Monday, November 22, 2010

Hidden Inflation: The Cost of Spoiled Food

I have noticed in recent days that the rate of near-spoiled food  that I have purchased in delis, supermarkets and restaurants has increased. A Reuben sandwich at a Kingston diner was gamy; several items purchased in a local deli were either near-spoiled when we bought them or became so within a couple of days; and pork chops that I had purchased from a local supermarket that had a date stamp of 11/23 were extremely ripe when I opened them tonight and I threw them away.  I am somewhat fussy because I have been stricken with food poisoning many times, but I don't think I'm unrealistic.

The increased rate of near-rancid food may reflect slower traffic due to reduced credit or it may reflect pressure on supermarkets due to increasing food prices that the markets have yet to pass on to consumers. Or it may be just coincidence. 

I wonder if the Bureau of Labor Statistics includes percentage of food spoiled in its food price inflation statistic.  My food bill has been significantly increased in terms of quality (the gamy Reuben sandwich)  and cash outlays because I have discarded the pork chops, a specialty rice dish and lamb sausage purchased from a deli. All have occurred in the past seven days.

This also scares me because of food supply issues. The increasing centralization of the food supply means that one tainted side of beef can infect tons of hamburger meat.  

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