Should U.S. food media focus on how the Ukraine conflict will jack up prices here?
There’s a tendency in U.S. media to look at various global catastrophes and distill them to the most self-interested set of potential consequences. Case in point: a rash of stories focused on the sticker shock Americans might encounter in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Far be it from us to belittle the significance of rising food prices or a struggling supply chain. But … that said, with death tolls mounting and chatter about nuclear brinksmanship floating around, headlines like “Ukraine invasion roils grain markets,” replete with hand wringing about what this means for your supermarket experience, can read a bit insensitive, myopic even. Take this well-intentioned article in The Washington Post, looking at the possible supply chain effects of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Emphasizing that “grocery manufacturers are concerned” is a surefire way to reveal some tunnel vision in the midst of a fresh and deadly conflict. But as fellow members of the very same food and agriculture beat, it gives us no pleasure to inform you: Bread and vegetable oil prices seem very likely to rise. —Jesse Hirsch