Extract from an article by Foster Kamer in the NY Observer:
“The rising cost of food can be seen even in New York’s yuppiest enclaves, where prices are high to begin with. Bloomberg food critic Ryan Sutton has been running a blog called The Price Hike wherein he measures the shifting costs of food at the plate in Manhattan restaurants. Mario Batali’s Del Posto is charging 21 percent more per meal since October. Gordon Ramsay at The London? Sixty-nine percent more since last month. Michelin favorite Bouley? Forty percent. The Breslin, at the Ace Hotel? Thirty-three percent. And so on.
But farmland isn’t an option for most investors. Farming is still mostly made up of family-run businesses, in the U.S., at least. Much of the farmland being purchased in America is purchased at estate sales. Pure-play farming isn’t a readily available product.
You can invest in John Deere for equipment; you can invest in Monsanto for seeds and agricultural tech. You can even invest in Kraft, which puts the plants on the supermarket shelf. But for now, it’s difficult to invest in a one-stop-shop farm. Additionally, there isn’t much arable land out there, it’s not increasing, and the quality of the land varies from parcel to parcel. And to make money off a farmland investment, you can’t just sit on it. You have to know what to do with it. “If you farm it like we do, you can generate a yield,” says the hedge fund manager. “We think the farmland will be worth 5 to 10 percent more every year, and on top of that, you get the commodities yield.” In other words, hedge funds are growing, picking and selling corn.”
Well I have not been to NYC since 1990 so the pricey restaurants are not a worry to me but perhaps they drive the incessant greed and need for money by the city’s denizens. Another recent article indicated that those under 30 were fleeing the city because of inability to sustain a middleclass lifestyle given wage levels and effort.
Personally I believe that NYC will soon be on life support for two reasons. 24/7/365 worldwide trading in investments is just about here and NYC is poorly positioned time zone wise for that contest. Also most of the money generated in the USA goes offshore for higher interest rates. This is my own theory undocumented but I would argue the US FEDERAL RESERVE is the greatest driver of FDI [Foreign Direct Investment] in world history. It is not just USA debt offshored but USA investments.
The weird thing is that where I live I continue to see food stamps being used to purchase not healthy food which is expensive for the poor but packaged food with what I call “fake” calories that are filling but not nourishing. Why no Congressional investigation of this trend or analysis in MSM continues to interest me.
My guess is those food markets labeled Farmers Markets in big cities with their high prices are in fact dominated by the top 20% of wage earners and wealth possessors as their customers.
Good luck to those trying to survive on packaged food with its high salt, sugar and preservative content!