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Record organic soy prices lead to food inflation

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U.S. imports of organic soybeans fell by 18% over the last year according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Currently, the U.S. is the number two soybean grower worldwide, with 70% of the produce imported back to the states. Meanwhile, chicken farmers who use soybeans for feed are paying higher prices due to the shortage.

In addition, Argentina, the number two exporter of soybeans to the states saw an even greater decrease. Shipments fell by 30%. As a result, the price for soybeans rose to a seven-year high. According to commodity data firm Mercaris, soybeans now cost $33 per bushel. The previous record was $25 per bushel in 2014-2015.

Bell & Evans owner Scott Sechler called it a “madhouse” in an interview with Reuters. His 127-year strong company feeds 500,000 to 600,000 chickens every week.

“There’s not enough in America to replace all the imported organic grain,” Sechler told Reuters. Therefore, the price of chicken is bound to increase to make up for the increase in feed.

In the meantime, total U.S. organic acreage is growing faster than ever at 6%. Mercaris has predicted that there will be a record 9 million acres of organic produce by the end of the year. Altogether, there are nearly 20,000 certified organic farms.

According to the Organic Trade Association, last year, U.S. sales of organic food increased 12.8% to $56.5 billion, compared with a 4.6% increase in 2019. Then, in 2020, organic foods accounted for 5.8% of food sales.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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Economy

Biden spends $1.65 trillion taxpayer dollars while vacationing in St. Croix

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Joe Biden

While vacationing in the island of St. Croix for the holidays, President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the massive $1.65 omnibus spending package.

The whopping 4,155 pages was supported by only nine House Republicans and 13 Senate Republicans. Majority of criticism from the GOP includes concerns that the bill was rushed and crammed with wasteful spending by a lame-duck Democratic-dominated Congress. The recourse will punish American families by adding to the national debt and exacerbate inflation.

“Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress. It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, VAWA funding — and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine,” Biden tweeted. “Looking forward to more in 2023.”

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell “praised the bill on the grounds that it represents a real decrease in discretionary spending. He presented it as a positive that nondefense spending jumped by only 5.5 percent, from $730 billion to $772.5 billion, amid an inflation rate of 7.1 percent” writes National Review.

“The bipartisan government-funding bill that Senators Shelby and Leahy have finished negotiating does exactly the opposite of what the Biden administration first proposed,” he said. “This bill provides a substantial real-dollar increase to the defense baseline . . . and a substantial real-dollar cut to the non-defense, non-veterans baseline,” McConnell insisted as negotiations were wrapping up.

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, however, stated his strong disapproval of the bill before it even advanced. Affirming a letter from 13 House Republicans, McCarthy demanded the bill is reckless, irresponsible, and a “purposeful refusal to secure and defend our borders.”

For example, it failed to incorporate protections for Title 42, the pandemic policy that allows illegal immigrants to be expelled on a public-health basis, which currently hangs in the balance at the Supreme Court.

National Review adds, “The funding in the bill, which averted a federal government shutdown before the new year, includes an allocation of $45 billion in defense assistance to Ukraine. Some Republican priorities, such as Electoral Count Act reform and a bigger military budget, were nested in with Democratic appropriations, such as increased funding for Medicaid and food stamps.”

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