Ingredient availability, shipping delays, labor shortage: What’s causing food prices to soar?

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Food prices are on the rise. Since durum wheat and barley had low yields this year, expect higher prices for pasta and beer in the upcoming months. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

“There are so many things gumming up the supply chain,” says reporter Laura Reiley. Products in the center aisle of the grocery store, such as cereals, pastas, and canned goods, are reliant on several ingredients often sourced from around the world, which puts production on hold until those items are made available. 

Additional lags are the results of drought, packaging shortages, and shipping delays. The Long Beach Port is seeing an eight-day delay. But time is money, and given the labor shortage, it’s more cost effective for shipping crates to be returned to China empty rather than wait for them to be filled with exports. Who in the food chain is benefitting from the pandemic? Reiley questions the pandemic profiteering within the meat business while looking at other industries feeling the pinch in her reporting for The Washington Post.

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Evan Kleiman