Our food system across the world is being battered by impacts of the pandemic, climate change, and the war in Ukraine.
The effects are being felt on a global scale, hitting the poorest countries the hardest.
Here in Britain, inflation has hit a forty year high and is expected to rise further still.
We’ve already seen skyrocketing costs of fuel and energy, and now food prices are a growing concern.
"From analysis that we did recently, we found that 265 products had gone up by more than 20%. We've got so many products that are increasing and we know that consumers are obviously really starting to feel this now." SUE DAVIES - Head of Food Policy, Which?
John and his family run a fish and chip shop in Middleton in Greater Manchester. John tells us the price he pays for fish and oil have both nearly doubled in recent weeks, and overall cost increases mean he’s spending £600 extra per week to keep his business running. He is reluctant to raise prices on his menu as he is also mindful of what his customers are able to afford. So far he has raised the price of battered cod from £4.20 to £4.50, but he says he is still underpricing himself as it would need to be £5.00 to reflect the increased costs that he is currently absorbing.
London cafe owner Philip is facing similar struggles. He reveals that he is paying an additional £3,700 for ingredients alone, and on top of that his electric bill has increased by £1000 per month.
Impacts of price hikes are pushing more and more people into food insecurity. New research shows the cost-of-living gap between the richest and poorest households in Britain is now the widest since records began.
"We spend money on kids, on clothes, on holidays, on houses, on energy. Food is one of the key flexible items. Food's going to become more and more of a crisis because that's where, if you like, our expendable money is most under stress" PROFESSOR TIM LANG - Food Policy, City, University of London
If you’re worried about rising costs, there are ways that we as individuals can try to reduce our grocery bills.
Lorna from Paisley in Scotland has found ways to cut her shopping bill from £100 to just £20 per week. Reducing her food bill by around £80 every week for the last seven years, amounts to a total saving of nearly thirty thousand pounds.
On the programme she reveals her top tips for saving money on your food and energy bills:
Always write a meal plan and a shopping list.
Searching for lesser known brands can be a cheap way to buy staples like rice, pasta and pulses.
You can make more expensive products like mince go further by bulking it out with nutritious cheaper things like lentils.
Look to buy seasonal fruit and vegetables to get the best prices.
Batch cook meals so you have portions that you can freeze for later.
Ovens use a lot of energy. Plan to fill it and cook multiple things at once, so you’re not just heating an empty space.
Soak pasta for around an hour in cold water then it cooks on the hob in just two minutes, reducing the energy needed to cook it.
Putting lids on pans when you’re cooking is a more energy efficient way to use your hob.