You save 16 cents, what do you get?

The New York Post documents some of the hilarity occasioned by the lame White House tweet celebrating the saving of 16 cents for the food cost of a 2021 July 4 barbecue over last year. The Post story notes the pitifully stupid puns with which the White House advertised the Farm Bureau’s annual update on July 4 food costs (below).

The White House tweet might be offered as Exhibit 1 in support of the proposition that puns are the lowest form of humor, or of the proposition that whatever wit might be reflected in puns has degenerated in the Biden White House. Perhaps Joe Biden himself pitched in with a pun or two. He’s got half a mind to do it.

The Farm Bureau calculation is a bit more sophisticated than the White House puns. You save 16 cents, and what do you get? The 16 cents is computed on a meal for 10 and the underlying numbers give cause for concern:

U.S. consumers will pay just a few cents less for their favorite Independence Day cookout foods compared to last year, including cheeseburgers, pork chops, chicken breasts, homemade potato salad, strawberries and ice cream, says the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Farm Bureau analysis reveals the average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people remains affordable at $59.50, or less than $6 per person. The cost for the cookout is down just 16 cents (less than 1%) from last year, but 8% higher compared to 2019.

The largest year-to-year price increase was for strawberries. Survey results showed 2 pints of strawberries at $5.30, up 22% from last year, due to strong demand and the effects of several weather events including severe rain, hail and high winds that caused significant setbacks to the harvest early in 2021.

Retail price changes for products in the meat case are a bit more nuanced, according to AFBF Economist Veronica Nigh.

“Beef and pork processing plant disruptions that occurred in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been resolved, leading to lower retail ground beef and pork chop prices in 2021 compared to 2020,” Nigh said. “However, consumers looking a bit farther back to compare prices are seeing higher prices for ground beef, pork chops and chicken breasts compared to pre-pandemic (2019) prices. That’s due to continued strong demand for American-grown beef and pork from both U.S. and international consumers.”

Whole thing here.

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