There’s some relief on the horizon for the peanut-panicked — at least those with a taste for Peter Pan and Jif. (Shudder.)
This time last year, peanut prices had more than doubled following sustained hot weather, resulting in a nearly 40 percent bump in the price of a jar of conventional peanut butter. Now the U.S. is poised to harvest its biggest annual peanut crop to date: 6.1 billion pounds.
From The Wall Street Journal:
Peanut-growing regions in the Southeast and Texas … saw favorable weather [this year] including sufficient rain, dodging the drought that scorched the wheat and corn crops in the Midwest. …
“We’re happy to be back into a normal supply situation after two years of droughts and high heat,” said Patrick Archer, president of the American Peanut Council, a trade group. “There will be some easing of consumer prices as a result.”
If I were the American Peanut Council, I would probably be happy for any good news right now amidst the massive recall of salmonella-y peanut products — most of them organic — that have been traced to a New Mexico distributor.
Here’s the creepy bit, though, from the Los Angeles Times:
With fears that people would start hoarding peanut butter, some stores limited the number of jars that shoppers could buy.
Climate change could mean more of this corporate rationing in our food future. Any bets on what happens with the bacon?