Why This TikTok Farmer Thinks Food Prices Will Increase In 2022

If you're not a big TikTok user, you might think of this platform as being full of nothing but kids sharing silly dances (and occasionally making ridiculous amounts of money for doing so) as well as kitchen trolls posting potentially dangerous food hacks. Occasionally, though, TikTok can actually be a catalyst for good, as in last year's Aunt Jemima name change that was prompted by a viral TikTok video digging deep into the brand's offensive stereotyping (via Twitter).

One group we never expected to see on TikTok, however, was farmers. Aren't they busy waking at the crack of dawn and working until well after dusk to tend to the livestock, harvest the crops, and perform all the challenging labor necessary to ensure that at least a little of what's on our plate is US-grown? Well, one third-generation farmed named Shay Myers sees TikTok as a platform for sharing need-to-know info about the American farming industry. Myers' latest video has some rather alarming news: According to Myers, "Between 9 and 12 months from now, if not sooner, you're going to see that your food costs you 30 to 40% more."

Farmers' operating costs are going up

Yikes, and we thought that post-pandemic food prices were already sky-high! Why are they going to be even higher now that we're supposedly transitioning to the "new normal?" Well, as Shay Myers explains, "It's happening because our [farmers'] costs are increasing so much ... Our costs are up 40%. It might be 35%, but they're up significantly," (via TikTok). Indeed, the costs of operating a farm have been increasing over the years (via TSGC). So why haven't grocery store prices already risen to cover these costs? It turns out that most farmers have been locked into contracts that have them selling their products at lower prices, but now those contracts are coming to an end. Myers says farmers will soon be re-negotiating new contract terms since, as he admits, "We'll go broke in a year if we don't actually re-set those prices."

So what can we cash-strapped consumers do to make sure we can still afford to eat in 2022? Learn to forage for roots and berries? Well, that's one possibility, but only if you really know what's edible and what is not. If you're more of an urban forager, though, Myers has another suggestion. "If you have the ability to go buy canned goods or frozen goods or other items that are shelf-stable, I would tell you, go buy them. Go buy them now." As if we didn't have enough of an issue with food hoarding in 2020. It's possible we will see a round two of the Grocery Hunger Games.