USDA Points To Ukraine Invasion For Rising Food Prices

( Millions of Americans sat down to a Thanksgiving meal this year that was considerably more expensive than it was just last year.

Food prices have risen considerably throughout much of 2022 as part of overall out-of-control inflation.

A few days before the holiday, the Department of Agriculture placed the blame for Thanksgiving’s hefty price tag this year on the ongoing war Russia is fighting in Ukraine.

The USDA sent a memo recently that said the prices of turkey are much higher than they were only last year because of an outbreak of HPAI, or highly pathogenic avian influence, that caused 8 million turkeys to die this year.

The federal agency also added, though, that “Russia’s war on Ukraine and drought across the United States,” as well as some other factors, are “pushing up the price of Thanksgiving staples.”

Food prices across the globe have gone up because of “Putin’s Price Hike,” the USDA commented to Fox News Digital recently. Russia cut off a “critical supply” of important grains such as barley, corn and wheat from Ukraine, which have put “pressure on food prices,” the agency said.

The phrase “Putin’s price hike” has been used by President Joe Biden and many members of his administration over the last several months. It’s a way that the White House has tried to deflect blame for higher costs of everything from food to gas on a person that’s easy to dislike — Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Data put out by the Biden administration, though, shows that inflation started to rise not long after Biden entered the White House, in February of 2021.

There were steep increases in prices that were being seen many months before Russia even invaded neighboring Ukraine earlier this year. Consumer prices had increased by 7.5% in the 12 months ending in January of 2022, according to data released by the Biden administration — which was a month before Russia started its war late in February of this year.

Prices rose to their highest levels in June, when inflation reached a high mark of 9.1%.

Ukraine is indeed a major exporter of grain, so it is very likely that at last part of the increase in prices of certain foods can be attributed to Russia’s ongoing war. Russia has tried to block many of those exports over this year, which has led to spikes in prices.

That being said, the increase in price of these same grains started to rise already before Russia even invaded Ukraine.

In the memo, the USDA also said that the Biden administration has started to make progress in fighting increased food prices. They noted that October’s increase in grocery prices of 0.4% was the “smallest increase since December of last year.”

While that’s definitely an accomplishment, it’s also worth noting that the Biden administration is celebrating an increase in prices here, albeit one that’s not nearly as much as it has been at other points this year.