Good Lord, the price of meat has skyrocketed.
Who can afford beef these days?
Bacon prices seem to have gone up by about 49% overnight.
Humble Chicken thighs used to be sold at about 99c per pound. Not any more - I paid $2.49 per pound for them yesterday.
Lamb has always been expensive in these United States: it is now all but unaffordable.
Even "the other white meat" - pork - has gone up in price - I find myself looking for those "two for one specials" of the cheaper cuts.
If the sale of "Smithfield" (one of America's largest pork/ham/bacon outfits) goes through, and it is sold to a Chinese company we'll soon being seeing pork as a luxury meat ( the growing and more prosperous Chinese population has an insatiable appetite for pork).
Some of the more extreme price increases may be localised. That could be true in this part of Florida where one Supermarket chain holds a huge share of the market - getting near to monopoly status.
Nationally the price of beef has shot up in part because of the extreme and prolonged drought in the south western states. The number of beef cattle has been cut drastically on account of the lack of food and water.
The drought has naturally affected the costs of dairy products - milk, cheese etc - fewer cattle = less milk.
The drought has also affected the supply of animal foodstuffs (grain etc) - hence a rise in price of poultry and eggs.
Internationally (and especially in Asia with some more prosperous economies and with growing populations ) there is a huge new demand for meat, and for grains (corn and wheat).
I believe that meat will become a semi-luxury. I thinks that we shall soon be eating some of the humbler and less desirable cuts of meat - just as we did when I was knee high to a grasshopper.
More on this tomorrow.