Farmers are getting squeezed
Last week we broke the tragic news that, thanks to climate change, coffee prices are going up, which will affect the lives of millions of farmers worldwide, not to mention the cost of your morning cup. A few readers out there probably shrugged off the scientific findings, most likely smirking to themselves about their caffeine-free existence high up in their ivory towers. “Silly coffee addicts. That’s why I never touch the stuff,” those monsters probably said. “Nope. Only all-natural morning beverages for me, like this delicious glass of orange juice. Yep, I’m super confident that nothing will shock me into a hilarious spit take.” Well, I’ve got bad news for you, bub: orange juice prices are about to rise too. Allow us to elaborate as you wipe that soon-to-be-more-expensive pulp from your mouth, your hubris deflating like a hilarious whoopee cushion.
You see, those same crazy weather patterns affecting coffee prices are also having some pretty nasty results for farmers’ orange crops and, in turn, will raise orange juice prices. The Denver Post reports that, while situations like the drought in Brazil are making it difficult for coffee beans, too much humidity is also encouraging the growth of damaging crop diseases and pests. In particular, a bug called the Asian citrus psyllid—while a great name for a jam band—is wreaking havoc across orange groves in South America and Florida. All this has led the U.S. Department of Agriculture to estimate the lowest orange juice production rates in decades.
So what is left to drink on these increasingly bleak mornings? Well, might we interest you in a large class of raw egg whites? Because, while times are tough for coffee and o.j., many other grocery items are the cheapest they’ve been in a long time. Bloomberg reports that in some places across the country, egg prices are down to barely a dollar per dozen. Overall, food prices have fallen for nine straight months, the longest streak since 2009. Many analysts are chalking it up to increased competition between supermarkets and both big box and online retailers, but note that the slashed prices, while increasing traffic, also lowers profit margins.