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“Get Less Tuna In A Can - But Pay More”

The Oregon newspaper Keizer Times published this opinion – which is a reaction on the lowering of the net weight by some national and private label canned tuna brands in the US market.

Here we are in the middle of an economic recession and the cost of our food increasing. Where will it end?

The price of real estate has taken a nosedive, companies are failing, people are getting laid off, and personal worth is 50 percent of what is was a year ago. With all this negativity in the economy, the cost of living is going up.

I notice it in the cost of food. I was shocked the other day when I went to buy a can of tuna fish. Six months ago I bought a six-ounce can for 60 cents. The price of a can last week was 67 cents. This is an increase of 11 percent; on top of that the can was smaller and contained only five ounces. This is a decrease of 20 percent of product. Combined, the cost of tuna went up over 34 percent.

You may have noticed the quantity of other food products as also decreased. There is less cereal in the box; there is not a half-gallon of ice cream in what was once a half gallon-sized tub. If you kept track of other food items you witnessed the size of a lot of food decreasing while the price remained the same. Do the food companies think we are stupid and do not notice? This is incredible. I realize the price of oil had a lot to do with everything we consumed but when will the food prices comes down as the price of oil declines?

At one time, before bar codes, it was easy to track the cost on items we bought. Each can or package was stamped with the price and it was easy to compare prices of like items that sat on our shelves at home. Now there is no easy way to track unless you save receipts and make an effort to compare—and get discouraged. I guess all we can do is complain.

What makes up the cost of living for most people? It is the price of food, housing, utilities, transportation, and unfortunately, the cost of health care. Forget about the cost of some electronics that have come down because we can live without them. We can get along without going out to eat and out for entertainment but there are essentials we must pay for.

We are in for a rough ride. It is time for the haves to share with the have-nots. It is no time to decrease contributions to charities that need it more during times like these. The country got through the Great Depression and this is just another challenge. Sharing and caring is the American way. Let’s hope the new president and the new Congress can work together and get us out of this mess.”