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Weekly E-Letter 11/23/2017  — Are You Thankful for This?

As you sit down to your Thanksgiving meal this year, I’m guessing that perhaps you don’t think to be thankful for the cost of food in the USA. This year’s Thanksgiving meal is more affordable than ever before.

The latest price survey of typical food products on the Thanksgiving table (source the American Farm Bureau Federation) found that the cost of a typical meal went down again this year.

Feeding ten people will cost an average of $49.12, compared to last year’s cost of $49.87. The same report notes that the cost of Thanksgiving adjusted for inflation is 23% less costly now than it was in 1986. On average that means the average hourly worker has to work 2.21 hours to afford the meal vs. 3.21 hours in 1986.

So, here’s your Thanksgiving ‘food for thought’. What caused these low and falling prices? Was it just an accident? Was the weather better, creating more crops? Did farmers just produce more food for some unexplainable reason?

Nope, I don’t think so. The reason food is cheap and abundant in our country is that the free market was unhampered from producing, processing and distributing food.  Far as I know we do not need to sign in at Food.gov to buy food, and there are no federal requirements that determine which foods you must buy – and no price controls on most food items. Farmers constantly strive for greater yields and lower costs, as they look to make more money through increased harvests.

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