Why is the cost of food rising so fast? The answer is complicated.

The wholesale cost of food has spiked a whopping 8.3 percent since last August—the highest increase since the U.S. Labor Department began calculating wholesale food inflation in 2010, writes The Washington Post. Why have prices been rising so fast? It’s complicated. Producers and manufacturers have struggled to keep up with changing consumer demands over the course of the pandemic. Shipping issues continue to abound, including a shortage of containers. Add a drought in California, labor shortages across many industries, heat waves in the Pacific Northwest, and a scarcity of plastic for packaging due to a cold snap that shut down a number of factories last year, and what you get is a big mess. Grocery store prices could ease a little next year, the Post writes, but consumers should expect to see higher prices in many areas. 

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