With the UK budget looming over us all today, we have been thinking about how the government will be attempting to save us money – or what will be costing us more for the year ahead.
It is no secret that the cost of food is constantly going up but have you also noticed that packages have also decreased in size?
In 1957, 36% of our earnings were spent on food and that had come down over the years but, it is now going back up and basic food items are now increasing in price.
Farmer and friend to Jamie Oliver, Jimmy Doherty, presented the first of a two-part documentary called ‘Food Prices: The Shocking Truth’ as he wanted to investigate the reasons why food portions have become smaller but more expensive.
Rice, pasta and chocolate were all looked at and Jimmy travelled to India, Ghana and Kansas to find out exactly what was making food cost us so much more. Both India and Ghana hold political reasons for the cost of their main exports. In India, the government want to focus on tackling poverty and feed the hungry within the country with rice.
In Kansas, Jimmy spoke to wheat farmers who revealed that the winter of 2012 had a devastating effect on their harvest. The weather across the globe in recent years has also meant that crops have been damaged – almost 57 million tonnes – has led to an increase in the price of bread and pasta.
Chocolate has also taken a hit, lots of people have commented on “shrinking” chocolate bar sizes and it is true, before 2008, Mars Bars were 62.5 grams whereas now, they are 58 grams. Despite the small decrease in size, there has been a significant price increase and it is very rare that you will find a standard chocolate bar for less than 50 pence. The Ghana government have increased the cost of its cocoa which has meant that chocolate manufacturers around the world have had to pay more to produce your favourite bars of chocolate.
The adverse weather conditions here in Britain in the last few years have also meant that our own farmers have made a great loss with crops and beef. With the snow killing lots of cattle and heavy rain harming our wheat and barley fields, prices have had to go up so that farmers can cover the costs they have incurred.
I have blogged before about living within a budget, something that affects us all and with this in mind; the Bath-Knight team are currently working on a guide all about living within your budget and eating well later in life. Even though food products are reaching a higher price than ever before, there are still ways to shop and eat without it costing the earth.
If you subscribe to the blog, you will be alerted on all the new posts and when the guide is available for you to download.
The second part of ‘Food Prices: The Shocking Truth’ will be on Channel 4 on Tuesday 25th March at 9pm and you can watch the first part on 4OD.by