Drought could cause food prices to soar - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Drought could cause food prices to soar

(WMC-TV) – The drought is causing food prices to rise and the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the trend will continue.

The USDA said consumers are likely to pay 3 to 4 percent more on groceries next year.

Locally owned restaurant Trolley Stop Market in downtown Memphis does not anticipate a major impact on food costs.

"The majority of our fresh vegetables come from a farm that we own, that's Whitten Farms and that's out in Arkansas," said Alex Pilkington, Trolley Stop Market.

Because the market supplies most of its own milk, beef, pork, poultry, and produce, it can avoid the price hikes.

The USDA says fruits and vegetables are not expected to be any more costly because most of those crops are irrigated. However, they say you can expect inflated prices on meat.

"A lot of the problems in Arkansas is there has been problems with the cattle and meat and so far, our supplier that we get that from, we haven't had any problems with rising costs," said Pilkington.

Anne Thompson and her family drove all the way from Omaha to enjoy the local food and artisan shop at Trolley Stop Market. Thompson says she is willing to budget in fresh products rather than cut corners with processed foods.

"Even it they were a little more it is worth it to me to know that I'm getting some good wholesome food that good for my body," said Thompson.

"We feel like not only is it better for a number of reasons, economical reasons, health reasons, but it just tastes better," agreed Pilkington.

The drought is also creating numerous problems for dairy farmers and experts predict milk prices could rise more than 10 percent.

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