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BBC: The end of ‘cheap’ food. BigBarn: Nothing to worry about.

If you listened to Radio 4’s Food Programme today you may be worrying about the end of cheap food and rising prices in the new year.

Don’t worry, just change.

Grain prices have been pushed dramatically higher by increased demand from China and India, stockpiling grain in Saudi Arabia, and cancelled exports due to drought in Russia.

As grain goes up so does meat, as the cost of feed increases. (It takes 8kg of grain to produce 1kg of beef.)

Likewise prices will increase for all dairy products, as cows, need to be fed on grain. And bread, biscuits, and cereals, come from grain.

We are told by the media and the Food Programme that the pain of higher prices is being held back by a huge supermarket price war currently being waged. As usual it is not the supermarkets cutting their margins just their suppliers forced to take a hit. Some suppliers such as Premier Foods have been delisted for trying to increase their prices.

Eventually prices will rise and consumers will have to start making choices. Many will do what the retailers want, and become even more addicted to bargain hunting, like supermarket offers or Pound shop outlets. These people will save very little.

When I say ‘don’t worry, just change’ I mean, change from supermarkets, ready meals, and discount hunting. Avoid any products where a lot of businesses in a supply chain have added a margin

We can all eat very well, for very little. Any Scotsmen will tell you the fantastic nutritional qualities of porridge. Whole Oats boiled in water cost around 5p a portion. We could all survive on 15p a day! And probably be healthier than someone spending £200 per day in fancy restaurants.

We really must get things in perspective and a rise in prices may be good to encourage change, and perhaps improve diet. Change like;
– eating less meat
– cooking with cheaper fresh ingredients, instead of buying expensive, salty, ready meals
– cutting back on biscuits and high sugar foods
– shopping locally where offers will be on fresh produce instead of a BOGOF on something you don’t need
– growing your own for a bit of garden exercise and enthusing the kids to eat fruit & veg
– growing to sell to other people via BigBarn ‘Crop for the Shop


We must not let the forthcoming rise in food prices give the supermarkets a marketing opportunity and chance to increase their profits. I think they are already using the current price war in their long term marketing plan to increase prices and profits in the new year.

So CHANGE! Please pass this on. Use our local food map to find your local shops to buy fresh cheap locally produced ingredients and get digging to allow your veg patch to weather down for next seasons planting. And dust off those cookery books, or join the digital age a watch a video recipe.

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