Wednesday, 12 March 2008

US Farmers Grow Corn Instead of Wheat - Pushes Up Pizza Prices

Thin Crust Pepperoni PassionDroughts in China and Australia have contributed to the rising cost of wheat and food in general in the United States. That means the cost of many American favorites is going up, including pizza.

The droughts overseas have led to bad wheat harvests in those countries. The U.S. wheat harvest won't come until June. Add those factors to the rising cost of gas and flour has become pretty expensive.

Denver pizza restaurant owner Rick Mahlke was paying $10 for a 5 pound bag of flour 18 months ago. Now He's paying $25 and expects to pay $50 in the next few months.

Cheese prices have also doubled in the past year, Mahlke said. Eventually, the cost will be passed on to customers.

"It's getting to the point where I don't think very many operators are going to be able to get by without doing some sort of price increase just to cover their extra costs," said Mahlke.

Another factor affecting the U.S. wheat harvest is ethanol production. Farmers are growing corn instead of wheat to take advantage of government subsidies.

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