Egg-Citing News – Food Prices Down for Easter

2017_Spring_Marketbasket_Graphic_vertLower retail prices for several foods, including eggs, ground chuck, sirloin tip roast, chicken breasts and toasted oat cereal resulted in a significant decrease in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Spring Picnic Marketbasket Survey.

“As expected due to lower farm-gate prices, we have seen continued declines in retail prices for livestock products including eggs, beef, chicken, pork and cheese,” said John Newton, AFBF’s director of market intelligence.
The informal survey showed the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $50.03, down $3.25 or about 6 percent compared to a year ago. Of the 16 items surveyed, 11 decreased, four increased and one remained the same in average price.

Egg prices are down sharply from a year ago and also are down slightly from the third quarter of 2016.

“Egg prices continue to move back toward long-run average prices following the bird flu of 2014/15,” said Newton. “The Agriculture Department is currently monitoring bird flu detections in the Southeast U.S. If detections continue, retail poultry prices could feel an impact due to lower exports or changes in supply,” he said.

“As farm-gate prices for livestock products have declined and remained lower, prices in the retail meat case have become more competitive,” Newton said.

Retail price changes from a year ago:

  • eggs, down 41percent to $1.32 per dozen
  • toasted oat cereal, down 15 percent to $2.83 for a 9-ounce box
  • sirloin tip roast, down 13 percent to $4.95 per pound
  • ground chuck, down 10 percent to $3.92 per pound
  • chicken breast, down 6 percent to $3.17 per pound
  • apples, down 6 percent to $1.55 per pound
  • flour, down 5 percent to $2.36 for a 5-pound bag
  • shredded cheddar cheese, down 4 percent to $4.10 per pound
  • deli ham, down 3 percent to $5.42 per pound
  • bacon, down 3 percent to $4.65 per pound
  • potatoes, down 1 percent to $2.68 for a 5-pound bag
  • bagged salad, up 6 percent to $2.34 per pound
  • white bread, up 2 percent to $1.72 per 20-ounce loaf
  • orange juice, up 1 percent to $3.22 per half-gallon
  • whole milk, up 1 percent to $3.27 per gallon
  • vegetable oil, no change, $2.55 for a 32-ounce bottle

 

Price checks of alternative milk and egg choices not included in the overall marketbasket survey average revealed the following: 1/2 gallon whole regular milk, $2.10; 1/2 gallon organic milk, $4.20; and one dozen “cage-free” eggs, $3.48.

The year-to-year direction of the marketbasket survey tracks closely with the federal government’s Consumer Price Index (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm) report for food at home. As retail grocery prices have increased gradually over time, the share of the average food dollar that America’s farm and ranch families receive has dropped.

“Through the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures for food eaten at home and away from home, on average. Since then, that figure has decreased steadily and is now about 16 percent, according to the Agriculture Department’s revised Food Dollar Series,” Newton said.

AFBF, the nation’s largest general farm organization, began conducting informal quarterly marketbasket surveys of retail food price trends in 1989. The series includes a spring picnic survey, summer cookout survey, fall harvest survey and Thanksgiving dinner cost survey.

According to USDA, Americans spend just under 10 percent of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average of any country in the world. A total of 117 shoppers in 31 states participated in the latest survey, conducted in March.

Almond Pork Chops with Honey Mustard

almond-pork-chops-with-honey-mustard3Ingredients
½ cup smoked almonds
½ cup dry bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 boneless pork loin chops (1 inch thick, approx. 6 oz. each)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Directions
1.    In a food processor, process the almonds until finely chopped.  Transfer to a shallow bowl; add bread crumbs and combine.
2.    In another shallow bowl, beat eggs.
3.    In a large resealable plastic bag, combine flour, salt, and pepper.  Add pork chops, one at a time, and shake to coat.  Dip in eggs, then coat with almond mixture.
4.    In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chops in oil and butter for 5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.
5.    Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, honey, and mustard.  Serve with pork chops.

Yield:  4 servings

Slow Cooker Beef & Mushrooms

Recipes - slow cooker beef and mushroom blockedIngredients

4 pounds stew meat, cubed

4 cans (10.75 oz.) cream of mushroom soup

4 cans (4 oz.) mushrooms, drained

1 cup apple juice or red wine

2 1-oz packages dry onion soup mix

 

Directions

1. In each of 2, gallon-sized freezer bags combine 2 pounds meat, 2 cans of soup, 2 cans of mushrooms, 1/2 cup apple juice/wine and 1 package of onion soup mix. Zip closed. Store in freezer. (A tip to prevent freezer burn — zip your bag almost closed; insert a straw into the corner and suck all the air out. Pull the straw and finish the seal.)

2. When ready to eat, remove bag from freezer and thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours.

3. Pour contents of the bag into a slow cooker that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

4. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours (cooking on low is best).

5. If a thicker consistency if preferred, thicken with a small amount of flour or cornstarch.

6. Serve over rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.

 

Yield: 2 meals – 6 servings each.