Looks like I have managed to miss most inflation, probably because of the kinds of food we buy. From the article:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent numbers, wholesale food prices were up 6.1 percent in December compared with a year earlier — the highest increase since 2007. Some of the more notable increases were in beef and veal, which soared 16.1 percent; dairy, which rose 12 percent; and pasta products, 19.3 percent. ...
“The consensus is we’re in an era of high, volatile and rising food costs, and it’s pretty unlikely we’re going to see a big drop-off in any of the major categories that are so critical for operators, like proteins, dairy and grains,” said industry analyst Bob Goldin of Technomic, a research and consulting firm. “Operators are highly reluctant to raise menu prices in this kind of economic climate, but they’re doing so out of economic necessity.”These price increases are at a wholesale level and the types of food purchased at restaurants are not the same as what gets purchased by grocery stores (you're not going to find "Prime" beef at Ralph's), but there is no reason to believe that food inflation and the categories where prices are rising are not also affecting the grocery stories.
Wholesale food cost changes
|Food categories||Change from Dec. 2010|
|Fruits and melons||-12.9|
|Beef and veal||16.1|
|Shortening and oils||16.3|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
If restaurants are convinced that prices are going up and staying up such that they must raise menu prices, then food costs are up for us all. This will hit and hurt more the lower your household income is combined with how many mouths you're feeding.
Ordinary families are seeing their non-discretionary food costs go up at a time when their incomes are stagnant or falling. The people who caused the economic mess are not affected by this. They always have plenty of dollars to spend on the best quality food (cook in, eat out). This is a concrete fact OWS should be using.