February 28, 2008

Where's the wheat?

Heller’s Bakery in northwestern Washington, D.C., has been a cornerstone of the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood since the 1920s. But lately times are tough. Never before has flour — a staple item in a bakery — been so expensive. “Even though I raise the prices, it’s still not enough,” says Erland Duni, one of the bakery’s owners.

Blame the rising cost of flour on the rising cost of wheat, which climbed from $6.04 per bushel in August to $11.04 in February. And blame the rising cost of wheat on a wheat shortage. But don’t try to blame the wheat shortage on the biofuels industry, experts say. It has more to do with the fickle weather and high demand.

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