Thursday, May 22, 2008


For those of you who do not like to do research I will periodically post food price indices and trends. I will include reports from the UN and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Just purchased a wood pellet furnace and will do away with oil furnace. Based on current prices it will pay for itself in one year!!!!!!!!!

The FAO Food Price Index in April averaged 218.2, down marginally from 218.4 in March and still 54 percent more than in April 2007. Prices of most food commodities started to show some declines after reaching their peaks in March; but rice prices kept rising also in April. With early prospects for most basic foods pointing to generally larger production in 2008, food prices, as measured in terms of average international prices of basic food commodities, seems to be declining further in May.

The FAO Cereal Index averaged 284 in April 2008, up 20 percent since January and 92 percent more than in April 2007. While wheat prices have demonstrated some signs of weakness in recent weeks, in the maize market, prices have received support from strong demand and concerns about this year’s crop in the United States. International rice prices have increased sharply in recent months mainly as a result of export restrictions by key rice exporters.

The FAO Dairy Index averaged 266 in April 2008, down 12 percent from its peak in November 2007. In terms of products, it is the prices of milk proteins which have fallen the most, as skim milk powder prices dropped 32 percent since their peak in July 2007; butter prices have declined the least since their high in November 2007. Tight supplies from traditional exporters, strong import demand, and the exhaustion of public stocks caused an unprecedented eruption of dairy product export prices in late 2006 which has lasted through 2007.

The FAO Meat Index increased since the start of 2008 with the preliminary estimate for April 2008 at a high of 136, surpassing its previous peak in 2005. Nevertheless, meat and livestock markets have not yet experienced a price hike comparable to that for grains and dairy products, but sustained increases in production costs, notably feed, in major producing countries, which are affecting the profit margins of meat producers, suggests that meat retail prices could still rise further.

The FAO Sugar Index in the first four months of 2008 averaged 164, which is 20 percent above the corresponding value in 2007. After increasing through February, prices have come down considerably in March and April, in part due to expected global sugar surplus for the 2007/08 season. In 2007, the index averaged 129, a 32 percent drop over 2006, reflecting a recovery in sugar production in traditional importing countries.

The FAO Oils/Fats Index in the first quarter of 2008 reached 269, which is 133 points (or 98 percent) above the corresponding value in 2007. Constant expansion in the demand for vegetable oils and fats - for food uses but also as biofuel feedstock - combined with a slowdown in production growth has resulted in a gradual tightening of global supplies, leading to a surge in prices. Following steady gains since early 2007, in April 2008, the oils/fats index (as well as the comparable index for oilseeds) fell slightly compared to the record level observed in the preceding month.


Seasonally adjusted

Expenditure Compound
Category Changes from preceding month annual Un-
rate adjusted
3-mos. 12-mos.
Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. ended ended
2007 2007 2007 2008 2008 2008 2008 Apr. 2008 Apr. 2008

All items.......... .3 .9 .4 .4 .0 .3 .2 2.3 3.9
Food and beverages .2 .4 .1 .7 .4 .2 .9 6.1 5.0
Housing........... .2 .4 .3 .2 .2 .4 .3 3.7 3.0
Apparel........... .1 .6 .1 .4 -.3 -1.3 .5 -4.6 -.7
Transportation.... .3 3.5 1.0 .5 -.7 .7 -.7 -2.5 7.2
Medical care...... .5 .4 .3 .5 .1 .1 .2 1.6 4.3
Recreation........ .3 .2 .0 .2 .1 .3 -.1 1.2 1.2
Education and
communication.. .3 .0 .3 .4 .1 .3 .4 3.3 3.2
Other goods and
services....... .2 .2 .3 .4 .2 .4 .5 4.8 3.5
Special indexes:
Energy............ 1.0 6.9 1.7 .7 -.5 1.9 .0 5.6 15.9
Food.............. .2 .4 .1 .7 .4 .2 .9 6.3 5.1
All items less
food and energy .2 .2 .2 .3 .0 .2 .1 1.2 2.3

During the first four months of 2008, the CPI-U rose at a 3.0 percent
seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). This compares with an increase of
4.1 percent for all of 2007. The deceleration thus far this year reflects
smaller increases in the indexes for energy and for all items less food
and energy. The index for energy advanced at a 6.3 percent SAAR in the
first four months of 2008 compared with 17.4 percent in 2007. Petroleum-
based energy costs decreased at a 0.7 percent annual rate while charges
for energy services rose at a 17.7 percent annual rate. The food index
has increased at a 6.9 percent SAAR thus far this year, following a 4.9
percent rise for all of 2007. Excluding food and energy, the CPI-U
advanced at a 1.8 percent SAAR in the first four months, following a 2.4
percent rise for all of 2007.

The food and beverages index rose 0.9 percent in April. The index
for food at home increased 1.5 percent, following a 0.2 percent rise in
March. Each of the six major grocery store food groups contributed to the
larger advance in April. The index for fruits and vegetables, which rose
0.1 percent in March, increased 2.0 percent in April. The indexes for
fresh fruits and for processed fruits and vegetables increased 3.2 and 3.4
percent, respectively, while the index for fresh vegetables declined 0.2
percent. The index for cereal and bakery products, which increased 1.3
percent in March, rose 1.4 percent in April. Prices for bread increased
1.5 percent and were 14.1 percent higher than a year earlier. The index
for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, which was virtually unchanged in
March, advanced 0.9 percent in April. A 1.1 percent decline in beef
prices was more than offset by increases in the indexes for pork, for fish
and seafood, and for poultry--up 3.4, 2.6, and 0.7 percent, respectively.
The index for dairy products turned up in April, increasing 1.2 percent.
Milk prices rose 0.9 percent and were 13.5 percent higher than in April
2007. The index for nonalcoholic beverages increased 1.7 percent,
reflecting large price increases for coffee and for carbonated drinks--up
4.0 and 2.2 percent, respectively. The index for other food at home rose
1.9 percent in April, reflecting large increases in most categories. In
particular, the indexes for butter and for margarine increased 7.8 and 6.5
percent, respectively. The other two components of the food and beverages
index--food away from home and alcoholic beverages--increased 0.3 and 0.6
percent, respectively.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


When a government willfully allows its peopole to die because of either direct action or inaction, that is genocide.

When will the people of the world learn the lesson that dictatorial regimes that wantonly kill is not acceptable? We failed to hear the message of the Holocost; we failed to hear the cries in Africa; we failed to hear the cries in Serbia, Cambodia, Sudan and now we fail to hear the cries in Burma. What happens when there is no one left to cry?

Humanity is not indestructable. Failing to take responsibility for our future means that other forces will do it for us - the picture is not a pretty one. Who cares about the Burmese junta? Who cares if they do not want aid workers? What will they do if the world helps despite their protest? It is not like they are a superpower. Will China really step in to aid the Burmese government and come down on the side of letting hundreds of thousands die just before the start of the Olympics?

The leaders of the world should hang their heads in shame at their inaction, their lack of courage, their lack of humanity. Their are those who predict that 2012 will be a time of reckoning. Their are those who see 2012 as a moment of Great Awakening. The decisions the world makes now will determine the outcome. We sow our seeds and at the moment, the harvest looks bleak!

Saturday, May 10, 2008


In an interview with Dyan Garris, Author, Money and Manifesting I asked her some questions about manifesting in a time when everyone is thinking scarcity. This is my second interview with her since the topic has gained renewed importance as food, oil and gas prices have begun to skyrocket. People trying to use the Law of Attraction in the current “recession” are trying to ease financial burdens. Dyan note’s that for many, nothing is happening. She says, “It is not enough to think positively, repeat affirmations and attract positive energy. We must implement and integrate this leaning.” In her new book, Dyan talks about belief systems that are impediments to a life of abundance. Factors such as fear, the duality of consciousness, karma, the concept of entitlement, the illusion of separateness, the illusion of limitation and of time are keys to understanding why efforts at manifestation fail. In truth, we manifest all of the time. We may not like what we manifest, but we must take responsibility for “all” that is in our life. With opening our internal energy centers, Chakras, as part of the real secret, Dyan and I talked about many of these issues.

Q. It is said we are a product of our past. Actually, some would say the past dictates the future. What, in your opinion, are the major obstacles in one’s past that need to be overcome or “deleted” to effectively free our minds to pursue our own dreams?

A. From a different point of view it can be said that there is no past and there is no future. It depends on how one conceptualizes time. I will, however, answer your question in terms of earthbound perspective. To effectively move forward on the path, we need to look at belief systems that were taught to us as a foundation and study where those belief systems came from in the first place and why we believe them. The biggest obstacles in this arena are fear, the concept of money as it relates to self-worth, and the illusion of limitation. Any fear based belief system is an obstacle to moving forward, because fear keeps us stuck. Also, keep in mind that freeing our minds is just one step in pursuing our dreams. We don’t create with just the power of our minds.

Q. To what extent do you feel that religious beliefs prevent people from utilizing the LOA?

A. I can see that to some extent people may feel that the Law of Attraction is not simpatico with their religious beliefs. If the religious concern about utilizing the Law of Attraction has to do with “God providing,” then people could try to understand that The Law of Attraction is a universal law, sort of like gravity. It isn’t a religious thing. It simply is. If we’re looking at a religious belief that teaches “money is the root of all evil” or the “pursuit of money is evil,” I could see how that could get in a person’s way. But it isn’t really money that’s evil. Money is simply a means of exchange. It’s the glorifying of the money that’s at the heart of the religious objection. Wherever one’s religious beliefs or any beliefs are fear-based, this gets in the way of moving forward in any direction. It is important to understand that in general, and right now the manner in which the Law of Attraction is being utilized is as a warped distortion of what the ego wants, rather than what God wants. The Law of Attraction is not meant to be used by itself as a way to get what one wants. It’s one step in the process of manifesting. The Law of Attraction works best when one’s own will is first aligned with universal/God’s will.

Q. How does one overcome these beliefs?

A. Most people think that by making a change this will change their entire foundation and completely shake up who they think they are. This is not so. But it isn’t really a matter of overcoming one’s religious beliefs. It’s a matter of overcoming fear. And in order to do that, one would have to get to the very root of the fear and then have a desire to not be afraid. So it isn’t that you chuck your religious beliefs. It’s that you incorporate the truth instead of fear. You open your mind to endless possibilities and realize that we’re living in an illusion. No matter what the religious beliefs are the truth is that fear and love cannot exist in the same place. We cannot serve two masters, so to move forward we need to pick one. It’s really a matter of being willing to align your free will with your universal purpose and be willing to get out of your illusions. The concept of “lack” did not originate from “God.”

Q. How does a person deal with the pressures of church, family, friends and even the media when it comes to altering ingrained belief systems.

A. You give yourself permission to just be who you are and do whatever it is you came here to do. You give yourself permission to move past the illusion of limitations that don’t even belong to you in the first place. If your concept of self-worth is not coming from the outside, you are capable of validating your own parking ticket.

Q. We believe we are sick, sinners, the product of our environment and society. How do people effectively end the reign of “dogmatic terror?”

A. We need to examine why we persist in believing in the concepts of fear-based and punishing beliefs regarding religion. We are here to learn about love and grow and we have chosen to believe in this illusion and other illusions that give us room to learn and grow. What we believe certainly has dominion over us. Ending the reign of “dogmatic terror” becomes a matter of choosing to believe what is true rather than what is illusion.

Q. In order or rank, please list the major obstacles (and reasons) people need to overcome to master control of their lives.

A. 1. Fear – Nothing is created from a place of fear. The power is in the love.
2. Fear of losing money and possessions – We have convinced ourselves that we need money and possessions to survive. If we didn’t have these we would figure out a different way to exchange and a different way to live. There is nothing to be afraid of.
3. The illusion of limitation – If we believe that we cannot, then we cannot. If we believe that money is going to solve all our problems and we will just wait until we win the lottery or have enough of it to live life on our terms, then we truly have missed the point of our lives.

Q. Is it necessary to alter the social paradigm of lack and scarcity for an individual to achieve manifestation success? How do they combat the constant onslaught of negative media regarding how “bad” things are?

A. Change that affects everyone does actually begin on an individual level. So those mastering manifestation individually are already helping to shift the entire paradigm. Eventually that shift ripples into mass consciousness and begins to shift on a collective level. It helps to examine at a basic level what we are really afraid of. Are we afraid of not having houses and cars? And why? Fear is a vibration that emanates and permeates. An individual can achieve manifestation success by first understanding that the Law of Attraction is a function of the mind and understanding that is but one step in the process. Combating the negative onslaught becomes a matter of what you are willing to vibrate to and what you are willing to invest your energy in.

Q. How does one manifest abundance when “everyone” says there is lack?

A. Abundance depends on how you define it. There are different forms of abundance. One could actually manifest an abundance of lack. Belief systems shape reality. By not “buying in” to lack, you’re not investing in it. If you aren’t invested in it, you can’t “lose” anything. People need to learn to co-create. It’s how we are intrinsically and biologically designed to create. At the point that you’re consciously co-creating and living in synchronicity, “lack” is an illusion.
I would encourage all who seek to fend of the “sling and arrows” of outrageous food and gas prices to read Dyan’s book. There is no scarcity, only the belief in scarcity will keep you from sharing in the abundance that “appears” reserved for the few.

Q. Most people never heard of Chakras, how do you overcome the notion that this is some strange eastern concept that is not appropriate to the western thought? Even the Dali Llama has said people in the West should not adopt a Buddhist way of thinking and yet that is what you are suggesting. Is there anything in Western thought that would correspond to the whole concept of energy centers that would be more “appetizing” to the average person?

A. I find it sad that spiritual and religious leaders still believe in and promulgate the illusion of separation. However, what the Dali Lama said here is probably taken out of context. I’ve been seeing Chakras since I was a small child. At the time I just didn’t have a word, label, or category for what I was seeing. I’m not a Buddhist. And as a child it never occurred to me to label Chakras as East or West. Our labels are taught to us. The concept of energy centers is very simple. We have our physical bodies. We have our spiritual bodies, our aura, and that includes our Chakras. To me it’s like saying that teeth are part of a different or strange way of thinking. Teeth are teeth. Chakras are Chakras. Everything has its purpose. Just as an arm or a leg is part of the physical body, Chakras are simply part of the spiritual body.
Part of the purpose of Chakras is to provide the connection between your physical reality and your soul. If you truly didn’t understand the function of an arm or a leg, you might think it was a strange thing. But when you learned that this really had a specific function and you learned to use it in a way that helps you, then perhaps it would cease to seem so odd. And most importantly, in order for us to move forward as a species, West really needs to meet East in an integrative effort. It’s what we’re currently trying to learn on individual levels in the guise of manifesting. That’s what’s going to shift everything ultimately, “integration.”

Q. People’s social, political, spiritual, moral and ethical values are very scattered and disjointed these days. You want people to integrate body, mind and spirit. Keep it simple, how do people do that in an age where everything is changing so rapidly?
A. We do that simply by remembering who we are and what we came here to do.

Each person who posts a comment on any or all of the blog tour spots will be entered in a random drawing for a copy of Dyan Garris’ CD – Release. In addition – the blog owner that hosted the winning commenter will also win a free copy of Release. Share your thoughts and comments with Dyan. She will check in throughout the day to answer questions. You’ll learn more and you have a chance to win a CD.
For more information about Dyan Garris and her virtual tour, you can check the full schedule at and here are more details
Her website is full of great details about all of the items within her “toolbox” and there are many special features. She provides the tools you need to have a full and happy life – and it’s not as hard to achieve as you think. Visit Dyan’s Amazon profile

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Some say it is the declining value of the dollar; others blame drought, oil prices, and the mortgage crisis. No matter who or what you blame, the certainty is that the American economy is in crisis. Despite appearances and rhetoric, the depth of the crisis confronting Americans and the world go deeper than many are willing to admit. While economic pundits and politicians are finally using the word “recession,” there are those who are beginning to think depression.

This past weekend we went grocery shopping at the largest retailer in the area, one that is the largest worldwide. What became immediately clear was that there were many wholes in the shelves which, on any normal Saturday morning, would have been stocked to overflowing. In addition to our normal bag of flour having risen from $2.99/5lb. bag to $4.99, it was clear that this commodity was in short supply. The same was true for rice, eggs, meats and many other staple products. The shelves were certainly not bare, but the gaps and low stock was clearly evident. While this could have been attributed to late deliveries, concern rose the next day when a friend went shopping at a different chain and found a similar situation; jacked prices, no flour, little rice and obvious gaps in product stock.

There is no question that rising fuel costs are having a dramatic impact on food prices and availability. Reports are aired everyday about the soaring costs of staples. The truck driver rally in Washington, D.C. could not help but go unnoticed by the media as the plight of drivers worsens. Still not sure how widespread and how deep this problem had reached; I conducted a very informal survey of various writer groups nationwide. Being an author and always watching the world around me for ideas, it seemed that members of such groups would also have their fingers on the economic pulse in the areas in which they lived. I sent a survey to numerous groups and asked what they were seeing at the stores in terms of prices and product availability; whether they were going alter their purchasing habits; if they were going to buy more or less consumer goods; how they would spend their “economic stimulus check;” the price of gas in their area and if they were going to change their eating, driving and shopping patterns. The results, which are being verified by growing news reports on the economy, are frightening. One cannot help but wonder if some of the events that led to the Great Depression of the 30’s are being to be repeated. In the late 1920’s there was overproduction, a growing gap between rich and poor, a large increase in foreclosures and large stock investments by those who were really on the economic margin. Does this sound familiar? Given attempts by the Federal Reserve, Congress and even businesses to try to stimulate consumer buying, are we in a situation where a silent desperation pervades those in the economic know?

The survey spanned the nation. Writers in both cities and rural areas from the East Coast to Alaska to the Mid-West responded. While I will not report every response, I will show the nature of most responses along with some interesting quotes and thoughts from those who sent in the survey. The following are typical responses (by the time this article is published I am sure the numbers will be a little out of date-I am sure they will all be higher):

“Yep, seen it, experiencing it here in farmland rural Pennsylvania where cow manure has become THE fertilizer - the only one that won't bankrupt. Feeding a household of five including two always hungry teens, it's glaringly obvious things are going downhill. Our cupboards are dwindling to the barest of bare necessities. Our veggie
garden is doubling this year and I'm checking into a chicken coop. Has anyone seen the price of eggs? Eggs for crying out loud! They more than quadrupled in price in just a few weeks here.
I read somewhere that 25% of the US grain has been taken for alternate fuel possibilities - can't find it again and have to ask if it's true? If so, whose stupid idea was that? Don't take it from existing supplies, make it. I'm thinking maybe my hubby isn't so nuts in busting his behind running his mother's grain farm along
with his full time job this year. I may pitch in. I've got family in all areas, farming (grain and livestock), trucking, construction, and I've seen how all of it is being hit.”

“I'm tacking on some things that worry me. I came from California where I made a decent wage. When we moved to TN a few years back, housing was much cheaper here than CA, but that was about all. Everything else was equal, food, clothing, cars, etc. Gasoline was still a little cheaper.
Wages here are 1/2 of what people make in California, and very few companies provide any type of medical or dental insurance. I was shocked to learn that the job I'd done for over 23 years in California required the completion of a master's degree in TN, which I do not have, yet the salary was 1/2 of what I made. They would not allow me to apply, even though my qualifications were a perfect match for the job.
The typical wage here is $8.00-10.00 per hour. My husband is a truck driver for a local company and makes $14.00 which is considered high. Of course, his company provides no insurance or extra money towards such. I noticed today that gasoline has climbed another 2 cents to $3.57 and diesel is $4.72. Already my husbands company is cutting back on runs and trying to combine them, so we're very worried about our financial future. I wonder how people who make $8.00 can afford the fuel to get to their job. Basically they are working to buy gas to get to their job...where will the money come from for all their other expenses. It's very scary.
It just ticks me off beyond belief that we are paying over a billion dollars a day for a war, borrowing money from China and our economy is going down the toilet, but President Bush, when asked will still claim that we're in good shape.”

“I live in south central Kentucky where nothing is close. Driving is a necessity. If gas prices get much higher, we are thinking of getting an Amish cart and training one of our horses to be driven. It would take all day to get to town but we could go to the convenience store.
We still have good availability of products but the prices are going up in the supermarkets. I no longer buy beef. Instead I have a friend who raises Black Angus cattle and we split a cow. I have a friend who is raising sheep so I will probably buy a couple of the lambs. I shop at the Amish bulk food store in the county and save a lot over the supermarket prices. I will be eating fresh veggies all summer, grown in our garden or those of my neighbors. Gas prices are $3.59.9 for regular as of last Sunday. Over $4 for diesel! I combine errands and don't leave my farm unless I have more than one place to go in the same direction. We are eating out less.
We are planning on saving the stimulus check. Just an aside, my daughter-in- law is in retailing in NYC and she says we are in a major depression. People are just not buying.”

“In the Seattle area, wild salmon is going for $19.99 a pound, gasoline at
Costco $3.65 at the regular gas stations $3.79 a gallon. People here are
driving less, eating out less, and purchasing food at the lower end stores
such as Grocery Outlet and Cash and Carry. We were in a huge Asian market
one week, rice stacked up as high as an elephant's eye. Now just try to find
regular rice - many of the people here are purchasing rice to send to
relatives overseas.
Unfortunately, I am a volunteer driver for Catholic Charities - IE, I haul people who don't have transportation to the doctor - so have little control over my gas consumption. I drive 700 to 900 miles a week so buy from 30 to 50 gallons a week. They supposedly pay us for our gas used, but are consistently six months or so behind in updating their prices and the past six months have been the worst ever.”

The following are snippets of responses from around the country. It is evident that people are frustrated and even frightened. While products are available, the current trend in prices is continuing upward. Recent reports indicate that state governments are cutting back on budgets and employees; tourist destinations are already feeling the pinch and more and more storefronts are displaying “space for rent” signs. Since many plan on reducing driving, this summer does not bode well for that industry. Agriculture reports show late plantings of corn and wheat crops and who knows what summer weather will unleash. It is clear from U.N. reports that the food situation is rapidly declining in poorer nations as droughts and floods destroy staple crops. I am sure many of the comments that follow are a mere shadow of what is beginning to happen in your area as well:
I used to be able to buy a pack of chicken breasts for $3 or $4, now the same pack is $7.
I traveled to Spartanburg where gas was $3.29/gal (middle grade). When I got back to ATL to fill up, it was $3.49/gal. Last weekend, I paid $3.69, now it is $3.79 or $3.89.
Saturday is usually a busy day in Fayetteville, but there were no cars in all five lanes at one of the busiest intersections. Some of the independent stores had no cars in parking lot and it looked like they were closed.
How will you use your economic stimulus check? Put it in savings
Gas $3.74 Rockford, IL
Prices, though? Meowza! They are up, and rising!
But am I buying what I don't really need? Not on your
life. Not with heating oil where it is, and climbing.
I'm trying not to take unnecessary trips, and I'm certainly not
eating out very often. I'm using my old lawn mower, which I had
thought about replacing this spring.
I haven't noticed any shortages except the "sale items," but prices have definitely increased.
I have received mine (stimulus check) as a direct deposit, and it will stay in the bank. I don't plan on buying anything new, just my usual necessities.
$3.89 for medium grade
I haven't noticed a decrease in the availability of basics, but prices have risen considerably here in PA--this includes basic such as eggs, flour, butter....
Eating and shopping will all be dependent on what I can afford. I anticipate, if the prices keep rising, having to forgo some of the necessities.
in SE Michigan. Prices, however, are another story. Eggs have doubled, milk, dairy products skyrocketing. Good beef cuts (steaks, prime roasts, etc.) are a rare buy in our household these days because they are so expensive. Fish/seafood products are also beyond reach as a steady diet.
Save those left-overs and use them as part of a creative low-cost menu for tomorrow's dinner.
Get caught up on a bill or two and treat ourselves to a gourmet (home cooked) dinner.
Less frivolous foods, the munchies, you know. Bulk peanuts and fresh raw veggies make good inexpensive snacks. 86 all the packaged crap. Drive only when and where necessary. Make a list. Plan a driving session in a well-routed circle that accomplishes several chores in one outing. Planning for a vacation now includes high on the list, "how much will it cost in gas to get there and back?" Shorter trips/destinations if you are driving a car.
I've noticed the prices skyrocketing - quadrupling in a matter of weeks for some things like eggs... A lot of what I used to get I can't find local anymore.
It will go toward an alternate heating source, most likely a wood burner in the basement.
Last I looked, diesel was $4.59 a gallon and today's local report said low grade is now $3.62.
Anything we do over the summer will be local, no major travel.
Rural farmland in the mountains of Pennsylvania where the cost of living is very low and so is the average family income.
I am concerned about stories on the news about Sam's Club and others
rationing rice. Is there a rice shortage?
I live in Arizona in a town between Phoenix and Tucson. There is no real public transportation in my area, and, with summer temperatures going well into
the triple digits for about 4 months of the year, riding a bicycle really isn't an option.
Let's face it. The American people are getting hosed by greedy speculators who are driving the price of oil, (hence food prices) artificially high.
I don't blame people for not buying. Prices are going out of sight. Yesterday, gas here was $3.79 and I bet it's up from that today.
Food prices are up varying percentages, from 15-percent to nearly 50-percent on many less expensive cuts of meat. Hamburger (80 percent lean) has risen from about $1.99 per pound a year ago to nearly $4 per pound
Overall, my daughter said the supermarket tab here for her family of four has jumped from about $130 per week to nearly $200.
Also, shortages of some products are starting to become apparent, with some shelves bearing large gaps in mute testimony to lack of availability of rice and flour…
Hope that helps
As to gas prices: Spokane, WA prices range from $3.50 to $3.70. I live in a small town where our one station is $3.87 for unleaded. More to the point, Diesel in Spokane that has more effect on food prices is about a dollar higher at $4.50 to $4.80.
Unfortunately, I am a volunteer driver for Catholic Charities - IE, I haul people who don't have transportation to the doctor - so have little control over my gas consumption. I drive 700 to 900 miles a week so buy from 30 to 50 gallons a week. They supposedly pay us for our gas used, but are consistently six months or so behind in updating their prices and the past six months have been the worst ever.

So what does all of this mean? The early warning sign are there and I would strongly suggest that people keep an eye on commodity report, climate calamities, and, of course, the price of fuel. There is little doubt that people will be tightening their belt, going out for meals less, traveling shorter distances and using their “stimulus” checks to keep their head above water this summer. Living in a region that depends on fuel oil, it is scary to hear that contract prices for hearting oil less winter will approach $4.00/gallon. This will surely collapse to the economy in the Northeast. If diesel continues to rise, truckers will be at a loss and food will simply not be delivered to stores. Already, many truckers who deliver saw logs are calling it quits. How long can fishing fleets absorb continued price rises? Summer employment looks bleak. The key is to be alert and be informed.

Is there is bright spot here? If you read my article, “The Mother of All Course Corrections,” you will see that the consumer is now in a position to finally make intelligent buying decisions. You can affect what is produced with your valued dollars. If you stop buying the junk food, stop buying sodas, buy only healthy foods and cereals, the market will have to respond. This is your opportunity to finally make a difference in terms of what is produced and what you consume. Insist on quality and use your power to create a more sensible, sustainable economy. The time is at hand for choices, choose wisely!