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Food prices are going up — and at levels Americans haven't seen in decades

"All food prices are now predicted to increase between 4.5 and 5.5%," the USDA's Economic Research Service explained in the March report.
STEFANI REYNOLDS
/
AFP via Getty Images
"All food prices are now predicted to increase between 4.5 and 5.5%," the USDA's Economic Research Service explained in the March report.

The United States Department of Agriculture released an update to its Food Price Outlook for 2022 and found that nearly everything one might ingest – whether it comes from the grocery store or restaurant – is going up in price.

And yes, that's on top of the price increases consumers have already been forced to endure in the last year.

"All food prices are now predicted to increase between 4.5 and 5.5%," the USDA's Economic Research Service explained in the March report.

While the overall increase is alarming, a closer look at various food categories show just how expensive shoppers can expect items to get, according to the USDA:

  • Beef and veal: +16.2%
  • Pork: +14%
  • Poultry: +12.5%
  • Fish and seafood: +10.4%
  • Eggs: +11.4%
  • Dairy: +5.2%
  • Fats and oils: +11.7%
  • Fresh fruits: +10.6%
  • Fresh vegetables: +4.3%
  • Processed fruits and vegetables: +7.6%
  • Sugars and sweets: +7%
  • Cereals and bakery products: +7.8%
  • As for take-out or dine-in menus, the USDA said those prices are predicted to go up between 5.5 and 6.5% for the remainder of this year.

    Additionally, food prices climbed 7.9% for the year ending in February 2022.

    This was "the largest 12-month advance since July 1981," according to the department.

    The report also noted current global events that will only add to the uncertainty of food affordability, saying, "The impacts of the conflict in Ukraine and the recent increases in interest rates by the Federal Reserve are expected to put upward and downward pressures on food prices, respectively. The situations will be closely monitored to assess the net impacts of these concurrent events on food prices as they unfold."

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.

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