Food Inflation at Union Square Farmers Market

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December 20, 2023

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Food inflation is still stubborn according to the most recent inflation data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The cost of food is up 3.3 percent in 2023 and is up 0.2 percent in the last month.

This data shows that while things have slowed, prices remain elevated across the board. Those elevated prices are being felt in one of New York City’s famous farmers markets, located in Union Square.

Open three days a week, the market welcomes farmers from within 200 miles of Poughkeepsie, NY to sell vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, fresh bread and even alcohol.  The market is “producer-only,” meaning that farmers are allowed to sell only what they have grown, caught, raised or made themselves.

Prices here are often more expensive than at a grocery store. A pound of organic sweet potatoes here costs $2.25. At Whole Foods – not known for being inexpensive – it costs $1.99.

“Inflation has affected the way people shop,” a farmer from Bulich Mushroom Farms located in Catskill, NY says. “I don’t see as many people around.”

Despite rising costs, there are many reasons to shop at the market, even during inflation. You are guaranteed fresh food and you are supporting local farmers. Supporting local farmers is good not only for the environment, but also for the local economy.

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