With grain prices lowering, we are looking to see lower food prices in the coming months. In fact, the FAO food price index recently dropped to a four-year low, according to the Food and Ag Organization of the UN (FAO). With the exception of meat, prices for all of the commodities measured by the index dipped lower.
Why do food prices go up at times?
- The federal government points out that many different factors determine the price of food, ranging from the cost of petroleum and the value of the U.S. dollar to production costs and adverse weather.
Are farmers making more money when I pay more at the grocery store?
- The U.S. farmer’s share of the retail food dollar has been declining for more than 60 years. In 1950, farmers received more than 40 cents for every food dollar that consumers spent in the grocery store. Today, they receive less than 12 cents.
- USDA’s Economic Research Service says the cost of marketing services, including transportation, processing and distribution of farm products, account for a substantial portion of food prices, with the farm value component accounting for the remainder.
So take advantage of fruit being at lower prices right now and pick up some wonderful raspberries for some easy freezer jam. They make great gifts, or can be stored away to enjoy this winter.
Raspberry Freezer Jam
6 cups fresh, ripe raspberries*
5 1/4 cups sugar
1 box Sure Jell Fruit Pectin
3/4 cup water
A few clean glass or plastic jars with lids
*Use firm, ripe berries for the best flavor and set. (You don’t want to use overripe berries or the jam may be too soft and runny.)
Wash and rinse glass or plastic containers. How many you use depends on how big they are. This recipe makes about 6-7 cups of jam.
In a large bowl, lightly mash the berries one cup at a time. Be careful not to over mash them—they should still look fairly chunky, but not like whole berries. Measure out exactly 3 cups of mashed berries and pour them into a separate large bowl.
Gradually stir in 1 cup of the sugar to the berry mixture. Stir until dissolved, adding just one cup of sugar at a time and then mixing, until you use up the remaining 4 1/4 cups of sugar.
Let stand for 10 minutes.
In a small saucepan, stir together Sure Jell pectin mix with 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Stir into pectin mixture into the berries mixture. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy.
Pour jam into containers, leaving 1/2in of space at the top of the container, for expansion.
Allow jam to rest at room temperature for 24 hours before freezing.
Jam will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator, or freeze for up to one year.