By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The cost of food is way up this year and if the trend continues we could see the biggest annual increase in three decades.

The National Restaurant Association says wholesale food prices are on track to increase nearly eight percent this year. The trend is having an impact at grocery stores, where prices have leaped more than six percent in the 12 months ending in September. Naturally, consumers are feeling the pinch.

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“I don’t understand why the prices are so high,” one woman groaned. “There’s plenty of land to grow plenty of food.”

Major food companies are trying to offset those higher prices in part by shrinking their products, something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by consumers.

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“I see that, like with orange juice. Different products. And you’re still paying the same but for less.”

What’s driving up the prices? The weather, according to industry experts, who say floods, droughts and frosts have hammered world crops.

Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060

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