Be prepared -- food is going to become more expensive, even if oil prices stabilize.
Agriculture tends to be heavily dependent on energy for fueling tractors and field equipment, as well as having a heavy reliance on petroleum-based fertilizers and herbicides. But what most people don't realize is that even if oil prices level off, food prices are likely to continue to rise.
Here are some reasons food prices will continue to increase.
The number of bees has been dramatically declining over the last few years. In 2006, Colony Collapse Disorder wiped out 30% to 90% of beekeeper hives. The losses continued last year through this year with over 30% of hives being destroyed in both 2007 and 2008.
The exact cause of Colony Collapse Disorder is not known. Since roughly 75% of flowering plants rely on pollination to help them reproduce, bees are an important link in the chain that produces much of the food that we eat. Without bees to pollinate crops, the crops can't bear fruit, causing crop yields to drop. The end result is higher prices in the supermarket for these foods.Hoarding
A growing number of countries have sharply curbed food exports in order to ensure an adequate supply of food at affordable prices for their country. While this trend is a much bigger problem for poor countries that rely heavily on imported food than the U.S., it also puts pressure on world food prices including those foods being imported to the U.S.