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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - February 22, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Higher food prices are not inevitable -Thursday, February 22, 7973 - THE LETH8RIDGF HERALD - 5 By Bruce Whitcslonc, syndicated columnist Of all the things which enter into inflation and a i-ising cost of living, it 5 s the food prices that most constantly and most alarmingly hit the housewives. The bland utterances of authority on this matter have often driven shoppers to despair. "One must rely on comparison shopping" - try that,-if you please, when you are pushing a cart and have two children in two. And how many shoppers, finding that "two cents off" has become "five cents- more," have the time or energy to telephone the department of consumer affairs hi Ottawa to lay a complaint in the public interest. If one may judge by Ottawa's response to other problems, the chances for a favorable response would be bleak indeed. The opportunity for controlling food prices, outside periods when full rationing has been in force (and not always then), is unfortunately limited. Other people's demands are soon translated into rising markets and the weather can wreak its own havoc. To take two seasonable examples: Last summer's rains in eastern Canada drowned enough of the fruit and vegetable crop to push prices up more than 10 per cent; short grain crops in the Soviet Union and China meant higher feed prices in Canada. Meat of nearly every sort became more expensive to produce. There are seasonal fluctuations. There are the fine gradations in quality on which some sections of the trade pride themselves and for which thsy charge premium prices. There are the refinements of packaging and presentation designed to catch the eye on the supermarket shelf which also enter into the modern price equation.. Finally, there exists a body of shoppers in the more prosperous industrial and residential areas to whom, until