(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Food inflation in the U.S. is at its highest level in 17 years and might get worse.
The rising cost of everything from milk to eggs to chicken is hurting many Americans – especially the poor. It's also tough on businesses, like bakeries and delis, who have to explain price increases to their customers.
Last year, U.S. food prices rose 4%. That's compared with an average 2.5% increase for the last 15 years. And the government says that 2008 could be even worse, perhaps as high as 4.5%.
For many poor people, costlier food means having to give something else up in order to eat. The Food Bank of New Jersey says the sticker shock could cause some of the poorest Americans to go hungry. They say a family of 4 is eligible for a maximum $542 a month in food stamps. They say that never lasted the whole month before and now lasts for even fewer days.
The price jumps for various foods are due to many factors, including higher commodity costs for things like wheat, corn, soybeans and milk along with higher energy and transportation costs.
And these higher costs aren't just an issue here at home. Economists say that in Bangladesh, for example, 30 million of the country's 150 million people could be going hungry. In Haiti, the prime minister was booted over the weekend due to food riots.
Here’s my question to you: What's the answer to rapidly rising food prices?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Justin from Chicago writes:
How about we start paying farmers to grow more food instead of paying them to not grow anything? Then we can sell a surplus of food to the rest of the world at lower prices, thereby having them rely on us for a necessary resource instead of the other way around.
Barry from Miami writes:
We can either boycott, revolt or starve. As citizens and consumers, we can curtail spending. It’s the only form of protest we have left. And considering how fast my money is evaporating, it won’t be much of a stretch. We Americans are too fat and complacent and only willing to sacrifice if it’s someone else doing it. We learned from the best, because if Washington gets fat you know it’s going to be us going on the diet.
Courtney from South Windsor, Connecticut writes:
Stop growing food for fuel. The use of corn to make ethanol is impractical, illogical, and CLEARLY immoral. Though fuel costs are indeed influencing the cost of food, the shortages thereof would be far less if farmers around the globe weren’t replacing crops of rice and other dietary staples with ethanol-bound crops. This practice is abject bull and needs to stop before there are food riots around the globe.
We Americans can't do much about the internal political situations that keep food from the people in Haiti and other countries around the world. However, we can do something right here on American soil: it's called "plant a garden."
Brent from Texas writes:
The breadbasket of the world is going to turn into the rusty bucket as we allow ourselves to be forced into oil-drum slavery. If we don't stop and fix the energy problem in war-time like fashion, the story of our great lifestyle is over. It is time we took care of America and then we can again help the world with the food that they need.
Michael from Stone Mountain, Georgia writes:
Let's stop trying to figure out how to cram an ear of corn into a Lexus