Food prices grew by 35 percent from 1993 to 2005, or about 2-3 percent each year.
But since 2006, the all-food CPI (Consumer Price Index) is up 20 percent, more than the 14 percent average for all seven items. Only transportation and medical care prices have risen faster than food prices during this time period. This is attributed to rising prices for food commodities including corn, wheat, and soybeans, as well as weather events and exports.
Inflation of the agricultural commodities can largely be attributed to ethanol’s sudden increased demand for corn, and the ripple effect that has had on commodity prices across the board. From 2006 through 2012, ethanol production increased 271 percent, from 4.9 billion gallons to 13.3 billion gallons, until it consumed 40 percent of this nation’s corn crop.
The overall percent spent on food has been downward over the years. In 1930, Americans spent 24 percent of their disposable income on food, and in 2011, they spent about 9.8 percent of their disposable income on food.