As Americans sit down to their Thanksgiving meals, they will notice that many of the dishes on their plates are more costly than last year. Particularly pie. The climate change has also been a contributor.
Food products are also affected by inflation. Many of the ingredients used in holiday pie crusts have suffered from droughts, floods, and fires. This has led to a shortage and higher prices.
The crust is one example. The wheat prices have risen more than 10% since last month, bringing them to their highest point since 2012. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the severe droughts in the U.S. West and Northern Plains have caused the lowest wheat production for nearly 20 years.
Alfalfa and wheat are both more expensive, which causes milk prices to increase. During droughts, cows produce less milk.
Next, there is the filling.
Between the heat and drought, the year in the Pacific Northwest was a disaster. According to Michael Swanson (Wells Fargo’s agriculture economist), we saw that many of the things they do well, such as cherries and apples, suffered a major drop in production.
Due to the shortage of pumpkins, they are more expensive. This fall, the average pumpkin price was 15% higher.
Even honey. Honeybees were left starving after wildfires in West. In the last two years, honeybee colonies of states such as California, Colorado, Montana, and Utah lost almost half of their population due to diseases, starvation, and unusual weather.
The same goes for imports. Due to flooding and severe weather, prices for Madagascar vanilla and Brazil chocolate are on the rise.
“Now, we are more worried about floods and freezes occurring in China than in Brazil. Swanson stated that we cannot run or hide from severe weather events worldwide because they are all part of our food chain.
The Pie Shop, Washington, D.C., is full of Thanksgiving orders. The prices are rising, as well.
Sandra Basanti has been the Shop owner for 12 years along with her husband.
Basanti works hard to source local ingredients in order to cut costs. Large items such as flour, sugar and egg must however be ordered from bulk distributors. Basanti also creates savory pies, which require beef. The cost for that as well is increasing.
It is a difficult time for her small business.
“Usually, Thanksgiving is when you can save some money for winter. She said that this year she isn’t so certain we will be financially profitable.
Basanti claimed that her prices have increased by about 10% in 12 years. However, this does not cover recent increases in her production cost. Basanti said that she doesn’t plan to increase prices right now because “there’s only so many you can charge for one pie.”