Lifestyle

Rising food prices tough on special diets

Calgarians are feeling the pinch of heighted costs of groceries as prices continue their steady upward climb with no signs of stopping in the near future.

Robyn Shouldice and Taylor Flipichuck are two ACAD students living together in SAIT residence.

Both Shouldice and Flipichuck are full-time students that spend roughly $200 a month on food.

Flipichuck lamented that as the prices go up, she’s forced to move from healthy foods to cheaper alternatives.

“Eating healthy is just not an option for me anymore,” said Flipichuck.

Shouldice said, “We don’t have the luxury of being able to spend more on food, if prices go up it means we eat less—not spend more.”

The heightening costs will be particularly difficult for people that have restrictive diets.

Amy Aston, a student at the University of Calgary, suffers from celiac disease and is unable to eat anything containing gluten.

“I’m stuck between expensive gluten-free starches and expensive meat, fruit and vegetables,” said Aston.

“I can’t just switch to 99 cent boxes of no name Kraft Dinner like everyone else.”

In the Food Institute of the University of Guelph’s Food Price Report 2016 found that during 2015, store’s food prices increased 4.1 per cent Canada-wide and it forecasts an increase in costs of 2 to 4 per cent over the next year.

The study goes into further detail suggesting that the cost of meat and fruit will go up 2.5 to 4.5 per cent, fish and seafood will go up 1 to 3, vegetables will go up 2 to 4 percent, food from restaurants will go up 1.5 to 3.5, and the price of grains, dairy and eggs could stay stable or increase up to 2 per cent.

Global climate conditions and the downturn in the Canadian economy are cited in by the report as some of the most decisive factors to the prices of groceries in Canada.

The food price report states: “The drop of the loonie in early 2015 was so sudden that it was almost impossible
for any food importers to hedge against our currency.”

Unlike meat, it’s difficult for consumers to substitute for fruits and vegetables forcing them to cope with higher prices.

The University of Guelph’s “Food Price Report 2016” is free to view and can be found on their website.

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