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April 15th, 2008
06:00 PM ET

Answer to rapidly rising food prices?

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(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.

Gretchen writes:
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


Filed under: Food Prices • US Economy
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. Carol c.

    Sure am happy my heart is sound because EVERYTHING is going up at the grocery store. I clip coupons faithfully, scan the ads and stock up on things that on sale that we actually use while they are on sale. Who would have thought that we would pay $1.29 for 4 rolls of single toilet paper!

    I never did this before, but I now take my meat and separate it according to the portions we actually use as a couple or I am not throwing food away. Never thought I would save rice and warm it over–sure am happy we eat pinto beans!!

    Carol
    Knoxville, TN

    April 15, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  2. Chusk

    Jack, it all has to do with the ethinal, you can see how that has help bring down gas prices havent you, and the cost of milk, eggs, meat... ect.. Thanks again congress and lobbiests.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  3. Charles Liken, Lansing, MI

    If the government was serious about holding down food prices it would immediately reverse its position on Ethanal. No more subsidizing the use of Ethanal as a fuel. Then it would bring back a form of gasoline rationaing that we had in World War II. The better your gas mileage the cheaper your fuel cost. Of course this is wishful thinking because the real fuel of the U.S. economy is greed.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  4. anita ames

    Anyone who has access to a plot of ground should be raising some type of vegetables. One can do it in containers if no garden space is available. Learn to can, dehydrate and preserve anyway you can. We should be doing this regardless of where we live, become more independent from food that is contaminated. Get a book on gardening from the library if you don't know how! Great feeling to grow your own plus helps your body to keep active.
    Lora
    Richland, Or

    April 15, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  5. Mike out West

    As always, there is more than one answer to the issue. Lower fuel prices would lower food prices. Then again, putting the brakes on the ethanol craze (which doesn't work anyway!) would reduce the feed prices. Or, I guess we could try and get the government to stop putting money in the pockets of farmers for growing nothing, and use that money to help those that can not put food on their tables. That would require cleaning up the system though, and we know that never happens.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  6. Barbara Hazleton, Pa

    Jack,
    If the filthy rich, oil mongers ever lower the price of oil back to a liveable cost to America and the other world countries, the price of goods, food, heating oil, gasoline and other staples of life will come down to ease the financial burden on the people. The rising costs start and end with the cost of oil.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  7. Russ in PA

    The answer is to get the politicians out of our lives; we're spending our hard-earned cash so that they – and the Iraqis – can waste it all. They have have no clue, and no right to be throwing our rights and our country away. Vote for Ron Paul...

    April 15, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  8. Eric

    Jack –

    That would be a combination of things-
    A- Higher Transportation Cost
    B- Ethanol Hoax utilizing more corn than food these days, corn is used in a ton of food products
    C- Early season vegatables are coming from Calif and Fla...not local
    D- Energy cost both to farmers as well as packagers-

    Jack, your questions could be answered by 3rd graders...of course most people that listen to the garbage spewed on CNN have that level education.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  9. Gigi in Alabama

    Is there an answer to this? . . . I guess the middle and lower class of America will just have to tighten their belts and eat less. This is not a good answer, but sadly the only one available to us.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  10. Jayne in NH

    Like everything else we can't afford anymore, it goes back to the cost of fuel. One thing that would make sense would be regional markets. When I go to the grocery store I can buy shrimp from Indonesia, but not from the east coast where I live. There is salmon from British Columbia, but not from the salmon farms 3 hours away in Maine. (When I asked, they told me the Maine salmon was being shipped to Europe . . .go figure.) If we buy more locally grown and produced products, we'll save fuel and lower food prices.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  11. Brian, Cincinnati

    Get rid of the ridiculousness that is corn based Ethanol. It costs more energy to make corn based Ethanol than it provides. It's killing off large sections of the Gulf of Mexico due to the run off of fertilizer. It's driving corn prices sky high increasing the cost of chicken, eggs, pork, and beef.

    Because Iowa votes first every election we get stuck with this rediculous Ethanol pledge every year and we continue to hurt ourselves. We are now starting to import grains into this country because so many farmers are wasting land space on corn. Farmers are getting paid well on the short end, but costing this country terribly in the long run.

    Brian, Cincinnati

    April 15, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  12. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    causes of high food prices (and other woes):

    1. Colossal corporate greed
    a) ain't no tomorrow
    2. Colossal mismanagement of the economy
    a) rising energy costs
    3. Colossal distrust of government
    a) ain't gonna do nothin' about it
    4. Colossal stupidity of American people
    a) keep electing same old politicians year after year
    5. Colossal apparent wealth of nation
    a) pass the cost to our grandkids
    6. Colossal waste of time and energy
    a) talking about the obvious
    7. Colossal failure of Bush administration
    a) lack of foresight
    b) failed energy policies
    c) inaction of all phases of administration
    d) misuse of control of congress
    e) allowing national debt to skyrocket
    f) precursory blocking of meaningful discourse
    g) promoting, allowing, and encouraging war

    to name a few

    April 15, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  13. Rosalynd Orlando Florida

    As long as fuel cost is high the cost to transport food will be high and therefore the cost of rising prices in food. What's the Silver lining ? Prices are up on eggs, milk, cheese, and soda so cut back on those products and you get to keep a few dollars and prevent heart disease and diabetes. Here is to adapting and voting for Change in November.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  14. Mark - Asheville, NC

    Well, here in Asheville we have several grocery outlet stores, where one can save from 25 to 75 percent on most all brands of food and beverages. In some cases the fresh dates have just expired, but there is nothing wrong with the food – if some are too snobbish to shop there then let them pay full price.

    These stores also feature fresh produce and personal use products. I have not seen stores such as these anywhere else, and wonder why they are only in this area (which is anything but a low income area)? This might not be a panacaea for rising prices, but it really helps!

    April 15, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  15. Travis, Los Angeles CA

    Grow your own food. No back yard? Start a public garden.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  16. Tamika from Ohio

    Jack did you know that there are people who have actually taken to eating pet food? Scary thought indeed.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  17. Jamaal Kansas

    Bring down the oil prices and it will Bring down the food prices. How do you Expect to Have food prices the same if gas pricing is climbing to record prices? Most of these Countries don't produce enough food for their Population to consume so most of the food has to come from other Countries and shipping is getting more and more expensive and everyone Knows that expenses are always routed to the Consumer

    April 15, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  18. James in Cape Coral, FL

    Jack,
    Stop shipping job's over sea's and give American's the opportunity to earn some money to pay for the over priced food. Or we could just stop spending billions of dollars a month in Iraq, steal their oil like Bush had intended from the beginning and focus on the increasingly frustrated American's who used to be the backbone of this economy. But that wont increase the bottom line of the special intrest groups actually running this country. So there is no answer, Jack. We're all screwed.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  19. Mindy

    Top Ramen

    April 15, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  20. Mike S., New Orleans, Louisiana

    Here's an idea to chew on: eat less.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  21. Patricia

    Jack I don't know if I've said this on your blog, but, I don't mind paying 10% to 15% more per month on my food bill if I knew that the money was going to the farmers & the "real workers" who drive the trucks & who put the food on the shelves. But, it's not, it's going to the oil companies.
    Patricia
    Palmdale, Ca.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  22. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Bumping around town, I can tell you that most Americans could afford to push away from the table in a more timely fashion. Higher food prices may be the answer to our fellow fat countymen’s affinity to stuff themselves and may allow them to once and for all pull in their belts a few notches, a glass half-full approach to food inflation.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  23. Paul South Carolina

    Hey Jack,

    We pay farmers not to farm to keep prices up. Another fantastic success story of your government in action.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  24. gCs

    Gonzales LA

    End the war in Iraq!

    April 15, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  25. bill in PA

    Jack;
    Let's look at the facts: agricultural products are being used to make $3.50/gal fuel. Food manufacturers have to buy at auction bidding against the ethanol makers. The cost energy necessary to process and transport food is rising daily. The CEOs of Kraft, Cargil et. al. need their multi million dollar salaries and bonuses. And add to that; the public loves the highly advertised, highly processed foods, full of high fructose corn syrup, salt, and palm oils, formulated in a way as to be almost addictive The situation is ready for steep price increases. However, the up-scale grocery retailers are going great guns. While visiting Houston I noted a beautiful ready to eat cherry pie for only $16.95! It is still in Houston.
    Allentown

    April 15, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  26. Bob from Santa Barbara CA

    Rising food prices? Should I say "pick your poison?"

    The international relief agencies say half the shortage of grains is because we have diverted them to ethanol. And much the other half is from poor growing conditions – think global warming. Is the best solution to rising food prices driving less?

    Or should eat less animal protein? Try telling that to a billion Chinese who more than doubled the price of pigs last year as they moved up the food chain.

    Sounds like the only way to win this is to stay home and eat vegetables from the garden in your back yard.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  27. Barry, Miami, FL

    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 that goes on the diet.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  28. Dick Swansea, MA

    The anwer is this Jack. People can only starve for so long then they don't need food anymore. Then demand will go down and so will food prices. One qustion remains when the demand for coffins goes up and so does the price what will we do about that??

    April 15, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  29. John in San Diego

    Jack, as with most serious world problems there is no easy answer or quick fix. But we indulgent consumers in the West are certainly partly to blame as we feed our fuel tanks with grains that could be helping to feed the world.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  30. RC Lendz

    If you want an answer to global warming, the housing crisis, rising food prices, etc.: Let's sell all of our cars, our homes, and all of our personal belongings. It is time to give up on the American Dream and go back to the times of hunting and gathering, living in caves (natural and man-made). With all of the rising prices, why live in the 21st century? We need to live in the 8th century, BC.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  31. IFEANYI AZUBIKE Houston, Texas

    The rising fuel cost hsa the most significant impact on rising food cost. So, release some of the strategic fuel reserves, Identify the needs of farmers and provide incentives, Redirect focus on the economy and what is important. Or make the refunds monthly.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  32. Charles in Florida

    Jack, It all about the oil. It takes oil to move the machines that plant, water, harvest, process and distribute the food. The companies put the cost of the fuel on the consumer to get their profit margins up. Bring down the fuel and the associated oil cost and the food will follow.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  33. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    We need to stop throwing money into the sink hole that is Iraq. We need to finally heed President Eisenhower about the threat of the Military Industrial Complex and start putting money and resources into improving quality of life.

    If we oust Bush, Big oil, and the addiction, we will be free to take up energy alternatives and freedom from these oil wars.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  34. Chriss Miller, East Haddam, CT

    Simply grow more food (more of the right food that is).

    Also, we need to stop the madness of paying farmers for growing or NOT growing anything with government dollars – most goes to corporate farmers.

    Finding alternative energy sources without dipping into our food source would be a big help too as so much corn is needed to support the legislated mandatory ethanol production resulting in less other food as well as higher feed prices for livestock.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  35. Courtney, South Windsor, CT

    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.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  36. mitchell martin ark.

    cut the cost of fuel!oil is why everything else is rising!we've seen it coming for decades!tap into all those profits,that big oil is stealing,from consumers!whatever we do ,i'm sure bush/cheney,will retire comfortably.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  37. Annie, Atlanta

    I don't know about the other countries, but what was it Eisenhower said back in the 50s about letting oil men run Washington. Bet they're not missing many meals.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  38. Bonnie

    Jack,
    If I had that answer , I would be running for President!

    April 15, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  39. Ed in Savannah, GA

    Deregulation! Look what's it done for our phone and cable TV bills!

    April 15, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  40. Tom, Ft Lauderdale

    The answer to the costs of food is without debate ,It,s oil and the price of $112.00 a barrel has tranfered the burden of charity from USA to the oil rich OPEC nations. In the mean time America should concentrate on the task at hand which is to swicth from oil to Hydrogen from natural gas and nuclear power. We did the same thing 100 years ago when we changed from steam / coal to oil..

    April 15, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  41. Ron Story

    What has changed the most? Mainly the price of oil, worldwide (thus, energy and transporation). Big Oil, represented by the current administration and their foreign business partners, are now literally starving more Americans to death. If the Republican death march continues with the upcoming election, we will no longer need food. I guess that’s one answer. The other might be to vote Big Oil out of office, and then we (and others throughout the world) will have a better chance to survive.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  42. Gayle, Illinois

    Jack, It is all by design. The world population is too high, New World Order is on the move. Destroying people of color first, no one will really care until it comes to America.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  43. Julia, Kentucky

    Jack, seems like everyone is jumping on the "let's raise prices" bandwagon. People can't afford to drive to work or school anymore, so now let's make it impossible to eat...maybe that is their underlying cure for obesity in this country....starve us all to death!

    April 15, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  44. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    Well, the Federal Government could always do for food what they did for the mortgage crisis. They could bail out all the supermarkets!

    April 15, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  45. Eric

    Jack-

    There's a great job for you. President of Haiti- You could make it the paradise that New Orleans was supposed to be after 30 years of liberal influence. Show us nasty republicans what big government can do .....my question to you is....who's left to pay for it???

    Food costs are up because of a weak dollar, energy cost and ethanol farse you have helped prepetuate. Maybe we should let Elliott and Hillary import some additional illegals to bring labor cost down.

    Jack- you amaze me. Where do you come up with the questions?? You would think on the day when I'm sending in more of my money to the tax man, you'd have a question about it.

    April 15, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  46. Carole, Florida

    Jack, the answer is quite simple. Diesel prices over $4.00 and closer to $5.00 a gallon. Our country's food comes to us over the road. Truckers must have at least a 3 day shutdown. This country would be brought to it's knees.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  47. Ron Story

    What has changed the most? Mainly the price of oil, worldwide (thus, energy and transporation). Big Oil, represented by the current administration and their foreign business partners, are now literally starving more Americans to death. If the Republican death march continues with the upcoming election, we will no longer need food. I guess that’s one answer. Another might be to vote Big Oil out of office, restore competition and honest capitalism, thus improving our chances for survival.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  48. Tom from Illinois

    Why don't we just raise minimum wage higher? It's not like grocery stores and restaurants pay their employees minimum wage and would need to compensate for that increased labor cost by raising food prices even higher. Or maybe give the big oil companies a tax break so they can lower the cost of fuel. Because they would gladly do that instead of receive more record profits.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  49. Jerry

    Just spent $ 3.65 for a gallon of gas in Shaumburg, Illinois on the
    way to the food store where we used $ 2. 25 in clipped coupons
    to help offset rising prices. Guess we could eat slower to help the
    rising prices.

    Jerry
    Illinois

    April 15, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  50. Patricia

    The answer is slow food.

    OK, so I'm over 50. I remember a day when eating out was a special occasion. In the refrigerator was food, not packages of heat-and-eat entres and canned beverages.

    Slow food is food that requires a person with a few minutes to prepare it. Grow your own food or go to your local vegetable stand and touch a tomato, taste a sample of melon and learn what an eggplant actually is. Choose some foods and take them home. After rinsing most items, they are ready-to-eat. Berries, potatoes that still have flavors, locally grown asparagus–it's all good. Most of these items are going to be much cheaper than eating out or buying prepared foods.

    One thing about the hippie movement of the '60's and '70's is that one of our goals was to "beat the system"–to not get "ripped off".

    April 15, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  51. Collin in Hayden ID

    Jack,
    I noticed one of the comments said people have taken to eating pet food. We've taken to eating pets. There's not much meat on a parakeet, and there's only a smidgen on a pigeon.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  52. Bill, Quarryville, PA

    Jack, I think the answer is in the rising cost of fuel. The farmers have to pay it to run their equipment. The trucker's have to pay it to ship food to the stores. The only ones it doesn't affect are the oil companies they seem to be rolling around in money with announcing record breaking profits every quarter. Senator Mccain wants to have no gasoline tax on certain holidays. Instead of making the oil companies reduced their profits to help out America rising inflation. I guess he thinks people will jump into their cars with a bloated belly and take a vacation.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  53. Esther Cuyahoga Falls Ohio

    we are bring this mess on our ownselves we pay are farmers not to farm. bring the mirror out and lets all take a turn looking at the cause of the problem those faces in the mirror who think the government is the answer no stupid its YOU. we all need to stop eating out and huddle close and hold on to our dream we are american's and we have to go back to the basic take care of our own. anything outside the borders is no american and should stop. circle the wagons and go back to protectionist. really i want a revolution give me liberty or give me dead back miss the good old days. long live the usa

    April 15, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  54. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Wow, if I had the answer to this question I wouldn't be sitting in Georgetown, Texas trying to figure out what we need to cut back on so we can go see our grandkids later this month. To me we need to try getting people intersted in farming and not pay people to not farm.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  55. Jerry, Fayetteville Tennessee

    Lower production costs and a careful reassessment of the real benefits of ethanol production.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  56. Rick Bettger, New York

    I will echo many other people's sentiments: the fuel situation needs to be taken care of first. Food prices, along with the rest of the economy is tied into the price of oil.

    The past couple years we have seen an attempt to convert to hydrogen or, with more emphasis, methanol fuels. Hydrogen may be the answer, not methanol.

    Methanol is produced from corn. With the greater demand for corn as a fuel, the supply of corn for food goes down. In turn the price increases in the grocery store for corn. Simple supply-demand economics.

    Corn also provides food for the nation's livestock. Increasing the price of corn also increases the price of beef, pork, and dairy products. The farmers have to make up for the increased feed prices.

    A new fuel source needs to be found and impletmented as soon as possible. And it cannot be made from a food product!

    April 15, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  57. Erin in Battle Creek

    We naively looked to renewable energies, like corn, as ways of remedying our climate crisis and political dependency on oil-rich nations– worthy concerns to be sure.

    But we failed to consider the poorest people on the globe who depend on that corn for food. Parents don't have the luxury of contemplating the complexities of global warming and middle eastern politics while their food sources shrink and their children starve.

    And of course, the gross mismanagement of our American dollars over these last eight years has–in the wake of this realization– left our wallets empty and our hands tied to do much about it.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  58. Kevin

    Jack, this is just another secret covert government operation to put Americans on a diet and lower the obesity rate. I didn't think Bush and his cronies could concieve of such a plan! I'm sure Dr. Gupta has the inside scoop. Just kidding!

    Kevin
    Warren, MI

    April 15, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  59. Aaron B.; Champaign, IL

    My solution is for the government to stop closing hundreds of family-owned farming communities on a monthly basis. While it's obvious where the government clearly is spending money; many people forget the valuable places where it's not. I say subsidize more farms.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  60. Diane/Allentown, PA

    I hope alot of people have noticed the sizes of such items as cereal, yogurt, snacks. These packages keep shrinking in size while selling for the same price as the previous size.

    Then again Jack, we continue to buy these products at the higher cost, and stroll into the next aisle and buy bottled water by the case of course! Go figure that out!

    My answer is we need to smarten up. Back to the "No Frills" aisle, and fast!

    April 15, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  61. Paul in Sacramento, CA

    It's simple! Take the 12 billion dollars a month we're spending fighting a war that should have never been, and invest it into our nations own economy and the American citizens!

    Now don't worry Mr. Bush, we'll call it "The War on Hunger" that way the Republicans can embrace the concept and YOU can finally get a win!

    April 15, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  62. Mike from Syracuse NY

    Jack,
    Much of our food is based on grains, corn, wheat, etc. With the present stampede to cash in on high gas prices, farmers are selling their product to ethanol manufacturers. The ironic thing is that ethanol from grain is practically an energy neutral proposition. It costs as much energy to make it as you get from it. We think we are being 'green' when we are in fact not, and are driving up food prices at the same time. Other sources of ethanol such as sugar cane, and even algae get much more bang for the buck and don't raise the cost of food. The US needs a real energy policy where all sources are tapped (wind, solar, tidal, nuclear) to solve the dependence on oil without driving up the cost of food. Wouldn't it be great to tell the Mid East: "oil, we don't need no stinking oil!"?

    April 15, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  63. Joe in DE

    Jack here are few suggestions.
    Eat less – obesity is a big problem.

    We could start gardens – they used be be called Victory gardens but now hey could be called Poverty garderns.

    Reduce driving to absoulte necessity, plan shopping.

    Maqke it easier to import from China – no that push up the cost of health care.

    Cut the deficits by reducing war spending.

    As illegal immigrants to bring 2 weeks food supply.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  64. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This country is beginning to look like a "cement jungle", every stretch of land that was farm land is now communities or some facility that pollutes. There are restrictions of what can or cannot be built on land, but there is no restrictions to preserve farm land for food supply only which is disappearing.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  65. mikeytherhino

    Eat less, save money. Eat more, save less. at least we won't have food riots anytime soon here in the states.

    Mike, from Staten Island New York

    April 15, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  66. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    The cost of fuel, especially diesel, is driving food prices through the roof. Every item in our supermarkets is delivered by a truck. Most of the independent truckers cant afford to continue to operate. At $4.00 plus a gallon an eighteen wheeler takes over $ 1000.00 to fill up.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  67. Larry - Fulton, Ill.

    Take away the state and federal fuel taxes on diesel, quit shipping all of our food stuffs overseas, quit cutting funding to social programs for the elderly and poor, (Meals ON Wheels and school lunch programs) for a start. Plant a garden, buy a freezer and purchase the items you eat when they're on sale. Finally, get the morons out of D.C. who started all of this.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  68. Dan, Chantilly Va

    Invade an oil-producing middle eastern country without any real plan on the pretext that we will be treated as liberators and will get all the free oil we want. Oh wait, you want a solution that will work.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  69. Nora. South Texas

    I always hear Americans are too fat, well we could cut down on what we eat and start walking(to save gas) that would save you money in two ways. Until oil prices go down the food prices have no where to go but up!!!!!!

    April 15, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  70. MIKE A, CHARLOTTE,NC

    answer: jenny craig , jane fonda and anorexia. eat less, look at jane and throw it up. your food bill goes down and you have less desire to eat again.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  71. Will, San Jose CA

    Quit pretending that corn based ethanol is a solution. Besides taking far too much energy to make the conversion you are now pitting food crops profits against energy profits driving the cost of corn as food up and failing to reduce the cost of fuel, thus increasing the price of all other foods.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  72. Ryan, Champaign IL

    Jack, the answer is leadership. We are the breadbasket of the world, but have sent our resources and power out to make war and strife rather than to promote global responsibility. Time for us to grow up.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  73. Robert W. Brooks

    Jack,
    For the past year America has been given a lesson in Economics 101 when it comes to the theory of "Supply & Demand". As the world has become a Global Economy we are being to see the impact of the growing economies in China, India and Southeast Asia. The demand for oil, gasoline, wheat and corn have driven up the prices of these commodities to the point where some people can no longer afford them. As long as demand continues to exceed supply, no matter if it is oil or food products, prices will remain high and in all likelihood will go even higher.

    Robert
    Forest, VA

    April 15, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  74. Ed

    The cost of food will continue to rise due to this economic free fall. Sometime things have to be like this in capitalmarkets. The Fed ignored all the bad signs and it's come to this. People have to make sure you don't inject politics to government good policies. Recently, Republicans and Democrats are not talking and who will work on these solutions. People have to elect the future and something look like can unite to solve problems. All these party frictions don't help to solve problems. I think last time I check we all American, isn't?

    April 15, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  75. Doug Pierson Tohatchi, NM

    The main ingredient for our woes is the cost of oil. And just what is anyone doing to fix the problem? Is this Republican administration on its way to the bank in the last few months of office? Somewhere there is a tie in and we all know it. Bush and his buddies have been in oil for years. Iraq was/is oil. Why isn't someone really looking?

    April 15, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  76. Ted, Beaverton, OR

    The thing that intrigues me are the smaller containers. The new 30 oz jars of mayonaise instead of a quart. Ice cream in 56 Oz containers instead of a half gallon...yet still priced the same. I wonder if the high paid execs and the marketing wizards have had to take a 20% pay cut as well. Maybe when they buy their raw material, veggie oil comes in 28 oz quarts. Just think, if we bought gas that waqy, it would only be about $1.29 per 7 ounce gallon. Your mileage may vary.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  77. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: It is the United States dependency on oil imports and continious rising of fuel cost that is contributing to the failure of the economy and the rising cost of living.. Reduce our oil imports and develop more cost efficient fuel sources so that any price we pay is worth what it can do for you, not what you choose to pay for it.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  78. earl illingsworth

    If Gasoline were $10/gal.,and Diesel Fuel was $13/gal., I'd say it was energy's fault , but it ain't! This counrty is getting more ,and more monopolized, with our government subsidizing agricultural conglomerates to the tune of "Billions Of Dollars", all the while they sell their (our) product to foriegn countries on our dime. Biofuels made from "Corn" (Ethanol) etc. ,cost more to produce (just listen to John Edwards when he spoke in Iowa's primary), and very impractical (for shame, all that land, and not rotating the crops, spells future shortage disasters) whe it comes to "Energy Independence". My solution/advise to most families is to stay home an eat ,don't go out to dine every other night with the family, you'd be surpirised how much you could save? Start buying foods, such as,turkeys,hams, and roast so you can spread the left-overs into another meal. I didn't become a millionaire throwing my money down the "garbage disposal"!

    April 15, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  79. Anthony Smith

    Fasting! Since the world's mentality of greed and sloth won't allow that to happen, we might start at reinvesting with farmers and make it profitable and attractive as it once was. Then we might want to stop our overindulgence of oil and invest in multiple energy sources. We should also tax the oil companies and refineries because they haven't come up with a solution to the inevitable changeover which happens every Spring which results in higher gas prices just in time for Summer. Then we could divert the billions spent on war killing people to educating them on farming, investing, and sustaining themselves instead of relying on other countries. In other words, teach them how to fish instead of offering them a buffett at Red Lobster!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    April 15, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  80. Stacy from Farifax, Virginia

    Don't allow companies to be for profit that grow, produce, distrubute or otherwise provide basic life sustaining necessities like food.
    It is beyond comprehension that people are starving while stockholders of these companies just keep getting richer. How they sleep at night, I don't know. And I am an MBA!

    April 15, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  81. Hubert Bertrand

    BUSH is sitting and watching our money go to the big co-ops and is smiling because he can afford to eat anything he wants and go anywhere he wants. He says he love the AMERICAN people, hog wash.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  82. Allen Lanai, Hawaii

    The answer to rising food prices in the free market. As a people, we need to create incentives for farming. Things like high property taxes and inheritance taxes on the family farm have turned the younger generation away from this lifestyle. You want food prices to go down, then grow more food.

    If the goverment tries to stabalize a price, it only creates inflation. That is what happens anywhere the goverment tries to take control of the free market. Legislatures should think of making laws to stop eminent domain for expensive condos and look into how to get people back to farming.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  83. Warren, Detroit

    Because I travel for work a lot, I have chosen to reduce waste by purchasing items that can be frozen or stored for long periods of time. I like to purchase parishable foods on an as needed basis and use them quickly after being purchased. This reduces waste and my grocery bill.

    As a nation though, we need to either regulate or limit ethanol production to products that aren't part of the food system (corn and soy are primary examples). As things like the price of corn, oats, wheat, etc. rise so will everything else. Prices start from the ground up, literally.

    Another thing we can do is start to train farmers, as the baby boomer generation passes on we're going to need a lot of agricultural engineers to maintain all of this land and maintain crop production.

    Also, Jack, I think we need to look beyond the tip of our nose on this topic; this is a world crisis that starts with over population and poor agricultural management, and ends with starvation, disease and warfare. You provided two examples, I think there are 100 other examples that are more pressing than what we're seeing here.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  84. Travis, Los Angeles CA

    Stop favoring the first world in trade agreements, and let competition drive prices down.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  85. Alfie --- Palmdale, Cal.

    The answer is right under your nose Jack. Fuel prices go up, which adds to the final cost of food. I have yet to see these 'starving' people though. The families with food stamps ahead of me in the grocery line must be doing ok, as they seem to be eating the best my money can buy. If you want to eat steak everyday, your food stamps will run out sooner. We are a family of 3, and we buy much of our food in bulk. Maybe if we stopped shipping so much food around the world, the supply and demand would be able to calculate into food prices, and they would go down.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  86. Jay from Ohio

    Simply put go back to growing our own,we ship in food from all over the world and with our FDA being a joke not only are we paying more were getting sick from the unregulated food we import,support your local farmers market and stay away from WALMART

    April 15, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  87. kb from Iowa

    I think we need to look at the pros and cons of ethonal as an alternative fuel source. Experts say you actually spend more at the pump for it since it lowers mpg. The cost of producing a gallon of ethonal costs far more than what you can sell it for. And it won't put a dent in our dependence on foreign oil. Lets get the corn back in the food supply chain where it belongs.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  88. Toni myrtle beach, SC

    It all boils down to oil prices, transportation costs and energy waste. The only answere is to get the corporate owned buffoons out of our white house and put those in charge who remember who they work for,

    April 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  89. Wendy. San Rafael, CA

    Part of the answer for India and elsewhere would be to stop allowing the patent of native seeds. Farmers who have handed down plants and seeds from family to family now no longer have the right to them and have to purchase from large companies (generally American).

    Here in the USA, Monsanto should not be allowed to continue with its "terminator seeds, a genetic engineering technique, forcing farmers to turn to their supplier to get a new supply of seeds that will only produce one harvest. After that, the seeds commit "suicide" and are unusable.

    Getting rid of the sales tax on food would help many. I believe in Alabama and about 7 other states (not sure which), food is taxed placing an enormous burden on the poor.

    I am rambling now but rooftop gardens for those who live in cities would help. More support of farmers markets and the small farmer by disallowing those huge tax breaks to agribusiness.

    This is one topic that demands a lot of attention. Nice to see you bringing it up.

    Wendy
    San Rafael, CA

    April 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  90. tim from Ravenna, OH

    Soon there will be far fewer people to spread the food around to and the prices should drop. Sorry, just thinking like a CEO. I know, give another tax break to the wealthiest people in America. If some is good for America then more should be great for the world.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  91. greg

    Jack from reading most of the comments people in America don't really understand the gobal economy! When the American consumer helps increase the standard of living in countries like China, Thiland,India they are able to afford and increase their demand for food. This is kinda a reverse of fortunes isn't Jack they cand afford to buy more food and we now are able to afford less! Jack if Americans wanted to slow down this increase in food price they should do what their Grand Parents did and I know with busy life styles it is hard but you prepare most of your food from scratch it is lot cheaper and healthier. Its not the farmer that is driving up the cost but the middleman and the competion abroad; and it is only going to get worst in the future spured on by golbal warming!

    April 15, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  92. Lori, Battle Creek, MI

    Well let's not give anymore tax breaks to the rich. I hope they will reach deep into their pockets and contribute to the food banks for those less fortunate.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  93. Gary North Carolina

    Eat mo' chicken

    April 15, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  94. Dave in Astoria

    Jack.....Soylent Green.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  95. Charlie, Upstate NY

    George W. Bush is far worse than Jimmy Carter as incumbent President (although Jimmy Carter is the best exPresident). War (totally unnecessary) driven poverty and inflation, greed of Bush's corporate (aka oil) friends (Oil companies are stacking up campaign cash for Republicans for the next 100 year election cycles), destruction of wealth and lives, ... there is no other reason than Bush.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  96. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    Break up OPEC, get rid of the Ethanol scam, place matching tariffs on imported goods and services including food, boycott China completely and teach our own people that they can't have their capitalist cake and eat it too. Oh, Ialmost forgot, bring all our troops home and invade Mexico.

    April 15, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  97. John Boston Ma

    Might sound stupid to ask but why are we subsidizing corn base ethanol? It take 26.1 pounds of corn to make 1 gallon of ethanol! Anybody think the price of food is not going to rise up if a major share of land we use to grow the stuff is appropriated to produce ethanol. Fertile land is a limited commodity to waste it this way while a good part of the world is starving is shameful!

    April 15, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  98. james hoffman, Prescott, MI

    For most Americans, "Go on a well needed Diet ! "

    April 15, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  99. Jack Martin

    Jack
    The answer to rising food prices is January 20 2009. On that day the incompetent leaders of this administration presently in residence in the White House will take a hike to Crawford , Texas and will, hopefully pass into deserved obscurity. A new administration will take over and will attempt to undo the damaged economy they will inherit. It will take time but it will happen. It always has in the past. Remember the Hoover administration?
    Jack Martin in Florida

    April 15, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  100. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    Help our farmers keep their farms. More and more are selling out because they are unable to get a decent price for their goods. If we would stop importing food from everywhere else and stick to our own country, we probably would not have this situation. Have you been to the store lately and checked out where fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables come from? A lot are anywhere but here!

    April 15, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  101. Brian from Berea, KY

    The government should increase the food stamp quota for low-income families so that they won't go hungry. As for everyone else, the solution to this problem is as distant as a quick-fix for the economy as a whole.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  102. J W - Atlanta

    At this point I think there is only one certain answer to this, and most folks aren't going to like it. Population levels have to be the concern, and if ignored, food prices will continue to rise. It is astonishing how many resources a single human, particularly in America, will consume over a lifetime.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  103. David Alexandria, VA

    Like so many other things - it is a result of our lack of strategic energy policies which look realistically into the next 30 years and do something about the reality. Soaring fuel costs to grow, process, package, and and transport the food are a part of it. Diverting corn and other staples as a means of reducing oil; useage is another. This problem goes back 30 years and we are now inheriting the upshot of our lack of national resolve to address it. Six administrations (Democrat and Republican) and countless members of Congress have been asleep at the switch. Of course, there are the millions of us who elected these folks and did not put the fire to them to deal with what is now a crisis. How do we solve it? We mortgage something else to feed the hungry (as we always have), we look for a global energy use and pricing policy which does not lead to armageden, we hold ourselves accountable to to address this issue, and we accept that we are not gfoing to live as well we have for a while.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  104. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    Simple. Get the hell out of Iraq and stop hemorrhaging $3 billion a month into that black hole. Stop production of ethanol since it costs more than regular gas. Fund the FDA adequately and let them do their job. Get rid of the Resident Idiot in the White House, his vice president and every lame brained sycophant Bush has appointed to his cabinet.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  105. Andrew

    Stop the war!

    April 15, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  106. Erin in Kalamazoo

    A little personal restraint will secure more for the food supply and decrease our collective waistline!

    April 15, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  107. Ron Russell from SF

    Let's see: 4 Billion a week gets flushed down the Iraq rat hole. Gas was about half as much as it is now, before we Invaded. Does anyone see that 2+2 = 4? I know the White House tells us it's 5, but come on folks, how stupid do you have to be, not to see it?

    April 15, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  108. W B in Las Vegas

    we are exporting how much of our food overseas every year, much of it subsidized with State Department "foreign aid", and pay farmers to NOT raise some crops because of "price supports? then the public wonders WHY food prices are high?

    as the kid's say, "Well DUH!!!"

    April 15, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  109. Curtis in Philadelphia

    Jack, its just further proof, that Bush and the neo-con agenda is right on track, as they bankrupt America, destroy the middle class and create their visionary two-tiered society, where 1 or 2% have everything, and the rest are left to fend for themselves.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  110. April in texas

    Well its time to now stretch those dinners from 2 days to 3 days. I cant afford the luxury of eating something different every day. Heck it was bad when beans and rice were the meals of budgeting but even those have increased in cost just as milk and eggs. We need change!

    Obama 08

    April in Austin Texas

    April 15, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  111. Ron in Springfield, Il.

    I wonder if Clinton/Bush hadn't pushed NAFTA and helped big business ship all our jobs to China and India, would the price of oil be lower? Third world countries would sure be using less oil. Lower demand might have kept oil prices down and therefore, food prices. Sounds like I'm putting America first.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  112. Paula Duvall, New Mexico

    High food prices are, indeed, a concern, but, from the looks of some of the backsides of people, which I see everyday, it may be just the ticket to whip this country, literally, into shape! Some of us would do well to lay-off the creamy, fatty, lard-producing tasties...and, opt for more veggies and fruit...period.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  113. Sharon, Seattle

    My answer is wait. Prices can get high if there's bad weather, high demand and short supplies. It's not a constant and there should be some easing of the prices and supply levels.

    Fuel and transportation costs definitely add to the problem and I sure don't see this easing any time soon.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  114. Brian

    Tough one, Jack! The majority of us are probably going to have to tighten our belts. One way for some might be to stop spending money on all these ridiculous diets. How much do we spend on the diet industry annually? Billions, I think. And, we are still getting fatter, less fit and only our wallets are losing weight. We have been spoiled for too long and should be doing more to help the poorer folk at home as well as more aid to abroad. Maybe, if we were out of Iraq we could save some money and invest in real food production research. We'll probably just discover that all our concerns about biofuels are actually driving up prices and we are still not changing the carbon balance.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  115. vernon

    hi jack i can't give you the exact reasons for the price in food but the iraq boondoggle has alot to do with it.the bush admunistration has the most to blame for this mess we're in.i also think the high rise in oil prices are alot to blame and guess who's family wealth is based on oil?.we must develop an alternitive power source.how much money do we owe china?there was a time when the u.s. was the richest country in the world,where did all the money go?

    April 15, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  116. Tom from Boston, Mass.

    Three things. First, despite all the rhetoric we are not making significant strides to become truly energy independent (i.e., not reliant on foreign oil). Second, antiquated and ridiculous laws that actually encourage farmers not to grow crops or grow the "wrong" crops (i.e., corn). And third, the "ethanol" fantasy that only fools think is the answer to our problems when in actuality it is incredible energy-intensive to produce and is driving up the price of other crops as more and more farmers grow corn for this purpose. The answer is clear: we need to embrace truly efficient sources of energy (e.g., solar, wind, hydrogen) to both return our farming policies to sanity and dramatically reduce the cost of transporting food.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  117. Colleen Brooks, Charlotte, NC

    Duh! Get out of Iraq! It is the answer to everything! When will we understand!

    April 15, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  118. Justin, Chicago

    How about we start paying farmers to grow more food instead of paying them to not grow anything and then we 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.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  119. wildwillie fr: CA

    jack,cheap oil for food program which help out american farmers which make oil and food abundant ended with Bush. In short, is to trade the start the oil flow out of Iraq through Jordan for food by ending the WAR..

    April 15, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  120. Ronald

    Systemic solutions: We can't keep burning food in automobiles! (Biofuels). All farm subsidies should immediately be stopped. When the government pays farmers to NOT plant, then there's a problem.

    Personal solutions: I need to loose a little weight anyway.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  121. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    I travel the country regularly on business. In recent years, ethanol plants are springing up like dandelions. I think the idea of 'bio-fuels' makes sense ... but maybe they could fuel them with garbage, switch grasses, and other vegetation ... and allow food to be consumed as food!

    April 15, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  122. Ralph at NYC

    Jack, the answer is use the money we are funneling into Iraq to help those who are providing the food, such as the farmers. It would be nice to use the money to improve our schools and our bridges, for example, but I feel easing the monetary burdens of the consumer takes priority

    April 15, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  123. Deborah from a disenfranchised person in Florida

    Thats called free market. You can't blame the farmers and believe me they do not make as much money as he CEO on Wallstreet

    April 15, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  124. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    Wait until you see prices after Lou Dobbs and Co. get rid of all the foreigners. You think a tomato is expensive now, see what happens when it is picked by Teamsters.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  125. David in Raleigh, NC

    This run up in food costs is being driven by the use of corn to make Ethanol.

    We should be using non food items to make Ethanol like Brazil. Unfortunately, the corn lobby in the midwest is forcing Ethanol makers to use corn to make Ethanol.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  126. JD

    Congratulations folks. We are living in a new chapter of American history.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  127. Brian in PA

    I'm sure the CEOs of ConAgra and Archer,Daniels-Midland aren't crying over record profits. They make more off of corn being sold to create ethanol and high fructose corn syrup than that sold for general consumption. The same is true for soy beans.

    However, the weather, greater demand in China and India, and drought in Australia play some role.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  128. Nicki

    In America, the problem is the cost of fuel and an energy policy that's focused on ethanol - it drives up grain prices. Abroad, there is a different problem: they can't afford seed and fertilizer, so they actually planted less than last year. Foreign governments and aid organizations should subsidize more seed and fertilizer so their farmers can grow enough food.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  129. Brian - Trinidad

    The escalating price of oil makes everything more expensive.The price of oil has to drop for basic human needs to be affordable.We're headed in the wrong direction.Industry is watching how consumers have caved in to high oil prices and not revolted against the obscene oil profits which are not being used to reduce our dependency on foreign oil but used to fund lavish lifestyle excesses.And they're all thinking the same thing.If the oil companies can get away with it,why can't we.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  130. Dottor Giorgio da Canicatti

    The solution to food shortages are: 1. Double or triple government subsidies for food stamps. 2. Have the billions of dollars made by the oil companies, i.e. Haliburton, Chevron, Exxon Mobile, Shell, be given over to food manufacturers and suppliers of staple food products, to freely distribute to varied towns and cities that are suffering all over America. Furthermore, many more needed jobs will be created to fill the unemployment crunch. 3. Expand food programs in all schools,and those like "Meals on Wheels", but improve the food quality beyond neurotoxic tuna fish, and fat filled bologna sandwiches. 4. Ask the new Pope Ratzinger for the Catholic church's help. Ask Benjamin Netanyahoo (since his brother had attended Harvard) for Israel philantrophic help. 5. Hope that George W. Bush and his entire cabinet successfully choke on peanuts this time!

    April 15, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  131. Mary Steele

    LOWER GAS PRICES!

    Mary Steele
    Yorktown VA

    April 15, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  132. Steve

    Eat more rice and beans

    April 15, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  133. MR. J

    Jack
    I had this argument several years ago. I told several farmers that were planting corn instead of wheat, oats, and beans, it was a short fix. That it would drive up the prices of feed and in turn drive up the price of beef, pork, and poultry. They laughed and told me your not a farmmer what do you know about it. I know ethonal is a poor choise of fuels bennifiting only a few. Most farmmers do what is best for thier bottom line not whats best for the eviorment or any one else.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  134. Darren S.

    Eat less and buck it up for Bush's Iraq blunder.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  135. Chris Augustine

    Jack, I think we missed the boat on keeping food prices in check. In 2000, we needed a president who would invest in alternative fuels, not warmongering, dishonesty and treason. (Yeah, I said it, treason. And it's about time more people wake up and start calling it what it is.) Our response to 9/11 should have been double-pronged. First, we should have sent 100K troops to Afghanistan to make a real effort at getting Osama. Second, we should have spent the money we spent in Iraq on developing alternative fuels so we could sever our subversive ties to those oil (and terrorist) producing countries once and for all. But instead, we're going to spend $1 trillion dollars because George Jr. wanted to be able to call himself a "war president."

    The only way to bring food prices back down is to solve the oil crisis so that transportation costs less, and we're almost 8 years behind...and I'm sure some would say we're even further behind than that.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  136. Robert Las Vegas,Nv.

    The cost of government Which does nothing to help .Farm subsidies paid to acreage no longer used for farming.Food based ethenol.the Brazilian do it with sugar cane ,thats a grass.figure some other way to produce it. When corn is cheap so are,beef.pork,poultry,and dairy products.Whitch would you rather pay higher prices for,FOOD or FUEL.That seems to be our choice...

    April 15, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  137. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    Start massive new infrastucture projects in the Southwestern States, which evaporates then re-condensed water taken in from the Gulf and the Pacific which is designed to boost greenhouse irrigation and hyrdoponic agriculture. Pump water volumes that top a major river. Use only solar, tidal, geothermal, alternate or return hydro, and wind energy to accomplish this.

    Add fish farm pond onto the reservoirs and leave fish runs for new or returning spawn.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  138. Renee

    Since we are all overweight and fat, maybe we will wake up.
    Attack on the dinner table = BITTER

    April 15, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  139. Shirley

    Beans, rice and cornbread.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  140. roger dowdle lockhart, tx

    The gov't needs to quit paying farmers for not growing- also, stop the farm tax breaks to corporate farming- the myth of the small independant farmer is largely gone. If more farmers were taken off the gov't subsidies, and had to plant more crops, it would probably increase the crop yield, and drop prices. The problem is they would have to work for their money.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  141. JimM from TN

    Many factors are involved here. From the weather, minimum wage hike,and fuel prices.

    And let us not forget Lou Dobbs insistence not to allow immigrants in to take jobs at extremely low wages from Americans who do relly want them whatever the wages. These jobs are hard work, not a good choice for people that can get welfare that pays them almost that much.

    FUEL FUEL FUEL FUEL or is it FUEL?

    April 15, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  142. Karen - Branson MO

    Learn to cook differently and more creatively, learn to shop differently, stop buying so much pre-made dinners. Summer's almost here...buy from local farmers. Learn to patio garden for things like tomatoes, zuchinni, lettuce/cabbage, etc.

    milk is a must have, so that price shouldn't be cut, however, there's other food choices that are not so costly....and McDonald's is NOT cheaper than making your own.

    As for ethanol, the billions of dollars the oil companies suck out of us could go toward the ethanol and sell it along with the gas.

    And for goodness sake...take your OWN reusable bags to the grocery store. One of our stores gives 3 cents off each their store's reusable bag used instead of the plastic or paper bags. Plastic and paper bags are part of the grocer's costs and passed along to you in the food prices (they're not actually "free in the long run). Besides, you'd also be reducing oil consumption (yes it takes oil to make those bags) not to mention saving some our forest and protecting the environment. Something as simple as the bags effects: food price, oil consumption, deforestation). How simple is that?

    April 15, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  143. Ralph, Long Island, NY

    Unbelievable wealth exists on this planet in the hands of a very small percentage of the people. I suppose enough of us aren't poor enough yet for any change to happen.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  144. chryssa

    The answer is SIMPLIFY. Americans are spoiled when it comes to food. We want everything restaurant-quality, all ingredients included, quick-and-easy and in a pretty box. We need to learn how to grow our own food, prepare dishes from scratch, and how to budget for weeks at a time, using yesterday's leftover potatoes in tomorrow's casserole. You know – take some tips from the 1950s.

    In addition, Americans need to get their financial priorities in order. If you can't afford food, how do you justify $100 a month on cable? Do you really need 3 vehicles? It's time to suck it up and face reality.

    Boise, Idaho

    April 15, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  145. Roger Jones

    Food prices are being driven upwards by this deteriorating economy. Distributors are having to pay obscene prices for fuel and the green folks so bent on biodiesel as a substitute have driven grain prices up so that chicken is $8 a pound, milk is more expensive than gasoline, and other grain products are out of sight. Im one of those small town "bitter" people, whose income is declining, taxes rising, and dont see and end in site. Hopefully Sen. Obama will win the nomination, the presidency and we will get out of Iraq and use that money to rebuild our economy and our nation.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  146. wally rehmann in las Vegas

    the answer is watching people on s.s. starve to death because there cost of living increase doesnt consider the rise in food prices. they are given increases based on core inflation ,food, gas increases are not considered. i cant figure out what the core increase is, i dont think they want me to know. we get further behind everyday. i cant afford hamberger any more! i bet you dont print this its to truthful..............

    April 15, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  147. Nuwan Sam

    Boot Bush and his administration perhaps. Seems like people of Haiti are much braver than Americans who still support this cowboy in the White House. Bad econmic, environement and foriegn policies of this administration is affecting not only this country but the whole world. Whatever the answere is, it is not going to happen soon enough and a lot of people in this country and the world is going to die of starvation. That is truely pathetic.

    Nuwan from Houston, TX

    April 15, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  148. Melanie, Lake Wales, FL

    I was told by friends in France that they have the same issue. Honestly, the rising of gas prices are affecting each area of the economy, including food. Some of the foods we consume is imported from other countries, and therefore the rising prices of gas affect the price on food.

    Sad but true!

    April 15, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  149. dave walker...n. dartmouth,ma.

    Stop the monopolies of the oil companies. Revive the windfall profits tax. Abolish any and all ridiculous tax breaks given to these corporate thieves. Mend fences with Venezuela and hopefully we can erase the raping of the American economy and its people.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  150. Karen

    Have the goverment stop subsidies for the farmers. Refer to David Beckmann seen on the Bill Moyers program, April 11th. We are paying farmers not to plant while prices are going up, people are starving but our government pays for empty fields. It doesn't make sense to me or to the starving people in the world.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  151. Mwita (Los Angeles, CA)

    Smuggle in food from Mexico.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  152. Nicole from Houston

    I'm not sure, but I'm certain we can't afford to send $200 million in aid overseas. What about the hungry right here in our country? We have children that don't get meals until their school lunch and moms that go without to feed their children.

    Sorry if I sound bitter, but I am!

    Nicole from Houston

    April 15, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  153. Brian, Columbia, Md.

    Freedom fries. For all the money we've spent on them (and continue to spend), we'd might as well eat them.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  154. Tom McMahon

    Its getting ugly out there Jack,

    You sure are correct. Wholesale prices are rising, food cost soaring, the price of oil keeps hitting new highs every week. Small towns and large towns, cities, state governments and the federal government all are running deficets higher than ever before. Everybody screams for tax breaks, but everyone complains about having to pay more for everyday services than ever before. I hate to be the doomsayer but the EEC is not going to be buying more junk funds like wall street has peddled them the last few years including the sub prime mortgage scams.The Chinese are starting to cash in their T Bills they bought to help finance the Iraq war. The federal Reserve bank cannot keep cutting rates because inflation will rear its ugly head more than it is already. Can you say depression, well my freind that what is facing the United States of America now the richest 1% own over 95% of the nations wealth and the middle class has been screwed by the government maybe it won't be just a depression but a revolution I am a die hard liberal and for me every liberal in America should start requesting gun permits, maybe if 30 million of us wanted the rights to bear arms the idiots in Washington would stand up and notice that we are tired and sick of their BS.

    April 15, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  155. Jason Tobin

    The answer to increasing cost of food is easy. Give up oil as the primary fuel for transportation and heating.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  156. Mari, Salt Lake City

    Jack, I don't have any answers, I am just glad that our children have good jobs and an education. The people, I worry about are the poor and working-class they are the ones who will be hit hard.

    I suppose the only answer, is alternative fuel. The cost of processing and shipping food has gone up and that cost is being passed to the consumer.

    Another idea is for us, ALL, to agree to conserve fuel. How about if we all decided that we will not drive one day each week, imagine the surplus of fuel and how the price will drop with less demand!

    April 15, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  157. Ms MN

    Go on a diet.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  158. john ............................................ marlton, nj

    Change the funding model for those impacted by the higher prices as follows:
    Limit the amount of food stamps to obese people and restrict the use of food stamps for “prepared” frozen meals, brand name sodas and chips, high end cuts of meats, premium ice creams, and other items when the corresponding ingredients or generic (store brand) are a third of the price.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  159. Ray in West Chester, PA

    Here in the US, you're probably looking at three contributing factors:
    (1) Energy costs; (2) Using food crops for energy; (3) Devaluation of the dollar which is fueling inflation.
    RE: (1) McCain has suggested temporarily eliminating the Fed Tax on fuel. I would suggest only eliminating the tax on fuel sold which is directly used in food production or transportation. Otherwise, decreasing the cost of fuel will just increase its overall usage.
    RE: (2) Let's stop pushing Ethanol from corn. We need the corm for food for people and livestock.
    RE: (3) The government has to be more reflective about lowering interest rates to bail out the housing markets if the unintended consequence is the growth of overl inflation which really hurts the poor and those on fixed incomes.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  160. Ray Dean

    There is no anwser, the bible says that there will be a day when you will get a days meal for a days wage. That day may be sooner than latter.

    Ray Dean
    Arkansas

    April 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  161. kathleenthhompsongonzalez

    The Bush tax cuts were supposed to stimulate the economy. This is McCain's rationale for making them permanent.

    It's not looking all that stimulated. I think the top one per cent just wants as much money as they can get their hands on and the rest of the 99% can suffer.

    I believe all the talking heads are in that top one per cent, so I suspect most would prefer a McCain presidency. The media controls more than we realize.

    I believe the media did not help Gore, pounded the drums into Iraq and worked hard to smear Kerry.

    Who wants Obama to win in Pennsylvania? And Hillary to concede on April 23? CNN? MSNBC? Who is eager to have this race over?

    Not the networks whose ratings are through the roof.
    Not Wolf, or Chris or David with his new show.
    None of the Republiccans want it over!
    None of McCain's people want it over.
    Hillary and all her followers want it to go all the way to the convention.

    Only a few polite Obama supporters think it would be good for the Democrats, for Obama, for the country and for the world, to have Obama get the nomination.

    So the media is pulling out all the stops to trash Obama.

    What about Nafta?
    The Ohio win by withholding WH records.
    Mark Penn, lobbyist. If he were on Obama's team, you would be on it 24/7
    Why not cover the article about Obama's mother?
    Bill Clinton getting $800,000 for lobbying for Cafta. Imagine if that had been Michelle.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  162. Chuck in Eugene Oregon

    Jack, somewhere along the line we as a nation although struggling have to realize that our food cost as much lower than in most other countries. The problem is our spending habits and level of self indulgence has caused most of our problems. We will just have to shift our priorities. I for one switched from a vehicle to a bicycle and shoes for transportation. I also eat less now. Maybe this will help a lot of Americans loose weight, we are considered to be the fattest nation when it comes to our wieght and eating habits. We will just have to learn to eat smarter. Maybe, just maybe we will see an emergence of back yard gardens. Time to slow down some Jack and smell the roses so to speak. I have found life to be much more enjoyable and relaxing when I let go of the wheels and I am healthier for it.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  163. Ruby Coria, LA. CA.

    Jack, it all come down to the War n the War on Gas. And the worst thing is even (the pass due date bread) at the 99 cent has gone up. You still pay 99 cents but you only get 1/2 a loaf. Yikes. now I'm staring to get bitter.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  164. Deb from Lancaster, PA

    The antidote to rising food prices is a comprehensive energy policy.
    We need to stop turning corn into ethanol. It is expensive to make, the process is a highly polluting, and you still need 90 percent gasoline to run cars.
    Develop renewable energy sources to power our vehicles and our homes. Set standards for electricity generation from solar and wind. Set definitive goals for carmakers to increase hybridization.
    And, we need to get out of Iraq. This oil war is the cause of it all.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  165. Don Blue Springs, Missouri

    The rise in food cost is due to a lot of factors in our ecomony. The rise in oil prices, the rise in minium wage, and the cost of transportation. Everything to produce food has gone up and more in demand so it has to go up.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  166. Bob

    You may not like to hear it Jack, But Bob Johnson is absolutely right!
    If Barack Obama was a white Jr. senator from Illinois named Bachman O'Oneal he would have been gone after New Hampshire. The media has been behind every step of the way, dogging Clinton and McCain.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  167. Eugene in Northern California

    Jack, here's three reasons why the price of food is so high. Gas, Gas, Gas. We have no realistic energy policy and the Administration has left us, to the mercy, of the oil companies. Corporate greed is not only starving the nation but ruining our economy as well. Let's ask our congress to help. I mean that as a joke Jack.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  168. Lou Lasser

    Stop using an acre of corn to produce a gallon of fuel – and start using rice.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  169. Pete, Fla.

    Well the obvious answer would be to grow more crops and breed more cows, but I'm sure you want the non-obvious answer Jack. We could finally accept cloned cows, which according to scientists is perfectly safe. But being the stubborn people we are, we might as well learn from the fish, and just start filter feeding.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  170. J D Grassey

    When are you libs gonna wake up and recognize the inconvenient truth of liberal social programs. Raise minimum wage...prices go up. Scare the crap out of everyone and start an ethanol craze..price of corn/food go up (nevermind that Mr. Gore and his ilk are making millions investing in so called green companies). Raise taxes (and it's coming if the Dems win in November) and yep more price increase. Have the government continually lower interest rates and devalue the dollar...you guessed it prices go up. Lastly next time you're on the road note the percentage of cars that have one person in them, so far this month during my commute it's been running at about 83%. If demand is up guess what...refineries can't keep up (thank your local "environmentalist" for no new refineries) and you guessed it gas goes up and consequently so does food prices.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  171. Denny in San Antonio, Texas

    We can bring down the cost of food if we bring back the farming industry from the overseas markets to America. I say no to the free trade agreement, we can grow our own food. And while we are at it, bring back our young folks, so they can work the land and grow our food instead of building up Iraq and increasing that country's surplus. We need to lower the cost of oil and come up with incentive programs for our farmers to implement new technology for farming. We need to stop talking about all this stupid political mud-slinging and sling mud on our farmland. We need to tell the truth about our gas prices and not tell America about some silly "holiday" gas tax break. It is all in empowering the people to get the government to move in the right direction before we are starving and people from other parts of the world have to start sending our poor folks food. The cable news network have more power than you realize - use it. I like this question. Let's dig in and grow more stuff like this. We'll eat it up!

    April 15, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  172. Kimberly

    Soylent Green anyone?

    Seriously, Stop this ridiculous war and put the billions and billions of money being spent back into our economy!!!

    April 15, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  173. Ken

    Mr. Johnson is just tellng the obvious truth! Senator Obama has proven to be a racist and an elitist "Bitter" comment! Senator Obama is unworthy to be President of the United States, and certainly not with my vote!

    April 15, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  174. JAB

    To me it seems immoral to cause more people to starve just because we want to divert our corn to fuel to run our SUV's.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  175. Heidi, Iona, ID

    The answer is that Amercians need to learn how to live within their means. $542 per month is plenty of money to feed a family. Half the people on this planet don't even make that much in two months. When I lived in Colombia I ate a lot of rice and yuca. When I was a college student I ate a lot of ramen noodles. It isn't luxurious and it doesn't taste as good as prime rib but it is definitely feasible.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  176. ken

    "Gas Or Food", Lets See Here........

    April 15, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  177. Danny from Gardner Kansas

    There is not much we can do about the gas prices forcing up the food prices. But what we all can do is start gardens, and consevere energy. Our fathers and mothers did it in world war two. Demand would go down and so would prices.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  178. Shafi Alam

    Shafi Alam
    Austin, Texas

    I heard in the news that the main reasons for food prices going high are increasing population, more uses of crops like making bio-fuels (ethanol), and climate change. Increasing population is also taking lands away. The United States have much uncultivated land. If more lands are cultivated, it can bring down the prices. Price of flour in Japan went up with USA. So if by any means the price of food can be brought down in this country, it may help the whole world. US government and congress can make a rule that the industries using corn and other crops for making bio-fuel, themselves must produce crops in barren or uncultivated land.

    April 15, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  179. Tom

    Look for the ROOT CAUSE! What is different than before? Does it have to do with GREEN ENERGY attempts such as corn-for-ethanol replacing wheat?

    April 15, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  180. Bill

    Jack, That's an easy question, You simply open a grocery store! That's why Bush and Cheney aren't concerned with oil prices. They don't buy it , they sell it !!!!
    And by the way, the moment you graduate from Yale or Harvard, you are an " Elitist ". How about a President who graduated from a " State " school.

    Bill , NY

    April 15, 2008 at 6:26 pm |