Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Coffee Drinkers Beware

I, like millions of Americans, have been concerned about the state of our nation—falling stock market prices, the increase in unemployment, just to name the top two.

But starting today, I got a real wake-up call about our economy.  If you go to the grocery store today, don’t be surprised to find that coffee prices have soared, peanut butter is no longer a cheap alternative source of protein, and yes, even chocolate is now a delicacy.

J.M. Smucker, the maker of grocery store stalwart Folgers and of packaged varieties of Dunkin' Donuts coffee, said Tuesday that it is raising the price on most of its U.S. coffee products by 11 percent, its fourth increase in a year. Kraft Foods and Peet's Coffee and Tea also have recently raised their prices for brewed and packaged coffee, according to a report in the News Observer. http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/05/27/1229548/coffee-prices-rising.html

This is a nationwide crisis for blue and white-collar workers who need that jump-start for their day. And why the increase? Higher temperatures, long droughts followed by intense rainfall and crop diseases have reduced coffee supplies dramatically in recent years. For example, between 2002 and 2011, Indian coffee production declined by nearly 30 percent, says the UCS. http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/articles/2011/10/23/coffee_chocolate_endangered_foods/

Coffee giant Starbucks is reacting by “entering the cold-pressed juice bar business, as reported by the New York Post recently.”

Rising temperatures in West Africa are to blame for the increase in cocoa prices, and a super hot summer is the culprit for the dismal peanut crop.

“US Environmental Protection Act (EPA) says that crops that are currently near ‘climate thresholds' like wine grapes in California are likely to suffer a decrease in yields and quality,” according to the boston.com article.

While some of this news does not affect me directly, I’m very concerned. I don’t drink coffee, but my husband does, and life will not be good here in this house if he doesn’t have his morning brew. He came home yesterday with two cans to stockpile.

I don’t eat peanut butter, but my grandchildren do. But now chocolate is another story. Every woman knows the importance of chocolate—one of the major food groups.

Oh dear, what if this happens to Diet Cokes? My daughter posted this graphic (see right) on my Facebook page for me to use when expressing love to my children, friends and family. 

 I’m not being flippant about this news. I know that coffee and chocolate are not survival commodities, but peanut butter, for some, is. I just know these things sure do make life more pleasurable.

I say continue the drink coffee and cut out something less important to your mood and family harmony.

No comments:

Post a Comment