Away at college, working on a master's degree, many of my daughter's calls and e-mails now include personal insights into the financial "joy" of being a grown-up.
"One day you'll appreciate the starving grad student experience and how it made you tough," I often say, trying not to laugh. She shared her newest revelation today; it was about meat prices of all things.
"So, what's the deal with bacon?" she asked. "I've had an urge for BLTs lately, so I went to the market. It's been a while, but most of the packages were double what I remember the last time! Has something happened in the pork industry to explain these prices?"
"Yes honey, something has happened. Remember 2008-09? That's right, that's when corn prices went stupid. A lot of farmers went out of business and everyone else pretty much lost their rump. Fewer farmers means fewer little piggies are going to market these days. In fact, USDA announced in June that total U.S. meat inventories, other than poultry, were at their lowest levels in several years.
"On top of that, foreign demand for U.S. beef and pork is way up this year which is making the situation even worse. It all adds up to more demand than supply, and I think prices are going to stay high all year long."
"Darn," she answered. "I guess I'll have to wait until I come home then."
Isn't a kid's love for her parents beautiful – even if part of it is because of their bacon?