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Food prices could rise through summer

May 30, 2014
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Food prices could rise through summerA Texas Tech University professor says Americans should prepare to open their wallets this summer as drought and other factors affecting the nation’s food supply will drive up prices.

Mindy Brashears, professor of food microbiology and food safety, and director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence, spoke to news outlets on the threat to food prices following the ground beef recall earlier in May.

Including the recall, Brashears said other threats to food supply include a drought which continues to drive up prices on beef, vegetables and fruit as well as the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus which has decreased the US pork supply by 10 percent in the last year.

Brashears said the USDA and National Pork Board are working to determine how to control the virus.

“(The ground beef recall) in and of itself doesn’t necessarily have an impact on our prices because if you put it into context, last year, in the month preceding Memorial Day, there was 191 million pounds of ground beef sold,” Brashears said appearing on Lou Dobbs Tonight. “But if you combine that with other factors, such as the PEDv virus in pork, and the drought conditions in cattle; yes, that does have an impact on our food supply and has caused the price to increase over the past several months.”

However, Brashears said the country’s diverse food supply will help average consumers curb the impact of higher prices by finding alternative options.

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