If you have been to the supermarket lately, you might have noticed that the prices of your favorite groceries have increased a little bit. The price of almost everything from fresh veggies to bread to milk is increasing. Hershey has even recently announced that they will be increasing the prices of all of their goods by 10 percent.
By increasing their prices, some companies worry that these straightforward price hikes will result in consumers buying less of each product or choosing cheaper alternatives, such as store-brand cereal instead of General Mills. The answer to this dilemma for the food companies? Decrease the amount of food in the packages but keep the prices the same- and, sadly for consumers, the food companies have no obligation to the consumers to tell them about this reduction.
So how much of a reduction are we talking about? The largest reduction from our list will go to Reese’s peanut butter cups, who will reduce their chocolate-peanut-butter goodness by 37 percent, or 0.1 ounces. Chicken of the Sea Tuna will be reduced by 1 ounce, or 17 percent of its total weight. Heinz Ketchup will also take four ounces of their standard bottles, reducing the bottles by 11 percent. However, it’s not only food products; non-food products are also taking a hit. Bounty paper towels will be reduced by 10 sheets, or 7.2 percent. Toilet paper and moist towelettes are also likely to be reduced in the near future, if not already.
Damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan
Besides the immediate health effects that the Japanese nuclear disaster may have on people within close proximity of the plant, there are concerns as to how the radiation could spread beyond the borders of Japan. While much of the worries have been assuaged by experts, there is one that is being watched closely: the food supply in Japan.
Hong Kong has suspended all imported food from five prefectures in Japan (prefectures in Japan are governed jurisdictions that are larger than cities, towns, and villages.).
India has ordered radiation tests at its ports and airports of all Japanese food originating after March 11 when the earthquake occurred.
So, how does all this play into the food imported to the U.S.? First off, less than four percent of all food imported into the U.S. comes from Japan. Even so, that is enough to concern anyone if that food is contaminated with radiation.