Bird flu, Ukraine war, labor shortages to blame for rising Thanksgiving dinner cost
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Let’s start with the traditional Thanksgiving turkey. If it seems like there are fewer birds to choose from, it’s because there is a shortage.
You can blame bird flu. “More than 6 million turkeys have been killed. So, that’s going to put a lot of cost pressure on turkeys,” Abha Bhattarai, a reporter with the Washington Post, told On Your Side. She and a team spent a month looking at what’s affecting Thanksgiving food prices. This year, even potatoes will cost more than in years past. Bhattarai said, “Potatoes are directly related to the weather in Idaho which produces one-third of the potatoes. So, we’re seeing drought, cold weather and all kinds of planet issues.”
The Ukraine war with Russia is also impacting the cost of wheat, meaning that you can expect baked goods like dinner rolls to cost more this year. In fact, there’s also a butter shortage. Dairy farmers have a labor shortage which means they’re producing less milk and there are fewer workers to churn milk into butter. “There is a national shortage of butter,” Bhattari said. “We’re down around 20% of how much butter is being stockpiled and that has a direct effect on how much you pay at the grocery store.”
Salt and seasoning prices are also higher due to drought and bad weather. Fortunately, it’s not all bad news. The American Farm Bureau tells On Your Side that the cost of feeding 10 people last Thanksgiving cost just $53.31. An estimate for 2022 will be released Wednesday, but even the total cost is even higher, it should still be affordable. At the end of the day, don’t let slightly higher prices ruin your time with family and friends.
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