Do you think food prices are too high?

Food prices in grocery stores have gone up and consumers want to know why.

KRCG's Facebook Crew took that question to the experts.

The United States Department of Agriculture projects that there is a food price inflation of roughly four percent this year.

But why is there an inflation?

Experts told me that there are a number of reasons why food prices are up, but the two main reasons are high gas prices and bad weather.

"The primary thing that's driving it right now is energy costs. When you look at oil prices being around $100 barrel, that's going to impact everything that happens to get the food from the farm to the processor to packaging, then to distribution, and so on, MO Farm Bureau Diane Olson said. It's just all impacted by energy costs."

Another factor that plays a role in driving up food prices is demand.

Agronomists with the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at MU said there is a strong demand for meat, but a dwindling supply.

"We've had some reasons that the supplies of beef and pork aren't what they use to be. The demand for beef and pork around the world has been relatively strong, FAPRI Director Dr. Pat Westhoff said. So that combination has pushed up prices."

The Missouri Farm Bureau told me food inflation goes in cycles and the current up-tick won't last for ever.

"Probably we will see some leveling out. If you look historically that's what happened, you see them tick up for a year or two then kind of level out, Olson said. So projection for 2012 is that we may see those prices actually drop."

Olson said you should do your homework before you go grocery shopping so that you can find the best deal for your dollar.

So tell us what you do to get that great deal at the grocery store.

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Is the food price hike here to stay? Tonight at ten KRCG TMs Facebook Crew talks with experts to see why food prices are up and how long they will stay there.

Tell us what you think. Do you think food prices are too high?