Local News

Higher Food Prices? Blame El Nino

Posted February 9, 1998

— The weather pattern known as "El Nino" is being blamed, not only for wet weather here and on the west coast, but for unusual patterns around the world. And it hasn't taken long for it to affect people's lives in other ways. Already the price of local food is going up due to storms in other parts of the country. Rain and high winds have torn away at the earth, making a mess of growing fields, and the evidence is showing at area grocery stores.

Charlie Edwards manages the NC State Farmers' Market. He says prices can be affected by weather anywhere.

When the rain damages growing crops, it reduces the supply, meaning shoppers in some stores could end up paying even more for their food.

Shopper Laura Price says such things are beyond the control of consumers.

Shopper Leslie West says she's willing to do what it takes to get the food she wants.

Higher prices are already in evidence and the North Carolina State Farmers' Market, where California grapes that are usually $1.25 per pound, are now $1.49 per pound. Corn imported from Florida is usually $12 a box but they're $18 a box.

Charles Cole has been in the produce business for years. He says prices usually rise in winter, but not this much. He says customers shouldn't worry because these high prices shouldn't last long. In:within two or three weeks we hope to out:see a change.

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