicoke, and it was on my way from somewhere else I was in west-central Toronto) and did buy meat there; it looked fine. PA definitely undersells Walmart here, and has far better meat. For some items, so do the shops in the knot of Southeast Asian businesses near me. One is actually South Asian (Sri Lankan, I believe), and target African and Caribbean people, and have butchers and fishmongers who are subsaharan African, North African, East Asian and some other origins. I can always get turkey parts there - not my favourites, but fresh and decent braised.

Bummer about that central Saskatoon grocery. I fear a lot of people will be eating nothing but crap. No, not "real" KD, the knockoffs. With no milk added.

I was thrilled to rummage through my freezer compartment and find a whole unopened bag of McKellar Edamame (from Ontario, and very good). I knew I had a slightly dried-out end of a bag of that, but wanted to save it for soup. These are perfect. I'm glad I bought a few bags when it was on sale this summer (at PA, of course).

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Price increases are bad and it seems that maybe canning and preserving will be the next trendy thing. Since we retired I have helped a bit while my wife has canned a multitude of various things from our garden. We also have a small seasonal greenhouse that produced wonderful peppers and tomatoes and cukecumbers, yes we do like Mediterranean salads. We jokingly call it our 10 meter diet because thats about how far it is to the garden.

In the winter fresh costs more and this is a predictable outcome of climate change events happening in places like California. Prior to the 1960's Canadians lived for a long time without eating vegetables trucked in from the southern states.  I suspect that people in the Territories reading about the price of vegetables in southern Canada can only say I wish we had those prices.

Basement Dweller

OK you have me thinking about Greek Salads. Undecided

lagatta

Greek salads are also divided into summer and winter varieties. Of course their winters are much milder (though it does get nippy in the mountains) and cauliflower is considered a winter salad, like cabbage. And Greeks, Turks and Balkans put up a lot of peppers, tomatoes, cabbages etc. You can find big jars of those savoury preserves in the relevant shops.

It isn't very easy for single people in small apartments to can and preserve, but we could form clubs at nearby community centres.

Webgear

I have been thinking about starting a honey making project. I think it might be an interesting way to trade for other food products.

6079_Smith_W

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I think that graphic is probably right on the money when it says "... and she knew how to do stuff".

Lots of food remains cheap.  Or at any rate, lots of basic food ingredients remain orders of magnitude cheaper than their pre-made, over-sugared, plastic-wrapped, microwaveable equivalents.  But if you want to enjoy the savings you need to know how to do stuff.

lagatta

There is a "community kitchen" in my neighbourhood where people - usually rather marginalized - learn to prepare food, but it is also a small soup kitchen. A sad category consists of single men (often divorced, widowers etc) of a certain age who never learnt to cook. Often they would eat at cheap restaurants (which aren't so cheap anymore) even if unemployed or pensioners. Their opposite number was rather magical ladies from Haiti, various Latin-American countries etc who could feed a family on a soup bone, beans, vegetables etc. The Haitian ladies like old stewing hens "they have so much more flavour). But unfortunately their kids eat the same fastfood as other kids, when they can.

Sadly, there are some neighbourhoods that no longer have any decent food shopping.

6079_Smith_W

@ Magoo

And you have to have a house where you can do it and store it. The place we visited in Portland had a kitchen and storage for that purpose. And many of the people who stayed there were working poor. They had jobs, just no way to afford a place to live.

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