By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Dec. 15, 2012
Be prepared to pay more for groceries next year.
Grocery prices could rise as much as 3.5 per cent, according to the latest report by a University of Guelph team.
The biggest price increase is expected to be in the price of beef and pork, which are expected to rise 4.5 to 6.5 per cent.
The expected increase in beef prices is largely due to higher grain prices for cattle feed.
Eggs are expected to go up by 5 per cent, milk by three per cent, and fresh vegetables, fruit and nuts, fish and sea food from 1 to 3 per cent.
A drought this summer in American Midwest is being cited as one reason for the price bump.
“The drought pushed 2012 food prices above expectations, especially for corn and soybeans,” the report’s lead author, Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, told the Toronto Star.
The report also estimates Canadian households are wasting 38 per cent of products purchased in store.
Joining them in the waste are restaurants, with nearly half of all food purchased ending in the garbage bin.
The average Canadian family of four spends $700 a month on groceries, but this cost is higher in B.C., and even higher for our region.
In their latest Cost of Eating report, the Dieticians of Canada estimate the average cost of the nutritious food basket in the province to be $868.43 per month.
Our region has the highest cost of food.
In the Vancouver Coastal Health region, it costs $944.16 to buy a healthy, nutritious food basket for a family of four.
The Interior Health region has the lowest cost of food in the province at $832.82. .