Like many people, this past weekend I took advantage of the good weather and invited family and friends to a backyard barbeque.
While they provided many of the side dishes, I provided the meat and other items to be roasted over hot coals and served with generous helpings of barbeque sauce.
It cost me a lot more money than I had anticipated. The cost of the hamburger and brats was more expensive than last year. The salmon, that my wife loves, cost more than the steaks I cooked for special people – - and the steaks were expensive.
Even the drinks were expensive now that the state has taxed the hell out of liquor.
Topping it off was the coffee I served to people before they left. It too was more expensive than last year.
This has been a bad year for food inflation.
There are a number of reasons that the cost of steak and hamburger is high. Droughts in Texas and Oklahoma a couple of years ago forced many ranchers to sell all of their stock. They are just now getting around to replenishing their herds but there are less cattle around and that means higher beef costs.
A virus has been killing off baby pigs by the millions in the south and my cost for sausage and brats has skyrocketed.
My wive loves salmon – the wild kind – those with bright, red, firm meat. Due to global demand and declining stocks the cost of salmon exceeds that of steak.
As for liquor, the state levies such a high tax on alcohol that the cost of the margaritas I served could fund a small country.
And then, even the coffee was expensive. Not only is there an increasing demand for coffee around the world, but a drought in Brazil has caused a large increase in the cost of coffee beans.
Overall, inflation in the United States is running below two percent, but the cost of food has increased far beyond that two percent rate.
We have to face facts. We live in a global economy and weather in Chili or increased demand in China sends ripples through our local supermarket.
Then, to top it off, I had to pay five cents a paper bag just to pack my food out of the store. Where’s the justice in that?
Thank goodness I enjoyed the people at my party. They were worth the cost.